Hawkins Peak, CA


A bit of the Sierra on our way to a family wedding.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

I had spent the entire day before in airplanes and airports (23+ hours), so the 11+ hour drive down here about killed me. It was with some relief that we found a spot to sleep before the sun was fully down.


The next morning we drove another mile or two to the intersection with the old mine road and parked. We were on our feet by about 7:15. Quiet and somewhat cool (although it seemed warm after last night's 32°). There's our peak after a thousand feet of gain.

Somewhere about here I started hearing coyotes. I quickly whistled Ruby in and put her on the leash. But the coyotes kept coming closer, barking and yipping. I had never had this happen before, but had never run into coyotes with Ruby. I had never heard of coyotes messing with dogs, but the Humane Society says it does happen, even with larger dogs. Approach

So Ruby had to be on the leash for a while. She's okay with it, but would prefer to run and chase squirrels.


I let her loose for the scramble up the west side of the peak, and we were soon on the summit.

Windy. Maybe 50°?


There was some smoke haze, but not too bad. Looking west, the photos came out well.

Highway 88 and our route to the wedding in Volcano is visible if you know where to look.


To the north, I was distracted by this huge array of photo-voltaic cells.

We worked our way off the east side of the peak, which was much easier (Ruby doesn't like boulder fields). There was almost sort of a trail. As we walked toward the array, we saw the wrist-thick power line heading up to the summit.


There was another peak to do, Picket Peak, about 2 miles west. It's the lower, rocky point.

But when we got to it, I realized that this one wasn't going to make Ruby happy (note previous comment about boulder fields). So we walked up closer to confirm my opinion, then turned around and proceeded to do a big, open loop on the way back to the car. Approach
Looking back at Hawkins and the sun coming up. Approach

This is really a beautiful area. It's mostly open pine forests with occasional granite outcrops. But there are several tree species, including these gorgeous red-barked Sequoias.

Then it was time to bump back down the road to the highway and head to the wedding in Volcano. Congrats to the young couple!




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