Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Argus Mountains – Water Canyon

Hike track link

A year ago, almost to the day, we did a fine loop adventure in the Argus following donkey trails.  You can see that report here.

This time we decided to start at the mouth of Water Canyon and then branch off on a side tributary to the north.  This canyon had an old abandoned dirt road that continued farther than we went and had an interesting branch to the northwest that we will have to explore on another trip.  The area is rich in mine paraphernalia and we saw the rock remains of a building, many shallow prospecting holes, and rusted tin cans.

The road climbed steadily and we gained 2000’ in 5.5 miles where we decided to stop for lunch.  Our lunch views included the Panamint Valley and of Telescope Peak.  On the way back we followed a donkey trail and explored another side canyon that drained into Water Canyon proper.  And speaking of donkeys, we had thirteen during the day, which were variable in color, something I hadn't noticed before.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I Have Died and Gone to Poppy Heaven!

That may be all the verbiage this blog needs.  I will add that we were in the west Antelope Valley (by Lancaster, CA), the flowers were glorious, and I had an amazing time.  Yippee!!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Couple of New Places

Freeman Creek Track Link

Spring is the season of wind, so we always check the weather forecast before we head out and look for windows of opportunity.

After doing several days of snowshoeing trips in gorgeous weather to all the usual spots, we decided that we had one more good morning before the wind came up, and we headed to the South Lake Road.  The snow was nicely packed down, so rather than needing snowshoes, we put on our ice spikes and headed out.  We expected to make it part way, but made such good time, that we decided to try and beat the wind to South Lake. 

A sun halo peaks over the canyon

Mini avalanche

It may be a while before Parchers Resort can open

Hurd Peak and the Sierra Crest

To make room for spring snowmelt this spring, the lake level was being dropped to the bottom of the dam level. This created a cave-in of the existing ice making for some interesting scenes.

South Lake
Collapsing ice behind the South Lake Dam
While we did make it to South Lake, the wind beat us there, so we took a few quick photos and headed back down.  We will try again and hope for better weather as South Lake would make an awesome spot to enjoy our lunch.

Freeman Creek canyon
The next day it was time to leave the mountains as a series of storms was set to roll through over the next ten days.  It was calm in Bishop, so we choose to investigate Freeman Creek near Keough Hot Springs. The old topo map showed a trail, but we found a dirt road instead.  When the road ran out we went cross country to an overlook of a small waterfall and large wall of rock.  The stream along the way was very pleasant.  

Jeep road for hiking part way up the canyon
Riparian habitat in creek bottom

North across the Owens Valley to the White Mountains
Crowned Muilla

Sierra Crest

Descending the canyon