Monday, May 31, 2010

Havasu Canyon

During the last week of May, Keith, Jay, Ralph, Harvey, Brandon and I spent 5 days in the Havasu Canyon area west of the Grand Canyon's South Rim. Havasu Canyon and its well known Havasu Fall is located within the Havasupai Indian Reservation 3,000 feet below the Hualapai Hilltop Trailhead at the rim. There were no services at the trailhead and the closest town is Peach Springs, 70 miles away. We backpacked down the 10-mile trail to the campground and spent 3 days exploring the waterfalls, sparkling blue-green pools, narrow canyons, and caves before returning to the trailhead. Although it was cold and windy at the rim when we started, the temperatures within the canyon were warm, perfect for camping and swimming. Besides the series of larger waterfalls, Havasu Canyon contains numerous cascading blue-green pools created by the natural travertine all along Havasu Creek. Travertine is a form of limestone and comes from the mineral springs that feed the creek. The unusual limestone formations can be seen in the pictures beside the falls and creeks. This is truly a unique place and one of my top ten natural wonders. Click on photo below to view a PICASA slideshow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grand Canyon on my Mind

Here I am hiking the Cool trail in the Auburn Canyon area with a 40 lb pack in preparation for my backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon later this month. Hiking with such weight is not my favorite activity, but the opportunity to visit the Havasu Falls area of the Grand Canyon with friends was not to be missed. Should be a great trip with the gang from the central coast. Hmmm! Now what else might I need and where else can I drop some weight! It's a constant quandary. Click on the picture below to see an overall map of our destination within the Grand Canyon as well as a trail map.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tour of Yosemite

This year, I joined the Sac Bike Hikers on their Tour of Yosemite organized by long time members Hazi and Steve. The tour starts with a train ride to Merced early in the morning followed by a 48-mile bike ride to Mariposa where we spend the first night. From there it's 25 miles to the Cedar Lodge where we spent the next three nights. The Cedar Lodge is located along the Merced River 8 miles from the entrance of Yosemite National Park. Participants were free to visit Yosemite by bike, bus or feet over next two days. Riding to Yosemite means climbing 2,000 feet plus to the park while a bus ride cost $7 for a roundtrip fare. I cycled to Yosemite on the second day, and rode the bus into the park for hiking the following two days. Others did various activities from riding, hiking, sightseeing, and just relaxing. Some even did a century ride of 105 miles with 11,000 feet of climbing. Awesome! In conclusion, Yosemite National Park is a scenic wonderland of shear granite and waterfalls, and a great destination for a bike tour. This is the earliest I've visited Yosemite after winter and the thunderous waterfalls were impressive. Thanks Hazi and Steve for a great tour. Click on link below to view all the pictures.
From Yosemite Tour 2010