Indian Pass - Death Valley NP

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Backpacking, Death Valley, Desert

About

Indian Pass is a pass in the Funeral Mountains, a surprising 3000 feet above Death Valley, and while the pass itself isn’t all that remarkable, the trip getting there can be very challenging but also breathtaking. The National Park Service warns that this is a fairly strenuous backpacking route, as there is no actual trail.

Death Valley provides several unique opportunities for desert backpacking at lower elevations which makes it an ideal winter getaway. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a battery pack for my phone so I didn’t track the route we took with GPS (if anyone has suggestions for a good, compact GPS which will give me GPX files, I’d love to hear it).

Apparently I was feeling a bit philosophical while writing with this, so pardon all of the asides.

Mount Whitney Round 2

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Mountain, Whitney

About

For people who read this blog on a regular basis, you might remember my first trip to Mount Whitney, if not feel free to read about it here. This second trip went much faster, which largely could have been from not having any snow at all. For this hike we had a two day permit for our group of four which worked out just about perfectly.

Half Dome at Yosemite National Park

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Half Dome, Yosemite

About

Hiking Half Dome in a single day requires you to hike a fairly grueling 17 miles or so with a number of sections of the trail which use stairs rather than regular incline. You will need to watch out for a very large amount of slick granite, which can pose issues for the unwary hiker. There is even a good ½ mile stretch of sand on the trail. This makes for a rather challenging hike overall, but it is very worth it.

Potato Chip Rock and Mount Woodson

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Fun, PhotoOp

About

Potato Chip Rock at Mount Woodson near San Diego has kind of turned into a tourist attraction, as in you end up waiting in line to take your picture on the rock (made much worse by the number of people who struggle to get up to the rock). Overall it is a fun little hike, and Lake Poway is kind of neat to hike near (although you can’t swim in it, and on a hot day that seems way to tempting). I would recommend this hike highly on a cool day mid-week as that would alleviate a lot of the crowds, and help with the heat.

The Mount Whitney Adventure

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AMS, Mountain, Whitney

About

Mount Whitney is the biggest hill you are going to find in the contiguous United States, towering over everything else at a whopping 14,505 feet. It isn’t a hike that should be taken lightly, in fact for those of us who live near sea level, it is even more challenging. There were multiple times when people who live between 5-8000 feet passed us by, looking as if they weren’t even exerting themselves.

The group ended up taking 4 days to complete this particular adventure, spending two days acclimating to the higher elevations. We camped at roughly 10,400 feet (at Outpost Camp), requiring some caution in order to make sure no one came down with a bad case of AMS (acute mountain sickness, a real risk when hiking at high elevation).

Bridge to Nowhere

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Azusa Canyon, River

About

The so-called Bridge to Nowhere was built in 1936 as part of a road which was washed out and abandoned, leading for some excellent hiking now. Note that the namesake of this hike is actually on private property, and the company which owns it provides a Bunjie Jumping service, so if you do this hike on a weekend, prepare for a crowd at the bridge (unless you go at a time when the jumpers are not there).

Telescope Peak

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Death Valley, Desert, Mountain

About

Telescope Peak is one of the highest things visible from Death Valley National Park, towering at 11,043 feet above sea level. When viewed from places like Bad Water (-282 feet from sea level), it truely seems like an immense mountain. In this post, I will talk a bit about the trip I made recently to Telescope Peak, and then some of the highlights of wandering around Death Valley, including (believe it or not) rain.

The original plan on this trip was to hike Mount Whitney, however the storms that were in the forcast for the next couple of days made that a very untenable plan, so as a backup, Telescope Peak at Death Valley was chosen as our destination. Due to the fact that the original plan was to hike Mount Whitney, everyone had taken a couple of days off, so we were in Death Valley by Wednesday, and out on Saturday.

Cactus to Clouds Round 1

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Desert, Mountain, San Jacinto

About

Cactus to Clouds (C2C) is a very challenging hike near Palm Spring, which can, for those who trained properly, result in summiting San Jacinto, a 10,834 foot peak known as one of the Three Saints of Southern California. The C2C trail is roughly 11 miles of grueling uphill hiking from the base in Palm Springs to the Tram Station at roughly 8500 feet for a gain of roughly 7500 feet.

The Drive

We left Orange County at 3 AM and made the best time we could to get to the trail head and get as many miles behind us as possible before the sun started coming up. The original plan was to wake up at 1 am and be on the road by 2 (my plan) or 2:30 (her plan). Unfortunately, both of us were wrong as we didn’t even wake up until 2 am.

A New Blog for Many Adventures

I like adventures, I go on a lot of them, and I love to tell people about my adventures. Unfortunately when you go on adventures, and take pictures its hard to show them to everyone who is interested. This blog is going to serve as a chronicle of some of my adventures hiking in Southern California and beyond. Tomorrow or the day after I will write up the first (of many) hikes, which will be the (in)famous Cactus to Clouds at San Jacinto Peak near Palm Springs, CA.

Hike Information

For each of the hikes that I document here, I will attempt to at minimum provide a brief trail report, some description of what everything else was like, and a few pictures. If I am able, I will provide a map of the route that I took. I hope that this blog can turn into a resource for people interested in discovering some really beautiful areas that I am fortunate enough to get to visit.

Contact Me

Feel free to reach out on Twitter (@lbearl).