Monday, July 29, 2013

Mount Judah in the Sierra Nevada

On last Wednesday, July 24, my brothers and my sister-in-law and I got up early - before 6 - to hit the trail and hike up Mount Judah.  This turned out to be a beautiful hike in the Sierra Nevada, and I can now add California to my states hiked in list.  I am up to 17 states now.

We saw lots of scenery, many beautiful wildflowers, and some wildlife, the most interesting of which was a mother marmot and her three babies.  I also saw a mystery animal that I was able to get a photograph of, and I will post about it later.

The hike climbed steadily as we crossed Donner Peak and then Mount Judah, and then descended steadily back to the trail head.  We gained and lost about 1,800 feet, according to my GPS and DeLorme mapping software.  Here is the elevation profile:
Here are a couple of topo maps to locate the hike.  The first shows the approximate location west of Donner Lake, the scene of Monday's short nature hike.

And this one shows more details of our route.  The loop portion of the hike was hiked clockwise.
It was my first time ever hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail.  I'd love to do more of this trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington.
As we climbed up the trail, great views became evident very quickly.
It is hard to see, but on the very top of this large boulder is a mother marmot, and one of her babies is about halfway down the right hand side.
We climbed a rocky area to score great views, and ...
then I placed the camera on a rock for a group photo.
We did a side trip up the rocks to Donner Peak, where we could see Donner Lake far below.
There were great panoramic views from the climb up to Donner Peak - and many other areas as well.  Like any photos, click on the panorama to enlarge it.
This panorama was from the ridge line on the hike up to Mount Judah, our high point at about 8,243 feet.
On the way down, there was plenty of evidence of the area volcanic origins.
Here is one more panorama as we descended.
The trail passed through some open forests on the way down.
I thought this cliff was amazing.  I think it was probably formed in volcanoes.
We didn't pass by any truly gigantic trees, but there were a few areas of large ones, like these firs.
I'll end my account of the hike with some of the flowers we saw.  I can't identify most of them, but this is Indian paintbrush.
I think this is a type of daisy.
I liked this because there are three types of flowers in the photo.
This is mule's ear.
I am not sure what this is, but it is pretty.
I really enjoyed my six mile hike in the Sierra Nevada, and hope to come back and do more some day.


  1. Absolutely stunning photos!!!!!! I have been fascinated with the Pacific Crest Trail ever since I read a book about it. There is also a vegan hiker on the trail right now trying to complete the whole length. Truly beautiful!!!!!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Anne. I am glad that you enjoyed the photos. I am really glad to get to do a little hike on the PCT and would love to do more. That is amazing that a vegan hiker is out there right now - that must be doublely difficult.

    I recently read a book about the trail: "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. It was about her experience as a young and very troubled woman to hike a large portion of the trail to attempt to find herself. Very good book, although parts of it were pretty sad. Art

  3. Wow those views are spectacular and I'm sure picture doesn't do it justice. How nice that you got to hike it with your bothers and sister in law. Sounds like a great hike. Wish I was there too. : )

  4. Hi - we did have spectacular views, including some 360 degree views. I am glad I got to take this hike with family, and you would have enjoyed it, too! Art