Throop Peak, Mt. Burnham & Mt. Baden Powell via Vincent Saddle: Angeles National Forest

Most people who climb Mt. Baden Powell will start from the Vincent Gap style, we decided to go a different route and allow summits to a couple more peaks in the area.  We didn’t decide to do Baden Powell until we got to Mt. Burnham, but that’s the beauty of having a map with you, you can decide to turn around or keep going.  Always check before you get out there.

Location Mileage Elevation Gain Type
Angeles National Forest
9.5 miles
2,650 feet
Out-and-back

— What to Expect in this Guide —

  1. Map of HikeMap of what our hike looked like.
  2. DirectionsMake sure the road is opened, different times of year they close the road either due to road work or winter weather.
  3. Weather – Weather changes often, make sure you check before you go.
  4. Permits and PassesNo overnight wilderness permit is required, but an Angeles National Forest Adventure Pass is.  Read more on how to get one below.
  5. Hike Stats – Quick overview of the mileage and elevation for points of interest on the hike.
  6. 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.
  7. Description This is my favorite part because I can share my adventure and photos with you.



— Background —

The 3 of these peaks are around 9,000 feet elevation, which is perfect training before attempting higher elevation hikes.  Here’s some history on the naming’s of each of the peaks.

  1. The first of the 3 peaks is named Throop Peak (9,142 feet), named after Amos G. Throop founder of Throop University in 1891, also known as Caltech now.
  2. The second peak is Mount Burnham (9,001 feet), originally named West Twin or North Baldy Mountain, it was renamed in 1951 after Frederick Russell Burnham a military scout who taught woodcraft to Robert Baden-Powell who was a big inspiration for the founding of Boy Scouts.
  3. The 3rd peak we hit was originally named East Twin or North Baldy and was renamed to Mount Baden-Powell (9,407 feet) in 1931 after the founder of the Scouting Movement, Robert Baden-Powell.

— Map of Hike —


— Directions —

Dawson Saddle Trailhead
To get to the trail from Wrightwood, take Hwy 2 off of CA-138 W.  Once you get on Hwy 2, take it all the way to Dawson Saddle.  There are two trailheads that end up leading to the same place.  Something to note is that there is no sign posted to mark the trail, but it is easy to see both trails off the highway.


— 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.

— National Forest Adventure Pass —
The trailhead lies within the Angeles National Forest in which you are required 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: Dawson Saddle Trail 0 miles 7,901 feet
PCT junction 1.8 miles 8,850 feet
Throop Peak 2.0 miles 9,138 feet
Mt. Burnham 4.1 miles 8,997 feet
Mt. Baden-Powell 4.75 miles 9,399 feet

— Maps, Books & Gear Recommendations —


— Maps —
  1. Tom Harrison Angeles High Country 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 – My mom got me this tiny little book.  I’ve took it out a few times before I head out into the local mountains and it has given me some good ideas for hikes.

— 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 5s Plus – I use this every hike now.  It doesn’t have a satellite communicator, but the maps and it’s functionalities are perfect for hiking.
  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 —

Before I get into the trip, if you’d like to take a gander at the YouTube video I made of the hike check it out below or on my YouTube.

I have wanted to this hike so many times, but every time we went we had to figure out another hike to do because the road was closed.  Always check the road closures before heading up;  this time we were lucky enough for an open road to Vincent Saddle.  We reached the small parking area at Vincent Saddle around 8:00am and there was only one other car parked there.  There are two trails that connect shortly after starting the hike.

Before we set out of the hike, the plan was to summit Throop Peak and Mt. Burnham then turn around.  I didn’t realize until later that it would make for a short hike.  On our way up to Throop Peak we were covered by the trees and the beautiful sun’s rays gleamed through the trees as we climbed to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) junction.  After almost 2 miles we hit the junction and emerged from the shade.

summiting Throop Peak and Mt. Burnham

To the right there is a small use trail that goes up to Throop Peak another .2 miles.  We topped Throop and decided to take a short break and have our hard boiled eggs.  One of my favorite breakfasts when I am hiking is boiled eggs on the first day of a backpacking trip or a day hike.  After the short break we scattered down back to the PCT and Dawson Saddle Trail junction.  We continued northeast toward Mt. Burnham; on the way to Burnham there is a decrease in elevation to about 8,000 feet.

Mt. Burnham was only a mile away from Throop Peak, proved to be a great training summit, but not enough for us to turn around.  Atop Burnham we made the decision to summit one more peak.  Mt. Baden-Powell was in the distance which would make for approximately a 9.5 mile hike.  There were two options, summit Mt. Baden-Powell and come back the way we hiked or drop down to Vincent Gap and try to hitchhike back to car.  We figured we’d weigh in our options after summiting Baden-Powell.

summiting Mt. Baden-Powell

I’ve been up to Baden-Powell two times already, but always from Vincent Gap.  Honestly this was a much easier hill to summit as we were already at higher elevation than the Vincent Gap way.  From Burnham to Baden-Powell there is 360 degree views of the mountains and valleys around; much of the trail sits on the ridge between the two peaks.  If I remember correctly we had only seen 3 people before leaving Mt. Burnham and when we reached the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell there were at least 50 people.

We ate our To-Go Wraps here and decided to head back to the cars.  On the way back we went the same way except stayed on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) to bypass the summiting of the peaks.  Although, I must say it felt much longer that summiting again; but was cool so see a new part of the mountain.

We reached the car just before 1:00pm; this is one of the reasons I like going earlier as now we have the rest of the day to clean up at relax at home.  The hike was challenging and my knee didn’t act up, guess all that gym work has been finally paying off.

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


— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —

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Big McGee Lake via McGee Creek Trail: John Muir Wilderness

*Originally hiked: August 10, 2019

McGee Creek Canyon is one of those hikes that I’ve been waiting to do, since last year I had to cancel it due to other plans getting in the way.  The original overnight permits I got were for Sawmill Pass, which would be a 6,000+ feet elevation gain to the pass.  Either way, for some reason I kept checking  Recreation.gov to see if other permits were available for the weekend.  On the Thursday before, we decided to cancel our permits for Sawmill and head to McGee Creek area.

If you read my last blog for Ruby Lake via Mosquito Flats Hike, we had some trouble with elevation and being out of shape.  The last few weeks I did exactly what I said I would need to do to feel better in the mountains!  We killed it and I can’t wait to get even in better and better shape for more of these kinds of trips.  I fell in love with hiking again and can’t wait for the next trip.  Motto: do it for the mountains!  Hence, go work out and get your body ready for what you want to do!

Want to read more about the hike?  Check out some of the details below and if you want to skip ahead to more pictures and our adventure, it’s at the end.  Save the best for last.

 



What’s in this Guide?

I have put together a lot of information on this hike, so if you want to skip ahead here are some of the sections I will be covering. Enjoy the adventure!

  1. Backpacking McGee Creek Trailhead to Big McGee Lake Stats – Mileage, elevation gain, map of hike, weather.
  2. How Do I Get Permits for This Hike? – just a quick write up of how to obtain overnight permits for McGee Creek hike.
  3. Directions to the McGee Creek Trailhead – in case you don’t want to look it up on google.
  4. About McGee Creek Area – I put together some interesting stuff for you to read about the pack station and the area.
  5. Geer Recommendations –  Some items I’d like to shout out because of heavy use on this trip.
  6. My Blabbering – Best part with photos and me writing aimlessly.

Backpacking McGee Creek Trailhead to Big McGee Lake Stats

Mileage Elevation Gain Location Type Difficulty
15.44 2950 feet John Muir Wilderness Out-and-back Moderate

map of hike

Want maps like the one above, get the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Watch for your next adventures.

weather

The McGee Creek Trailhead sits at 8,131feet.  The forecast below is for much higher, so expect much warmer weather as it’s 3,000 feet elevation gain to the pass.

McGee Pass: 11,900 feet



How Do I Get Permits for this Hike?

There’s a couple of ways to obtain permits for the hike. One way is to go onto recreation.gov up to 6 months in advance and reserve permits for McGee Pass. Day use does not require a permit.  The other way is to go to a permit office and pick up an overnight permit. The locations of permit offices for the Eastern Sierras are: Permit Issuing Stations. *Note: for this entry the closest permit station is White Mountain Ranger Station.

  1. Go to RECREATION.gov
  2. Click on Inyo National Forest – Wilderness Permits after searching for it
  3. Click on Explore available permits
  4. Under Detailed Availability, click No unless you are a commercial guided trip.
  5. Pick the date you would like to go and the group size.
  6. Under Filters in the Search you can enter the Trail which is McGee Pass and click Show Results.
  7. Scroll down to McGee Pass under the Sites and see if the date is available.
  8. If it is click on the entry date of choice and click Book Now.
  9. Follow the rest of the steps to book the overnight trip.

If you have any questions on this process, please go ahead and contact me.


Directions to Get to McGee Creek Trailhead

The closest permit pick up station is White Mountain Ranger Station Visitor Center, but we ended up picking it up at the Eastern Sierra Agency Center.


About McGee Creek Area

The McGee Creek area is very close to Mammoth Lakes, CA a popular ski area in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  If you wish to visit the area, I definitely recommend jumping in and checking out Mammoth Lakes.

McGee Pass Trail

McGee Pass Trail – I must say that the wildflowers weren’t in full bloom when we were there, but I bet earlier this spring it was!  There were still many left in the canyon and I’m thinking of making it out during wildflower season.  There are a few water crossings, one especially high this year to where the water was up to our knees.

McGee Creek Pack Station

The McGee Creek Pack Station is located very close to the trailhead; it gives you another option to possibly pack in or go for a horseback ride.  See more of what McGee Creek Pack Station has to offer on their homepage:  https://www.mcgeecreekpackstation.com/pack-trip-vacations

Camping

If you arrive the night before, a good place to camp is McGee Creek Campground.  July and August the campground has it’s busiest season, so don’t count on finding a spot mid Summer.  We ended up not finding a spot and sleeping near the trailhead.  Closest towns are Crowley Lake and Bishop that have campsites and places to stay.


Gear Recommendations

I have a longer list of items that I pack on my trips including some of my Backpacking Gear Ideas.  Check those out if you have a moment. The list under here were items I was especially happy I took with me.

  1. Water Shoes – Crocs or you can get something similar like the KEEN Women’s Newport Sandal
  2. Tent – Big Agnes Copper Spur UL Backpacking Tent – we have the 3 person and for this trip the 3 of us slept in the same tent.
  3. Stove – Jetboil Zip Cooking System – I have owned mine for over 6 years and wouldn’t get any other stove.
  4. Towel – Sea to Summit Drylite Towel – This is a towel similar to the one I have owned for over 10 years.  I definitely recommend adding this to the packing list especially in the summers when dipping in alpine lakes is a thing.
  5. Mosquito Repellent – Ben’s 100% DEET Mosquito Repellent – much needed still in August.
  6. Hat – Taking it Easy Retro Trucker Cap – Everyone always should bring a hat, this one is special to me because my sister and I designed it and if anything take a look at help us out by buying one and sharing it around.
  7. Water Filter – LifeStraw Gravity Filter – don’t go without this.
  8. Sleeping Pad – VENTURE4th Ultralight Sleeping Pad + Thermarest Zlite Pad – the perfect combination I tell you.  I’ve also written a review on the VENTURE4th Sleeping Pad if you want to check it out.
  9. Spice Holder – GSI Outdoors Spice Missile
  10. Soup – NongShim Shin Black Noodle Soup – once again makes the list, seriously good stuff especially if it’s cold and windy outside



Blabbering-

I put together a video that is premiering today at 5:00PM PST on YouTube.  Please go check it out if you have some time: https://youtu.be/CiHghSOhjHM

Instead of driving up the morning of the hike, we decided to still head out around 5:00pm.  Surprisingly traffic wasn’t as bad as we thought it was gong to be.  We picked up our permits at the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine, this or the White Mountain Ranger Station in Bishop is also a good option to pick up your permit.

We reached the trailhead around 10:00pm and went straight to sleep after putting all our food in the bear boxes.  The trailhead also has two vault toilets available and a good sized parking lot.  The next morning we woke at 6:30am made some coffee in the back of our Subaru.  Before we came out I boiled some eggs that we could have for breakfast and the day after too.  After eating and coffee, we packed up and headed on the trail around 8:15am.

getting started

The beginning of the trail is nice a gradual, a perfect warm up for a long hike.  The sun didn’t peer out behind the mountain yet, which was extremely nice as we climbed into the backcountry.  I was thinking it was smart for us to get a head start early, because I’m sure this canyon gets very hot during the day.  With the wind against us, once we were sweating a little it was a bit chilly.  After about 2 miles we finally got into the trees, which the sun wasn’t on us just yet but it was getting there.  We took a quick break and snacked and continued on.

I was thinking around this time that we hadn’t seen a soul, just one day hiker who started before us and was on his way out.  The reason I was thinking about this was that there were over a dozen cars parked in the hikers lot.  The spot that we picked to snack was just below Horsetail Falls which we had a great view of it from almost as soon as a mile in from the trailhead.

water crossings

The next couple of miles there were some water crossings, one especially at about 3 miles in where we changed into our Crocs to cross McGee Creek (more like a river).  After this water crossing the scale of up in compared to mileage went up drastically.  I did enjoy the fact that after a big hill there was a flat portion of the trail almost the entire way to the lake.  There was a hill right after this major crossing that leveled out with an amazing view over the creek below.  The creek flows in this valley in a few different spots and the water was extremely turquoise.  We spotted an old beaver damn as well down there, which I don’t ever recall actually seeing one in person.

About 4 miles in there is another crossing where you end up back on the other side of the creek.  I remember getting to the crossing and thinking “Oh my, we might be swimming across”.  But literally just around the bend and behind a bush there were two logs that would take you easily across.

much more hills and meadows

I honestly didn’t know exactly how far Big McGee Lake was because there aren’t that many write ups about it, but some sites said 6 miles, some said 8 miles.  I kept looking at my Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Watch to see if even the first lake was on my map screen.  If I remember correctly about 4.5 miles in there is a turn off to head to Steelhead Lake.  Just before this we stopped at a perfect bench (fallen tree) to eat our To Go Wraps for strength to finish of the hike to Big McGee.  After the turnoff for Steelhead there was a nice flat stretch.  After another lovely uphill we hit the first lake (pond) near the trail, this is a great spot to eat lunch if you are on a day hike.  This is where I finally saw a few day hikers taking a rest with a nice view of the lake.

The last 3 miles were gorgeous, we kept being spoiled with more and more views and the meadows we got to go through were spectacular.  We got to the lake around 1:30pm and made some soup (NongShim Shin Black Noodle Soup, Spicy) because it was windy and cold.

setting up camp and fishing

Just after we set up camp we set out to fish for a few hours.  I MUST say that we had literally best campsite ever.  Our Big Agnes Copper Spur Tent fit just perfect in a spot that showed to have a bit of use.  We even had a kitchen area with a perfect table and view of the lake.  While fishing one by one we jumped in as the clouds and wind allowed us and between the 3 of us we caught 8 fish total just with lures.  Unfortunately I lost two lures that I just bought because I wasn’t paying attention and let them drop into the rocks.

Just passed 7:00pm it was getting quite cold so we decided to hit the tent and all 3 of us were fast asleep.

quick coffee and packing up

Since we fell asleep so early, we woke up at 5:30am on our own and fell back asleep till about 7:00am.  There’s a reason I come up to the mountains and it’s to get my good sleep apparently.  I don’t remember sleeping over 10 hours in a long time.  While drinking our coffee we packed up and headed out on the trail by about 9:30am.  It was shorts weather, much better than the day before.  It took us just under 3 hours to get back to the car and in turn perfect timing to hit lunch at the Burger Barn in Bishop just 20 minutes into our drive.

Hope you guys enjoyed the write up. If you have any questions about this hike or the area, please contact me.

Happy Adventures,

Annette, Adventurer – Beyond Limits on Foot


Related Links

Here are some other great links to check out on the hike to read further:


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Ruby Lake via Mosquito Flats: John Muir Wilderness

*Originally hiked: July 13, 2019

Ruby Lake lies in the Rock Creek Lake Basin, a very popular fly fishing and hiking destination.  We opted to backpack the area and see how far we can get up to Mono Pass or past it.  It was a big snow year and with being a little out of shape for the mountains as well we only ended up going to Ruby Lake, but what a good little destination for a short backpacking trip and some fishing and swimming.

There are very few trips that I remember where I had such a hard time moving up the mountain.  This trip was somewhat of a wake up call for a few reasons that I want to share with you all because I’m sure some of you will relate.

  1. We ended up staying up till 11:00pm and for this reason had a rough time waking up at the allotted 4:00am wake up call we wanted to wake up at.  Note to self: Go to bed early it’s a mountain you want to climb.
  2. I haven’t been training at home like I used to when I didn’t feel as much pain as on this hike going up and breathing difficulty.   Note to self:  Get back in the gym and go do my cardio as well, so that this will never happen again.
  3. We had a massive headache most of the time we were up there, we took some Advil and rested, which in turn helped.  I honestly believe we weren’t drinking enough water and hadn’t gone into elevation in a while.  Note to self:  Drink more water and hike locally in elevation.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty of the hike’s specifics in case you feel like a simple backpacking trip like we did.  Of course there’s other options in the area that you can go explore!



What’s in this Guide?

I have put together a lot of information on this hike, so if you want to skip ahead here are some of the sections I will be covering.  Enjoy the adventure!

  1. Backpacking Mosquito Flats Trailhead to Ruby Lake Stats – Mileage, elevation gain, map of hike, weather.
  2. How Do I Get Permits for This Hike? – just a quick write up of how to obtain overnight permits for Ruby Lake hike.
  3. Directions to the Mosquito Flats Trailhead – not so hard directions to get here.
  4. About Rock Creeks Lake Resort & Area – I put together some interesting stuff for you to read about the resort and the area (so many lakes).
  5. What to Wear and Take – Just a rough list of some items that you should definitely take with you.
  6. My Blabbering – This is the part that has the photos and my experiences.  Oh and a new edition is my video blog of the hike, scroll down if you’d like to watch it!


Backpacking Mosquito Flats Trailhead to Ruby Lake Stats

Mileage Elevation Gain Location Type Difficulty
5.23 899 feet John Muir Wilderness Out-and-back Moderate/Easy

map of hike

weather

Best time of year to go here is Summer and early Fall unless you are ok with the snow.  The weather below is an elevation that is lower than Ruby Lake or anything higher is.  Make note when using the link below that Ruby Lake sits at 10,389 feet.

Rock Creek Lake – 9,813 feet


How Do I Get Permits for this Hike?

There’s a couple of ways to obtain permits for the hike.  One way is to go onto recreation.gov up to 6 months in advance and reserve permits for Mono Pass.  Day use does not require a permit.  The other way is to go to a permit office and pick up an overnight permit.  The locations of permit offices for the Eastern Sierras are: Permit Issuing Stations.  *Note: for this entry the closest permit station is White Mountain Ranger Station.

  1. Go to RECREATION.gov
  2. Click on Inyo National Forest – Wilderness Permits after searching for it
  3. Click on Explore available permits
  4. Under Detailed Availability, click No unless you are a commercial guided trip.
  5. Pick the date you would like to go and the group size.
  6. Under Filters in the Search you can enter the Trail which is Mono Pass and click Show Results.
  7. Scroll down to Mono Pass under the Sites and see if the date is available.
  8. If it is click on the entry date of choice and click Book Now.
  9. Follow the rest of the steps to book the overnight trip.

If you have any questions on this process, please go ahead and contact me.


Directions to Get to Mosquito Flats Trailhead

Since the closest permit pick up station is White Mountain Ranger Station Visitor Center, I put together a quick google map directions from there to the Little Lakes Valley Trailhead.


About Rock Creek Lakes Resort & Area

Rock Creek Lakes Resort is just by the trailhead to Ruby Lake and the entire Little Lakes Valley.  The owners (King family) of the resort have been around for about 40 years since1979.  Something to note is that they have a great store if you forgot anything before your trip.  The resort also has a grill that serves breakfast and lunch if that’s what you desire.   If you would like accommodations and do this as a day hike; they have several cabins.  The resort offers boat rentals and also has shower facilities.

Trailheads

There are a few trailheads in the area that can take you to several lakes and passes in the area.

  • Hilton Lakes Trailhead – This trailhead is located below the Rock Creek Pack Station and is a very popular pack trip.  It is about a 6 mile hike to the first lake.
  • Mosquito Flats Trailhead – The trailhead is at the end of Rock Creek road.   I would say it is the most well known of the canyon, so get there early if you want parking.  The trail takes you a couple ways.  Little Lakes Valley is a easy hike and most popular for families and fly fishers because of this.  This is the way to Mono Pass and you can hit Ruby Lake along the way.
  • Tamarack Lakes Trailhead – The trailhead is located on the eastern side of the Rock Creek Lake.  From what I hear this trail sees less people than the others.  There are a few lakes that are reachable from this trail and a possible summit of Mount Morgan.

Camping

If you arrive at night, the best place to stay for the night is in Mosquito Flats; anyone who has an overnight permit can walk into the campsites here and stay the night before they leave.


Gear Recommendations

I have a longer list of items that are usually packed on my trips on my “What’s in My Backpack?” page.  Check those out if you have a moment.  The list under here were items I was especially happy I took with me.

  1. Mosquito Repellent – Ben’s 100% DEET Mosquito Repellent
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Hat – Taking it Easy Retro Trucker Cap this hat is pretty awesome, my sister and I designed it and if anything take a look at help us out by buying one and sharing it around.
  4. Water Filter – LifeStraw Gravity Filter
  5. Sleeping Pad – VENTURE4th Ultralight Sleeping Pad + Thermarest Zlite Pad – the perfect combination
  6. Water Shoes
  7. Spice Holder – GSI Outdoors Spice Missile
  8. Soup – NongShim Shin Black Noodle Soup



Blabbering

Backpacking doesn’t always have to be hardcore.  We were planning to do a lot more but because of not feeling 100% and being more out of  it a light backpacking trip and fish and swim and relax.

It was Friday night when we got out of LA to get closer to the trailhead.  The night before heading out we stayed at Brown’s Town in Bishop, California.  After paying for our campsite, it was dinner time.  We ate a taco each and shared a taco salad; I must say the salsa at La Casita Mexican Restaurant was very very good.  Back at camp, we were able to take nice hot showers and fall asleep in the back of my Subaru.

I’m not sure if I’ve told anyone yet on here, but I bought a Subaru in December.  One of the main reasons I bought a Subaru was to be able to sleep in the back of my car if I needed to.  The platform we built gave us a nice bed to where we could fit a good amount under the bed in boxes.  One of these days I’ll get to it and write an article about how we put the removable bed together.

getting up late

One of the reason why we drove up Friday night was to get a head start and begin our hike earlier.  Being that we finally went to bed after showering around 11:00pm, we didn’t have the strength to wake up until about 6:30am.  Jumped out of bed and into the front to head straight to the trailhead which was still about an hour away.

There were a dozen cars already when we got to the trailhead with people getting ready either to fly fish, hike or backpack into the backcountry.  The entire parking lot filled up while we packed and got ready.  9:45am hit when we finally got started.  Note to self – we really need to just pack the night before so that when we get to the trailhead we can just jet!

getting a slow start

Altitude was giving us issues being that the trailhead sits above 10,000 feet.  Let’s just say there were lots of breaks for water and catching our breaths.  At some point I remembered that we hadn’t eaten breakfast (never doing that again before a hike), therefor about a mile in when we were offered a view of the Little Lakes Valley we took a break and ate our To-Go Wraps we made at the cars.

Continuing on, we kept taking breaks, but there was an excuse because we had more and more views of the lakes in the valley and the mountains ahead.  There’s a few switchbacks after mile 1 and then it is a gradual climb up to Ruby Lake.  Just before hitting Ruby Lake there is a gorgeous meadow with the creek dropping out of the lake.  Instead of heading up to Mono Pass we decided to truck on to Ruby Lake and take a break after setting up camp.

deciding to stay at Ruby Lake

After a nap under the fort we made (just a tarp above us), we decided we both weren’t feeling so well and ended up just staying near the lake.  We found a good spot within the trees as the sun was out full force.

If you don’t already know, our #1 rule is to jump into a body of water that we hike to.  We packed up some fishing stuff and changed into our bikinis. We fished for over 3 hours and both only caught 1 fish each.  During that time we did take a break and jump into the water and oh how it feel so good, but it was extremely cold (one of the coldest).  It hurt to stay in the water too long, but it was nice to jump in a couple times and feel like we took a shower.

dinner in the tent

It was amusing how tired we were and not hungry enough to have an entire meal.  We went back up to camp and set up our tents and beds, so that when it did get dark we could just crawl into bed.  It was about 7:30pm and we decided to make some dinner, which was a Spicy Ramen that we both like so much.

After heating the ramen on the Jetboil, we nestled into our sleeping bags in the tent.  I’ve noticed that a lot of the time we bring elaborate dinners, but all we end up having is a nice soup either ramen or miso.  I’ll have to keep that in mind to bring that as a substitute for dinners.

fresh morning coffee and breakfast

I love mornings out in the mountains, mainly because your biggest task is just to get up and make yourself some coffee and breakfast.  The only problem is that it was already Sunday, which means we’d have to pack up everything and head back home.

We packed some cooked eggs and some turkey meat that we sliced and made into an omelette throwing some mozzarella cheese on top.  I’ll have to add this to my trail food recipes as if you are doing only one night, fresh is better!

possibly making a wrong decision

After breakfast, we headed back down to fish some more.  We didn’t realize the time, but it was almost 3:00pm when we finally headed back up to camp to pack up.  It’s a very late start being that we were over 5 hours from home and about an hour or two from the trailhead.

We got back to the car around 5:00pm and headed back into Bishop for some food at the best place to get a burger: Burger Barn.  After talking it over, we agreed to drive as far as we can tonight and finish the rest of the drive tomorrow.  I think we left Burger Barn around 6:00pm and around 9:00pm after driving a couple hours, we hit a tiny place in Olancha, probably one of the last places we could stay at a hotel.

I say possibly making a wrong decision because we shouldn’t have stayed that long out in the mountains and headed out earlier to be able to make it home.  We were just too tired to keep driving through the night and I’m glad we made the decision to stay in Olancha, but honestly wasn’t the cheapest way to go!  Safer, YES!

Woke up around 3:30am the next morning, headed home, took showers and went to work.  Monday was rough, but hey as long as we had a good weekend, it’s worth it!

Hope you guys enjoyed the write up.  If you have any questions about this hike or the area, please contact me.

Happy Adventures,

Annette, Adventurer – Beyond Limits on Foot


Related Links

Here are some other great links to check out on the hike to read further:


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VENTURE 4TH Ultralight Sleeping Pad Review

Where I Used It

The past couple of weekends I had the pleasure of taking a new VENTURE 4TH Ultralight Sleeping Pad to test out on my backpacking trips.

Usually on these quick one night backpacking trips I only take my Thermarest Z-Lite pad, but though hey what better than to try to double up with a sleeping pad like this.




The last two trips I took it on was North Fork Big Pine Lakes, 5.7 miles and Ruby Lake 2.6 miles.  Both camps were above 10,000 feet, however this mattress was not as rough to blow up in elevation.  One of the biggest problems with these ultralight blow up mattresses is when in elevation it takes so much energy!  In contrast to others I’ve had this mattress didn’t take all my energy and only took about 10 seconds.  YES!!!

One more thing before I get into the Pros and Cons, I used it in the back of my Subaru to sleep on as well and my was that comfortable!


Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfy design
  • Easy to pack
  • Usable even for car camping
  • Doesn’t make noise when you move around on it at night
  • Doesn’t inflate during the night

Cons:

  • The bag is too big for the mat (if you are backpacking just ditch the bag)

Specifications

Weight: 1 lb.

Size: 73.6 x 21.6 inches and 2 inches thick

Colors available: Dark Blue, Dark Green, Gray, Light Blue


Where to buy

Amazon

Venture 4th Website


 


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Zoodles with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce

Food for Thought:

This year, I decided to grow a little more vegetables in my garden and they are doing so well.  During my 8 day vacation my mom helped me water the garden every other day or so.  Well get this, when I came back I had a huge zucchini in my garden.  Never seen one this big before!  Usually I take the zucchini off when it looks like the zucchinis from the store.

We made 3 different meals with the zucchini.  See below to make this recipe: Zoodles with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce.  Alternatively, here are some other ideas for zucchini recipes: grilling with light salt and olive oil, add to a stir fry, cut into thin slices for a dip.

Usually I like to make my own tomato sauce, but this time I decided to grab one from Trader Joes.  However if my garden will yield enough tomatoes, my next time making this or something similar I will use those tomatoes.  The tomato sauce we chose was the one and only Trader Joes: Trader Giotto’s Tomato Basil.


Shopping List:

  • 1-2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped in squares
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 lb lean ground sirloin beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Trader Giotto’s Tomato Basil 26 oz.
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • *grated parmesan cheese to taste

What is Needed:

  1. Spiralizer
  2. Nonstick Skillet
  3. Nonstick Pot

The Cooking Process:

  1. Chop onions and garlic finely.
  2. With a spiralizer, spiralize the zucchini.
  3. In a small frying pan add olive oil and onions. Turn on medium heat, cook onions until glazed. Add garlic for 1 minute.
  4. Add ground sirloin to the mix and cook on medium and mix until beef is cooked through.
  5. Add tomato basil sauce, bell pepper, bay leaves and 1 cup water, stir until mixed.
  6. Simmer tomato sauce while occasional stirring.
  7. Add olive oil to a pot with the zoodles, turn on heat to medium and stir occasionally.  If the zoodles get very watery, stir in the water with the sauce and keep cooking the zucchini until cooked.


To Serve:

In a bowl, add zucchini noodles (zoodles) to your liking.  Top zoodles with the ground sirloin beef tomato sauce.  Add grated parmesan to taste.



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Eagle Rock via Santa Ynez Canyon Trail – Santa Monica Mountains

Originally hiked:  6/2/2019

This past weekend I went on a solo hike in our backyard mountains to Eagle Rock.  Haven’t been hiking The last time I went hiking was Baden-Powell about a month ago which I haven’t written a blog yet, but I did put together a youtube vlog of the hike.  Check it out if you have a second.  There are several ways to visit Eagle Rock in the Santa Monica Mountains.  If you are looking to do a close by hike if you live in the area, this is a good training hike.  The easier route is actually from Trippet Ranch ($10 parking or park outside the park for a longer hike).


What’s in this Guide?

  1. Hike Stats – Mileage, elevation gain, map of hike, weather
  2. Directions – quick write-up on how to get to the trailhead
  3. What to Pack – some gear, map and food recommendations
  4. Blabbering – best part of the write up, my pictures and thoughts of the hike

1. Hike Stats

Location Mileage Elevation Gain Type
Santa Monica Mountains 7.24 mi 1556 feet Out-and-back
map of hike

weather

Topanga – Weather Forecast

I ended up taking a rain jacket because the forecast stated that there was a chance of light rain.  I didn’t end up using it at all, but better to be safe then sorry.


2. Directions

To get to the trailhead –

From I-10 W, continue onto CA-1 N (Pacific Coast Highway), turn right onto Sunset Blvd. about 4.4 miles from I-10 W.  Drive 0.4 miles and turn left onto Palisades Dr.  Continue on Palisades Dr. for 2.5 miles until you hit Vereda De La Montura, turn left.  The trailhead is on the right, there is a sign that notates “Santa Ynez Canyon Trail”.  There is parking on the street, but not overnight – make sure you read the signs before you go.


3. What to Pack?

Since I did a day hike and it was very local, I packed minimally.  Here are some of the items that I took on this hike:

Food

  • To-Go Wrap: Recipe
  • Mozarella cheese stick
  • Starkist Salmon Creations Lemon Pepper & Mayonnaise




Check out a little more gear I have currently on my What’s in My Backpack Page& some Backpacking Gear Ideas.


4. My Blabbering

Before I get into blabbering a little more about this hike, why don’t you take a look at the YouTube video I put together for this hike.

I had been sick all week and was itching to get outdoors and decided that it was going to be for a hike not too far away from home.  I’ve done part of this trail before and thought it would be cool if there would be water in the creek and wanted to check it out.

The start of a local hike

I was the second car parked for the trailhead, which is awesome and that’s why I got there just after 6:30am.  As I finished off my coffee from Starbucks, I turned on the Garmin inReach because there was no service in the area.  Once I got it working, I sent a message to a couple people that I was beginning my hike.  When I send the message it sends the location I sent it from as well; one of the reasons having a satellite communicator is something I recommend anyone who goes outdoors and is out of cell phone range.

When you begin the trail there is a little pavement that later disappears into a single track dirt trail.  The first portion of the trail is all flat and goes alongside the creek.  I had to cross the creek several times, but to my knowledge there hasn’t been so much water that you would get wet.


I passed a sign that says “Waterfall” about 0.6 miles.  The trail eventually ascends up the side of the canyon and out into the open around 1.5 miles.

For the first 2.8 miles of the hike I did not see one soul.  And the thing about being the first person on the trail especially at this time of year is that you will hit a ton of spider webs.  For this reason, my hiking poles became my best friend on this hike.

At about 2 miles you will hit the Eagle Rock Canyon Fire Rd.  Not quite a trail, but still a great place to get a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.  This portion of the trail seems to be flat at first, but to reach Eagle Rock there is still about 700 feet elevation gain, however it’s very gradual.  At this point, I saw way too many people for my liking on a hike, but what can I expect when I’m in Los Angeles area.

I stood on Eagle Rock at a good time because I was the only one who ended up going to it.  There were several other people around with just different destinations.  The rock itself is made of sandstone, if you climb onto it, you can get quite a view of the area.


A little background

The original name of Eagle Rock was “Elephant Rock”, mainly because the way it looks to the human eye is like an elephant head when standing on the north side.


I bet if it was a clearer day I would have had some ocean views.  I quickly ate a little of my To-Go Wrap before I headed back down before even more crowds would show up.

On my way down

On my way out once I got back onto Santa Ynez Canyon Trail, I had a good mile or so that I didn’t see anyone on the trail.  I hadn’t hiked this long in a while, so my legs were definitely getting tired once I hit the 6 mile mark.  I finally ran into a couple families along the way just near the trailhead.  There was a group of teenagers who were hiking in and the last of them had a stick he was holding and asked me if I wanted to switch.  At first I didn’t get it, but it was a joke to switch my poles with his stick.  I said “good one”.  Thought it was a funny little story to share with you all.

All in all great hike to go on if you’re just trying to get a quick morning hike or afternoon hike in.

Happy Adventures,

Annette, Adventurer Beyond Limits on Foot


Related links

Before I go on a hike I always check some other peoples write-ups.  Here are some others you may want to check out to read further:


Well I hope you loved reading along.  If you want to check out more on the hike, don’t forget to check my YouTube channel here: Beyond Limits on Foot YouTube Channel.




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Backpacking Gear Ideas

Backpacking season is just around the corner, so I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorite gear for my backpacking trips.  I have some of the “big stuff” as I call it and “the gadgets”.  The big stuff are some great ideas of what you should have if you are to go out for an overnighter.  The gadgets are some of my ideas for extras on the trail that you may end up loving and taking on the next trips to come.  Some of these items are also good for hiking, camping and travel trips; they are not just for backpacking.

I recently updated my gear list that’s in my garage.  Check out “What’s in My Backpack?”

***Notice: Affiliate links below.  Click on links to buy items.



The Big Stuff

Osprey Aura Ag 65 Women’s Backpacking Pack

I’ve had this backpack for over 7 years.  I love the compartments and it is very comfortable to wear.  Plus it’s my favorite color.  The top can be taken off to be worn as a fanny pack, which is perfect when we leave camp to go fishing or on a day hike.

BUY


Garmin Inreach Explorer+ Satellite Communicator with TOPO Maps and GPS Navigation

I have the Garmin 64st still, but we bought this one a couple of years ago as the 64st does not have communication capabilities.  The Inreach has a few extra things that I like about it.  We can communicate through text – if you download the app before you go out then it is easy to text.  We can also check the weather on it, which is nice to be ready when you are out there.

BUY


Garmin Fenix 5X Plus Watch

I recently just bought this watch, yet to use it on a hiking/backpacking trip.  But I have used it daily for workouts at the gym, bike rides and runs.  I’m quite excited to try this out on our next hike or backpacking trip, whichever one comes first.

 

BUY


Big Agnes – Copper Spur HV UL2 mtnGLO Tent

We bought this tent last year for summer backpacking trips; ended up using it over Labor Day.  It is so lightweight we don’t have to split up the tent, one person can take it.  Another thing I like about it is that we can fit our packs in the tent too and sitting up is much easier that some other tents.  If it’s rainy, probably won’t hold up and if it’s windy it is quite loud.  A very good tent for summer.

BUY


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

Best buy ever, you can use it for sleeping and for hanging out too.  When we take breaks on the trail, instead of sitting on the ground, we pull this out and sit on it.  I recommend it for anyone who wants to go light on the trail.

BUY


Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow

This pillow is perfect for backpacking.  I usually wrap my down jacket around it when I sleep.  I recommend not blowing it up all the way as it will be too hard and not so comfortable.

BUY


The North Face Cat’s Meow Sleeping Bag

Another gear item that I have had for years.  I love the fact that the zipper glows in the dark.

BUY


ENO – Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock & ENO – Eagles Nest Outfitters SlapStrap, Hammock Suspension System

Not so lightweight, but I take it on every one of my backpacking trips.  It’s nice to wake up in the morning and jump into the hammock with my sleeping bag.  I also use it at home and the beach sometimes.  I recommend this for anyone.

BUY BUY

LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System, High-Volume Gravity-Fed Purifier

This water purifier was a great buy as well.  Before when pumping water, you would have to go down to the lake or stream and pump, took about 20 minutes sometimes.  Now, with this guy, we fill up the back, hang it up and it does it on its own.  You can do other things while your water is purified.

BUY


Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir

Osprey has some great reservoirs, I would go with 2.5-3L which is about what you should drink on about a 5-8 mile hike in with your backpack.

BUY


Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

This headlamp has a ton of settings that you will like when you are out on the trail.  I particularly like it because it’s very comfortable.

BUY


ENO – Eagles Nest Outfitters ProFly Rain Tarp

This rain fly can be used over the hammock or your tent.  It can also be used for a shelter from the wind or a sunshade.  Always nice to have an extra area where you can hang out to make your lunch or dinner.

BUY


REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles – Pair – Women’s

These hiking poles are lightweight and very strong.  I have had mine for over 5 years and used them for hundreds of miles.  I do recommend taking a multi-tool with you to tighten if needed, this won’t really occur until you have used the poles for a while.  I never used to use poles, but it definitely helps my knees on the downhill and pace on the uphill.

BUY


Jetboil Zip Camping Stove Cooking System

This is by far the best camping stove I’ve ever used.  It take less than 3 minutes depending on altitude to boil water and enough space to cook a soup.

BUY


The Gadgets

GSI Outdoors Spice Missile

If you are a cook out there, I recommend this Spice Missile.  I use it every trip and I put salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika powder in it.  Those are the 4 perfect ingredients to make any backcountry food taste better.  If you like your spices, buy this!

BUY


Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit

I recommend that if you have a camera or phone out there, take a solar charger.  I’ve used this one for a long time and if I charge up the stick, I can charge two things at once.  Ideally you would charge your electronics while stationary and not while hiking as you will be in and out of shade all the time.

BUY


Snow Peak Titanium Double Wall Cup

A cup is nice to have out there for your morning coffee.  I use this cup even for soups that I make in the jetboil.  It’s great because it has handles and it is lightweight, doesn’t add much weight to your pack.

BUY


Snow Peak Titanium Spork 

I think this was my first Snow Peak buy.  Having this titanium spork is perfect for almost anything you will eat on the trail and it is so lightweight.

BUY


GoPro HERO7 Silver

GoPros are awesome.  Just get one already for your adventures if you don’t already have one.

BUY


Sea to Summit Pocket Shower

Honestly I’d rather just jump into the water, but if you were to use soap you should not do it in the water.  It should be done at least 100 feet away from any water source.  So what better way to get your shower in with this item.

BUY


MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Light

I recommend this colorful solar light because you can change to the color of your choice.  No but really, it’s an inflatable light and it’s solar.  Charge during the day and use at night.  In the tent I usually pick the blue or turquoise color as it’s not as bright.

BUY


Sea to Summit Pocket Towel

I recommend a good lightweight towel if you are going out backpacking.  Even if you’re just doing a day hike to a lake this is a perfect towel to use after you take a dip.

BUY


Mountain House Chicken Breast & Mashed Potatoes

And last but not least, my favorite mountain house meal.  I’m not sure why it’s not sold at REI, so I stalk up from Amazon before our trips.  I like to add my spices to this pack while it’s sitting in boiling water.  Super super yummy!

BUY




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Sherwin Lakes Trail – Inyo National Forest

We finally got out for a snowshoe hike this year.  After 3 days of snowboarding we decided to take a break and go out for a snowshoe hike.  I’ve been wanting to do this hike for many years, but we kept opting to snowboard instead of snowshoe.  Sherwin Lakes is a short hike right outside the town of Mammoth Lakes.  If you are there in the summer, this is a perfect family hike.  If you are there in the winter, this is a great trail for the backcountry skier/snowboarder or snowshoer.  We opted to snowshoe the trail.   One of my favorite things about the hike was that I got to do it with both my sisters!   Before I get into more of my blabbering about the hike, here are some tips before you go.


What’s in this Guide?

  1. Hike Stats – Mileage, elevation gain, map of hike, weather
  2. Directions – quick write-up on how to get to the trailhead
  3. What to Pack – some gear, map and food recommendations
  4. Blabbering – best part of the write up, my pictures and thoughts of the hike

Hike Stats

Location Mileage Elevation Gain Type
Inyo National Forest 3.5 miles 900 feet Out-and-back
map of hike

This map I made on CalTopo; I have some more maps saved on my profile of hikes we’ve done.  I would recommend going to the local ski shops or the Visitor Center to pick up a winter map if you’d like to snowshoe in the winter in this area.

weather

Something to note: if you plan on doing this at any time of year, check the weather before you go.  Weather can change at any time and can turn for the worse.  We experienced very cold and snowy conditions.  Nothing too major, but definitely good that we checked ahead of time because of the weather we were dressed for it.

Mammoth Lakes – 8,301 feet

Sherwin Lakes – 9,216 feet

further reads

Here are some more links to read before you head out, you may want to choose another hike.

Mammoth Lakes Trail System – Snowshoeing

Beautiful Snowshoe Adventures within 10 Minutes of Mammoth Lakes

Inyo National Forest – XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Snow Shoeing in Mammoth Lakes and Southern Mono County


Directions

*Note: during winter months the road is 4×4/AWD only, please make sure you have the correct vehicles to get to the trailhead.

To get to the trailhead:

From the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center, turn South on Old Mammoth Rd.  There is a Vons or Rite Aid if you forgot anything on your way in.  1.4 miles turn left onto Sherwin Creek Rd.  0.3 miles turn right, you will see a sign for the Trailhead.  0.1 miles turn left.  You will hit a dead-end where there is a bathroom and larger sign showing it as the “Sherwin Lakes Trailhead”.


What to Pack

Obviously during the summer you won’t need some of these items.  I’ve added most of these items, because we took them on our hike.

  1. Mammoth High Country Tom Harrison Maps – This map is helpful for seeing where you will be going on the map.  They offer a winter map at the Visitor Center, but since government shutdown, we checked a few stores and had trouble.  Check out the Shell Station on the corner of Main and Old Mammoth Rd. they were the only place that had some left.
  2. Garmin inReach Explorer+ – During the winter months, much more important to make sure you have safety in communicating.
  3. MSR Evo Snowshoes – There are many types out there.  Before you buy, make sure you understand what you need.
  4. Black Diamond Hiking Poles and Powder Baskets – You will need the powder baskets especially if you are going in the snow.
  5. Oakley Flight Deck Prizm Snow Goggles – You may not think you need these, but for us it was a perfect day as it was a little windy and snowing.
  6. Arc’terx Womens Sentinal Jacket – The best thing you can have is an outer layer that keeps you dry.
  7. Jetboil Flash Cooking System – Take this to cook up something warm, like a hot chocolate perhaps.  We did this.
  8. Snow Peak Titanium Mug and Lid – I take this on almost every single backpacking trip along with my jetboil.  On cold hiking days we also take it, hence taking it on this snowshoe outing.
  9. Nestle Hot Chocolate Packets – Well since we took the jetboil and the mug and the lid, we made some hot chocolate when we reached the lakes.

Blabbering

Before heading out make sure you have snowshoes.  If you do not, there are places to rent snowshoes.

Where can I rent snowshoes?

We had to rent snowshoes for two people in our group and headed to Footloose Sports around 9:00am.  This put us at the trailhead about 10:00am, which was very easy to find and there was only one other car parked there.

Starting up the trail

The trailhead was very easy to find; there is a large sign stating “Sherwin Lakes Trailhead”.  There was only a couple of inches of new snow on the floor, but still enough to put our snowshoes on as there was a layer of ice under.  You hit a bridge about .2 miles into the hike and from there the first .5 miles don’t have much elevation gain.

About 1 mile into the hike the switchbacks start.  Luckily we had someone go out in front of us so we were able to follow some tracks, but with a few inches of new snow as we got higher in elevation it was more difficult to break trail.

It was lightly snowing at this point and the rest of the way up we took a few breaks because of the heavier snow and elevation gain.

Reaching our break spot

We hit a part of the area where it plateaued and we were able to see the lakes.  It wasn’t much a great view of the lakes, but we didn’t want to scramble around in our snowshoes over all the rock and trees.  We set down our space blanket and cooked some hot chocolate to warm up.  That was probably the best idea ever and it absolutely warmed my entire body up.

Though, just 10 minutes later it got a little windy and started snowing more heavily.  We quickly packed up and headed down the mountain.  We may have cut trail down pretending we were skiing down, it was the simple way down to just go straight down.  You have to be a bit careful while doing this to not slip; make sure to take it slow if you decide to head down.  Honestly the safest way down is the way you came up when snowshoeing.  While hiking up your goal should be to set steps for your way down, especially if you are going down the same way.

All trips come to an end

We finished around 1:30pm, the way down was much faster as we went straight down instead of following our way up.  No breaks on the way down, just straight to the car.  Headed back to footloose to drop off the rentals and the quick snowshoe hike was over.  Can’t wait till the next one.

If you have any questions on how to get there, please comment below.  If you have hiked here in the summer, I would love to hear from you too; I have yet to hike Sherwin Lakes in the summer, perhaps we do it this year at some point.

Happy Adventures!

Annette – Beyond Limits on Foot


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Check Them Out

Top Spots for Snowshoeing in Mammoth Lakes

Beautiful Snowshoe Adventures within 10 Minutes of Mammoth Lakes

Winter in Mammoth Lakes


Latest Hikes

Mt. Hawkins via Dawson Saddle: Angeles National Forest

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

Momyer Creek – Falls Creek Trail Loop: San Gorgonio Wilderness, San Bernardino National Forest

My Picks – January 2019

I have been doing these picks for a while now, but haven’t really ever written on why I write them. I find myself browsing for new equipment/gear all the time; when I say all the time I mean it. I’m sure there are some of you out there that are similar even if you have everything. So I thought, I’d go ahead and put out my picks here and there. Sometimes it’s because of the season, sometimes it’s because I want to buy the item and sometimes it’s because I just used it on a hike.

Interested in buying the leggings from the above picture: “mountain love – leggings“.

The below three items that I picked this month I actually just took on my last trip up to Mammoth Mountain. We were up there for a week for Christmas Day, our birthday and New Year. On top of just snowboarding, we decided to do some other things in Mammoth Lakes including: snowshoeing, going to the hot springs and sight seeing. My first pick is the goggles I use for snowboarding, my second pick is a newer version of the snowshoes I currently have and my third pick is a smaller version of the bag I take on these trips to fit everything.

Have fun choosing and let’s go adventure together!

***Notice: Affiliate links below.  Click on links to buy items.


Oakley Flight Deck XM 

Snow Goggles

>>take these on your next ski trip especially if there will be a major storm

These are the best goggles I’ve ever had.  I’m on my second season with them and during any snowstorm have been able to see pretty well with them, even used them snowshoeing when it was snowing once.  The lenses can be switched out pretty easily if they scratch up after a lot of use.

If you don’t already have a helmet and wish to get into the backcountry for skiing or snowboarding, I would recommend one every time you go out there.  A few brands that are out there for helmets are Smith, Giro and Bern.  Of course there are more, but those are the ones I know.  Buy a helmet on Amazon.

Price: $149.93


MSR Evo Ascent 22 

Snowshoes

>>those snowshoes you buy because you don’t want to stay in all winter

In light of the winter in full effect here, I’d thought I recommend some snowshoes that I have heard are very strong and even great in icy conditions.  I have an older version of these and have used them a few times on my snowshoe hikes.  The question is what do you want in a snowshoe?  Some of the items to look into before buying are:

  • Size
  • Bindings
  • Traction Devices
  • Don’t ever forget the boots you will be using with them

Price: $199.95



Patagonia Duffel Bag 45L

>>that travel duffel you buy to fit all your goodies for your next adventure

I own the 60L of this bag and use it almost on every single trip now.  I especially like it when we go snowboarding because I can fit my helmet, my jacket, my pants, my gloves, etc.  Perfect for a weekend or if you are just travelling for the week and will fit enough clothes.

Price: ~$140


— Related Posts —


— Gear and Grub —

27 Essential Gift Ideas for Hikers & Backpackers

A couple of days ago, I put out a quick guide out of 10 Gift Ideas Under $25 for Hikers & Backpackers.  If you are on a budget be sure to take a look at that article.

If you have ever been hiking or backpacking, you know there is always a list out there of the 10 Essentials.  These are the 10 must haves (essentials) to take with you on any outing to be safe.  The top 10 essentials needed are:

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun Protection
  3. Insulation
  4. Illumination
  5. First Aid Supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair Kit & Tools
  8. Nutrition
  9. Hydration
  10.  Emergency Shelter

Take your time below, maybe even put together a stocking stuffer with some of the Under $25 Gift Ideas and some of the suggestions below.  Make it personal and meaningful!  Help your hiker or backpacker friend be safe out!

Have fun choosing and let’s go adventure together!

***Notice: Affiliate links below.  Click on links to buy items.

1

Garmin inReach Explorer +

outdoor gear

Ever since we bought this version, we have taken it on all our trips whether be it camping, backpacking, hunting, etc.  I would highly recommend this product for a hiker’s staying safe out on the trails.

BUY


2

Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire GPS Watch

I have wanted to have a gps watch for a long time.  I find it perfect if you are a trail runner or even a day hiker and it’s lighter than the Garmin inReach Explorer + like above.  I have heard nothing but good reviews on the watch.

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3

Garmin inReach Mini

This product is very similar to the Garmin inReach Explorer +, just a bit smaller.  If your hiker backpacker friend is all about weight, this is the way to go.  Keep them safe out there with this.

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4

A2S Protection Paracord Bracelet

An all-in-one bracelet: compass, fire starter, emergency knife and emergency whistle.

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5

Regular Compass: Reliable Outdoor Gear

One should always take not only a map, but a compass with them.  Let’s say your electronic device that you use as a gps goes bad, the best things you can have around is a map and compass.

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6

Topographic Maps: Tom Harrison Maps

If you want to get something more personal for your hiker or backpacker friend, go ahead and buy a topo map of an area you may think they want to hike in.  Especially if they are map people.

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7

Sunglasses: Pepper’s Breakers

100% UV protection in style.  Great for the outdoor adventurer spending sunny days outside.

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8

Sunscreen with Carabiner: Sol Sunguard 

A sunscreen with a carabiner is the way to go for the hiker or backpacker for easy access while on the trail.

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9

Patagonia Trucker Hat

A hat is always needed on the trail!  Find your hiker or backpackers friend favorite color or style.

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10

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

Hikers and backpackers both alike love down jackets.  Check out some more of Patagonia’s Down Jackets.

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11

Sherpa Adventure Gear Khunga Hat

This beanie is actually make of wool, keeps you insulated and warm.  Along with that, it is lined with PolarFleece for an extra level of warmth.  Something to not is that Sherpa employs people in Nepal and each hat bought supports those who need it.

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12

Microfleece Gloves – The North Face

Gloves are very important for insulation.

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13

Marmot Minimalist Rain Jacket

If your hiker or backpacker friend likes to hike in weather as well, Gore-Tex is the way to go.

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14

Baselayer Bottoms – SmartWool Merino 150

Baselayers are very important for a hiker and especially for a backpacker.  Merino wool is one of the best materials out there making it an ideal choice for those who go out on adventures.

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15

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

A must have for any hiker and backpacker for any adventure they go on.

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16

MPOWERD Luci Lux Pro Solar Inflatable Lantern

I’ve had the MPOWERD Luci Color Inflatable Lantern for years now and take it on every hiking/backpacking trip.  Now they have a newer version with the ability to charge your smartphone.  I’d say this is a pretty good idea as a gift.

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17

Goal Zero Rechargeable AAA Battery Pack

Something that is very important for the backpacker and even hiker is to keep extra batteries lying around for their headlamp/flashlight.

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18

Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight First Aid Kit

Great stocking stuffer or gift for your hiker or backpacker friend.  We are always in need of emergency safety gear.

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19

UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit

The case includes 12 matches, 3 replaceable strikers, waterproof case and cord.  Perfect basic gift or stocking stuffer for any hiker and backpacker.

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20

Make an at Home Repair Kit or a Gentlemen’s Survival Kit

What’s important in a survival kit?  Items that the adventurer can use in any wilderness adventure.  This kit includes a compass, fire-starter, penknife tool, tweezers, rope, safety pins and wire saw.  I would add some duct tape to this mix.  Make your own or buy the Gentlemen’s Survival Kit.

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21

Mountain House Meals

If you are putting together a fun bag of goodies, this is a great add on for your friend.  My favorite of the Mountain House Meals is the Chicken & Mashed Potatoes.  I could literally eat it as a meal at home any day!  Second favorite is Breakfast Skillet, especially if your friend is a breakfast person.

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Check out some Grub Ideas for the Trail!


22

Honey Stinger Waffles

Have a friend who is a sweet tooth?  They’ll love this one as a gift.

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23

PROBAR – BOLT Engergy Chews

Great source of energy for those long distance hikers/backpackers.

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24

Lifestraw Gravity Water Filter

outdoor gearBest water filter we’ve ever had.  We can set up camp while waiting for the water to filter.

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25

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir

outdoor gearAnother must if you are a hiker backpacker!

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26

Nuun Hydration Tablets

These are great for hikers, backpackers and trail runners.  Great energy source with electrolytes to keep them moving.

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27

SOL Emergency Bivvy

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I hope that this gift guide can either assist you in putting together a stocking stuffer gift or giving you an idea of what your hiking friends or family members might want.  OR if you want anything from this list!  If you guys have any questions or ideas as well, comment below.  I’d love to hear from you.  Check out some of Beyond Limits on Foot gear and food ideas!

Gear and Food Ideas:

Happy Adventuring,

Annette – Beyond Limits on Foot


I hope you guys enjoyed this post.  If you are interested in seeing some of the trips that I took this year and perhaps doing them yourself, check them out here.  I haven’t gotten around to writing about every single one, but will over time.

2018 Trips:


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