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off road driving

1 day ago

Camping here was pleasant, but only because we were able to find a spot away from the crowds as there were probably 7 or 8 other groups of people camping here. The lake was swimable and drinkable (with filter), but kind of scummy compared to other Sierra lakes I've visited. If your primary goal is swimming, I would look elsewhere. The hike itself, although short, was enjoyable and offered surprisingly diverse scenery. The trail was easy to follow, but would be a bit more difficult if there was snow. Our hike began with a hail storm at the trailhead haha, but it was clear skies and sunshine after that blew through. Despite the fire ban, one of the groups camping here (a dozen large young men with fishing poles) decided to have a large fire. It was disappointing and frustrating to witness. Please obey the restrictions in place. You don't have to burn things just because you're camping.

on Sayles Canyon Trail

3 days ago

Absolutely stunning view at the top. I could’ve stayed there all day. We were lucky at got a spot at Lovers Leap Trail parking inside Camp Sacramento. We did this hike at 2 pm on a Sunday so maybe that’s why, most folks were heading out as we arrived. Trail is mostly shaded in the afternoon. Rocky in the beginning and then again near the top. There a few forks, you generally stay going “straight” (don’t turn off on any of the forks) to get to lovers leap. All Trails map helped us stay on track.

Visited Bassi today. Beautiful as always. Not much water but what there was was clear and crisp.

4 days ago

Nice hike. Easy to find the trailhead. The trail is well used and easy to follow. Already frost in the morning.

this us one of my favorite places to go, especially if you climb to the top of the falls and hike back. it's like a little oasis. you never run out of exploring options.

Beautiful hike! Totally worth it, especially if you keep going above the falls to Avalanche Lake. The extended hike up to the lake is hard (climbing over boulders at a very steep incline). There are absolutely no trail markers which is why I gave it 4 vs 5 stars.

About 3 miles one way, with the usual detours. A beautiful little lake.

My ‘95 Toyota Avalon made it up the forest service road, just have to watch for rocks! Only 4 vehicles in the “lot” on a Friday at 945am when I started and two when I got back around 4pm. Beautiful views at the top, barren sandy moonscape. I didn’t see anyone for the last 4 hours — from the climb up Freel and over to Jobs Sister & Jobs Peak (clockwise). Don’t know why you’d want to do counterclockwise as ascent of Jobs Sister from Jobs would not be fun at all. Super sandy and steep. Was a bit delirious at top (from altitude I think) and it was quite cold and windy up there too.

so fun!

pretty trail
very windy up on Thunder Mountain, make sure to grab some layers and ear muffs (or whatever protects your ears:) )
I think I ended up doing the loop backwards because I got the crazy incline in the beginning along with beautiful mountain views and then gradually descended too 7,100 followed by some uphill action at the very end to get back to the parking lot.

off road driving
6 days ago

The map shown is not Baltic Ridge trail. What is shown is a combination of several different trails and would be difficult to follow unless you know the area. The route shown from the higher elevation down is 9N30, right onto 10N47 and left onto 10N46 (Piliken Road) then ends at he junction of 9N30. Only the 9N30 portion is open in winter, but will be covered in 8+ feet of snow.
The correct Baltic Ridge trail, starts about 2 miles up MET from where this one is shown to start. it follows along Baltic ridge and ends down at Bonetti road, only the very lower and upper ends show on the map. it is much narrower and over grown with brush on the higher end. 4WD is only need in one area when going up just before it crosses Piliken Road

Great hike with a scenic view of the valley. It should be noted that their is a dirt road also providing access to Scott’s lake and their may be one or two cars camping. Otherwise we enjoyed the hike with little interaction with others.

off road driving
9 days ago

Ran the trail on 9/8/18 from Hwy. 88 to 50. First off, it's great that this trail was able to be opened back up to use. As for the trail, it was mostly a dirty, dusty forest service road. Only one spot was "difficult" for anything is stock or mildly built. Overall, it was a good trail, but does not deserve a HARD rating, that is why the 3 stars.

My first peak hike. Stunning views at the top.

10 days ago

This is an awesome hike. Pretty easy to moderate up to Silvia Lake, slightly harder to get up to Lyons Lake. I took the extra trip to the top of Pyramid peak and will remember that view for the rest of my life.

Very scenic hike with lots of history. This hike starts at Chair 1 at Kirkwood. Follow hiking/mountain biking trails up the top of the ridge, then go down the other side. This was the first time that the hike became difficult, as there was no clearly defined trail to follow, or if there was, we didn't see it. Once we got down to a dirt road, we went right and made our way to the Sunrise Grill. From that point, we followed the directions that Mike White describes in his "Afoot and Afield Tahoe-Reno" book for Emigrant Pass (Hike #178 in the new edition). Without having his book along, we would have been lost trying to find out how to get up to the top of the pass. The only reason we started from Kirkwood instead of Caples Lake as he does in his hike, is to shave off a few miles. Once you get on the historic emigrant trail, just look for markers on trees and cairns stacked by other hikers. We lost the trail a few times, but always quickly picked it back up. Our total mileage ended up being about 7 miles for the out and back, not the 5.8 listed here. Once we got up to the top, the views of the surrounding peaks and Caples Lake in the distance were beautiful. It was amazing to consider that 50,000 emigrants once traveled that route. I would give this hike 5 stars if there were better marked trails on the back side of Kirkwood ski resort.

It was a beautiful day to hit this trail for the first time. It has a few good strenuous sections but all in all it is not too challenging. Good mixture of sun and shade and the meadows are stunning. Very quiet with few other hikers!

11 days ago

This hike is fab!!! I went in late June with my cousins, during a very hot time of day. So hear this: Bring at least 3-4 bottles of water and make sure everyone in your party does, too!!!! Just every time you hike, make sure everyone has plenty of water. Although I was prepared, all my cousins only had 1 or 2 bottles, and 1 of them brought nothing. So I shared a lot, and so did my uncle, who just brought a cooler backpack filled with water and tea. There are no water sources or bathrooms at all.

Anyway, as long as your totally hydrated, this is a great hike! The further up the mountain we got, the louder my exclamations were at the lovely view. It's steep for almost all of it, and there are rock scrambles along the way. As you approach the summit, it's all rock- small rocks. So be careful with your footing.

Reaching the peak is simply incredible. All the negativity from being thirsty, hot, and tired evaporated. an immense view of Lake Tahoe, Desolation Wilderness, and so many other lakes and snow surrounded us. Although we saw snow, none was on the trail. At the top of the mountain, there's a small box with a few little notebooks and pencils where past hikers signed in and wrote nice comments. If you go, be sure to bring a small notebook, because when we went, all the notebooks were full. So maybe you'd like to add another and be the first entry.

It was an amazing hike. I totally recommend it!

awesome hike!!

Went the Tuesday after Labor Day, the pools are a pretty nasty, red, and stagnant. Fall colors starting to happen. The route on the map available is harder than the route we found on the way back. Only 3 miles, even with slight detour to the top of the cliffs. There is a small user trail about half mile (maybe more) after the split for grouse and twin. Use the rock cairns to your advantage, but do not be to reliant on them.

Well maintained trail. You can hear Jeepers at some places near Bucks Lake. Better in cooler temperatures as there is lots of sun/exposed trail on the back half.

From Smith Lake, we continued upward and climbed Crystal Range summits Agassiz Peak and Mt Price. My track is not the easiest way to do this, but it got the job done in a very eventful 10 hour hike. Our boulder hopping route to the notch on the ridge above Smith Lake was OK, but we would have been better served by then dropping down some into the Lyon’s Lake drainage instead of trying to traverse around the head of the canyon higher up. The large boulders up there made the walk extremely difficult, so we ended up dropping down anyway, but still not far enough to make for an easy passage through the head of the drainage. Climbing up the east side we did OK by staying low in grassy chutes and quickly made the ridge with a clear view and path to Agassiz and Price. We headed over the meadow to the low point on the ridge between the peaks, and once there decided to first bag Agassiz to the south. This was another mistake as the boulders high on the ridge were massive and the going up there very slow. A better approach would be to stay low on easier terrain until directly below, or maybe even a bit beyond, the peak then go straight up to it. We did make it our way, though, or at least to a few feet below the high point where we took a pass on the class 3 summit block. From there we dropped off Agassiz the way we should have come up, then by comparison, the half mile north to Mt Price was an easy class 2 walk in the park. The views of Lake Aloha and so many other Desolation Wilderness lakes and peaks was spectacular and the sky was as smoke free as it had been in weeks. Our route down was OK though we initially aimed a little too high for the notch above Smith Lake when we might have done better staying lower longer where the walking was easier. Another way to reach these peaks is to simply hike the drainage north from Lyon’s Lake then climb up the east side, as we did, to the large meadow west of the Price-Agassiz ridge. This hike would start at the Lyon’s Lake trailhead on Wright’s Lake Road and would be a few miles longer, but likely an easier hike. As it was, our route was 11.5 miles and 3638’ of gain. There’s no easy way to reach these peaks, but are they well worth it.

Son and I tackled what we have been driving by for 20 years. You know you’re at the top when you find the lake. Absolutely breathtaking!

off road driving
15 days ago

Im not sure why this trail is rated as difficult. There are only 2 areas that might give a stock vehicle some difficulty. However, if you have a little bit of a lift and 33s you should breeze through this trail.

easy and astonishing veiws.

15 days ago

Moderate overall but it’s hard to judge when you go backpacking for the first time. Wonderful trail. Plenty of kids are able to do it with their families.

Great hike. Had perfect weather. Earned beer and dinner after this hike. Clockwise is easier.

on Lake Margaret Trail

16 days ago

Hiked this as a day hike with some friends and the kiddos, ages from 6-14. All had a great time and loved it. It’s a relatively easy hike now the kids are older and would be a good hike for an overnight with kids to get them into backpacking. The trail does split of to the left fairly early on (about 1/2mile) along the small river with a fallen tree as bridge, at this point there were no markers to say where the trail went and could be a little confusing. Other then that the trail is easy to follow and really fun! Lake was cold and refreshing! Not too many beaches but enough rock to share. We’ll be back!

A group of four of us did the complete loop, counterclockwise. We parked where the Armstrong Trail comes out to Willow Creek Road and then walked up to where the trail begins to head up to Jobs Peak. We wanted to make it so that our car would be closer when we finished the hike, and thought we'd rather walk up the road in the morning while we had more energy. This was a really good decision.

The hike was pretty straightforward, with the exception of climbing Jobs Sister. There is not a distinct trail. We tried to stay close to the ridge and go pretty much straight up, so we wouldn't come down in elevation too much and have a longer way to the top. This was the most difficult part of our day. The way up was sandy and steep, and we were feeling pretty insecure about our footing during various parts of the climb. We ended up near a false peak that had a mason jar with the log book in it, but turned out to be a rock outcrop that was hiding the actual peak from our view. Luckily, we found that we could head left and go around this outcrop, and then the peak was fairly easy to reach. If we ever do this hike again, we would try heading more left from the lower ridge and climbing up that side (closer towards Freel), than the way we did it. When we got home and checked Google Earth, we would actually see some footprints from people going up that way.

Freel was a short, but steep climb, and then we headed down to the TRT and made our way south to the Armstrong trail and out. Our GPS told us that we had gone a total of 13 miles and we did not do anything extra beyond the loop pictured here, so I'm not sure why it's listed as 11.4 miles. It was almost a mile walk up the road, so maybe they're not counting that, but there's no way to do this loop and avoid that walk, unless you bring two cars.

The views were amazing and even though it was a long, tough day, the accomplishment was worth it!

on Cody Lake Trail

16 days ago

Steep climb in, but well worth it. It was crowded lots of locals that live in Strawberry walked in.

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