Devil’s Garden Trail (Arches NP)

June 2, 2021

Arrival at the Devil’s Garden Trail

After entering the park at the crack of dawn, we drove in towards the very back of the main, paved roadway. The Devil’s Garden Trail is easily the biggest “main attraction” in the park. Its many spurs lead to 8 marquee arches, some more accessible than others. You can make this an easy two-mile out-and-back to Landscape Arch and call it a day. Or you can do a full 8-mile journey along the full loop + spurs, making this Arches one true “hiker’s hike”.

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South Sister

South SIster's summit glacier.

September 4, 2020

An Early Start

The day began well before dawn at the South Sister trailhead. It’s always smart to start a hike as early as feasible. But today this was doubly the case since it was Labor Day weekend and the forecast called for soaring temps by midday. Sure enough the parking lot was already starting to fill around 4:30 am.

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Garfield Peak (Crater Lake NP)

Aug 23, 2020, Rim Village


I arrived just before sunset to Rim Village, having driven that day north from the Bay Area. The summer and Fall of 2020 will forever be known for two things on the West Coast: COVID and fires. Evidence of the latter hung in the air over Crater Lake, which seemed visibly thick with smoke. I felt as though I were standing on the edge of a massive cauldron.

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The Dragon’s Back Trail to Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain's massive gondola span, seen from the Dragon's Back Trail

August 2, 2020, Twin Lakes Campground/Dragon’s Back Trailhead

Twin Lakes

I snagged a pretty excellent parking spot in an otherwise fully packed lot at Twin Lakes Campground. I arrived mid-morning on a peak late-summer Sunday. The place was humming with campers and paddlers and hikers. The journey began with a walk across a bridge between the two “twin lakes” towards the various camping and RV spots under tree cover. The scene was gorgeous, with a broad stream of water cascading down grassy boulders into the lake below.

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Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow Falls (Mammoth Lakes)

The Devil's Postpile

July 12, 2020, Devil’s Postpile National Monument


I drove the winding roadway towards the Devil’s Postpile National Monument around the crack of dawn. I had spent Saturday mountain biking at Mammoth ski area, staying overnight right near the main base. As luck would have it, the roadway to Devil’s Postpile runs right past the base lodge, underneath the gondola. The road promptly narrows from a standard 2-way state highway to a winding, unstriped mountain adventure. And the views from this drive are nothing short of stunning. Jagged stone peaks rose up from the rolling hills of conifers, snowfields, and rushing waters—the Eastern Sierras in mid-summer!

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