19 hours ago

As a kid growing up in NorCal hiking was just what you did on a day off be it to a lake, along a river, to a beach, or some trail in the Sierra’s or Costal range. I happened to have had the added bonus of having avid hikers for parents so the adventures were endless and I personally have hiked everything from “Are you sure we can call that a hiking trail?” to “Okay, am I going to make it out alive?” type trails.

I’m over 40, it’s the end of April so still snow in higher areas, I just had my sneaks on, no polls, and haven’t hiked more than a nature trail in ages. I would say I’m out of shape but that was pretty much my point of coming up here for 10 days and plotting out trails to do every day I was up here. I am getting back into hiking and decided to start off with some easy trails to test the waters of what I felt I could do. I call these trails the “Are you sure that we can really call that a hiking trail?” After a few of those I decided it was time to do a real trail.

Yes this is a real hiking trail it is not a nature trail, not for strollers, babies, tots, or little kids unless that kid is an avid hiker I’d probably go with a well behaved 10 and up who understands the rules of the trails. While it’s not going to kill you it does have some challenges along the way especially if there is still snow on the ground. You don’t need snow shoes but sneaks are probably not the best idea I’d go with an actual hiking shoe unless you plan to only make it to the lower falls or only do the loop (part of the “Are you sure I can call that a hike?” portion of the trail) anything above that grab a backpack, water, hiking shoes, and something to eat once you reach your destination and please be sure to stop, look around, and take in the scenery. There is plenty of wild life around if you stop to pay attention.

There are several places to go once you get further up the trail basically it’s about how far and how hard you want it to get. The higher you go the harder it gets. This is after all one of the entrances to Desolation Valley. However I can’t say it’s well marked as there are points along the way where you have to really watch where the trail picks back up. If your plan is to only make it to Eagle Lake then I’d say even the out of shape hiker should be able to make it to this point. For the avid hiker this part of the trail will be pretty easy. For those with short legs plan for high rock steps and to feel it in your thighs. Do come earlier and definitely avoid the weekends probably summers if you want to find parking and enjoy the trail with less people.

Overall for this out of shape over 40 year old it was perfect for getting back into a sport I’ve long missed doing regularly. It wasn’t boring, it wasn’t a stroll, it did require some thought, it had a good incline, it gave a slight challenge, but it wasn’t so difficult that I had to turn back. It was exactly what I was looking for and the view at the lake was worth the journey.