Square Top Mountain: the road less traveled

August 12, 2023


I pulled into the mostly empty trailhead lot for Square Top Mountain around 5 am. The forecast called for rain and clouds that day but I wanted a hike to a relatively high altitude. Square Top fit the bill. Despite the iffy weather, I saw dozens of cars piling into the parking lot for Square Top’s far more glamorous neighbor: Bierstadt. But more on that later.

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Mount Watkins—stunning views above Yosemite Valley

August 5, 2023

East Yosemite

I drove up from Mammoth Lakes. I passed the massive Mono Lake in total darkness, turning off the main road and climbing towards Tioga Pass. Around 5 am I entered the park, passing through Tuolumne Meadows and towards the upper rim of Yosemite Valley. Finally, I arrived at a small dirt parking area, where my hike began.

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The Sneffels Traverse: Hut to Hut through the San Juans

July 1, 2023

Telluride to Ouray via the Sneffels Traverse

Our shuttle van left Ouray around 7 am for Last Dollar Pass, and the start of the Sneffels Traverse. We trundled up the rough dirt road, through rolling hills of green grass. The morning sun shone through sparse stands of aspens. Patches of hillside were covered in thick blooms of purple lupine. A herd of elk moved about the hills below us.

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