CA – Trinity Alps Wilderness, Stuart Fork Trailhead . . . early spring jaunting


COVID-19 message from Shasta-Trinity National Forest. COVID-19 message from Shasta-Trinity National Forest. “Please continue to recreate locally and practice self-sufficiency & responsible recreation when visiting the forest. Pack it in, pack it out. Pick up all of your trash and dispose of waste properly. Trash overflowing the receptacles becomes potential sources for the spread of COVID-19. Law enforcement and/or search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 issues. High risk activities such as rock climbing or backcountry activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided. Please avoid visiting national forests if you are sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If an area is crowded, move to a less occupied location. Also consider avoiding the forest during high-use periods.”


I like the mystery of early season hiking. Going somewhere knowing you’ll most likely be turned back by unsafe creek crossings or snowfields that are hard and icy, soft and wet, or filled with post-holing Type II fun. It must be the curious adventurer in me that doesn’t care about miles covered instead just wanting to see what I can see, go where I can go, while being completely fine turning back when things show me that’s best for this day.

Spring has it’s own schedule. How much snow did winter bring? With the trailhead at 2,800 feet, it’s one of the lower elevation options and a good place to test conditions. Most often you can’t get far until late May or early June. These mountain should still be draped in heavy white coats.

In a few weeks most of the white will be gone. This is Bear Gulch, one of the less popular ways to reach Morris and Smith Lakes.

Morris Meadow will soon be filled with lush green grasses and cheery wildflowers.

With few hikers and campers, the bears roam free.

Signs of spring are everywhere.

Snowmelt means raging waterfalls.

Mother Nature reminds you to pay attention to the weather forecast and to be prepared for springs storms.

While Emerald Lake shares a little reflection, Sapphire and Mirror Lakes remain masked beyond the fog.

These prayer flags added a punch of color to this well-used campsite on this dreary day, but they don’t belong in the wilderness. I gained a few LNT credits by taking them with me.

I go prepared for wet feet on these spring jaunts. Between water crossings, wet meadows, creek-like trails and snowy traverses, it’s just a fact of life.

On trips like these I’m happy to have my phone loaded with e-books for those times I might need to spend time in my tent waiting out a storm. It doesn’t hurt to find a great view campsite where you can be entertained by the storm.

The aftermath of rain, is magic.

The warm sun might encourage a few breaks to recover from the rain showers.

Wandering off the beaten path might lead you to find cool geologic features.

And you might just find a perfect campsite.

You can find early spring blooms to observe and photograph.

I’m happy to find trails free of litter but I always seem to find lost items that need to be hauled out.

Adventure Dates:

  • April-June, any year, depending on winter snow levels

Resources:

Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links may be included which provide me a tiny kickback to help pay for this site.

WA – North Cascades National Park, Sahale Glacier

OPEN OPEN OPEN. When I arrived at the Marblemount Wilderness Information Office at 6:30am I found about 10 others in line ahead of me awaiting the 7am opening. We were all hoping to secure a walk-up permit for North Cascades National Park where this is the game you must play for backcountry camping if you don’t want to reserve six months in advance.

Finally the doors opened. First up was a group of guys who’d been waiting since 5am. Soon enough two groups in front of me secured the spots I wanted. However, one benefit of living this flexible lifestyle was that I was able to delay my start by a day and thus was still rewarded with a permit to Sahale Glacier Camp. I spent the day taking care of chores and of course eating, including dealing with a fraud alert on my primary credit card. The fun of traveling was figuring out where and when to receive a replacement. This ended up being my best option, 40 miles away from Marblemount.

Finally it was time. When the trail looks like this, you know it’s gonna be a slow slog.

I got an early start and was welcomed by this friend.

These were so tiny and delicate. I’m guessing a type of penstemon.

Monkey Flowers

Looking back down from where I’d come.

I have a love/hate relationship with backcountry toilets like this one at Cascade Pass, especially when they involve more ascending. With the amount of traffic this trail sees I’m grateful to not see white butterflies and piles of human excrement.

Cascade Pass survey/benchmark post.

I was excited about this next section as I’d heard as it attracts much wildlife.

As if on cue, just 10 minutes later we spy this black fuzzy guy on the hillside. Of course, he’s decided to hang out between the switchbacks.

I think he was intoxicated from the flowers and berries he was happily consuming and had no interest in leaving his paradise.

We grouped up, encouraged him to leave but after a long wait we walked by on the high trail without incident.

I continued hiking but several others hung back wanting to savor this close encounter with nature. When I looked back I was surprised to see these guys with their backs to the bear. I think they were so wrapped up in the moment they didn’t realize what they’d done. We met one of these hikers later and found out the situation turned violent when the bear spied a marmot, pursued, killed and devoured his prey. Now that was a wild kingdom experience!

Back to nature’s beauty as the climbing toward Sahale Glacier continued.

Doubtful Lake, which I planned to visit as part of my exit hike the following day, plus a glimpse of Sahale Glacier, my destination for the night.

I didn’t take as many photos as I should have on the hike up to Sahale. After this section, the trail worked it’s way through scree and boulders at a much steeper grade.

Photography breathing breaks are essential.

The marmots weren’t very photo friendly on this trip.

There are only a couple places where you can see Mt Baker.

And finally, I arrived at Sahale Glacier Camp. From the trailhead, it took me a little less than 6 hours to hike these 6 miles with 4000′ of ascending.

Mike was planning on ascending the Glacier. I was his accountability buddy and enjoyed watching his progress.

The glacier is much larger than it appears. Mike is nothing but a tiny speck the lip of the snowfield and false summit.

I watched another person hike up with skis and make a couple runs.

This is from PeakFinder app.

Pooper with a view, no privacy and a trek requiring planning; wouldn’t want to wait until the last minute as it’s a bit of a rocky jaunt.

This photo shows the location of some of the premier campsites. Each of the three gray snow-free mounds just below the glacier hold single campsites.

I chose a campsite nearer the glacier and snowmelt. All the sites have nice rock walls as wind barriers.

With no shade around I was thankful for my umbrella. The sun was intense.

Water water everywhere but thankfully there was a breeze and bugs were pretty much non existent.

I spent way too many hours in camp. I regretted not bringing my microspikes so I could walk the glacier.

Sunset was incredible as the weather was a changing and the valley canyons filled with rolling fog.

First light from my tent.

Early morning visitors, only a pair and not even a little pesky.

First light on Johannesburg Mountain. Little did I know this would be the only sun I’d see all day. This was at 6am. My tent is in the middle and on each of the peaks to the left and right are occupied campsites.

PeakFinder app is so helpful.

I checked weather on my InReach to see if rain was headed my way. I wanted to know if the fog/clouds would burn off or if I best get off this exposed location. I’ve found the forecasts somewhat unreliable but with heavy rain predicted by 1pm, I decided I best heed the warning.

It was looking doubtful that I would visit Doubtful Lake on this gray chilly day.

This is the sketchy part of the trail with mixed slippery dirt, scree and boulders. Not my favorite type of terrain. If you look carefully toward the top of the photo you’ll see a couple just beginning their descent.

I didn’t want to drop into the cloud.

Looking back from where I’d come. You might be able to spy the couple descending behind me as colorful tiny dots.

Run marmot run, don’t let that bear get you.

Sahale Mountain to the left, with Doubtful Lake in the lower middle.

Oh Doubtful Lake how I wanted to visit you but you’ll have to wait for a nicer day.

Down down down I go, descending into the swirling clouds.

Finally I was back into the forested switchbacks where I was hoping for some ripe berries.

It seems I finally found worked my way out of prime wildflower season. There were still some around but not in the quantities I’d experienced a few weeks earlier.

Adventure Date(s):

  • August 8-9, 2019

Hike Details:

Tips:

  • Permits are required and can only be obtained either in advance from the recreation.gov site or from a wilderness office for same day or next day camping. Rangers are out and about checking permits. Mine was checked twice. If you are planning on being an early arrival, check at the door for a number system. The first day the numbers weren’t out. The second day it was raining and we were waiting in our cars. About 15 minutes before opening they put out a box with numbers. It was much more efficient but they should put them out much earlier.
  • This was a great option for WiFi, as was The Eatery.
  • Lots of options can be found in Sedro Wooley; Lorenzo’s was recommended by a friend.

Resources:

Links:

CA – Lassen Volcanic National Park . . . fall adventures

For those following my travels, it took a couple months to recover from surgery (link) and then it was time to get back on the horse. I was missing trails and outdoor time. Wildfire smoke had kept me indoors and away from my happy spot for far too long. 

I was welcomed back in style. 

Hike #1 – Terrace Lake Trailhead

Terrace Lake 

Shadow Lake

Paradise Meadows 

Hiking Date: October 10, 2018

 

 

 

Hike #2 – Kings Creek Falls Trailhead

Sifford Lake 

Kings Creek Falls 

Kings Creek 

Hiking Date: October 17, 2018

Hike #3 – Brokeoff Mountain Trailhead 

Hiking Date: October 24, 2018

Hike #4 – Kings Creek Picnic Area Trailhead

Crumbaugh Lake

Bumpass Hell 

Cold Boiling Lake 

Hiking Date: October 31, 2018

Hike #5 – Summit Lake Trailhead

Summit Lake 

Big Bear Lake

Silver Lake 

Feather Lake 

Lower Twin Lake

Upper Twin Lake 

Echo Lake 

Hiking Date: November 5, 2018

Eye Candy

Volcan’s Eye on Lassen Peak 

Manzanita Lake 

Resources:

Links:

 

CA – Thru Hikin’ Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

NOTE: Whiskeytown was severely burned during the 2018 Carr Fire and these trails are no longer available.


Where shall I say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018? Where shall I watch the Supermoon rise on January 1st? With a near perfect weather window, I came up with the idea of creating a thru-hike route of Whiskeytown NRA. 

I’ve hiked most of this route as day hikes. It includes several popular destinations with the connector trails primarily used by mountain bikers. The benefit of planning a local backpacking trip is knowing where to find views and water while calling upon friends to help with transportation. Within 7 minutes of posting this request on facebook, I had a volunteer. Game on!

When planning the route my primary objective was open views for New Year’s Eve. As I narrowed the possibilities, Kanaka Peak made the most sense. Since it’s only about 4.5 miles from the trailhead to the summit, I delayed my start until afternoon. 

My transport trail angel, Denise, hiked for a bit with me, but soon enough it was time to say goodbye and thank you. 

Views from Kanaka Peak include Whiskeytown Lake and Mt Shasta to the north. 

Mt Lassen is center stage to the southeast, while the waxing moon played peek-a-boo through the clouds. 

It took a while but finally I got to see a little color from the last sunset of 2017. 

So . . . remember when I said I planned this trip because we were experiencing a near perfect weather window? This was the forecast earlier in the day.

About 9:30pm I hear that familiar sound of . . . rain drops. Yep, what do those weather forecasters know? Clouds told me possible rain. Well it only lasted about an hour and it was perfect sleep music. Overnight low was an amazing 46 and by 7am it was already 50 degrees. Since rain was predicted for Wednesday, my planned final day of this trek, I was prepared with my umbrella and poncho. 

The reality of the view from where I was camped. I heard a few fireworks early in the evening and again at midnight.

First sunrise of 2018! 

I hiked down from Kanaka Peak to the Peltier Trail junction. I’d missed the sign on my way up the previous afternoon and couldn’t understand how.

No wonder I missed the trail. It’s MIA at the junction. I poked around for a bit and worked my way through this mess soon enough finding the trail. I’m guessing it’s not considered a maintained trail although evidence indicates it’s still used routinely by bikers. There were only a few minor blowdowns.

If it was a little warmer I might have wanted to take a dip in this pool. 

From the Peltier Trail I transitioned to unsigned, and ridiculously steep and eroded Salt Gulch Trail. This leaf filled trough would be nearly impossible to descend without hiking poles. Using maps with marked trails is very helpful in this area. The USGS maps don’t include many of the Park trails; however, Avenza has most available for free in GeoPDF format which is what I used. From Salt Gulch I connected momentarily to Brandy Creek Road and then to Rich Gulch Trail. Salt Gulch was not signed on the road side either. 

There is a fairly large bear population at Whiskeytown NRA, with plentiful evidence of bear scat on most of the trails. Thankfully they are not interested in humans and behave as they should. The blur in the middle of the photo was the only bear I saw this trip. 

Except when I was dry camping, I only needed to carry about a liter of water as there were refill sources every few miles. 

By early afternoon I connected to the ever popular Brandy Creek Falls Trail. You can park about 1.5 miles from the falls. I probably saw 20 people on this short section whereas I’d only seen 4 cyclists earlier in the day, and only 4 hikers on my way to Kanaka Peak the previous day.

Upper Brandy Creek Falls. 

Leaving the falls, Brandy Creek Trail mostly follows it’s namesake creek for a few miles. 

I’d planned to continue on another few miles to Monarch Mountain to watch the Supermoon rise. But when I reached the junction it was already 3pm; not only was I doubtful I could make my destination in time for the big event, I was also feeling pretty tuckered. Later I learned I’d hiked 12+ miles, ascending over 4,000′ and descending nearly 5,000′. So after exploring other potential view options, I settled on this cozy home instead. Notice I replaced my screaming orange tent with this forest friendly version.

My view of the Supermoon. Obstructed but bright and beautiful regardless. 

The Papoose Gulch Trail is one of my favorite trails in the Park. I hadn’t been to the area since it burned a couple years ago. I was happy to see damage was limited to first half mile or so.

Manzanita trees and bushes are quite common at Whiskeytown. 

As I climbed I kept watching for places I might have camped for better moon viewing. Alas I found a few views like this one of Whiskeytown Lake but none with both a view and a flat spot for camping. More important there is no nearby water which would have meant carrying the weight up this unrelenting climb. 

There are a few old growth trees around. 

Off to find waterfall #2 of this trip. 

There were several newish bridges along the way. I was prepared for this being a wet feet day. 

It’s a little crazy to see these bright green ferns in the middle of winter, but what a welcome sight. 

The trail transitioned to old road bed. I love seeing nature reclaim what man changed. 

There are three trails leading to the falls. I’ve hiked them all. 

Boulder Creek Falls. I had the place to myself, in fact I hadn’t seen anyone all day. 

Look at this brand new beautiful bridge leaving the falls. I have to give props to the Park for spending some of their fees on trail maintenance. 

I’ve probably only hiked this section once previously and I didn’t remember the challenging ascent at all, and obviously as I rushed my mapping I neglected noticing this detail. 

Big Bubba! 

Little fella vs big fella. 

Off to find waterfall #3. 

I mentioned earlier about using Avenza GeoPDF maps. The blue dot shows my location. I was meeting a friend to hike Whiskeytown Falls. I realized I was not going to make our rendezvous time so I sent her this screen print to give her a heads up.  

I hate to keep people waiting so I was rushing to meet my friend and made a serious navigational error. Notice on the above map the connection between the Mill Creek Trail and the James Carr Trail. Notice NO trail to the right (north) toward Crystal Creek Falls. You can see my track below where a well used trail continued north at the creek and down, down, down I went before realizing my mistake. I was exhausted and frustrated and mad. I sent my friend another text and turned around for more climbing. 

The last message I’d received from my friend was that she was going to start hiking slowly up the trail to Whiskeytown Falls around 1:30pm. I’d texted back to wait for me so I could dump my pack in her car and we could hike together. I never heard back from her on that text nor any of my subsequent texts. So when I reached the junction I assumed she’d be in the parking lot. Nope! It was now after 3pm and I wasn’t feeling very motivated to hike back up to the trail junction nor the falls. But since my friend came to hike with me . . . off I went. As I crossed paths with other hikers coming down I asked about my friend. Finally I met a group who said she was on her way down. Yeah! So you can see on the map I gave up and didn’t finish my objective. Any regrets? Heck no, I’ve hiked that section of trail probably more than any other in the Park. Here’s a photo from my archives of Whiskeytown Falls. 

Taking advantage of this crazy warm weather window was a gift. I could have extended my trip but why when I had transportation home and felt accomplished after hiking across the park. Pretty cool! It was tough, it was challenging, it was rewarding, it was a new way to hike this Park. 

The only negative of this trip was that with the unseasonably warm weather a new batch of gnats flourished. 

When they swarmed, I implemented a solution I’d heard about a couple years ago and found quite effective. 

Grasses and leaves work also, anything as long as they move freely. 

I felt like a hunter with camouflage when I found this partial branch. Yes, I’m a dork and you might just be embarrassed to hike with me.

Hike Details:

  • Date(s) Hiked: December 31, 2017 through January 2, 2018
  • Mileage (per ViewRanger): 31 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss (per ViewRanger): 12,500’/11,200′
  • Elevation Low/High (per ViewRanger): 1,000’/2,000′
  • Trail Conditions:
    • Tree obstacles: There were a few down trees but all fairly minor
    • Overgrowth: Only a couple tiny areas with berry brambles
    • Signage: Minimal
    • Terrain: Only major concern was the steep, leaf covered trough on the Salt Gulch section
  • Navigation Skills: Moderate
  • Water availability: Adequate
  • Camping availability: Adequate (use map topo lines)
  • Solitude: Except on the destination trails for Brandy Creek and Whiskeytown Falls, you can expect plentiful solitude. This is a shared trail though so be aware of bike activity.
  • Bugs: GNATS! Whiskeytown is known for these buggers.
  • Wildlife: Bear sighting!
  • Precip: Unexpected shower my first night
  • Temp: Unbelievably warm with low of 48 my first night and 45 my second night
  • LNT: I found a few bits of micro trash to carry out and saw a few white butterflies but otherwise in great shape
  • Jan’s Cherry Picker Delight Scale: 2+ cherries (out of 5)

Tips:

  • I used CalTopo to map my route in advance and determine mileage, elevation gain, etc.
  • Stop by the Visitor Center to obtain your free backcountry camping permit

Links:

Resources:

PCT Section P – Deadfall Lakes – Weather or not?

Mother Nature loves to show her fickle side in spring. Forecasters have a 50/50 chance of being in sync with her moods. When they predict 30% chance of precipitation, I say 70% chance of no precipitation. But, then again, do I want to be wet? or cold? or snowed upon? On this particular weekend, forecasters said 30% chance on Friday, 50% on Saturday. I decided to roll the dice and selected Deadfall Lakes as my destination.

Middle Deadfall Lake

It’s extremely unusual to be able to access this area in the spring. The pass doesn’t usually open until late June or early July.

From July 2, 2010 (the day after the pass opened)

There are two primary access points to reach the Deadfall Lakes basin. First, via the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail), heading south from Parks Creek Pass or north from the Gumboot trailhead. Or, second, from the Deadfall Meadows trail, the one I selected for this adventure.

In the early season, this trail should be avoided. It’s a catchment for snow melt and creek overflow, and as a LNT (Leave No Trace) promoter, traveling off trail or widening paths in sensitive areas is inappropriate. Later in the season, this meadow has the most beautiful wildflowers and water plants including the magical carnivorous pitcher plant.

As with any wilderness area, the WILD in WILDerness should be expected. Meadows, thickets and nearby creeks are perfect habitat for bears. On this day, just beyond the trail sign, in front of those thickets, was the blackest, shiniest-coated bear I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing.

Along the way I was treated to creek crossings and a couple of early blooms. Opportunities exist to replenish your water and to get your feet wet.

Lower Deadfall Lake (looking north)

Lower Deadfall Lake (looking south toward Middle Deadfall Lake)

Tucked in out of the wind, watching the building and receding storm clouds at Middle Deadfall Lake

By 8pm, the wind had died down and the skies were clearing.

9pm is hiker’s midnight, all is calm. The question remains, did I hedge my precipitation probability bet correctly?

At 4:30am, snow cometh; it didn’t last long, just enough to pitter-patter upon the tent and leave a trace of evidence. A few more offerings were made; on/off, on/off, on/off . . . . (photo time about 8:30am)

By 9:30, things were looking pretty good and it looked like Mother Nature was being kind to me.

Evidence of the tiny bit of snow. The weather continued to be fickle with storms clouds, wind, and snow showers coming and going making the decision of the day’s plan more challenging.

By 11:30, Mother Nature released her fury. With the skies socked in, there was no reason to hike for views, and no sense spending hours secluded in my tent (since I’d already lollygagged away the morning), thus it was time to high-tail it off the mountain.

It snowed and sleeted all the way down the trail, reminding me of how quickly the trail can become masked by snow-covered topography.

What was a dry easy log crossing becomes a dangerous obstacle when covered with snow and ice.

Looking back up at the mountains whence I’d come reaffirmed my decision to hike out vs hunkering down and waiting out the storm.

Memories are made from taking chances and expecting the unexpected, while making wise decisions about weather and conditions. Planning and preparation are keys to success. On this trip, I brought gear for inclement weather, notified others of my whereabouts and plans, had maps, compass, and electronics to assist in my travels if need be.

Jan’s Tips:

  • This area is loosely considered part of the Klamath Mountains, Mount Eddy range, and Shasta-Trinity Divide Mountains. For purposes of this blog, I’ve categorized the various mountain ranges that parallel Interstate-5’s western side from Castella to Gazelle, as the Shasta-Trinity Divide Mountains.
  • Reference my Trinity Divide Trails Link Page for maps, books, online resources, etc.
  • For day and multi-day access points along the PCT, I recommend the book, “Day Hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail – California” by George and Patricia Semb.
  • Information about the PCT can be found on my PCT Love page.
  • Additional blog postings about related hikes I’ve taken can be found in my Hikes in the Trinity Divide Mountains category, Hikes near Mt Shasta category, and PCT Hikes category.

Cliff and Terrace Lakes – A Frozen Perspective

This is another set of lakes with twins in close proximity. The better known pair are located in Lassen while the more elusive ones are to the west of Mt Shasta in an area bordered by the Shasta-Trinity Divide and The Eddies. This latter set of lakes are the ones I visited on this winter day.

The first lake passed en route is Cedar Lake, obviously very shallow.

Lower Cliff Lake looked inviting

Cliff Lake’s rock cirque includes Upper Cliff Lake, our final destination. This one should be called Middle Cliff Lake in my opinion.

Terrace Lake (the pointy ridge in the far background represents the Shasta-Trinity Divide).

Upper Cliff Lake (I’m guessing it would provide a nice spring waterfall off the far end)

Looking down at “Middle” Cliff, Lower Cliff and Cedar Lakes. The Eddies are the range furthest north.

Mt Shasta is visible just to the right of the previous photo.

Jan’s Tips:

  • Grab a topo map and your GPS
  • Access to these lakes is off of the main road to Gumboot Lake
  • Unless you have a serious 4×4, you’ll start with a rocky road rock hike, followed by a more gentle terrain until you reach Cliff Lake.
  • There is private property to the northwest of “Middle” Cliff Lake, therefore access to Terrace and Upper Cliff must be accessed via the eastern route.
  • To reach Terrace, you’ll find some cairns, but plan for route finding and some manzanita scrambling.
  • Finding Upper Cliff, at least in the snow, proved a bit more challenging. You have the choice of heading through the woods or up through the rocks. We ascended through the rocks and descended through the trees due to the slippery conditions.
  • Plan on 6+ miles round trip with about 1,000′ elevation gain.
  • You’ll find fire rings and feasible campsites at most of the lakes.
  • Due to the 4×4 access to the lower lakes, it may be a busy place in the summer.

Sacramento River Trail – Snow and BEARS!

Snow is a fairly rare sight in this city much better known for it’s 100+ degree summer days, but just like the green of spring, a blanket of white provides a magical canvas. Today I took an early morning jaunt to capture the trail from a fresh perspective.

One of the jewels of the Redding area, is the paved Sacramento River Trail which borders both sides of the river as it winds its way through the city.  Although the Sundial Bridge in the Turtle Bay area may be the most well known section of the trail, it is the many miles of river front trail with access near Caldwell Park that are the focus today.

Near the soccer fields, skateboard park and swimming pool at Caldwell Park

Looking east toward the Market Street Bridge

Diestelhorst Train Trestle

Grapes

The Diestelhorst Bridge, the Court Street Bridge & the Diestelhorst Train Trestle.

Lots of trees along the trail, today heavily laden with snow.

From the Ribbon Bridge looking north toward Keswick Dam

Plenty of wildlife to enjoy include geese and ducks, turkey vultures, chattering birds . . .

A little snow also tells secrets otherwise unknown

One of my favorite pieces of art in the park, something both useful and interesting.

Caribou Wilderness

This was my first trip to the Caribou Wilderness, which borders Lassen Volcanic National Park. I’ve always steered cleared due to it’s reputation as being mosquito heaven.

Happily hibernation season must have been in full swing for the mosquitoes by the end of August. We found clearly signed trails, with fairly flat terrain, making for pleasant hiking. There were plenty of lakes on the loop we selected. We entered through the Cone Trailhead.

Twin Lakes

Turnaround Lake

Black Lake

North Divide Lake

Gem Lake

Emerald Lake

Sunrise at Triangle Lake

Storm Brewing at Triangle Lake

Jan’s Tips:

(1) Refer to Jan’s Trail Links page for more information.

Bears of Lassen

Who knew bears could be elusive? Not a pile of scat to be found, but what a fun surprise to find the footprints of an early morning visitor just feet from my tent. Thankfully this bear seemed to be focused on getting a morning drink and wasn’t in the least bit interested in meeting me.

The bear prints were found between the grass and the logs.

The bear prints were found between the grass and the logs near the shore.

Front Paw Print

Front Paw Print (about 3″ in diameter)

Back Paw Print

Back Paw Print (about 7-8″ long)

Footsteps in the Sand (look carefully to find two front prints)

Footsteps in the Sand (look carefully to find two front prints)