Hiking Humbug Mountain

Humbug Mountain is a mountain on the sea.  Not near the sea like King Peak, but rising straight out of it.  Accordingly, visitors may be forgiven for expecting scenic views the entire hike.

Humbug Mountain is a rainforest.  A temperate rainforest mind you, but a rainforest nonetheless.  This means super lush growth everywhere.  Ferns on top of ferns on top of moss, and that’s only to start with! Continue reading

Hiking King Peak in King Range Conservation Area

King Peak is the tallest mountain in the King Mountain Range.  At 4091 feet /1247 meters, it isn’t terribly tall.  But its got near enough to 3,000 feet of prominence (height from the ground the mountain is on to the top of the mountain), which makes it tall enough for me.

We took the Lightning Trail to the summit, but there are 2 other routes that you can take.  Probably more if you’re backpacking.  If you are doing it as a day hike I recommend Lightning.  The trail is well marked and fun.  After reaching the summit we took one of the alternative routes, King Crest North, for a couple of miles and found the going discouragingly slow.  Lots of fallen trees meant it was hard to maintain a stride.

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Making amazing time – but not by choice

So, for those of you paying attention to dates and such, you may notice that:

a) I’m posting less often

and

b) The posts mostly pertain to things that happened a couple of weeks ago.

Well, there are a couple reasons for that:

1) We didn’t do a lot of hiking in California (not dog friendly)

2) We didn’t stay still a lot, so lots of miles covered but not as much time to make an impression somewhere

3) Lots of miles covered means a lot of time setting up and breaking down camp, therefore not lots of time to write.

So, here’s the quick recap:

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King Range National Conservation Area: Or California’s best kept secret

I don’t know how to say this politely.  So, I’ll say it as least impolitely as I can:

I do not care for California.  It is the least dog friendly state I’ve been to on this trip, or any trip.  It is the state with the most parks that include rules to the effect of “no having fun.”

But it has at least 4 things I do like:

1) The Mojave Desert National Preserve

2) Really big trees

3) Highway 1, aka Pacific Coast Highway, aka driving nirvana

4) King Range National Conservation Area.

And it is the last two points that this post is dedicated to.

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Mojave Desert National Preserve

Last week we were staying in the Mojave Desert National Preserve, which as you probably can determine from the name is located within the Mojave Desert.  What this doesn’t really tell you is sheer scale of the Mojave Desert.  It is large.  And I’m not talking Hoover dam large (which I found depressingly small…perhaps it was their unfriendly stance towards four-legged friends that I found small), or Lake Mead large, or Rhode Island Large.  I’m talking bigger than the state of Pennsylvania.

"Mojave Desert map" by Cephas - North America second level political division 2.svgTerrestrial ecoregions of North America : a conservation assessment. Taylor H Ricketts; et al. Washington, D.C. : Island Press, ©1999. xxiv, 485 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 28 cm. (ISBN 9781559637220). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The desert is the bit shaded in green. Because…you know, deserts are green.

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How I learned to love hiking

This story takes place back in 2012, which as I type this I recognize as not being all that long ago.  And yet that year marked the point at which I began transitioning from a person who enjoys walks to a person who enjoys hikes.

What is the difference between the two you say? (Humor me.  This is what you are saying)

Well…I suppose it depends upon who you ask.

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Hiking Lake Mead: Part 3, Plateau Climb

Yesterday was our final full day of staying in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and it was our intention to hike one of the established trails that lead to the Hoover dam.  However, upon arriving at the trailhead parking lot and discovering that the lot could easily accommodate 40 cars….and it was full….we decided to look elsewhere.

The trail turned out to not be our preferred type of trail – it was well graded wide sidewalk type path.  Well, that is OK!  I can get creative and find somewhere to hike. Continue reading

Hiking Lake Mead: Part 2 Hamblin Mountain

This trail was born out of looking at a map, finding a peak labeled, and consulting the most comprehensive library of information available to me.  The internet tells me that Hamblin Mountain is an ex-volcano that was sheared in half by plate tectonics, and that its other half (by the name one wonders if its not the better half) Cleopatra Mountain is now 12 miles away.  True?  Perhaps.  Interesting?  Certainly!

More interesting things about Hamblin Mountain:

  • It is unphotographable.  From the parking area you cannot see the mountain.  Perhaps it isn’t impossible to photograph, but one would probably need a boat and a map.
  • From the top one can see 4 states: Nevada, California, Utah and Arizona.

What I did know was that I could expect a little over 3.5 miles one way with over 1000′ of climb along the way.  The various websites I encountered suggested that there may be something of a path…some of the time.  Emboldened by pathless hiking the day prior this sounded like fun to me.

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Hiking Lake Mead: Part 1

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is an interesting place.  The lake is man-made.  It is the body of water resting behind the Hoover Dam.  Also interesting is the fact that it is situated in a fairly mountainous region that feels incredibly remote – even though downtown Las Vegas is only 45 minutes away.  And, in a lot of ways it is remote.  The nearest running water to my campsite is over 6 miles away.  The nearest bathroom?  At least 3, although to be honest I have only seen the bathroom once from a ridge while hiking.

It is this hike I will begin with.

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