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Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

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Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby VikingMan » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:36 am

Post your favorite hikes/climbs in California! I'm a SoCal native and love hiking / photoging in this great state of ours. Gotta say my favorite local hike is Mt. Baldy in the San Gabriel's... absolutely beautiful area, great training hikes, bitchin photo ops, and there's killer food and beer 3 miles below the summit @ the ski lodge ("Top of the Notch")... nothing tops of a good hike like a cold one at 7800 feet! I frequent this area so much that I've actually become somewhat of the resident photographer of this mountain and have a year-round photo showcase at the lodge... be sure to check it out if you're ever in the area! Beyond my local zone, I love the Sierras, although I haven't hiked them nearly as much as I'd like. Thus far my favs are Mt. Whitney and various hikes in the Ansel Adams Wilderness (area surrounding Mt. Ritter / Banner Peak, the Minarets, Iceberg Lake, Thousand Island Lake, etc.), but I'm sure after I knock out a few more 14ers this season I'll have to add some more to the list! Below are some photos I've taken over the past couple years:

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View from the Top of the Notch Lodge near Mt. Baldy
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View of San Antonio Canyon from the Top of the Notch Lodge
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"The Devil's Backbone" ridge on the way up to Mt. Baldy
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Passing thunderstorm over Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak
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Ediza Lake with Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak in the background
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My dad and his buddies w/ Iceberg Lake and the Minarets in the background
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Mt. Ritter as seen near Ediza Lake
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Lone Pine Lake in the Mt. Whitney Zone
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Peaks behind Mirror Lake from the Mt. Whitney trail
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Mt. Whitney as viewed from the 99 switchbacks up the main trail
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More photos @ www.photobylars.com
"The Mountains are calling and I must go." -- John Muir
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby fatdad » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:27 am

Chief, terrific resolution on your shots (though all the photos in this thread are really nice). What's that first shot? I feel like I should know where that is.
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby Vitaliy M. » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:29 pm

The Chief wrote:
fatdad wrote:Chief, terrific resolution on your shots (though all the photos in this thread are really nice). What's that first shot? I feel like I should know where that is.


It is looking south from one of the ponds located between LaSalle and Meriam Lakes at a series of unnamed peaks just southwest of Merriam.


Did you put any routes on them? The first peak looks big enough to be named..
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby bscott » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:35 pm

VikingMan wrote:Post your favorite hikes/climbs in California! I'm a SoCal native and love hiking / photoging in this great state of ours. Gotta say my favorite local hike is Mt. Baldy in the San Gabriel's... absolutely beautiful area, great training hikes, bitchin photo ops, and there's killer food and beer 3 miles below the summit @ the ski lodge


i am assuming you've done the north backbone trail. that's my favorite baldy route. makes a stop at the lodge difficult, however, unless you've planned on a shuttle.
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby seano » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:57 am

For photos without too much walking, you can do worse than the south fork of Big Pine Creek (Norman Clyde, Middle Pal). In SoCal, San Gorgonio and Baldy can have some amazing rime formations at the right times.
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby VikingMan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:14 pm

brichardsson wrote:i am assuming you've done the north backbone trail. that's my favorite baldy route. makes a stop at the lodge difficult, however, unless you've planned on a shuttle.

Bitchin route, am planning on doing it more during other seasons for some different photo ops... it does make it difficult to stop at the lodge if you're hiking all the way from Bear Flats or even the parking lot at the top of Baldy Road... but as a perk for being the mountain photog, they hooked me up with a fire road key 8) so I can drive up to the lodge and start a longer hike like this one from there, making it a cool 16 mile r.t.

In response to your message, yes I've frequented San Gorgonio as well, which is also great! Vivian Creek is my favorite route over there... a little shorter and steeper than other routes, but the greenery on the first leg of the trail is unmatched. Do you have any experience w/ San Jacinto? My girlfriend has done Cactus to Clouds, which we are planning on doing when the snow dies down as a trainer for some 14ers this summer, but have limited experience on the other routes... you have any suggestions?
"The Mountains are calling and I must go." -- John Muir
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby butitsadryheat » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:56 pm

For some nice photo hikes, you can't get much better than on the trailhead out of Lake Sabrina, west of Bishop. Go about 7 miles in to Hungry Packer Lake or Sailor Lake.

You can also do a very easy hike out of the Mosquito Flat Trailhead, back to Morgan Pass, through the Little Lakes Valley

Another nice one is from Onion Valley into Kearsarge Lakes and beyond.

Nice pics, btw. Thanks for sharing
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby seano » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:04 pm

butitsadryheat wrote:Another nice one is from Onion Valley into Kearsarge Lakes and beyond.

Or Dragon Lake, recently liberated from Bighorn Sheep closures.
butitsadryheat wrote:Nice pics, btw. Thanks for sharing

"Me, too!"

Those of us who can go into the back-country should share what we see.
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby Daria » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:40 pm

August 2010, I did a solo dayhike of Scylla via Lamark Col, John Muir Trail, and Wanda Pass/Ionian Basin/Enchanted Gorge (which remains to be one of the coolest places I've been to) and came upon complete art in nature. Never seen sierra lakes so still and the day so warm and quiet and serene. Makes me really want to leisurely do theJohn Muir Trail now and do a side trip and wander over and climb the three sirens too, and then meditate your way back to a remote camp at Ionian basin. That would be a dreamy trip!

All of these are of Wanda Lake shortly before Wanda pass

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High altitude lake at Ionian Basin right at the base of Scylla peak

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heading back on the john muir trail:
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby butitsadryheat » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:31 pm

hey butters...off horizon much? :lol:
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby VikingMan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:06 pm

butitsadryheat wrote:For some nice photo hikes, you can't get much better than on the trailhead out of Lake Sabrina, west of Bishop. Go about 7 miles in to Hungry Packer Lake or Sailor Lake.

You can also do a very easy hike out of the Mosquito Flat Trailhead, back to Morgan Pass, through the Little Lakes Valley

Another nice one is from Onion Valley into Kearsarge Lakes and beyond.

Nice pics, btw. Thanks for sharing


seano wrote:Or Dragon Lake, recently liberated from Bighorn Sheep closures.


Wow, these look like amazing spots... I'm especially digging Kearsarge Lakes and Dragon Lake... you guys ever climb the Kearsarge pinnacles or Dragon Peak?
"The Mountains are calling and I must go." -- John Muir
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby seano » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:41 pm

seano wrote:you guys ever climb the Kearsarge pinnacles or Dragon Peak?

Dragon is a cool climb. I've heard Kearsarge Pinnacles are un-fun. FWIW, Dragon Lakes aren't really on the way to Dragon Peak.
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby 96avs01 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:37 pm

seano wrote:
seano wrote:you guys ever climb the Kearsarge pinnacles or Dragon Peak?

Dragon is a cool climb.


+1
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby butitsadryheat » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:11 am

The view from up on Gould is great. A short (5 mi?) hike from the trailhead, and when you reach Kearsarge Pass, hang a right, up the ridge. Dragon is a close by, class 3 traverse away.
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Re: Best Hikes / Climbs in California !!!

Postby seano » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:07 am

butitsadryheat wrote:The view from up on Gould is great. A short (5 mi?) hike from the trailhead, and when you reach Kearsarge Pass, hang a right, up the ridge. Dragon is a close by, class 3 traverse away.

And it makes a nice one-day loop using the faint trail by Golden Trout Lakes.
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