Hiking Journal

November 2015

river trail

Upper Sacramento River along the River Trail
Upper Sacramento River along the River Trail

A nice sunny day got me up early to take a look at what constituted Fall foliage along the River Trail. What I forgot about the River Trail is that it follows the east side of a north/south facing canyon, and early in the morning at this time of year means that there's no sunlight to warm things up, so it was a cold hike and I quickly realized that I could (and should) have slept in another hour or so. However, except for feeling like I was in Siberia, it was a pleasant hike, and although the legions of Indian Rhubarb plants were on the wane, there was lots of color on what leaves were still present.

trinity divide

Seven Lakes Basin
Seven Lakes Basin, from the Trinity Divide to Echo Peak

The day before a much-announced "storm" was due to arrive I decided to take what would probably be the last hike on any high elevation routes this year. With no other cars at the trailhead, I was looking forward to a nice hike out to the Trinity Divide and eventually Helen Lake, but neglected to factor in the snow that I might find along the trail. It ended up that somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the 6 mile round trip was over snow, and it certainly wasn't as easy as it was during the Summer. Upper Mumbo Lake was pretty much frozen over but Mumbo, Gumboot, and the lakes in Seven Lakes Basin were ice free. With no haze from forest fires you could see Lassen Peak, the Trinities, the Marbles, and a zillion other peaks. Except for sore legs from post-holing on the way back, it was a great hike to finish up the season.

indian creek canyon

Indian Springs Creek (No Name Creek)
Indian Springs Creek (No Name Creek)

Waking up to a 9° morning, I was less than enthusiastic about getting an early start on a hike, so I waited until it got up to the mid-twenties then drove down to the Crags for a hike up Indian Creek Canyon. I got to the parking area at Vista Point at 10:30 am, which is usually the time I'm getting back from a hike in the Summer, and let a group of hikers get a head start before I left, not wanting to get swallowed up in their non-stop comments about how cold it was, etc. Once the Pacific Crest Trail got around to the south side of the Crags it was almost warm, but when I turned to head up along the creek I was greated with a chilly down-canyon breeze.

It was difficult following what passed for a "trail" around here because of all the leaves covering the ground, and whatever maintenance the bears were responsible for was absent due to their hibernation, but I did see some fresh scratch marks on a tree. Speaking of trees, I came upon a Ponderosa Pine that had a diameter of almost 6 feet a very impressive tree!