Monday, August 29, 2016

Bandera Mt 2016-08-29

8.28 miles and 3,559 feet of elevation gain.

A new peak for Blue to bag.  We made an attempt for Bandera Mt in the middle of winter a few years ago but only made it to Little Bandera.  I did not see any safe way over to Bandera.  See the Little Bandera 2013-02-17 post.

This time it was sunny and hot.  We turned off at the trail sign for Bandera and headed straight up the hill.  This trail is steep and a bit of a scramble to get over the rocks.  Once on the ridge it is not too bad.  Finding the trail from Little Bandera to Bandera proved to be a challenge.  You head across the rocks and then work your way down between a couple of big boulders.  I had to help Blue and Sly down and then up on the return.  A good trail until the boulder fields just before Bandera.  This section of the trail had the best huckleberries I've had this year.

Going down steep trails that required scrambling to go up is not my ideal trail experience.  I knew a trail existed that followed the ridge all the way from the Ira Spring Overlook but I must have missed the intersection when we were going up.  So, on the way down when the trail took a turn away from the ridge I just kept to the top of the ridge and pushed through the tree branches.  Fortunately it didn't take too long before I spotted the trail.  This is a very nice shaded trail with soft tread.  On the next trip to Bandera, we will go up this trail.

We continued on to Mason Lake for doggy drinks and then headed down the old trail.

Google Maps link

Heading up the Mason Lake trail, the turn off for Bandera Mt is just around the corner.

Almost up to Little Bandera.  Putrid Pete's Peak and Mt Defiance in the background.

 Mason Lake
The top of Little Bandera.

The trail continues to the left of Blue then...

across these rocks and down a rock "chute" to the trail on the south side of the ridge.

 The final ascent is across boulders with a couple of little patches of actual trail through the trees.  A few cairns along the way.

The very top of Bandera Mt.  Just a pile of big rocks.

Little Bandera to the right of Blue.

Looking down on Island Lake with Pratt Mt in the foreground.

 The unofficial ridge trail to Bandera Mt starts at the Ira Spring Overlook before the trail starts the descent to Mason Lake.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mt Baldy 2016-08-10

7.69 miles and 3,316 feet of elevation gain.

A nice summer day for a hike and a good workout.  This hike has two steep sections.  The first is 1,017 feet of elevation gain in 1.2 miles to get you warmed up for the next section of 1,306 feet in 0.9 miles.  You do get a little break between them.  After Para Point it is a fairly easy hike.

Google Maps link

A little past the turn off for Easton Ridge is a sport with views of Little Kachess Lake and Kachess Ridge.

On top of Mt Baldy.

Just below Para Point on the way down.

Looking up towards Para Point.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Kent's Court 2016-07-31

7.88 miles and 2,017 feet of elevation gain.

We cheated a bit on this one.  We drove up the forest service road, that crosses the McClellan Butte trail, and parked at the barricade.  This cut out about 4 miles from the hike if we had started at the McClellan Butte trailhead.

I intended to see how far we could get up the end of the north ridge of Mt Kent, turns out, not far.  Starting about a half a mile after Alice Creek and ending at the 'court' area, the old logging road has been decommissioned.  This was done by creating mounds across the road of dirt, rocks, tree stumps and logs.  A boot path winds its way around and over these obstacles.  Once past the 'court' area, scrub alder has invaded the road in several places.  No problem for the dogs, but for anyone over two feet off the ground it is a real pain.  We turned around shortly past the upper flat area when we hit another patch of scrub alder.

When we returned to Alice Creek, we headed down NF-9020 to add some miles to the hike and to see if there was anything interesting, there isn't. 

Google Maps link

The barrier at the end of the road.

The culvert a Alice Creek to starting to go.

Nothing says fun like guns, beer and an old serving plate.

Start of the decommissioned logging road.

McClellan Butte from the 'court'.

Scrub alder

Mt Kent
The Duke of Kent?

In the winter, when show covers the alder, you get some nice view from the upper flat spot (high court?) not so much in the summer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

McClellan Butte 2016-07-20

10.73 miles and 3,750 feet of elevation gain.

Several blowdowns on the upper portion of the trail.  One required climbing on top of a tree and walking along it for about 25 feet. 

Google Maps link

Fortunately, this is a very rare site along the trails. 

On the way up

 Rock fall across the trail at one of the snow chute areas.

The big blowdown

 Many trees down with a detour to the right.

The top we never climb up.

Heading back down and the start of the blowdowns.

The trail used to drop down into this little basin with a tarn and an abundance of huckleberries.