Friday, July 22, 2016

Vivian Creek to San Gorgonio Summit

Hiking date: July 21, 2016
Location: San Gorgonio wilderness, CA
Difficultly: Hard
Distance: 17.8 miles
Hours hiked: 12
Goal: To reach San Gorgonio mountain 
via Vivian Creek in one day
Goal completed: Yes 

This hike was the longest and biggest hike that I have ever done in my entire life. Also, I hiked at a higher altitude than I have ever been at. What more? We also completed our biggest summit ever, the biggest one in southern California. Here is a list of summits we have hiked:
Pisca Peak (via Wildwood) 3000'
Zanja Peak (via Crafton Hills) 3000'
Murray Hill (via Clara Burgess and Wild Horse trails) 2000'
San Gorgonio Mountain (via Vivian Creek) 11,000'

I rounded the heights to the closest thousand and saw that San Gorgonio mountain was still the highest in Southern California.  Murray Hill, Pisca Peak, and all the other small peaks are just tall peaks of their little ranges. San Gorgonio, on the other hand, towers above San Jacinto peak, Mt. Baldy, Torro Peak, and everything else in southern California. 

For this hike, we had to leave at about 5:00am. We left the house and drove to the Mill Creek Ranger Station and got in the car with Papa. We drove up to Forest Falls and were on the trail at about 6:00am. We started hiking up the road leading to the riverbed, beginning our long journey. Before we got to the summit, we had to hike 8.9 miles of trail, passing 3 camps, Vivian Camp at 1.2 miles, Halfway camp at 2.1 miles. and High camp at 4.8 miles. 

10 minutes later, we crossed the empty riverbed.

Crossing the riverbed, we had to be careful of flash floods ;)
 Then we started one of the hardest parts of the trail, a whole mile of switchbacks.

Soon after, the trail leveled out at the mile marker.

A resting log next to the mile marker. 

After the mile marker, we went through a beautiful forest of conifer pines, bushes, and more. A little ways before Halfway Camp we went through some beautiful bushes.

When we got to Halfway Camp, it wasn't even 8:15 yet, we were booking it!

The junction leading to Halfway camp and the trail leading to High Camp.
For our snacks, we love Ritz with peanut butter. It's become our go to snack.

From Halfway camp, we hiked up two sets of switchbacks, rounded a bend, and hiked down to High Camp.

Beyond High Camp it was another three hours until we would get to the summit, and it would be hard. For a lot of the time, we would be above 10,000', which was in the zone where you could get altitude sickness. But we would get good views of the San Jacinto mountains and the Yucaipa Ridge down below. We stopped at High Creek to soak a stiff towel in the water. It was passed around our necks to cool us

After High Camp, we hiked up several switchbacks to lookout point where the San Jacinto mountains and the desert came into the view 


After that, we started crossing a C shape across the ridge. It was hard!


Then, we came out of the bend and we saw the summit about five minutes away. So slowly, we climbed on top of the summit. We were rewarded with views, cell reception, ham sandwiches, and the sense of satisfaction of being at the top of everything in Southern California. The summit was windy and cold. The big thing was chipmunks, they were EVERYWHERE on the summit, crawling around and eating Pita chips Papa threw on the ground for them. They were cool to have around. We could see for miles, the Mohave desert, Big Bear Lake, and more. But we were only halfway, because we had to go down!!

San Goronigo Mountain


Friday, July 8, 2016

Gear update

Over the past 1 1/2 years, we have improved a LOT on gear. 

Here is a picture that was token back in February, 2015. We were hiking Cactus to Clouds for the second time and Papa hadn't even joined the Hardhikers club yet. In fact, we hadn't even really started our hiking routine yet. I had no Camelbak, no altimeter, no first aid kit, no whistle, no anything.

This photo was taken back in July, 2015. I had my Camelbak, a cheap altimeter, a hiking hat, and good hiking shoes.

Here I am on the Vivian Creek trail (to Halfway Camp), back in April, 2016. I had all the gear I currently have now

Just recently, we have taken a huge Milestone in hiking. We are getting new hiking backpacks!!! My grandparents got it for me for my birthday.

Here is the size of a backpack I have currently:

Image result for small gray camelbak

Here is the backpack I am going to get:


When I post my next post, I will be wearing the backpack. see you then!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Two days in the Yosemite National Park

You are probably wondering why we went two days to Yosemite National Park.  On one of the days we were on vacation we were wondering what to do (we stayed at Bass Lake for four nights). So why not go again! People come from all over the world to just look here once. We got to go two times in three days since it was only an hour and a half away from us!!!

We hiked two hikes that were both waterfall hikes, here they are:

1. Lower Yosemite Fall
Hiking date: July 25, 2016
Location: Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficulty: easy
Distance: one mile
Minutes hiked: 30 minutes

When we entered Yosemite, we could see a lot . Here is the stats of the trip.

Olivia age 3, Daniel age 6, Mia age 8, me age 9, and Kendall age 7.
(left to right)  
Aua, Jeremy Elkins and mom and dad 

It was crowded when we got there, which proves it is just an easy walk. But it was the biggest waterfall in the U.S, so were ready for that. We also went exploring through a bunch of rocks.

3 minutes later, we got to the waterfall. We saw people climbing up close to the waterfall. so we left the crowds behind and climbed. Only when we got back did we realize that we weren't allowed to climb around.

Almost there!

Then we started the 8 minute trek down the road.

Here is a quick video so you can see what the walk is like. It wiped us out!

Hike two: Bridalveil Fall 
Hiking date: July 27, 2016
Location: Yosemite Valley, CA
Difficulty: easy
Distance: 0.5 easy way, 4.2 longer way
Minutes hiked: 30 minutes easy way, 45 longer way

Bridalveil Fall is a lot like Yosemite Fall, only shorter 
Bridalveil   Fall 

Daniel wanted to hike to the "El Capitan Bridge"

El Capitan  
At one point, we left the main attraction and moved on to a real trail. Since Daniel really wanted to hike the bridge, we split up. The girls left, leaving Daniel, Mr. Jeremy, my dad, and obviously me. We didn't run into anything for a long time until we reached a junction that led to different places like campgrounds and Half Dome. When we got back, we were rewarded with a cool car and the Merced river to swim in. 

The week was a sucuss! Aside with being carsick while driving, the trip, I say, was a 10!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Vivian Creek to High Camp

Hiking date: June 11, 2016
Location: San Gorgino wilderness, CA
Difficulty: hard
Distance: 13 miles
Hours hiked: 7 1/2 

What a day! Today, we hiked the Vivian Creek trail up to High Creek camp at about 9000 feet. This is the highest elevation I have ever been to. My mom got her ultimate record of steps in one day, over 30,000!! We got to help out a mom and her son who were trying to go to Big Falls, and a lot more!

When we got to Forest Falls, we got our gear and jackets on (although we lost the jackets in 10 minutes) and walked up the road that led to the river bed

The beginning of the long journey ahead 

Next, we crossed the river bed and hiked the tough switchbacks for a mile until we reached the permit point.

The hardest part of the entire hike, the switchbacks

On the way up, we took several breaks to catch our breath and get food and water.

1.6 miles after the permit point, we reached Halfway 
Camp at about 9:30 

The junction between Halfway camp and the trail leading to High Camp 

2 hour and 2.5 miles later, we reached High Camp

High Creek Camp

We had only made it halfway. We had to go from High Camp to Halfway Camp, Halfway Camp to Permit Point, Permit Point to the river bed, and the river bed to the car. It had been a long day.

Favorite hiking pictures

I know this is ind of random, but I thought I could post some favorite hiking pictures, I like mine so muck that I have it as my google profile picture. Here they are:


Moms and mine

Sunday, May 22, 2016

An Adventurous day on the Hopalong Cassidy trail

Hiking date: May 21, 2016
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Rate: normal/hard

What a day! Today, we hiked two portions of the Hopalong Cassidy trail. Here they are.

Hike one: The object trail

This portion of the trail wasn't very long, there were a lot of things to see. This part of the trail is one of the very few trails that allow dogs, so there were a lot of dogs. On with the trail!

As we headed up, we passed a shaded picnic area and a sign honoring someone.

Soon after, we reached a cross.

The cross

Sign in front of cross

One of the beautiful rock formations 

Then we went back and took another trail for a more strenuous hike. The trail started out steep and led us to a private property sign. Fortunately, the trail led in another direction, but it led us BACK to the cross and we were back to square one.  

The "Fence Trail"

So we took another route down, which we hoped would lead to the Hopalong Cassidy Trail. 

As we hiked, we passed a big pad that had a picture of a Ying-Yang on it.

We were heading back to the civilization, so we gave up and got in the car.
But It wasn't even 10:00 yet, so we went on a another hike

Hike two: The Bump and Grind loop
This was our second hike of the day. We went to Starbucks to go to the bathroom and we were off. It started off on a trail going the opposite way of the Bump and Grind trail, as we went along, I fell down and hurt my knee.

Bloody knee, neat

Then, we came to these steep switchbacks that my mom points out to me all the time.

The switchbacks

Next, we saw these amazing lizards!!

Then, we hiked down the Bump and Grind trail to our car. Then with a cinnamon roll from Starbucks and a stop at Carls Jr. (our new stopping place after a desert hike) the day was done!