California hikes of 2011

Hikes of 2011 | Hiking in California | Previous year
...with a few exceptions, these hikes were not on a trail...

Sculptured Beach, Point Reyes

This is an easy flat hike, but you need a winter day of low tide
(Pt Reyes has terrible fog most of the summer
and this "beach" is normally underwater)

Carmel River, Ventana Wilderness

Pico Blanco, Ventana Wilderness

Sespe Wilderness

Cactus to the Clouds

This is a famous endurance hike because of the colossal elevation hike
(you start at zero and end at over 3000 meters)
and because of the devastating heat (we started at 2am
and i stripped almost naked within the first ten minutes)

Mt Thompson, Trinity Alps

The most popular hike in the Trinity Alps is probably Canyon Creek

Mt Warren, East oF Yosemite

Few people venture out here since Mt Warren was pulled out of Yosemite
and given its own Wilderness, but this is the best view of Mono Lake ever.

Lundy Canyon, East of Yosemite

A very easy hike just outside Yosemite (you are physically walking towards its
eastern border) but the number of ponds, lakes, creeks and waterfalls
beats your favorite Yosemite Valley hikes. And it's really easy.

Mt Tom, Eastern Sierra

A very respectable mountain at an altitude of 4100 meters, Mt Tom
rises straight out of Owens valley.

Mt Stanford, Kings Canyon

One of the really remote peaks of the Sierra, Mt Stanford is strategically
located between the Kings River basin (East Lake is its most famous lake),
the Kern River basin (which is difficult to visit from any trailhead)
and the Center Basin.

East Lake

The basin where the Kern River is born

The Great Western Divide

Center Basin

Mt Bago

Brewer and North Guard

Great Western Divide

The valley towards East Lake

Center Basin (University Peak, Center Peak and behind it Mt Bradley, all the way to Mt Keith)

View north to University Pass and Center Peak

Mt Barnard, Eastern Sierra

This area was closed to summer hiking for many years. It was reopened in 2011.
There is no trail. Just follow the George Creek to the top.
Tough bushwhacking. Beware that bears here are not familiar with humans.

Tuttle Basin, Eastern Sierra

Another rarely visited plateau of the Sierra, this one leads to several of the
highest mountains, but its main attractions are the dramatic walls of granite
that make Yosemite look tame. Imagine Yosemite with not a single hiker around...

Mt Darwin, Eastern Sierra

The Evolution Region can only be approached via very long trails, and, whichever way you come,
you also need quite a bit of route-finding skills after you leave the trails.
This was a 25-hour hike (4am to 5am).

Evolution Lake, that many consider the prettiest lake of the Sierra

Darwin Canyon, that i consider one of the most dramatic views of the Sierra
(See also this picture and this picture from previous years and different viewpoints)

The Evolution Region from Mt Darwin

Mt Humphreys, Eastern Sierra

Mt Humphreys is the highest point of my 2011 hiking season (4265m).
The approach was also the easiest... except for the very final wall.

Wawona to Glacier Point, Yosemite

This was a 38-km one-way hike south of the Valley that ends with some of the best pictures spots in the Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite Falls from Taft Point

Half Dome from Sentinel Dome

Vernal and Nevada Falls from Glacier Point

Best picture of the hikers

Wading the Bubbs Creek on the way to East Lake (Kings Canyon)

Best picture of wildlife

Bear in Kings Canyon (alas many other bears did not cooperate with the photographer like this one did)

Deer in Kings Canyon

Hikes of 2011 | Hiking in California | Notes