We rounded the corner, and after a stretch of densely forested trail, broke out into Alta Meadow. Though my feet were aching after trekking 5.6 uphill miles with a heavy pack, I practically ran toward the meadow, arms outstretched in my Julie Andrews Sound of Music moment. The vista before me made me gasp, and … Continue reading
The Chilkoot Trail, the original Klondike gold rush trail, is a classic hike that attracts history buffs and appeals to experienced wilderness backpackers. It spans two countries (U.S. and Canada) with distinctly different terrain in each country. The U.S. side is characterized as a coastal rain forest, heavily wooded with a thick understory of berry … Continue reading
The heavily forested Stanford Rock hike, located in Ward Canyon, is a rigorous 11 mile loop that rewards the hiker with stunning views of Lake Tahoe, Twin Peaks, Alpine Meadows and many other surrounding peaks. Trailhead The trailhead is located on Ward Creek Blvd. The trailhead has an obvious parking area in front of a … Continue reading
“Those two are thru-hikers,” said Billie, as she was giving us an overview of Drakesbad Guest Ranch at check-in. I listened with half an ear as I gazed at the lean and sinewy young couple scarfing down a big lunch of sandwiches, soup and salad, my mind whirring. After Billie finished our orientation, pointing out … Continue reading
We set out on Saturday for a moderate, early season overnight backpacking trip to Paradise Lake, six miles from the trailhead on Highway 80. Despite the calendar noting that it’s supposed to be summer in early July, this is the spring that won’t arrive in the high Sierra, El Nino refusing to loosen its grip … Continue reading
We had just spent two and half weeks tracing the Klondike gold rush trail from Alaska to the Yukon, testing ourselves against the elements and spending 14 nights in a micro-mini tent.
As we ascended from sea to summit on the Chilkoot Trail my thoughts wandered back to the footsteps that came before us, back to the Klondike gold seekers of the 1890’s, and even further back, to the original bushwhackers who created and controlled the trail centuries ago.
“This is awesome!” seven year old Chase exclaimed excitedly. What got him so excited? Disneyland? Action figures? Trucks? No, he was building a dam in a shallow creek to catch the elusive fingerling trout slipping by. We were deep in the Granite Chief Wilderness on a multi-day backpacking trip and his face reflected pure joy … Continue reading
“How much longer? Are we almost there?” The familiar refrain from our godchildren came, not in a car, but in the Sierra wilderness, as they shouldered heavy backpacks and bent toward the granite formations as we neared the summit, having gained 1,000 feet of elevation in about 2 miles. We struck out late on … Continue reading
This trip to Hellhole Reservoir in the Granite Chief Wilderness won’t qualify for the worst trip in the annals of backpacking because no one was seriously or mortally injured, but in our combined history, this was the worst trip ever for my husband and me. A combination of minor mishaps, lost trails, illness and topography … Continue reading