Monday, August 3, 2009

Horseshoe Meadows


Having just experienced the hottest July on record in the Coachella Valley made it the perfect time to escape to the High Sierra and the cooler temperatures of the mountains. I went with the G-Men, Matt and Carl Garczynski to Horseshoe Meadows with the objective of climbing Mount Langely, the southernmost 14 thousand foot peak in the Sierra Nevada.

To get to Horseshoe Meadows you have to drive this scary road switchbacking up the side of
the mountain from Lone Pine. With no guardrails, it is not a good road to rubber neck on.

Horseshoe Meadows is a popular entrance to the southern Sierras. The trailheads are high, nearly 10,000 feet and allow easy access to the Golden Trout Wilderness.

For those not interested in hiking, you can hire a packer to bring you in on horseback. No vehicular access is allowed in wilderness areas so the only way to get there is on foot or on hoof. I'll be sticking with the foot method.

There are various trails to access the wilderness but today we're just going to hike near the meadow. The big hike comes tomorrow.

The beauty and harshness of nature is all around us.

But mostly the beauty.

We follow the trail by the meadow and since this is a popular horse packing trail there is a lot of, uh, organic material on it.

So we take a little cross country route, circle around the meadow and head back to camp.

The Sierras are known as the Range of Light and it's easy to see why. The light is somewhat different here than any place I have ever been.

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