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    Shiwei Li reviewed South Kaibab to Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel Trail

    7 days ago

    Our group, all 14 people completed the SK-Phantom Ranch-BA route safely in mid-May.
    We took the 5am bus to South Kaibab Trailhead. Because we parked at the backcountry information center around 4:55 am, and we didn't know the hikers express shuttle actually stops at the information center, we ran the hell out of us to catch the bus there.
    So point one, the bus actually stops at the backcountry information center and the visitor center near SK. But giving there might be large groups(we ran into a group of 30-40, if not even more), so starting at Bright Angel Lodge may ensure a seat.
    The shuttle actually only takes 20 minutes to get to the trailhead, but since we all need to use the SK trailhead restrooms (There are only 2), so we actually started hiking at 6am.
    Hiking down was mostly running for me and my buddy. It took us about 2.5 hrs to reach the bridge. I slipped on a rock and bend my ankle in the middle, but luckily it didn't cause any serious damage.
    My water consumption to the Bright Angel Campground was 1.5L, but brought more did give me peace in mind(I had 3L) as the weather really gets hot around 8 or 8:30 and there is no shade on South Kaibab Trail.
    We relaxed a bit, refill water, used restroom at Phantom Ranch, they offer iced Lemonade, iced Beer, simple snacks, postcards with "Carried by Mule" stamps(really cool!) and some basic hot weather essentials like buff and cooling cloth, credit cards is OK to be used here.
    A lot of hikers hanging out here, squirrels too. There were a lot of signs reminds hikers and visitors don't feed the squirrels, but obviously, a lot of people did before, as the squirrels are not afraid of people at all. My tracking pole felt off ground next to one and touched its fur, and this guy/gal did not care at all. I even saw one robbed one hiker's apple in front all of us while the pool hiker was just turning her head to find something in her backpack.
    It was hot down at the river, I didn't check the temperature, but our group member who arrived later said it reached 110F at Phantom Ranch around 11 am.
    We took about 1 hr break before my buddy “whipped" me out of the shade and we were on Bright Angel Trail at 10 am.
    There was a section after crossing Silver Bridge which was all sandy surface for about half a mile, which made it really hard to walk on, I strongly suggest bring running gaiters to prevent sand and rocks to get into the shoes if you wear low ankle shoes.
    It took us about 1 hr to get to Indian Garden, where we took our lunch break for an hour, the thermometer here says it is 95F.
    The climb up was actually not as torturing as I expected. The rest spots are optimally arranged(Indian Garden, 3 miles, Mile and Mile Half) to be 1.5 miles apart from each other. For me and my buddies, it's about 1 hr hike from each stop, it paced us perfect so we can re-apply sunscreen, take Salt Stick tablets and eat. Besides the heat, the trail itself is moderately steep, wide, and easy to walk.
    In order to achieve everybody's most comfortable hiking experience, we kind of spread out into 5 groups at the end, 1 super fast hiker arrived at 3:25 pm, taking 9 hrs only from the beginning; I and 2 others take exactly 10 hrs. Our last group arrived at 8:30 pm when it started to get cold and rained a bit. But we all made it.

    The view of the canyon is stunning, and walking up Bright Angel trail I can see why most people take this route, I saw abundant rock layers, mountain formations, waterfalls, creeks, plants and living creatures. I even doubt I heard a rattle, but that might not be true. We ran into 2 mule groups, one for a guided tour, one seems like just carrying a bunch of stuff. There are trees, bushes, cactus, lizards, flies, squirrels, deer. The canyon view is always at my head turn, each time I stopped to catch my breath, I found myself turning back and looking at it. The unspeakable beauty of mother nature always touches me and always is the motivation for me to hike on.

    Shiwei Li reviewed Lost Coast Trail: Mattole to Black Sands Beach

    7 days ago

    We 3 did the north section from June 1st to June 3rd.
    The weather was amazine, the forecast said it has somewhere 15 mph gust and regular 10 wind, but I don't really feel it. Temperature around 70-80 during the day and around 50 at night.

    We camped at Shelter Cove RV and Campground on 31st, it is a much more expensive campground($46 for 3 people), but it has shower, and flush toilet, and most importantly, it is very close and reservable to the Black Sand Beach Trailhead, where we take our shuttle.

    We took Lost Coast Adventure shuttle to Mattole Beach Trailhead. The service was nice and price reasonable. The only improvement which I would say is maybe ability to adjust the shuttle according to tide time, will be better.

    Speaking of the tide, I originally was not quite sure about how high a tide is safe for hiking. I was planning for 2.5ft as the safe zone for us to hike, which only allow us to hike early morning to noon. But during our hike we assessed the actual situation, we actually hiked in 3-4 ft(forecast tide level, not actual) period and we did it. There was only one or two points which I felt a bit sketchy between Miller Flat to Shipman Creek during 3-4 ft tide zone. But we managed to get through, giving the beautiful weather and mercy of little-wind.

    My original plan was first day 4.5 miles to Seal Lion Gulch, second day 12 miles to Miller Flat, third day end the hike with 8.5 miles. But after words I felt we totally didn't follow the plan.

    We 3 are all relatively fast hikers, we started at 9:30am, reached Sea Lion Gulch around 11:45ish, one of our guy's boots had failed him having the front half of the out soles falling from the boots. He managed to fixed it with duct tape and we kept going. We arrived at Cooskie Creek about some time past 1pm.

    We took lunch, nap on the beach, it was beautiful. And we started again at 5:45pm, this time we reached Spanish Flat. The hike of the later afternoon was much harder than the morning, the terrain was mostly soccer sized pebbles and the tide was higher than the morning. We need to be really careful about the footing and watch the tide. We arrived at Spanish Flat about 7:30. Started a fire, had dinner, and I played with my camera, finally after so many backpacking trip carrying it without utilizing it, shot the starry sky.

    Second day we started late around a quarter to 10 am, same pattern, this time we took our break at Miller flat around 2. There was nice swimming holes at both Big Creek and Miller Flat, we took a dip at Miller Flat.

    We picked up from Miller flat at about 5:15pm. Here after Miller Flat we came across the sketchy point about less than a mile towards Shipman Creek. Once we arrived at Shipman Creek, the poor guy's outsoles was found completely peeled off the bottom of the boots. Again, this genius hiker fixed it again with ropes, multitool, and small pebbles! Such creativity!!! We finally camped at Gitchell Creek at 7:30pm, enjoyed incredible sunset, warm campfire and amazing starry night sky again.

    Last day was easy, only 3.6 miles, but all on sandy beach, walking was not as easy as on solid ground. We finished the hike at 12pm.

    Shiwei Li reviewed Sawtooth Pass Trail

    20 days ago

    We backpacked at Monarch Lake the night before climbing Sawtooth Pass. At this season seems the weather is clear in morning but gets foggy in the afternoon.
    The trail to Lower Monarch Lake is obvious, even about the last mile and mile half is covered in snow. We brought crampons and ice axes, which made the trekking much easier. But still, the steep snow slope looks pretty dangerous and have proper equipment will give you peace in mind and tool to self arrest if anything happens.
    Even though the Lower Monarch Lake is largely covered with ice, the temperature is not too low, I'd say 30 degree at night, and we are able to get water at the lake.
    The trail to Sawtooth Pass mostly has no snow, but really hard to find human track at this early in the season, I ended up using ice axe to cross patches of ice when climbing totally off trail to the pass. Take extra caution when moving on the slope. It's like 50 degree or above incline and with sandy terrain, the sand is extremely slippery on rocks.
    The west side of the Sawtooth Pass is mostly clear of snow, but as soon as you reach the pass you can see the other side of it is covered in completely white. Snow is couple feet high over the pass. View at the pass is breath taking.
    Getting downhill is mandatory hill and can be very challenging. My buddy with crampon on felt it's easier as the traction on sandy slope helps. Me, I mostly slide one foot in careful position, moving sideways, sometimes sit down or hunch down to help stabilize the sliding. Be super careful where you step on! Pure sand has more traction than sand on rock. Also notice some part, even no snow/ice, but the small pebbles are frozen together made it hard and slippery.
    We took 2 hrs to ascent from Lower Monarch Lake to the Pass.

    Shiwei Li completed Sawtooth Pass Trail

    20 days ago

    Shiwei Li added Activity 2694029801

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li added 可以重复走的路线

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li reviewed Stinson Beach to Mount Tamalpais

    about 1 month ago

    Very easy to follow trail.
    Beautiful views!

    Shiwei Li completed Stinson Beach to Mount Tamalpais

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li added Mt. Tam First Hike

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li added Track - May 05, 05:17 PM

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li added Track - May 05, 05:17 PM

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li added Track - May 05, 05:17 PM

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li added Cone peak Sea to Sky

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li reviewed Rose Peak From Sunol

    about 1 month ago

    Did this trail April 21st on Saturday for training purpose.
    The Relive is here: https://www.relive.cc/view/1523553876
    Below are details:
    We started on 9:45 am from the parking lot at the bridge. The first about 2 miles are flat and shaded with Little Yosemite on your side. We were very lucky that there was plenty of water in Little Yosemite, This part of the trail is wide and passible by cars, very easy to walk.
    About half mile passed Little Yosemite there is the left turn to backpacker trail to backpackers campground. Here comes the ascent, sharply to a little over mile 3, then flat out a little bit until you reached a wide road. This part at this time of year has plenty of wildflowers, very pretty. Also, we saw a sign here saying "Rattle Snake 30 feet ahead" by some nice hiker on our way back. So there is such animal activity.
    When you reach the wide road (and there is a trail post), turn left and keep ascending about 0.3 miles, you see another trial post, need to turn right here. We got lost last time by following the wide road, but that is not the actual trail, the trail is not very obvious compared to the wide road, but you need to make a right turn here to the trail.
    From there it is another section of rolling hills but mostly ascending, climb up the final slope, you'll reach a branch where the right trail leads to a gate, passing which there is a pond, that is the right way to go. Not far from the pond there is a big tree with some shades, that is a good spot for taking a breath.
    A little over that, there came another folk trail, take left (There should be a marker build by pebbles on the ground), the trail descends sharply to a small creek, which, surprisingly has crystal clear water, shades, and a rock.
    Descending before final summit means more ascending, crossed the creek, here came the final effort to rose peak about 2.5 miles, but the climb was mild until the final 50 feet to the peak. Great view on the summit and lots of flowers.
    This is an out and back route, the final mileage on my watch(including a detour to Maggie's for water) was 18.5 and 4295ft elevation gain.
    Most of the trail was not covered, the sun was brutal, so do apply sunscreen often and keep hydrated. I think on average at least 4L water is needed. I brought with me 2L and 1L electrolytes but ended up having to fill water at Maggie's.
    There were 2 places the trail offers tap water, one at backpacker's camp about 2.5 miles from the start, another is about half a mile from Rose Peak summit in Maggie's. Both are campgrounds, but they are both tap water and you might need to consider filtering before actually drink the water. There were signs saying "Untreated water".
    On our way back, we tried to take another route which you can see on the map the trail divided and merged, but we encountered a lot of cows on the trail and there was no space for us to pass through them. So we had to return to the folk and took the route marked on the map.
    We started at 9:45 am, summit Rose Peak about 2 pm-ish, spent about 15, 20 minutes on the summit and finally finished about 6:30 pm back at the parking lot.
    Overall in spring, this hike offers a very vivid view, green hills rolling and rolling with abundant flowers. We saw thousands of California Poppies and other flowers. A ton of ground squirrels too! Some of them even got really close! I also came once last October and the trail was all golden grass, also spectacular.

    Shiwei Li added Rose peak April 21, 2018

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li saved Duck Lake Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Shiwei Li reviewed Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit

    2 months ago

    Longer than what's on allTrail(11.9), I did it in 13.5 miles, so be prepared. The first 1-2 miles are very flat and nicely shaded, but never be fooled by this part. A little before 2 miles it started to ascent for 4 miles over 3000 ft.
    Descent from the summit was challenging in terms of protecting knees and techniques of going downhill, there were a bunch of very steep descent.
    The last climb to Eagle Peak was brutal, especially after almost 10 miles, but short. After Eagle Peak was again very steep descent. Trekking poles and knee protector are recommended.
    It was a nice trail, beautiful, and a nice workout! Go for it!

    Shiwei Li saved Chain Lakes Trail

    3 months ago

    Shiwei Li saved Four Lakes Loop

    3 months ago

    Shiwei Li saved Rae Lakes Trail

    3 months ago

    Shiwei Li saved Sawtooth Pass Trail

    3 months ago

    Shiwei Li reviewed Whitemore Gulch and Purisima Creek Loop Trail

    3 months ago

    There are many different options to complete this loop. The loop has a lot of features, redwoods, ocean viewpoint, creek. It was a good climb at the latter half, and the trail has a lot of shades. Once passed the first descending part it would be a very good trail for running too.
    One can see a lot of different scenes in this one loop. from mountain to ocean, from bare ground to tree canopies, from mountaintop to creek valleys.
    Definitely worth the effort of completing the whole loop.

    Shiwei Li added Nice trail

    3 months ago

    Shiwei Li saved Caribou Lakes Trail

    3 months ago

    Shiwei Li completed Murietta Falls Trail

    3 months ago

    Shiwei Li added Long Day Hike

    3 months ago