Return to Ventana Double Cone

With the unreasonably long closure post-Soberanes Fire finally over, it was time to return to Ventana Double Cone.  If Cone Peak is the King of the Big Sur Coast, Ventana Double Cone is the Queen of the Ventana Wilderness. Rising 4,853 ft above sea level, no other peak in the Ventana Wilderness possesses such a rugged face…

Mount Andrea Lawrence

Mount Andrea Lawrence was named in 2013 when President Obama signed into law legislation officially naming this beautiful summit in honor of Olympian and environmentalist Andrea Mead Lawrence.  Prior to the official naming, the 12,245 ft mountain was sometimes known as “Gem Peak” as evidenced by the cover of an older summit register.  The mountain is taller,…

Photo Guide: Carrizo Trail & North Ridge

The Carrizo Trail and North Ridge Route is the inland version of the classic and well-known Stone Ridge Sea to Sky route on Cone Peak’s south face (of which there are many posts on this blog). In less than 7 miles the route travels from the Milpitas Special Interest Area at the North Fork San…

Hooper Senger Loop

The Hooper Senger Loop is an aesthetic 27.6 mile complete loop in a scenic region of the High Sierra including carry-overs of Mount Senger and Mount Hooper.  Since the region is well west of the crest, the topography and summits are not high relative to the crest, but the views are spectacular and the large…

Robinson & Lundy Canyons Fall Color

Robinson Creek Canyon and Lundy Canyon are both prominent U-shaped glacier carved valleys in the Eastern Sierra.  Robinson Creek Canyon spills into Twin Lakes outside of Bridgeport while Lundy Canyon is just north of Tioga Pass near Mono Lake.  Both are favorite spots for viewing fall color in the Eastern Sierra.   Of the two, Lundy…

McGee Creek Fall Color

Fall color season is long gone in the Sierra, but the following couple posts might be helpful to bookmark if you’re looking into experiencing the wonderful fall color show in the Eastern Sierra next autumn.  This post is on McGee Creek and the next post will be on some great fall color hikes farther north…

Red and White Mountain

Some of the most interesting and colorful geology in the Sierra lies in a region centered in the Convict Creek and McGee Creek watersheds.  The mountains here are composed of brilliant red, white and gray rocks, a stark contrast to the familiar granite that composes most of the Sierra.  Instead of the solid nature of…

Ritter Loop

Mount Ritter is the centerpiece peak of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, and at 13,150 ft, it’s also the highest peak in the region with a commanding view of the surrounding landscape. Together with its close neighbor Mount Banner, the two peaks are visible from virtually anywhere in the Ansel Adams Wilderness and are a familiar…

Mount Gardiner

Centrally located in Kings Canyon National Park, 12,907 ft Mount Gardiner has one of the most beautiful northern aspects in the High Sierra.  The many buttresses and cliffs of this north side tower above Gardiner Basin which contains over a dozen pristine alpine lakes ranging from treeline elevations up to desolate rockbound bodies of water….

Mount Harrington

Mount Harrington is an impressive but relatively unknown peak along the Monarch Divide which separates the glacier-carved canyons of the South and Middle Forks of the Kings River.  The peak lies within the Monarch Wilderness on National Forest land, perhaps the most rugged and alpine region of this relatively small wilderness area that is adjacent…

State Peak

State Peak is a very remote and fairly obscure peak in Kings Canyon National Park located between the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River along the Cirque Crest.  While only rising 12,620 feet, the mountain’s position west of the crest between such deep canyons affords tremendous views of the surrounding region. I had…

Adams Minaret & Starr Minaret

The Minarets are a jagged collection of peaks in the Ansel Adams Wilderness north of Mammoth Lakes. The name is derived from their resemblance to the minarets of Islamic mosques. The scenery surrounding the Minarets, including the trio of lakes beneath them – Iceberg Lake, Cecile lake and Minaret Lake – is incredibly dramatic and…