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 – Bear Valley Trailhead – horse, sky, coastal, bear valley trail loop

14 mile loop. Moderate. Horse trail is a pleasant ascent, less steep than the others options from upper BVT.

access horse trail by going right before the main BVT trail head, after the barns there is a singed junction and turn left



horse trail is a moderate upsloped trail with 80% cover and some nice views to the east


Nicassio resevoir to the east


200′ foot tree above this. roots popped through the rock and exposed the strata


Sky Trail, first look at damage form the Vision Fire (20 years ago)


Vision Fire recovery


Sky Trail east of Old Pine the teail starts to get a bit over grown


Sky Trail was quite overgrown in some place farthe east


approaching the coastal decscent the fog was still coming through around 1:30pm


Ah, the majestic Pacific ocean. (view improves at lower elevation)


changes to coastal scrub


wacky tree


also wacky


first glimpse of the coast looking north-ish


about 1/2 hour to get down to coastal trail


Point Reyes is a big place. I’m sort of in the middle looking towards the norther portion (light house would be beyond this view)


on coastal trail looking down at bear valley trail. the spur trail to arch rick is closed. there was a big collapse earlier this year and its closed indefinitely. take a right and go north west on Coastal trail instead. in a short while (0.5 mile?) you can go down to Kellhambeach


Bear Valley Trailis not my kind of trail but you kinda have to deal with if if you want to day trip in this section (unless your day trips are 20+ milers)


typical BVT view.


there arw plenty of pretty things on BVT, but it gets crowded and is basically a hravle road. fairly flat with one easy up/down over the divide meadow




pretty view somewhere in the final 2 miles to TH. 14+ miles in 4:15. 10:30am start. before BVT i passed maybe 12 people in 10 miles. Sky Traill, try it for the solitude.