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…

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,…

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…

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…

Matthes Peak

Matthes Peak lies along Glacier Divide which separates the Piute Creek watershed from the Evolution Creek drainage, and at its western terminus, Piute Creek from the South Fork San Joaquin River. The long ridge also serves as the border between Kings Canyon National Park and the John Muir Wilderness. The mountainous terrain surrounding Matthes Peak…