The High Sierra Trail (and more!)

Last week I spent seven days hiking a loop through Sequoia National Park, going in along the famous High Sierra Trail and looping back into the tucked-away Mineral King from the Kern River Canyon. Our route took us through some incredible scenery (is there any other kind in the Sierra?), including a night of cowboy camping at Precipice Lake, the site of one of my favorite Ansel Adams photographs. It just so happened that the night coincided with the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, making for one memorable night.

Reports, maps and pictures from individual days after the jump.

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John Muir Trail, 2007

Yesterday I returned from two weeks on the John Muir Trail. If I ignore the ~8 miles or so between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne that I haven’t hiked, I’ve now completed the trail. At the very least, I’ve walked every mile of the trail between Tuolumne and Whitney over two hikes – the stretch from Kearsarge to Muir Trail Ranch was completed last summer, and the past two weeks were spent on the stretches between Tuolumne and North Lake and then Kearsarge to Whitney.

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X-Country Skiing in Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Sequoia
Sequoia

We spent last weekend among the giant sequoia trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Saturday was cold and rainy/snowy, so we set up camp and took a short walk through the North Grove. We then warmed up in the visitor center while watching a slide show about the history of the trees. When they were first discovered, one of the trees had the first 100 ft of its bark stripped and shipped to New York. It was reassembled there to prove to the general public that the tales of the giant trees were true. Of course, this killed the tree. It is still standing, but it is minus its bark and quite fire scarred and dead. Sigh.

Sunday dawned sunny and warmer, so we strapped on our skis for a slightly longer ski up to a viewpoint overlooking the Dardanelles. Then it was lunch at the Snowshoe Brewing Company in Arnold and back home. It was a nice weekend and I was glad to finally get to Calaveras Big Trees.

Click here for the complete album of photos (about 20).