3.7.11 – lake ave to inspiration point

For my 30th birthday, I went hiking to the ol’ stomping grounds up Lake Ave, but with some newness.

I parked at the trailhead and decided to explore some of Las Flores Canyon (I’ve never really explored it much).   I went up near the water tank and started to ascend that little erosion canal trail… but it was so eroded that I didn’t feel safe… so I turned around and went up the normal Echo Mountain Trail.   I made Echo in about 40 minutes which, for me, is a good hiking pace.   There were few people up there but everyone was cool.   For Echo, that’s not always the case 🙂   But alas it was good.   From there, I ascended the Upper Sam Merrill towards Inspiration Point.   On the way, I saw a little california striped racing snake (see pics) and also a pretty good bear track next to what appears to be a trail created by an animal going up the mountain (this was about half a mile west of Inspiration Point).   I intended to hike up Muir Peak, but there is a sign just past Inspiration Point that communicates that the road is closed.   I was freezing at I.P. and so I pulled a cornholio and pulled my jacket over my head.   The winds were probably in the 30 mph range and the wind chill was definitely colder than the 50 degree air temp.   I met some cool people at the shelter, then began my descent via Castle Canyon.   Castle is usually a very well maintained trail but today… that was NOT the case.   There are probably 10 trees down across the trail.   What is this from?   The last storm?   I didn’t think it was really that bad.   Nonetheless, it was still beautiful and I ran down the last two miles of my hike back to Lake.

Duration: 5 hours (that number includes two 15 minute breaks)

Total Distance: about 11.75 miles

Calories burned: 3767

Elevation Gain: a little over 3,000 feet

Terrain: Well defined trail over granite.  Castle Canyon is tricky but the rest of the trail is easy.

GPS log

Gear specs

Backpack: Salomon XA20 (inaugural journey)

Shoes: Salomon XA Pro Ultra’s

Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Contour Ellipticals

Water consumed: 1L

Electrolyte beverage consumed: 1/2 L of Hammer Heed/Perpetuem and Wild Strawberry Crystal Lite

Food consumed: 5 servings of Hammer Gel and 1 Kind Bar (about 600 calories)

and now the pics (thanks to Norma for suggesting to do a slideshow instead of a gallery!):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted on March 7, 2011, in hiking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nick Gonzales

    I always appreciate a good tr and pics. thanks
    The lizard looks like an alligator lizard.
    southern alligator (google picture search)

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