Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hiking Sonora Pass

Last week-end I had a half baked plan to hike into the Emigrant Wilderness far enough to get a good view of Big Emigrant Lake.  I would start from Sonora Pass Trail Head and hike out to Big Sam.  This was a good plan IF it started at Levitt Lake (as in previous hikes); not so much from Sonora Pass.  It took me close to two hours to get near the top of Sonora Summit;  the wild was howling up there and it was clear my original plan was not going to cut it.  After a breakfast break, I headed back down the trail with 'The Happy Wanderer' ringing in my head.  It was a great hike (most of four hours) even if not as ambitious as originally planned.

Most people go zooming by the Sonora Pass Trail Head parking lot.  Too bad because there are great views north, east and south.  I spent Saturday afternoon sitting on the eastern edge  knitting and reading.  The sky was crystal clear and just cool enough for long sleeves.

I also got to see hikers coming down the trail I was planning to hike on Sunday.  When they were just below the middle  snow bank, the sun reflected off their equipment so I was able to spot the trail.  The two rugged mountain tops are Sonora Summit.  It's 10,600 feet up there; a thousand foot climb from Sonora Pass at 9,600 feet.

It's really, really dry in the mountains; creeks are trickles; still many wild flowers are blooming.

About half way up I set the self timer on my camera for a self portrait.  The 10 second run back down the trail was risky with many rocks and roots!

The moon was with me for most of the hike.

Looking northwest,  Highway 108 (Sonora Pass) is down in this valley.  While I was there a small plane flew by below me.

And further west it was fun to see Blue Canyon!  The hairpin turn on the highway is at the 'V' in the granite mountains.

The brightest colors that day belonged to the lichens.

But the tiny alpine flowers were my favorites.

Coming up the hill I passed four back packers; and at the top two day hikers caught up with me.  While they continued on over Sonora Summit,  I headed back down the trail.


  1. The pictures are beautiful Diana. I love your new avatar from the self portrait you took on this hike. Did you have the Roadtrek with you?

  2. Love the flora and all the photos of this hike.


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