Four Lakes Loop via Swift Creek

The easternmost part of the Trinity Alps is informally known as the Red Trinities due to the distinctive red rock present in this region. However, within the red rock is a section of white granite that is akin to the White Trinities to the west across the Stuart Fork of the Trinity River. This “island”…

Pick Creek Loop 2018

Pick Creek is a spectacular rugged creek that is a classic of the Ventana Wilderness. The centerpiece is stunning Pick Creek Falls which shoots over a ledge with an 80 ft free-fall into a large, clear pool surrounded by lovely grove of old growth Santa Lucia Firs. Just downstream of Pick Creek Falls is a…

Sea to Sky to Valley and Back: Stone Memorial Loop

Silver Lupine, Stone Ridge and Cone Peak The Stone Ridge Sea to Sky is a classic Big Sur route from the Pacific Ocean to the summit of Cone Peak ascending over 5,000 feet in a little over 5 miles. The Carrizo Trail combined with the North Ridge is the interior version of Stone Ridge Sea…

The Drain via Cabezo Prieto

“The Drain” is an aesthetic and spectacular route that ascends from the depths of the Ventana Creek Cirque to the summit of Ventana Double Cone in the most rugged coastal terrain of the lower 48.  The route provides an authentic sense of adventure in a truly wild canyon that is rugged and unspoiled.   The feature…

Uncovered Route: The Window & Kandlbinder via Cabezo Prieto

Kandlbinder Peak and the Window are two of the more remote spots in the Ventana Wilderness.  For extensive background on these spectacular locations see a prior post here.  Prior to the Soberanes Fire the standard route to both Kandlbinder and the Window was via the Pico Scout Camp up the Little Sur River and then…

Black Cone Loop

The Black Cone Trail bisects one of the most remote regions of the Ventana Wilderness from Pine Ridge to Strawberry Valley with outstanding views of the seldom-seen North Fork Big Sur River drainage and Ventana Double Cone.  The trail has a reputation for being rugged and difficult with sloping tread, brush and lack of reliable…

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…

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…

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…