The Spectacular Sierras

Hikers I met heading north kept telling me the mountain scenery was going to get even better as I got further south into the Sierras. I found it hard to be true, but it turned out to be so.  I'm now south of Mt Whitney and out of the national parks (Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia), so I'm fairly sure I've hit peak Sierra splendor. I still have about 90 miles to Walker Pass and into the Mojave, but a kind local offered me a rest.

There has been lots of hiking company on this section.  Many people hiking the 200+ mile John Muir Trail and many other section hikers. That has been a nice change, and hiker boxes have been well stocked. Weather is near perfect except for a couple cold snaps that included snow and an hour of steady rain. Nights have been chilly with a couple drops into the teens.

I have so many pictures of mountain passes and lakes I'm not sure which are which.  Below are my favorite pics from this section. Lots of panorama shots as the views are have been expansive.
Hiking into the sunset out of Donner Pass.


Ashland to Truckee, Mile 1157

A stretch with some less exciting hiking and temperature extremes.  Over 100 F in the valleys coming out of Ashland and Seiad Valley, and this morning I saw my first frost.  The colder temps got me thinking that I need to get moving.  I thought after my 9 day hiatus in Ashland I was behind the SOBO group of hikers, but in Sierra City there were dozens of hiker packages waiting to be picked up, so I guess not. There will likely be some chilly nights in the Sierras.   

There are a series of Wilderness areas in northern CA, Marble Mountain, Trinity-Alps, Shasta-Trinity that are beautiful and expansive. I suspect one could spend a lifetime exploring them.  I ran into many friendly hunters, some section hikers and a few stray NOBOs.  After Castle Crag and I-5 the hiking is less exciting and goes through a lot of logging areas.  Things get more exciting south of Belden. Here is the picture show:

Mt Shasta in the smoke from fires far to the south.