Opening Statement

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Monday, November 14, 2016

Snow Mountain Wilderness - Mendocino National Forest

Snow Mountain - Looking West from the East Peak

Snow Mountain

The Snow Mountain Wilderness is just 3.5 hours driving from the Bay Area, but it's not well known or heavily visited.  I went up in early November 2016 before the snow started to fall for the season.

Saturday I drove up to the Deafy Glade trailhead and hiked up into the Snow Mountain Wilderness.  It was a great trip and these pictures from my smartphone don't really do it justice.  One of the most amazing aspects was how completely silent it was most of the time.  Not just the usual wilderness silent, I mean completely quiet.  There isn't much running water, and the wind was really absent or very light most of the time, so there were sections where it was just profoundly still.  The landscape up there is other worldly.  I suppose the Sierras are just so familiar that they don't have that feeling for me anymore.  This wilderness has a completely different character.

One of the pictures is a small part of a loveliness of ladybugs that numbered in the thousands.  On the opposite end of the spectrum I ran across what must have been bear scat based on the size, and I just snapped a picture for the curiosity of it.  There were amazing clouds, fall colors, patches of snow, and close to a full moon.

The first day was a "short" 7 miler, but with about 3,000 feet of climbing.  The second day was I made it to the peak after another 3 hours of hiking, but didn't really count on almost another five hours to complete my loop and make it out, so I was pretty tired after 16 miles of pounding out the miles, and was glad to finish the day.

The Trail to the East Peak of Snow Mountain

Low Clouds and Burns Made the Landscape Otherworldly
A Loveliness of Ladybugs

After the peak, a long loop will bring you back
My Campsite Above the Clouds
The Stream Crossing

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