Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ebbett's Pass Hike

Thunder and lightning storms building along the crest of the Sierra Nevada everyday this week had me flip flopping plans every few hours.  Today was my last chance to catch up with Roadtrek hiking friends who were camping on Ebbet's Pass (and way braver than me, don't ya know!).   Leaving home before seven, I arrived at the Bloomberg Campground in time for breakfast.   Soon we were headed up the pass with a plan to hike the Noble Lake trail out past the 'flower gardens' but not all the way to the lake.


Ebbett's Pass is Highway 4, the next one north of Sonora Pass.


We parked at the mostly empty PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) trail head under a blue bird sky.  It wasn't long before we passed a field of Mule Ears both few and long past their prime.  (It's volcanic rock in this area, need to read up on Ebbett's geology).  


The trail guides mention the 'flower gardens' in the washes and seeps along the first half of the trail  We crossed three washes that carry a significant volumne of water, but none today, and the few wildflowers were pretty much done.  


Uphill


Downhill

Beautiful Bella found the first water!



Shortly we crossed the seeps that create fields of flowers.  In a good water year this trail must be spectacular!




Climbing again,  this old wood provided a good chance to rest while snapping a pic!


We stopped at the point over looking the Noble Canyon where the trail drops off quickly downhill.  Another day we will do this section with a shuttle car at the other end.  The bottom of the canyon is kinda fuzzy because it's a couple miles down there.


Our lovely lunch break was rudely interrupted by a hail storm!   Where did that come from?!?


We scurried under the trees to wait it out; then hot footed it down the trail in a drizzly rain with thunder in the distance.  Headed back down the pass, the deluge started.  Very grateful not to be still out on the trail in that downpour!  

I stopped at Mosquito Lake to take some pics but just as I started to get out of the car lightning struck across the (very small) lake!  And then another strike.  Yikes!



Amazing clouds were not enough to get me to stick around and shortly I landed at Lake Alpine where the people were swimming, paddling and all together enjoying a beautiful day completely unaware of what was happened just up the pass.

This hike was another good test of the Gaia GPS iPhone app.  I downloaded the map of the area while still in cell service; then gps picked up my location at the trailhead and didn't drop, even under the clouds on the second leg of the hike.  I'm still learning to use it, but so far, well worth $20!



Back down the mountain, the foothills are hot and dry; the old Melones bridge will be showing soon.



(Note:  the Noble Lake trail is actually the Pacific Crest Trail)

























1 comment:

  1. nice hike! I am getting up the nerve to hike up into grizzly country. Did 1/2 mile so far.

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