Mt. Baldy, Dawson Peak and Pine Mountain via Backbone Trail: Angeles National Forest

Most people who climb Mt. Baldy go via the Ski Hut Route and do not know that there are a few different ways up to Mt. Baldy, this one being the shorter way up, but not easier.

Location Mileage Elevation Gain Type
Angeles National Forest
8.2 miles
4,504 feet

— What to Expect in this Guide —

  1. Background – A little background on Mt. Baldy and things to know about this trail (very important you read this).
  2. Map of HikeI put together a map of what our hike looked like.
  3. DirectionsMake sure to have an AWD/4×4 vehicle to get to the trailhead.
  4. Weather – Weather changes often, make sure you check before you go. *Do not attempt this hike when it is icy
  5. Permits and PassesNo overnight wilderness permit is required, but an Angeles National Forest Adventure Pass is. Read more on how to get one below.
  6. Hike Stats – Quick overview of the mileage and elevation for points of interest on the hike.
  7. Maps, Books and Gear RecommendationsI like to put together some important items or even just some gear ideas for your adventure, check them out in this section.
  8. Description This is my favorite part because I can share my adventure and pictures with you guys.

— Background —

Mt. Baldy is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. Did you know that Mt. Baldy is not its official name, it’s actually Mount San Antonio. The mountain was named after a local rancher in the area by the name of Saint Anthony of Padua. The official name is Mount San Antonio even though many locals refer to it as Mt. Baldy.

— Things to Know Before Attempting the Trail —

  1. What time of year should I do the trail? The best time to go is in the summer and early fall there is no snow on the trail. Unless you are ready to icy/snow travel meaning proper training and equipment, do not attempt to do this trail.
  2. What should I know about the trailhead? The trailhead is located off of Blue Ridge Truck Road a four-wheel drive road. Also note that the road isn’t open all year-long; it depends on the time of year. The gates along the road will be closed due to road conditions. If the gate is closed near Guffy Campground, you can still get to the trailhead on foot.
  3. What is the trail itself like? Be advised that the trail at times has very loose rocks and scree, which can make it very easy for you to slip or fall; bring trekking poles as I advise later in my gear recommendations and take your time on the steep areas.
  4. Should I attempt the trail if there might be a storm? No, if a storm is likely to happen do not hike this trail. The trail is very exposed most of the time and does not have much cover. Check the weather before you decide to do the trail.

— Map of Hike —

— Directions —

North Backbone Trailhead
To get to the trail from Wrightwood, take Hwy 2 off of CA-138 W. Once you get on Hwy 2, take it for a little over 10 miles and turn onto East Blue Ridge Rd/Blue Ridge Truck Trail. Continue on Blue Ridge Truck Trail for 7.1 miles. You will see a small sign on the right, easy to miss. Park off the road there are small areas that have turnouts, but make sure you are not in the way of others trying to get by. There is a small area at the start of the trail head for only about 4-5 cars.

Note: Blue Ridge Truck Trail is a dirt road, therefore make sure that you drive an AWD/4×4; do not attempt without a car that has high clearance.

— Weather —

The weather can change at any time in the mountains, due to this fact be sure to prepare. This area is known to get very hot in the summertime; hike early to minimize impact of any heat illness. In contrast this area can also get very cold and windy with even snow on it, prepare for anything!
Mt. Baldy – Elevation 10,066 feet

— Permits and Passes —

— Wilderness Permit —
You are not required to have a wilderness permit for a day hike neither an overnight hike. Certainly you can camp along the trail, but there aren’t many flat spots along the trail, however at the top near Mt. Baldy you can find some pretty good camping spots.

— National Forest Adventure Pass —
To park in the Angeles National Forest you do not need an adventure pass. If you park at Forest Falls or Vivian Creek you will need an adventure pass. To obtain an Adventure pass find the closest Forest Service location or go to a major sporting goods store. The fees are either daily ($5 per day) or annual ($30). If you’d like to know more about the pass, read on the USDA Forest Service Recreation Passes & Permits Website.

— Hike Stats —

Point of Interest Mileage Elevation
Trailhead 0 miles 8,310 feet
Pine Mountain 1.75 miles 9,648 feet
Dawson Peak 2.55 miles 9,575 feet
Mt. Baldy (Mt. San Antonio) 4.1 miles 10,064 feet

— Maps, Books & Gear Recommendations —

— Maps —
  1. Mt. Baldy, Cucamonga Wilderness, Trail Map – My favorite type of maps are the Tom Harrison Maps. This is the perfect one for this hike.
  2. HIKE Southern California: A Day Hiker’s Guide – This book my mom got me and sits on my adventure shelf at home.

— Some Gear Recommendations —

  1. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles – I definitely recommend trekking poles for this hike it will save your knees.
  2. Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire GPS Watch – I really would like to have this in my gear box; more like on my wrist during an adventure.
  3. Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir – I recommend taking a lot of water and this reservoir fits 3 liters. Check it out.
  4. PROBAR Bolt Energy Chews – Feel like you’re getting tired, take some of these for some quick energy; they are my favorite energy chews out there.

Check out some of the other items I have in my backpack on hiking and backpacking trips on my What’s in My Backpack Page. I also have some trail food ideas – check those out on Trail Food: Grub Ideas for the Trail

— Description —

This write-up only took me one year to finally finish, however I still want to share this adventure because it is one of those training hikes that are killer and so close to home (So Cal peeps). We hiked it last November (2017) on a bit windy and somewhat cold day, arguably it was still great hiking weather.

The Steep Way Up to Mt. Baldy

We arrived to the turnoff on Hwy 2 for East Blue Ridge Road around 8:00 am. It took about 25 minutes to do the short 7.1 miles down the road. The first part of the road wasn’t too rough; the road gets more bumpy as you get closer to the trailhead. We lost reception at some point, but still had the directions printed out and we were able to find where to park. There was only one other car there.

It was barely over 32 degrees when we got started. I had about 4 layers on and was so happy The first part of the trail is a sudden drop for a short distance, that’s one thing I always say “that means uphill on the way back”. I’m sure all of you think the same way.

We decided to stop at Pine Mountain and Dawson Peak on our way back, because we knew later in the day it would get windy. Something to note on this hike it is very exposed and there is a lot of loose talus and rock. This was one of the more difficult hikes I have done and if you want a good training hike for a big hike coming up, do it!

We took a lot of breaks along the way as it was steep. From Pine Mountain to Dawson Peak after the saddle there is a class 2 climb; be very careful especially during weather on this portion. We kept tugging up slowly and reached the top around noon. When we reached the top, there were only a few people compared to when my last summit: Mt. Baldy via the Ski Hut Trail. It was windy and cold at the top we didn’t spend much time there; just a quick bite to eat and all set to head back down to the cars.

Stopping at Dawson Peak and Pine Mountain on the Way Back

We hit Dawson Peak on the way back and found the register, but did not find a register on Pine Mountain. I wonder if there is one. On Dawson Peak, I opened the register and a gal’s signature I hiked with not too long before was in there  – took a photo and shot her text after I got back into cell range.

The way down was brutal, first of all because of my bad knee acting up and aching every step I took also because there were no breaks of downhill. I honestly wasn’t sure I could make it back to the car it hurt so bad, seems like I was moving like a snail one step at a time. We got back to the car around 4:00 pm making for a very slow way down, because I stopped millions of times to give my knee a break!

Despite the knee pain, I really enjoyed the hike and I truly relish hiking this time of year in our local Southern California mountains. Why? Finally the weather is much cooler and there are fewer people on the trail, above all this means the serenity we desire during hiking becomes existent.

*Originally hiked on November 12, 2017

Thanks for listening, hope you guys enjoyed the write-up and let me know if you have any questions about hiking or backpacking this trail.

Happy Adventures,

AnnetteBeyond Limits on Foot

— Related Posts —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

My Picks – September 2018

ENO Roadie Hammock Stand

>>that extra comfort for your road trips if you already have the ENO Hammock

Have you ever run into trouble finding trees on some of your trips to put up your hammock? I definitely have; ran into the problem while backpacking too. This is not for backpacking though; this is perfect for if you are taking a road trip or going camping!

If you don’t already have a hammock, the ENO SingleNest Hammock is a great choice. Buy it at REI!

Price: $149.93

*Hurry as this is on clearance and there are limited quantities.

Ultimate Survival Technologies Spright Recharge LED Lantern with Power Bank

>>that light that you can hang to keep camp lit

I currently have a very awesome blow up solar light called the MPOWERD Luci Color Lantern and my boyfriend always brings along this awesome Ultimate Survival LED Lantern. We keep the blow up light in the tent because it’s not as bring and the Lantern outside especially when we’re cooking at it has already gotten dark. What’s cool about both of these lanterns is that they are compact and easy to pack away in our packs.

What else is cool about the Ultimate Survival LED Lantern?

  • It includes a power bank, allowing you to charge your phone or electronics if needed
  • It has a hook that you can use to put it up on a tree easily and hang it
  • Has a good amount of modes including a night-light that looks like it’s glowing in the dark (my favorite feature)
  • Only weighs 4.8 oz

Price: $23.93

*Hurry as this is on clearance and there are limited quantities.

Big Agnes mtnGLO Light Accessory Kit

>>that light strand that brightens up your tent or campsite and sets a tranquil mood

I actually don’t own this, but it’s on my list of extra gadgets that I may want for my camp lighting. There are a few things that I like about the idea of having this:

  • It can be used anywhere, at home, in the tent, in the car, etc.
  • Clips come with it so it’s easy to hang and move around the lights to wherever you want
  • Is lightweight and weighs only 3 oz.

Price: $23.93

*Hurry as this is on clearance and there are limited quantities.

— Related Posts —

— Gear and Grub —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

20 Things to Do in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

For about 10 years now, we have been going to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks for Memorial Day and random weekend trips. Sometimes I forget that on the other side of the Eastern Sierras there is the Western Side which is just as beautiful. In this blog post I will share some of the things to do that we experienced.

Check them out and comment below if you want to share any of your experiences or let us know which of the 15 is your favorite.

— Background —

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks lies in the Sierra Nevada; the Sierras are home to 3 national parks Sequoia & Kings Canyon and Yosemite. You could potentially do all 3 national parks in one trip if you have time. If you like to read take a look at some of these links below before you head out; history goes a long way. “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know” – Harry S. Truman.

National Park Service: Learn About the Park
Explore Sequoia & Kings Canyon

— Map —

Something I always do before I head out on a trip or on a trip is buy a map and a guide from Amazon, Information or Visitor Center.

— Start Planning Your Adventure —

I’m going to write them not in order of favorites, but imagine instead that you will be driving from South to North. There are two highways that you will be taking this tour on: Highways 198, Generals Highway and Highway 180, Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. Check out this quick write-up about the history of the Generals Highway: When Two Parks Meet: The History of the Generals Highway.

Fees: To enter the park it costs $35 for one vehicle (one entry 1-7 days), $60 for Sequoia & Kings Canyon Annual Pass or if you know you will be going to many national parks go ahead and purchase the America the Beautiful Parks Pass for $80.

Just so you know ahead of time, we didn’t do this all in one trip, over the years we’ve slowly visited all these places. Hope you enjoy the virtual tour.

Drive to Mineral King and Hike Monarch Lakes

Not the easiest drive to get there, but so worth it once you hike into the lakes. Monarch Lakes sit just under Sawtooth Peak, 9.4 miles round-trip you can make this a day trip or an overnight hike. We did Monarch Lakes as an overnight hike and went all the way up to the second lake to take a dip; I have some video footage if you check out the trip report of it. Brrrrrr…

Stop and Take a Look at General Hwy Lookout

On your drive into the park there are few place you will pass along the way that are easily accessible. Not mapped on this tour is Tunnel Log, definitely would recommend going there too; it’s a quick stop. On your way up the windy road there are not many easy spots to stop in turnouts for lookouts. I definitely would recommend to check out this spot.

AddressSequoia National Park, 12 Generals Hwy, Sequoia National Park, CA 93262

Climb 350 Steps to the Top of Moro Rock

Moro Rock is located just before turning onto Crescent Meadow Road. If you are interested in museums and a little history, I would first stop at the Giant Forest Museum. Moro Rock is a short hike, it’s perfect for the family to take a break from the drive. Take 350 steps to check out the awesome views of the foothills. In the winter Crescent Meadow Rd. is closed; there are ski trails that lead to the parking area of Moro Rock, but you cannot go onto the stairway in the winter.

Drive Under Tunnel Log

After Moro rock if you keep going East on Crescent Meadow Rd. you will hit Tunnel Log. It is exactly what it sounds like a tunnel in a log, a big sequoia tree. This is the only sequoia tree that you can drive though in the national park. Now, something to note though if you have a Sprinter Van or anything over 8 feet your vehicle will not make it through. Interest in a myth? Check out The Myth of the Tree You Can Drive Through on the National Park Service Website.

Hike the High Sierra Trail

If you’re an avid backpacker this is one trail you want to do in your life. We did a 2 day trip earlier this year: High Sierra Trail: Crescent Meadow to 9 Mile Creek where we actually had to hike an extra 6 miles from Giant Forest Museum (3 miles each way) because it was winter and the road was closed. The High Sierra Trail is 72.2 miles and goes from Crescent Meadow to Mt. Whitney (tallest mountain of the lower 48). My ex-coworker did the trail a couple of years ago; check out his Plan & Go | High Sierra Trail book. 

Some other good reads – National Park Service: High Sierra Trail, SoCal Hiker: Hiking the High Sierra Trail – An Overview, backcountrycow: Backpacking The High Sierra Trail In 6 Day and The High Sierra Trail – Crescent Meadow to Mt. Whitney.

Feel Small Next to the Tree Called General Sherman

General Sherman Tree is the largest known living tree on Earth; why wouldn’t you want to go see it. An interesting fact is that even though it has been named the largest tree in the world, it is not the tallest, it is not the widest. More interestingly it is not the largest tree historically, it is however the largest living tree known. Follow this link if you’d like to find more information on The General Sherman Tree:

The trail to General Sherman is perfect for the family; it is no longer than half a mile one way. Parking is very scarce at the trail head so you may want to opt in by taking shuttles during the summer especially. You may even have no choice but to take the shuttle depending on how busy it is and how far you may have to park.

Snowshoe to Pear Lake Winter Hut

Pear Lake is at the end of a trail called the “Lakes Trail”. During the summer this is a perfect day hike. During the winter, there is a small ski hut nestled 6 miles deep off the highway. Depending on weather (snow) and trail conditions, the hut opens its doors usually between December and April. The cabin is available to the public, but registration is required (lottery). A couple of years ago we made the expedition: Beyond Limits on Foot – Pear Lake Ski Hut Trip. I have since wanted to go back.

During the summer the hut is closed, but the Lakes Trail offers vast views and perfect lakes to eat lunch at and take a dip in. We’ve gone as far as Heather Lake one year in the late spring.

More information here:

Take a Stroll to Tokopah Falls

Tokopah Falls is a short easy 4.1 miles round-trip; the falls itself is 1,200 feet high and probably best to go see during the early summer. Please be careful around the water, the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River can be dangerous especially early summer when the snow is melting.

Find the trailhead just beyond the Marble Fork Bridge in the Lodgepole Campground; very easy to find. More information here:

Take a Nap on Little Baldy

Little Baldy sits at 8044′ and offers 300 degree view of the surrounding area. The trail is 3.5 miles round-trip and only climbs about 650 feet to its summit. Take some sandwiches or stuff for a picnic, the rock is very comfortable to hang out on and even take a nap. The trailhead is 11 miles north of the Giant Forest Village.

Check Out the Views on Big Baldy

If you hike Little Baldy, you should definitely make your way over the Big Baldy. Big Baldy (8,209 feet) is a little longer hike 4.8 miles round-trip and almost the same elevation gain (600 feet) as Little Baldy. To get to Big Baldy from the Giant Forest Village it is about 22 miles. This is also a perfect hike for families that want to take their kids out for a little and have a picnic with a view.

Say Hi to the Volunteers on Buck Rock Lookout

Buck Rock Lookout is actually located in Sequoia National Forest. I still put it on the list because it is very close to the National Parks. The Lookout sits on top of a granite dome and to reach the lookout you have to climb 172 steps. Named after the first fire watcher Buck McGee. It is staffed 7 days a week by volunteers.

More information here: Sequoia National Forest: Buck Rock Lookout.

Pick Up a Gift in Grant Grove Village

Grant Grove Village is a good place to take a break and look around. Head to the Kings Canyon Visitor Center where you can pick up books, maps or gifts. Accommodations are also available: John Muir Lodge and Grant Grove Cabins. If you are hungry for a bite to eat, Grant Grove Restaurant makes pretty good food. If you need supplies head to the Grant Grove Market, if you need cash there is an ATM and if you wanted to send a postcard there is a post office.

Find the Top of General Grant Tree

The General Grant Tree is the third largest tree in the world and is known as “the Nation’s Christmas tree”. The tree resides in Grant Grove where a loop trail offers a perfect place for families to take a quick walk around and check out all the amazing sequoia trees situated in the half a mile. Make sure to get there early in the day or later as parking is scarce and you may have to park 1 mile away even. More information here:

Paddle Board on Hume Lake

Hume Lake is a reservoir located in Sequoia National Forest, not in the national parks, but since it’s only about a 3 mile drive off Highway 180, I had to put it on my list. I consider this a great place for a stop. They have a Christian Camp that offers camps and retreats for all ages during the summer months especially. It is much quieter during off-season. There are several campgrounds around the lake and nearby, cabins are available for rent (private), you can boat, fish, hike and swim (rentals available for paddle boards, rowboats and kayaks). There is a small shop if you need some items like snacks and drinks, a gas station (expensive, fill up before you get into the park) and a small cafe and gift shop.

Climb on a Stump in Stump Meadow

On your drive to #16 Boole Tree Loop you will pass a very picturesque meadow full of sequoia stumps, hence its name Stump Meadow. The meadow is absolutely green and it was saddening to see the blackened stumps that catch your eye; but why is there so many stumps? For about 20 years from 1887-1908, Converse Basin was stripped of its giant sequoia trees. After checking it out, head over to Boole Tree Trail for a quick hike.

Hike the Boole Tree Loop

Boole Tree Trail is a short 2.5 mile loop and to get there I would recommend a AWD car because after Stump Meadow the road is dirt and very bumpy. This is another one that doesn’t lie in the National Parks but in Sequoia National Forest. Boole Tree lies in the Converse Basin (as does Stump Meadow), which as I mentioned before was logged. An interesting fact is that the tree was named after Franklin A. Boole, the supervisor for the logging operation. It’s named after the very man who stripped Stump Meadow, but he decided to spare the tree’s life due to its size. Boole tree is 6th largest tree in the world.

Picnic at Grizzly Falls

Grizzly Falls Picnic Area is located on the beautiful Kings Canyon Highway 180 just outside the border of the national park. On your way to Roads End you can stop and have a nice picnic right next to Grizzly Falls, one of the more attractive waterfalls hidden behind the trees. The Falls are 80 feet high and the area has picnic tables, bathrooms and very little parking. Some information on picnic areas:

Have Coffee at Roaring River Falls

Another great waterfall to visit that won’t take longer than 15-30 minutes (.5 miles) is Roaring River Falls (15 feet). When we went, I took out my Jetboil and made a coffee that we put in our Snowpeak mugs and sipped along the way. We also got lucky with all the water as we went on Memorial Day Weekend. The river was roaring, but not too much; we had read that some years it gushes so much from the snow melt that it makes it look more like a mess.

Jump in a Random Pool on the Copper Creek Trail

Copper Creek Trail is a more difficult trail and if you are an avid backpacker you will love it. The elevation gain to get to Granite Basin is over 5,000 feet in 10 miles. I’d say if you want a really good training hike, definitely try this one; plus you get to jump in alpine water after the hard hike. Check out both Grizzly Falls and Roaring River Falls on your way out before you head home.

Feel the Mist from Mist Falls

Mist Falls (100 feet high) is also a great hiking destination that is 4.6 miles one-way. Not an easy hike with the elevation again, so make sure you take food and water; it is perfect place to have a picnic while feeling the mist from the falls. Mist Falls is located at the end of Kings Canyon Scenic Byway (Hwy 180) at Road’s End. Do not enter the Kings River, the water is very forceful.

— What to Take on Your Trips —

Whether you are just doing a road trip or you’re going to hike, here are some items I would recommend taking on your trips. Obviously you would take more than just these recommended items, but take a look at the list; some of these are for your enjoyment and comfort as well.


  1. GoPro HERO6 – I take my GoPro almost everywhere I go whether it just be for travelling, backpacking/hiking or even to the beach. I love how easy it is to pack and the photo quality is awesome!
  2. Snow Peak Titanium Double Wall Cup – Ever since I bought this, I have used it to drink out of and even eat out of (make a soup in it). You can even use this to just drink water, have a coffee in the morning or make your favorite refreshing drink. Perfect lightweight travel mug. 100% part of my backpacking/hiking gear. If you’re a coffee lover, get the lid for the cup.
  3. Jetboil Flash Cooking System – I have the older version of this one, but again another item I take because I love my morning coffee on trips and my soup while hiking. Boils water so fast.
  4. Anker PowerCore 20100 – Ultra High Capacity Power Bank – Always take a power bank with you to charge your electronics especially if you won’t be near electricity or your car for while; better to use the power back anyway instead of your car. I take a similar one made by goal zero for hiking that has a solar panel for it.
  5. Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack – Always need a daypack with you on road trips. Pick one of the Osprey packs, they’re a great brand.

Maps and Books

  1. National Geographic – Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park Map – Great map to find where you want to go: has campgrounds, points of interest, scenic overlooks, trailheads, etc.
  2. Lonely Planet Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (Travel Guide) – Always good to have a guide/travel book with you.
  3. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Your Complete Hiking Guide – There are all types of trails in this hiking guide from 1/2 mile to 20 miles+. Great for the outdoor adventurer or the avid backpacker/hiker.

— Related Posts —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

My Picks – August 2018

Big Agnes Copper Spur 3 Platinum Backpacking Tent

>>that backpacking tent you want because it’s so light and spacious.

This item hits close to home mainly because we opted out of doing the John Muir Trail because of the air quality and fires going on here in California. The fires are mostly contained, but the smoke is still there. See why we opted out in my post: John Muir Trail: Why We Opted Out of Doing the JMT. Either way, we bought this tent not too long ago. We were backpacking up in the Sabrina Lake Backcountry as we saw a group of people setting up this tent. We were in the market for one. Tent looked super easy to put up and there was enough space for our packs too; we got the 3 person tent. Guess what the best part was, what it weighed. I bet you didn’t know a 3 person tent can weigh under 3 pounds in total. Price doesn’t matter at this point for what you get. This tent will last you years!

The little things we looked for before buying this tent:

  • Weight – since we go backpacking a lot and our tent right now weighs about 5 lbs. This was a huge factor as to which tent we would buy; the packed weight combined is 2 lb. 10 oz.
  •  Size – one of us is tall, so space matters. We also wanted to be able to put our packs inside with us instead of having them linger outside the tent; that’s why we chose the 3 person.
  •  Doors – we all know we hate going over the other person in a tent just to go to the bathroom at night. This tent has two different entries so you can get in and out on your side without bothering your partner.

*Note the tent does not come with the Platinum Footprint.

>> $$699.95 – Amazon

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress

>>that mattress you add to your gear for extra benefits

I already had a backpacking mattress, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress. I really didn’t need another mattress, but this one I couldn’t just take out onto a rock and lay on it without being worried it would get a hole in it. So we decided to get something more usable outdoors too. If we go on longer trips this is the choice we go with, if it’s just a one night trip I’ll take both of the mattresses and my comfort level goes up a lot.

outdoor gear


>> $$44.95 – Amazon


Sea to Summit X Pan

>that pan your sister buys you for your birthday so you can cook her quesadillas on the trail

My sister bought me this for my birthday one year and since then we have made quesadillas and tacos with it. Check out my: Tacos at 10,000 Feet recipe if you’d like to do some awesome cooking in the mountains. What I like about this is that it fits pretty easily in my pack and it weighs only 9.6oz. When I’m cooking on it, the handles don’t become hot.

Thinking we’ll have to cook up something else in it on our next backpacking trip over labor day, maybe some fajitas.



>> $39.95 – Amazon

GSI Outdoors Spice Missile

If you’ve been on a backpacking trip, you’ve tried freeze-dried food. Freeze dried food isn’t always the tastiest, so this Spice Rocket is just the thing you need. You can fit up to 4 spices in it, which is just a perfect amount. I take paprika powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Those ingredients are the most used in our kitchen anyway and I have added them to some backpacking meals and it made the food so much better.

It’s weight (2.1 oz.) and size are ideal for backpacking trips or even a short weekend camping trip where you don’t want to take all your spices.

outdoor gear

>> $9.95 – Amazon

— Related Posts —

— Check Out Some Grub Ideas for the Trail —


— Check Out What’s in My Backpack —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

John Muir Trail: Why We Opted Out of Doing the JMT!

It’s taken me a while to write this, because I’ve been in a funk since we decided to postpone doing the John Muir Trail this year. If you are just tuning in, this March I was awarded permits to do the John Muir Trail, a “premier hiking trail in the United States” says

— What to Expect in this Post —

  1. About the John Muir Trail: I’ve put together a little bit about the trail that can help you understand how it is every avid hiker’s dream to do this hike.
  2. The Story of Why Not: This is the story of why we chose not to do the trail
  3. Some Great Reads of People Who Conquered the JMT: Along our journey we did a lot of reading of how others got ready for the trip, packed, etc. Quick list of some of my favorite sites that I used for reference when getting ready for the trip.

— About the John Muir Trail —

What is the John Muir Trail? It’s a long-distance trail, a long-distance of 212 miles in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. This trail is usually one of the first thru-hikes that most do to gain the common knowledge hiking community “I am a thru-hiker” term. California holds a place in my heart, not because of Los Angeles, but because I can get to the Sierra Nevada mountains within a little more than a couple hours and hike in to majestic alpine lakes and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s only one place where you can hike and surf all in the same day.

If you haven’t heard of the trail, it begins in Happy Isles – located in Yosemite National Park. This is the lowest part of the journey sitting at 4,000 feet. The trail runs all the way to it’s highest point Mt. Whitney (14,505 feet); Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain of the contiguous United States. If you’d like to know more about how to climb Mt. Whitney check out my post here: Mt. Whitney – Inyo National Forest.

After leaving Happy Isles, the trail doesn’t go much under 8,000 feet, 35% of the trail is above 10,000 feet and the elevation gain total is over 46,000 feet total. If you’d like to read more about the trail check out the John Muir Trail Page by Steve and Claire Schauer and the Pacific Crest Trail Associations John Muir Trail Page.

— The Story of Why Not —

February 15, 2018 I put in a Yosemite Wilderness Lottery Application to do the John Muir Trail. A day later I received a confirmation email that they received my permit. A day later I received my first denial email that I was not awarded a permit. A day later another denial. But on February 19 I received a different kind of email that didn’t say “Denied”, it said “Wilderness Permit Confirmation”. I had to open the email to make sure it was true and it was. I was put into the lottery and they picked my permit; I was in Jackson Hole on a ski trip and realized what this meant and started yelling because I was so excited. I ran out of the room and told my sisters that I had been awarded the permit.

March – May

After the trip, it was time to start planning; we bought a few new gear items and bought all our food over time. We used amazon for almost everything and of course hit up REI and Big 5 for some other items. In April, I received some of my first items in the mail from Amazon. Since I had a few backpacking trips planned before our hike including: High Sierra Trail: Crescent Meadow to 9 Mile CreekMomyer Creek Trail – Falls Creek Trail Loop: San Gorgonio Wilderness, Big Pine Creek North Fork, Sabrina Lake Backcountry, Kearsarge Pass and Yosemite Half Dome.

June – July

In June and July the rest of our ordered items started rolling in. Little did we know that the erratic weather we had been having would change the course of what I believed to be one of the hardest and most exhilarating things that I would ever do. On July 13th,  lightning decided fate and started a fire just outside of Yosemite. I crossed my fingers and hope that they would be able to put the fire out because July 28th I had permits to climb Half Dome.



In the first 24 hours the fire grew 828 acres and because of its steep and rugged terrain, it was very hard to get to where the first was. We still had 2 weeks to find out if we would have to cancel the trip or not. The hotel I had reserved Cedar Lodge at Yosemite was under mandatory evacuation on July 20th; the communities that were evacuated was Old El Portal, Rancheria Flat, Foresta, and Yosemite View Lodge. The following day a couple more communities were evacuated. You can read more about the fire incident here: Ferguson Fire.


I realized a week before our trip, that I had to make the call; the fire grew daily about 2-3,000 acres and it was only contained 20%+. Since we had a friend flying in, I made the call on Monday of cancelling the trip as Yosemite Valley was closed; there was no way we were going to hike Half Dome in the air quality it had. Every morning my routine was to check the Yosemite webcams, check the Mammoth Mountain webcams and then check the update on the Ferguson Fire, Lions Fire, Georges Fire and the Owens Fire. Things weren’t looking good for us.

On August 3rd, 2018 we set out to Mammoth Lakes, CA in my sisters and her boyfriends Sprinter Van (@adventurewithpebbles). This was the first leg of the journey before heading on the John Muir Trail. The entire drive up was smoky on the 395 and got even worse once we got into Mammoth, you could just smell the smoke. We knew going into it, we may not be able to start in Yosemite Valley so our second option was to start in Tuolumne Meadows, which was less desirable the moment we got out of our car.


I didn’t realize until now that we may need to either start later on the trail, maybe even as far in as Red’s Meadow or call the entire trip off. What made me decide to call it off? There are so many reasons, but mainly it is because I wasn’t going to have the chance to do the entire trail and that’s really what I wanted to do! I wanted to do Happy Isles to Mt. Whitney from start to finish in one hike. I didn’t want an asterisk next to its name. I didn’t want to not be able to see all of the trail because of the smoke. I wanted to experience everything the John Muir Trail has to offer.

We went for a short hike up to Arrowhead Lake (2.6 miles round-trip) and smoke grew as the day went on. Definitely realized at this point while we were hiking, how are we going to endure this for 3 weeks?

The Decision

I keep going through my head about the reasons why we decided to opt out; it was a wise choice – we made the right choice and the trail is not going anywhere. I will try it again next year!

  1. Air Quality – Yes, there could have been clear skies half the time, half the trip; but the fact that there were 4 fires in the area and depending on wind was our only option for a comfortable healthy hike, we didn’t want to opt in for that. The hike itself is hard already and to breathe smoke for 3 weeks could take a toll on our health.
  2.  Whole Trail – We applied for these permits to do the entire trail!
  3.  Fire Danger – What if we were on the trail and the fires got worse, out of control. The safety aspect would be thrown out the window if we would have opted to do the trail. It was unsafe.

So, Sunday August 4th we decided to take the ride back home in the Sprinter Van Pebbles. So many thoughts were running through my head during the entire drive back home. We went straight back to work when we got home; I had a hard time thinking about anything else. I will probably go on many more backpacking trips on weekends, but it won’t be the same as the trail. Till next time John Muir Trail!

— Some Great Reads of People Who Conquered the JMT —

Bearfoot Theory: California’s John Muir Trail

Trail to Peak: A Comprehensive Guide for the John Muir Trail

The Big Outside: Thru-hiking the John Muir Trail: The Ultimate, 10-Day, Ultralight Plan

Future Travel: Fastpacking the John Muir Trail

SoCal Hiker: Hiking the John Muir Trail

Martijn Linden: Packing List:: 7-Day Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail

— Check Out Some Grub Ideas for the Trail —

— Check Out What’s in My Backpack —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

Trail Food: To-Go Wrap

Making a wrap is one of my most favorite things to do these days for one-night backpacking trips or day hikes; you can even make this for work any day – I do, at least once a week.
*Note: Not a lightweight meal, but so nice to have something fresh

— Trail Food Talk —

I found that just taking jerky and snacks doesn’t hit the spot as much as something fresh made at home! Usually the weight matters, but on a day hike and on a one-night backpacking trip, a little extra weight to get something more nutritious and “yummy” hits the spot every time. I only started making these wraps about a year ago when we went on a quick over-night backpacking trip to Long Lake (I have still yet to write about this hike, so behind).

You can obviously change around whatever you would like in the wrap, but nothing other than tomatoes (isn’t too bad) get soggy. I have even had the rest of a wrap for breakfast the next morning. It’s all about the food on the trail and the more we go, the better we are getting with our one-night trips at figuring out fun ways to make the food better or taking actual fresh food. Either way if you have a minute, check out my Trail Food: Grub Ideas for the Trail page for more items that I like to take on our backpacking/hiking trips.

Check Them Out: I started reading around a lot more about recipes on the trail. Here are some of my favorite websites to read.

Hope you enjoyed those reads if you clicked on them. Alright, time to get this recipe wrapped.

— Recipe —

Serves 1
For the Wrap
1 large spinach tortilla (Mission Wraps Garden Spinach Herb Tortillas)
4 tomato slices halved
4 cucumber slices halved
Slices of red onion to your taste
Handful of spinach or any salad (I like to use mixed greens)
Slices of yellow hot wax pepper
Turkey/Chicken Meat
Pepper Jack Cheese
Spicy Mayo (Lee Kum Kee Lkk Sriracha Mayo)
Jalapeno Mustard or Regular Mustard (Silver Springs Mustard Jalapeno)
1 piece of foil

— Prepare at Home —

Easiest way to have the least dishes on the trail is to make the wrap at home and put in the fridge. It will be very fresh even for lunch and potentially the next day still.

  1. Place down a larger piece of foil on the counter (bigger than the tortilla)
  2. Place the tortilla on the foil
  3. Add your choice of condiments, in this case I use Spicy Mayo and Jalapeno Mustard. If I have no jalapeno mustard I will just use regular mustard (just as tasty)
  4. Add a handful of mixed greens
  5. Add tomato, cucumber, onion and yellow wax hot pepper
  6. Add some extra condiments if you like your sauces
  7. Add chicken/turkey breast
  8. Add sliced pepper jack halved to fit the height of the tortilla
  9. Roll the tortilla and then roll the foil around it

Your wrap is ready to go (refrigerate if you make the night before you leave or put in cooler).

— Prepare on the Trail —

Nothing, just eat it when you feel like it!

— Related Posts —

— Check Out Some Grub Ideas for the Trail —

— Check Out What’s in My Backpack —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

John Muir Trail: Day to Day Plan

The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
― John Muir

— What to Expect in This Post —

  1.  Trail Talk – A little background of day-to-day plans and what might change it
  2.  Day to Day Plan A – The plan if Yosemite Valley opens by our start date of August 8, 2018 (Ferguson Fire we may need to go to Plan B)
  3.  Day to Day Plan B – The plan if our trailhead is not accessible
  4.  Resupply Points – Just a quick excerpt on where we will be resupplying depending on our routes
  5.  Other Day to Day Plans – These are some of the day-to-day plans I was reading about before picking out how we wanted to potentially do it – check them out!
  6.  Locate Us – I have set this up for family and friends to follow along; you’ll be able to see us on a map and how we are doing.
  7.  Guest Artist  – This is actually my sister and she has some products that are available to buy; reason I am adding this here is because she just did artwork of Yosemite. Check her out! @twintedinc on Instagram and Twinted Shop Page.
  8.  Gear Picks – Some gear favorites that I’ll be taking on the trail

— Trail Talk —

So we sent our resupply last week and I just tracked it this morning and the 5 gallon buckets were delivered to the P.O. Box at Florence Lake; this one is for our Muir Trail Ranch resupply. If you are just tuning in, this coming Wednesday August 8th I will be embarking on one of the biggest challenges I have ever done in the outdoors; I will be hiking the trail. I’ve set up a John Muir Trail Page for those of you who would like to follow the whole process.

A couple fires in the area, may put us in a bind and we will have to change our day-to-day plan so I’ve put together quick daily plans if we will be able to start in on the official Happy Isles (HI) Trailhead or have to start out of Tuolumne Meadows. Unfortunately due to the fire near Yosemite Valley, we probably will not be starting on our trailhead reserved.

What does this mean? This means all HI permits are cancelled. What do we do now? Well our plan is to go to Tuolumne Tuesday night and try for permits first thin Wednesday. It isn’t 100%, but the lady on the phone did say they have had no problems with shortage. We weren’t supposed to arrive to Tuolumne Meadows until Friday anyways, so we’ll just try again the next day if we need to. I guess we just have to leave it up to chance at this point; which I am ok with.

Let’s see if we stick to any of the plans below after we finish the trail!

— Day to Day Plan A —

If Yosemite Valley does open we will stick to our original plan of going an average of 11.6 miles per day; of course there will be up and downs, but we have picked out spots that are around that mileage. I have a feeling we won’t stick to these as much depending on the terrain, how we feel, smoke (especially in the beginning of the trail) and the other things that can slow you down 🙂

Day Trail Junction or Landmark Total Miles Day Miles Elevation End Elev + Elev –
1 Happy Isles to Forsythe Trail Jct 8.7 8.7 8,150 4,115 0
2 Tuolumne Meadows Backpacker Camp * ^ 23.9 15.2 8,700 1,700 1,150
3 Lyell Headwaters 34.8 10.9 10,200 1,500 0
4 Ediza Lake Trail ^ ^ 47.6 12.8 9,050 1,450 2,600
5 Red’s Meadow * 57.3 9.7 7,600 850 2,350
6 Purple Lake 70.7 13.4 9,900 2,500 200
7 North Fork of Mono Creek ^ 83.5 12.8 8,900 2,200 3,200
8 Italy Pass Trail 95.5 12 9,250 2,700 2,300
9 Muir Trail Ranch * ^ 106.4 10.9 8,400 1,620 2,470
10 Colby Meadow 118.4 12 9,800 2,000 600
11 Helen Lake ^ 128.7 10.3 11,595 2,650 810
12 Deer Meadow 142.7 14 8,700 700 3,595
13 Bench Lake Trail ^ 156.2 13.5 11,000 4,380 2,080
14 South Fork Trail ^ 166.8 10.6 8,500 1,100 3,600
15 Bubbs Creek Trail ^ 180.1 13.3 9,600 3,480 2,380
16 Shepherd Pass Trail ^ 192.1 12 10,930 3,600 2,270
17 Guitar Lake 205.7 13.6 11,600 1,200 530
18 Mt. Whitney Summit/Outpost Camp 219 13.3 10,600 2,900 3,900
19 Whitney Portal (we may finish Saturday) 222.4 2.4 8,360 0 2,240
  •  * = Resupply
  •  ^ = Pass we need to climb

— Day to Day Plan B —

So worst case, Yosemite Valley is still close and we will begin out of Tuolumne Meadows. This was a last-minute put together plan that I for sure know we will butcher out there. I just tried to keep the mileage to where we can potentially have a little more time to ourselves here and there.

Day Trail Junction or Landmark Total Miles Day Miles Elevation End Elev + Elev –
1 Tuolumne Meadows to Lyell Headwaters 10.9 10.9 10,200 1,500 0
2 Garnet Lake ^ 20.8 9.9 9,680 1,450 1,970
3 Red’s Meadow * ^ 33.4 12.6 7,600 900 2,980
4 Duck Creek 44.4 11 10,100 2,500 0
5 Goodale Pass Trail 54.4 10 10,300 1,600 1,400
6 Bear Ridge ^ 67.2 12.8 9,950 2,850 3,200
7 Muir Trail Ranch * ^ 82.5 15.3 8,400 2,070 3,620
8 Evolution Meadow 91.5 9 9,200 1,400 600
9 Evolution Creek 101.6 10.1 10,400 1,650 450
10 LeConte Ranger Station ^ 111.1 9.5 8,700 1,555 3,255
11 Palisades Lakes 121.8 10.7 10,650 2,650 700
12 Lake Marjorie ^ 133.8 12 11,200 2,630 2,080
13 South Fork Trail ^ 142.9 9.1 8,500 900 3,600
14 Kearsarge Pass Trail ^ 154 11.1 10,800 3,480 1,180
15 Forester Pass ^ 163.2 9.2 13,200 3,600 1,200
16 Wallace Creek 175.2 12 10,400 0 2,800
17 Guitar Lake 181.8 6.6 11,600 1,200 0
18 Whitney Portal 198.5 16.7 8,360 2,900 6,140
  • * = Resupply
  •  ^ = Pass we need to climb

— Resupply Points —

The following are the resupplies we will be doing for the trail. The only difference between Plan A and B is that we might start from Tuolumne Meadows, so no need for us to drop off the 3 day resupply there we’ll just pack that in our packs instead of the 2 day that was for Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows.

Resupply Point Distance miles from Happy Isles Distance off trail Distance miles from Whitney Portal
Tuolumne Meadows Post Office 22 miles .75 miles 199 miles
Red’s Meadow Resort 60 miles .5 miles 161 miles
Vermillion Valley Resort 88 miles 5 miles 133 miles
Muir Trail Ranch 111 miles 1.5 miles 111 miles

*Elizabeth Wenk’s John Muir Trail Book has all the resupply points available in case you need food or supplies earlier. We are writing some of these down, but it’s pretty easy to find these on the John Muir Trail Map Pack.

  1. Tuolumne Meadows Post Office (3 day resupply)
  2. Red’s Meadow Resort (4 day resupply)
  3. Muir Trail Ranch (9-10 day resupply)

This Saturday before we leave, we will head up into Mammoth Lakes and spend a couple of days there relaxing. We will go ahead and drop off our Red’s Meadow Resort resupply that weekend. See more on my resupply plans on my last post: John Muir Trail: Resupply Time.

— Other Day to Day Plans —

Before picking our day to days I read a lot about how people set theirs up; there is literally no right and wrong way. Do your own trail; so I’m pretty sure even though we have our goals written down, doesn’t mean we’ll follow it exactly. Here are some good reads on how other people did their mileage on the JMT.

— Locate Us —

During our hike you may wonder how we are doing; well I’ve set up a page that you can locate us on a map and see where we are on the trail. We use the Garmin In Reach Explorer + that you can buy on either REI or Amazon.

outdoor gear

Locate Us

— Guest Artist —

My sister and I have been working a new company (Twinted Inc.) that showcases her art that she then turns into a product all on her own. Her latest project has come just in time for when I start the journey on the John Muir Trail. In order Picture 1 is a photo we took years back in the winter time, Picture 2 is a photo of her pencil drawing, Picture 3 is the drawing put to life after her retracing it on the computer.

If you are interested in buying “yosemite down below” please let me know or click on Twinted Inc’s Shop and purchase your desired apparel. Please Contact Twinted if you would like to talk further on your own custom design.

— Gear Picks —

  1.  Tent Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 3 Person Backpacking Tent: We’re going to test this out on the trail and let you know how we liked it. Two of us and it should fit all our gear; already liking how lightweight it is and the space! Also, put it up in our backyard last week and it was very easy to put up.
  2.  Sleeping Bag North Face Unisex Cat’s Meow: I’ve had this for over 5 years. The link is something similar to the one I have as it weighs just about 2.2 lbs. 20 degree bag should be enough for the John Muir Trail.
  3.  Sleeping Pad Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress– : Last couple of hikes we’ve been using this without the blow up and honestly it’s very comfortable. We’ll see after 19 days on the trail. You can also use it outside the tent while you are cooking or to lay on a rock outside the tent when you are resting.
  4.  Pillow Sea To Summit Aeros Pillow Premium– : I swear by this pillow. Ever since I got it, I have used it on every trip even took it to Switzerland on one of our hut to hut trips.

— Check Out My John Muir Trail and Blog Updates —

— Check Out What’s in My Backpack —

— Check Out Some Grub Ideas for the Trail —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

John Muir Trail: Resupply Time

The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
― John Muir

— Trail Talk —

It’s been 5 years since I’ve put in for permits to go in August for the John Muir Trail. This summer I am embarking on one of the biggest challenges I have ever done in the outdoors; I will be hiking the trail. I’ve set up a John Muir Trail Page for those of you who would like to follow the whole process.

It’s T -8 days till start date of the John Muir Trail and there are couple logistics problems that may come our way due to the Ferguson Fire in Yosemite. We however did send out our Muir Trail Ranch resupply. We are not going to send the other two because we will actually be dropping off our first two resupplies with the help of family. Even though there are more than 3 resupplies on the trail; we decided to go with only 3. See below our strategy.

One of the problems we may have is not starting in Yosemite Valley; we would actually need to find another trailhead and at that point our permits for the JMT are invalid and we would be considered a walk in permit. Hope this doesn’t happen, but if it does we have a Plan B and will let you know what we did.

— What is a Resupply —

A little background on what re-supply means, for those of you who have never done a thru-hike (I’m in that bucket; longest days I’ve been on the trail was 5). Now what is a thru-hike you may ask?

Thru-hiking means that you are hiking a long-distance trail from one and end to the other in one sitting. Thru-hiking dates back many years as foot travel used to be the way to transport oneself from one place to another. There are many thru-hikes around the world, but in the United States there are three rather known long-distance hiking trails. Appalachian Trail (AT – spans 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine), Pacific Crest Trail (PCT – spans – 2,659 miles from Mexico Border to the Canadian Border on the west coast) and Continental Divide Trail (CDT – spans 3,1000 miles also between Mexico and Canada along the Rocky Mountains). If a person thru-hikes the three of these they will earn the “Triple Crown of Hiking”.

It’s absolutely crazy awesome to see people out there doing these trails; who knows maybe after the John Muir Trail I’ll be inspired to take on a longer hike challenge. As you know these long-distance trails you carry everything on your back; but you don’t carry everything for 3 weeks, 6 months or a year.

Resupply stops are essential to the long-distance traveler; a place where you can rest and rejuvenate and pack up all the belongings you will add to your pack like perhaps food, toiletries, even gear on longer hikes. On the JMT there are several resupply opportunities that I will showcase here below or you can go straight to my John Muir Trail: Resupply Page.

— What to Resupply —

There are so many items that are important to resupply along any thru-hike. I’ve put together a simple list of items that are great to put in your resupply box when you have a stop over. We used a 5 gallon bucket that you can buy at Home Depot and also on Amazon. This is probably the best bucket to send you resupply or drop it off because there is no way for mice or small animals to get into the plastic.

For the JMT:

— Resupply Points —

Resupply Point Distance miles from Happy Isles Distance off trail Distance miles from Whitney Portal
Tuolumne Meadows Post Office 22 miles .75 miles 199 miles
Red’s Meadow Resort 60 miles .5 miles 161 miles
Vermillion Valley Resort 88 miles 5 miles 133 miles
Muir Trail Ranch 111 miles 1.5 miles 111 miles

*Elizabeth Wenk’s John Muir Trail Book has all the resupply points available in case you need food or supplies earlier.

So, how are we going to break it up? It’s simple, I think; no not at all, I’ve never done this before. With the help of a lot of reading and books, came to the conclusion that we will use the following resupply points along the trail. *I’ll have an updated resupply page once we are done with the trail itself.

  1. Tuolomne Meadows Post Office (3 day resupply)
  2. Red’s Meadow Resort (4 day resupply)
  3. Muir Trail Ranch (9-10 day resupply)

The Saturday before we leave, we will head up into Mammoth Lakes and spend a couple of days there relaxing. We will go ahead and drop off our Red’s Meadow Resort resupply that weekend. On either Monday or Tuesday we will head to Yosemite and drop off our Tuolomne Meadows resupply and pick up our permits. We haven’t decided which day, but we do leave on our hike first thing Wednesday morning.

Soon to come is my resupply page with more information on all the resupply points and what we put into our resupplies. It will probably be after my hike as I’d like to update with the experiences during the resupplies. Let me know what you guys did for your resupplies. Look forward to hearing about it.

— Check Out My John Muir Trail and Blog Updates —

— Check Out What’s in My Backpack —

— Check Out Some Grub Ideas for the Trail —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

10,000 Feet Peaks in Southern California

— New Challenge —

I’ve always been trying to figure out a good challenge to take on. I have a ton of training above 10,000 feet I need to do because I have two major hikes this year including two peaks above 14,000 feet. So, I’ve been trying to think what would be cool training for the hikes that I have planned. What if I hike every single peak in Southern California that is above 10,000 feet? It’s definitely doable, don’t know how long it will take me, but it will be a good challenge that I can keep updating you guys on here on this blog. Have any of you done any of these? I have done only 2 of them Mt. Baldy (Mount San Antonio – twice) and San Jacinto Peak (Cactus to Clouds Hike).

Have any of you guys done all of these or even any? Tell me about your journey!

— Peaks Above 10,000 Feet —

There are 22 peaks in Southern California that are above 10,000 feet.

Rank Peak Name Elevation (ft.) Date Finished My Description
1. San Gorgonio Mountain 11,499
2. Jepson Peak 11,205
3. Bighorn Mountain 11,205
4. Dragon’s Head 10,866
5. Anderson Peak 10,840
6. San Jacinto Peak 10,834 05/08/16 Cactus to Clouds – Palm Springs to Mt. San Jacinto
7. Charlton Peak 10,806
8. San Bernardino East Peak 10,691
9. Shields Peak 10,680
10. Jean Peak 10,670
11. San Bernardino Peak 10,649
12. Alto Diablo 10,563
13. Dobbs Peak 10,510
14. Folly Peak 10,480
15. Miller Peak 10,400
16. Marion Mountain 10,362
17. Grinnell Mountain 10,284
18. Lake Peak 10,161
19. Drury Peak 10,160
20. Little Charlton 10,094
21. Ten Thousand Foot Ridge 10,094
22. Mt. Baldy 10,064 07/23/13 & 11/12/17 Mt. Baldy – Angeles National Forest

— Check Out What’s in My Backpack —

— Check Out Some Grub Ideas for the Trail —

— Follow me on Instagram @beyondlimitsonfoot

John Muir Trail: Announcement

The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
― John Muir

— Trail Talk —

It’s been 5 years since I’ve put in for permits to go in August for the John Muir Trail. This summer I am embarking on one of the biggest challenges I have ever done in the outdoors; I will be hiking the trail. I’ve set up a John Muir Trail Page for those of you who would like to follow the whole process.


— Dates —

Start Date: August 8, 2018

Anticipated End Date: August 26, 2018

— Pages —

*Note the Pages below will be updated as our journey to the JMT gets closer.

Page Info
John Muir Trail Page This will be the main page that will hold all the links below as they are updated.
Background Interested in finding out a little more about the John Muir Trail read about it here.
Permits A detailed description of how to get permits for the trail.
Gear List An interesting perspective to what gear I have now, what gear I should drop and my final gear list.
Food Food is an integral part of a thru-hike and planning it out is the best way to make sure you get enough calories per day. Find out how we are making it work
Re-Supplies During the trek, you do not carry all of your food. You will have to make stops to re-supply; find out where to stop and how I did it
Blog Entries All blogs associated with the John Muir Trail will be housed here.
Day to Day Planning There’s many ways you can set up your own plan when doing the JMT. Take the time to figure out what works best for you. I’m set on doing it within 19-21 days. Read more here to see what my day to day plan is.
Follow Along Follow along while ach set up to show where we are at the moment. Follow along and find us on the trail.

— Short Description —

The John Muir Trail is a long-distance trail of 212 miles in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. The lowest point of the trail is in Happy Isles (4,000 feet), Yosemite Valley where we will begin our journey and the highest point and terminus is Mt. Whitney (14,505 feet), the highest point in the contiguous United States. This is the official route; we will be following this route over 19 days ascending just over 46,000 feet (that’s the same amount as summiting Mt. Whitney 5.6 times).

— Read More About the Trail —

Photo Teaser What to Read
Beyond Limits on Foot – John Muir Trail: Background
John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America’s Most Famous Trail

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

Awarded Top 100 Hiking Blog

— Awarded —

I’d like to announce that I have been hand chosen as one of the Top 100 Hiking Blogs on Feedspot. Feedspot is a content reader for reading all your favorite websites in one place. Thank you to feedspot for taking a chance and taking a look at my blog. Some of the criteria that Feedspot used to rank the blogs are: “Google reputation and Google search ranking, Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites, quality and consistency of posts and Feedspot’s editorial and expert review”.

Yes, I am 73rd. I am honored by it too, having a full-time job and trying to keep up with all my posts and hikes are very hard. It’s another full-time job almost and being that I spend most my nights doing some sort of sport (swimming, gym, beach volleyball, biking) and taking weekend trips (traveling, backpacking, fishing), I don’t have much time to update the blog. I have been working very hard this past year to get up to date on all my hikes, working on a new brand image (logo and colors) and adding content that the weekend adventurer may want to read.

See more about my blog below.

— About Feedspot —

Feedspot was designed for the user to throw all of your favorite websites into one place instead of having to jump from page to page. I learned about Feedspot a year ago and decided to use it as well; there are so many things to keep up with and it is nice to be able to hop around on people’s pages. Take a look at their page:

— About My Blog —

I began the blog about 10 years ago, mainly for my family to see my travels and hikes. I didn’t know that it would become an obsession throughout the years that I would later be so involved in the hopes that the reader will take the information and stories I read and enjoy their own adventure that they may take from the ideas.

As some of you may know already, I am an avid backpacker and hiker. I post most of my photos on Instagram @beyondlimitsonfoot; follow me there if you’d like to join in the adventures. I’ve hiked over 1,000 miles since the time I’ve been writing this blog and they are all logged on my website on the Mileage Page. Of course, I have yet to update a few of them, but in due course I will make sure they get up there for you to read.

— My Favorite Hikes —

It is always hard to pick your favorites, but I do have a few that I hold dear because of their difficulty of finishing:

Cactus to Clouds

Mt. Whitney

Grand Canyon

— Gear and Grub —

I’ve put together some lists for the reader to check out what is in my backpack and what kind of food to take on a hike.

What’s in My Backpack?

Trail Food: Grub Ideas for the Trail

— Follow me on Instagram —


Trail Food: Tacos at 10,000 Feet

If you’re not above 10,000 feet and haven’t hiked at least 6 miles to get there then don’t even think about making these awesome tacos!
*Note: Not a lightweight meal

— Trail Food Talk —

No, it wasn’t Taco Tuesday when we decided that we would pack up some ingredients to make some tacos on our backpacking trip over the weekend. It’s all about the food on the trail and the more we go, the better we are getting with our one-night trips at figuring out fun ways to make the food better. Check out my Trail Food: Grub Ideas for the Trail page for more items that I like to take on our backpacking/hiking trips.

The idea came around when we were having a Mountain House backpacking meal: Mountain House Chicken Fajita Bowl 6-Pack. Why not build our own fajita or taco? And so the Tacos at 10,000 feet came to life.

— Recipe —

Serves 3
For the Tacos
4 small tortillas
1/2 tomato
1/2 cup olives
1/2 cup of green onions
2 cups of shredded cheese (ziplock)
2 canned chickens or packet chicken (Valley Fresh Premium White Chicken Cuts)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use a small container, be careful with this so it doesn’t get all over your bag)

For the Guacamole
2 big avocados
1/2 tomato
Salt/Pepper/Garlic (I use a GSI Outdoors Spice Missile to put salt, garlic, pepper and Hungarian paprika powder)
Guacamole Mix Packet

— Prepare at Home —

Easiest way to have the least dishes on the trail is to put everything in ziplock bag. You can even use it as the trash bag.
Dice: tomato, olives and green onion (this way you won’t have to do this on the trail)
Open: the canned chicken and place in a ziplock bag.
Place: the tomatoes olives and green onion in a ziplock bag and the shredded cheese in a separate ziplock bag.

— Prepare on the Trail —

1. Mix the 2 avocados and the Guacamole Mix Packet.
2. Add half of the diced tomatoes and mix with guacamole.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the Tacos
1. Heat oil in the pan (Sea to Summit X-Pan, 8″, Orange). Use a Jetboil Flash Cooking System – Jetcam or the MSR PocketRocket Ultralight Backpacking and Camping Stove Kit.
2. Once heated, add the chicken from the ziplock or pouch. Using a spoon or spork (Snow Peak Titanium Spork).
3. Once the chicken becomes a little browned, throw in a couple dabs of water, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika powder and mix.
4. Cook chicken until all the water has evaporated. Take pan with chicken off heat.
5. If you want to warm the tortillas up, keep your stove on low and place the tacos above the flames until they are ready to your liking.
6. Make your tacos the way you want them.

— Sign up for My Monthly Newsletter —

— Save to Pinterest —


Check my out on Instagram @beyondlimitsonfoot