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backpacking

Sep 262016
 

Hiking in the Sierra mountains is certainly a bucket list kind of experience.  I feel fortunate to live only a half days car ride away.  In the middle of a 5 day backpacking adventure we camped at Garnet Lake.  It’s not too difficult to get here and can be done as a day hike for those without the time to spend.  But to meander in the mountains, taking the time to explore and really appreciate this incredible environment, is what it’s all about.  Here, I arose before light, got bundled up, grabbed my equipment and went off down the slope to the lake.  What a treat to watch the dawning light waking up the mountain from its nighttime hiding.

mt-banner-lake-garnet-dawn

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View more images of the Sierras at http://www.journeysinlight.net/SierraNevadaMountains

Jul 232016
 

There’s nothing like hiking with a full backpack on, coming into your destination spot for the evening.  After a full day on the trail, the feet are tired, the shoulders are tired, the legs are tired.  But the day has always been great.  The spectacular untouched vistas of the high Sierra in eastern California are second to none.  It’s such a pleasure to be there, hiking along well maintained but rugged trails, the air pristine at 10,000 feet.  What a treat!  Here, we’re coming into Lake of the Lone Indian in the central Sierra.

sierra-mountains-backpacker-4

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View more images of the Sierra at http://www.journeysinlight.net/SierraNevadaMountains

Jun 282016
 

It’s summer.  Time for backpacking the high country, wherever that is for you.  For me, that almost always means the mighty high Sierra that runs along the eastern border of California.  For those who’ve never been, it’s so hard to describe the beauty, ruggedness and majesty that lives in those mountains.  Here, we’re approaching the Rae Lakes basin on the eastern side of Kings Canyon National Park, looking down from the almost 12,000 foot Glenn Pass.  An amazing stretch of country and the Rae Lakes area is one great place to make camp and explore.

rae-lakes-panorama-5-2

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View more images from Kings Canyon at http://www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks

Jul 182015
 

Mid summer.  That time of year when the high elevations in the mountains start opening up with many snowless trails.  I can smell the pines now.  Feel the quiet.  Alas, I’ll have to wait another year to get up there.  A little tick bite has curtailed my hiking and exploration life.  Rae lakes in Kings Canyon, high in the Sierra, is always a wonderful destination.  Here, Jo Anne is doing her best impression of high a wire artist to cross the creek as we head out.  One of the lakes and the peak of Painted Lady make for an enticing reminder to come back again.

mountain-lake-hiker-creek-crossing

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View more images of Kings Canyon at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.

Sep 182014
 

Hard to beat hiking at 10,000 feet, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  You never know what mother nature will provide for conditions to behold.  I miss going up this year, but for health reasons I’m taking a year off.  I’m sure I’ll be up again next season.  Here, we were heading back down the trail when I was floored by what lay ahead.  The whole scene, bathed in the softest of light, was nectar for the soul.

mountain-creek-sunbeam-2-1

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View more images of hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains at www.journeysinlight.net/SierraNevadaMountains.

Aug 072014
 

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get up into the mountains this year, but at least I can fantasize and remember great spots.  Peter Pande lake, high in the Sierras is one such place.  We went a bit out of our way to get here and spent just 2 nights, but oh what a place it is.  Quiet and peaceful, even in mid summer, we ran into only one other person.  Truly a gorgeous place.

peter-pande-lake-sierras-

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View more images of Peter Pande lake and hiking through the Sierras at www.journeysinlight.net/SierraNevadaMountains.

May 052014
 

I don’t remember exactly which lake this is, but it doesn’t really matter.  It’s high in the Sierra mountains and that’s all that really matters.  There’s no where you can go that’s not incredibly beautiful.  Actually this is a fairly easy hike along the Little Lakes Valley trail in the eastern Sierra, turning off Highway 395 at Tom’s Place.  We took the 6 hour drive on my birthday weekend and simply relished being in the mountains.  There were plenty of cars in the parking lot but the trail is long enough so that we didn’t run into too many others.  With plenty of lakes along the way, it all runs gently along at 10,000 feet plus.  Gorgeous!

mountains-hiker-lake

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View more images of the Little Lakes Valley and the Sierra at www.journeysinlight.net/SierraNevadaMountains

Sep 302013
 

At the western edge of Little Lakes valley the trail heads up quickly  to Morgan Pass.  It’s not very far and when I was ready to continue up for the long haul I realized I was already atop the pass.  Easy!  And what a difference heading down the other side.  It’s only half a mile down to Upper Morgan lake and the topography changed to an incredible moonscape of barren granite.  With the stormy cloud cover blending in with the same color scheme it seemed ominous.  I found a comfortable rock above the lake and just sat in the quiet, listening to the silence and watching the light change.  I love the high Sierra.

mountains-lake-clouds-1

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View more images of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Little Lakes Valley at www.journeysinlight.net/SierraNevadaMountains.

Sep 232013
 

I love the eastern Sierra!  Any of the access roads into the mountains from Highway 395 lead to breathtaking beauty and adventurous hiking.  We chose the Little Lakes Valley to hike in this time as we didn’t really have the time for a multiday backcountry trip.  So, we went knowing we’d have only 2 nights.  On this day we hiked maybe 12 miles through this gorgeous valley, spotted with numerous lakes and streams with 13,000 foot peaks framing the trail.  Tired feet are well worth the effort.

mountains-creek-lake-1

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View more images of Little Lakes Valley at www.journeysinlight.net/SierraNevadaMountains.

Sep 122013
 

I like this photo.  And still it hardly does justice to the beauty that is constant and everywhere in this little slice of Kings Canyon National Park.  It took us the better part of 2 days to hike in to Rae Lakes; up and over Kearsarge pass and then Glen pass at just under 12,000 feet to get to this incredible valley of lakes and creeks at around 10,500 feet.  The smells, the stillness, the peace.  Awesome!

kings-canyon-panorama-1

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View more images of Kings Canyon and Rae Lakes at www.journeysinlight.net/NationalParks.