Sierra National Forest – John Muir Wilderness

left home Thursday at 5:30, Madera by 9:30. Left Madera at 9:30, made it to end of Kaiser pass road around 1pm. Passed 8 cars, no backing up required. note that it was in the season and earlier than the 1st day of hunting season.

set up at double site #27 with the giant, sloped granite slab wall backing us. (great for star gazing).

granite slab wall behind campsite.

campsite had potable water and garbage / recycling. pit toilets, no sinks (wash up at your campsite)

hike #1 – Florence Lake to crater lake and beyond

at Dutch lake

typical trail section

for M

crater lake, john muir wilderness

cross country to hidden lake

hidden lake. talked with some hunters/backpackers

finding dutch lake from hidden lake was east, finding the trail back to florence, not so much


trail on the return with great views. watch your step, trekiin poles are a good idea here

Florence lake on the return. the return was so hard i doubted that i had actually hiked up this sucker

day two hike – hooper diversion road allnd the creek from florence lake

grazing meadow just after river crossing (boots and socks off on eay in and boots on going out since it was last hike of trip

cool zipline over river for people and toold

day 2 walk in campground through wild life are and jackass meadow

see the deer?

see it now?

jackass meadow at dusk


Point Reyes – Limantour – Bayview, Laguna, Coast, Fire Lane

I now have come to understand that trails marked as bycicle routes are gravely roads–not very enticing hiking trails.

The route back is the winner here. If you had enough time to stretch this 10 miler into a beach afternoon before your return all the better. (Though if the beach is what your after, skip to the hostel or further and you’ll bypass hours of hiking and lots of incline on the way out.)

What next? Instead of this route, what about: Limantour > Sky > Woodward Valley Firelane > Sky. 9.5 miles and fire lane up-and-out will be quieter and more challenging then Woodward out(?).


Kings Canyon – Cedar Grove – Lewis Creek Overlook Loop

The Lewis Creek Trail loop was longer, steeper and better than I imagined. 7+ miles, 1,600′, 3.5 hours?! Lots of stops to relax and take it in. The last 1.5 miles E->W back to the TH kinda sucked, but at least there was an outhouse along the way.


Kings Canyon – General Grant Grove – Lookout Point to Fire Lookout

Thabk you, park ranger at the visitor’s center, way to recommend a good hike without being prescriptive. 

Excited to arrive Monday morning, I asked about hikes in the area I could do while the rest of the crew was en route. The ranger quickly steered me to a distance and elevation gain that took into consideration my just arriving at 7,000′ from basically sea level.
Drive up to lookout knocked 1k feet off and the hike still had a nice up-down-up of 600′ over 6+ miles of ridge-hike views.

Volunteers at the fire lookout were great. Should have taken more pictures!


on the road CA-180E


Point Reyes – Five Brooks Trail Head – Stewart, Coast, Old Out Road, Almea, Greenpicker, Stewart Loop

15 miles and nearly 2,700′ gain. Stewart is a “bike” trail, which seems to mean a gravel road when in Point Reyes’ south district. This route is 6.7 miles to Wildcat Camp / the seashore. If you were camping at Glen Camp or Wildcat I’d recommend checking out Old Out Road and Almea. Heading to Alamere Falls? Stewart > Alamea > Old Out > Coast would be interesting but it’s ~6.5 out (4.2 out from Palomarin).

Tough to recommend as a day trip unless your trying to do all the routes. Makes sense if your camping in the area, otherwise … There’s a reason this one isn’t in the day trip books.

Good if you want to have a long hike without crowds (as long as you start early enough to get off Stewart).

What to do? Thinking that 5 brooks th > Stewart > greenpicker > almea > old out > coast > lake ranch > ridge > stewart (14.4)  Or … lake ranch > bolema > olema valley a smidgen shorter)

15 miles, 2,700′ gain


broad, gravel, plenty of horses


near fir top


from stewart trail, first view towards wildcat camp. it felt like the mile markers were off, its a long way to wildcat from here


Old Out and Almea saved this day teip for me


looking east feom greenpicker before stewart junction


zoom for horses


lots of horses start at five brooks


Point Reyes – Five Brooks Trailhead – Olema Valley, Texiera, Ridge, Bolinas (intended)

There is a downed tree and some sketchy “don’t hike here” obstructions on Texeira Trail  that made me turn around and do an out and back.

This was a weird one. About 6 miles in I came to a downed tree blocking the entire trail; scramble through bramble and get around and then encounter logs and branches pulled across the path a very regular intervals. The kind you see trying to block an unofficial trail. 

They start at least 3/4 of a mile from the next junction to the west. That’s unusual. NPS would not have done that. 

Started thinking maybe it’s local hikers or equestrians pissed at mountain bikers, but realized there aren’t connecting bike trails.

After a while, I got spooked, thinking maybe there’s an illegal grow operation in the area (plenty of water near by, harvest time in 1-2 months), haven’t passed anyone in 2.5 hours … So, I turned around an went back the way I came. 

In 4.5 hours, 2 equestrians on Olema Valley trail at 8 miles, a few others near trail head. Very remote feel.


5.2 miles from TH to Texiera


begins a little overgrown. toull be glad you wore long pants for this trail


old road bed. coimb starts 1/2 mile in after bridge.


begining is largely lush, was wet at 10:30am this morning


as the trail closes in those wet grasses start brushing against you


first meadow


a bit rainforrest-y


fog still rolling in around 11:30 am


sandy soil, no one around


trail starts to fade away


glad i wore the gaiters as i was getting quite wet


olema valley trail features several segments of hiking through tall grasses mixed with wooded climbs


these pretty orchid-like flowers caught my eye


this is the trail. it is easy to stay in it, but it doesnt appear that way at first glance


water crossing was easy in early July




fallen tree blocking Texiera