Tag: swimming

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Big Sur River & Pfeiffer Falls

A couple friends and I took advantage of the three day weekend and drove down to Big Sur for some good ol’ group camping. With temperatures hovering well above 70 degrees, it was the perfect time to head down to the central coast to get outside and relax.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Big Sur River & Pfeiffer Falls Trip Report February 2015

My car drove down bright and early on Saturday morning to beat traffic on Highway 1 and maximize the fun. (Seriously, Highway 1 minivan traffic is no joke on the weekends) Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has one campground open in the “winter”. The campsites are all packed in four rows. They can fit 8 people but its a squeeze to get four 2-person tents in with room to breathe. Each site also holds two cars.

Read More

Stanislaus National Forest: Rainbow Pools

Stanislaus National Forest: Rainbow Pools Stanislaus National Forest: Rainbow Pools

If you’re on your way in or out of Yosemite, take a break and cool off at Rainbow Pools off Highway 120 in Stanislaus National Forest. This is a little oasis with a picturesque waterfall, an inviting rock, and refreshingly cool water. The water level was a tad lower than the last time I was there, but still swimmable and jumpable. I thought it would have been engulfed in flames from last year’s Rim Fire, but things are still lush and green!

During hot summer and fall days, it gets pretty packed with people swimming and jumping off the rocks. At night it’s a little more quiet, save for the sound of bats swooping around above the water.

This is a destination you can’t miss if you’re in the area, even if you’re only stopping for a little while.

Lassen Volcanic NP: Clusters Lake Loop & Cinder Cone

Hike: Clusters Lake Loop & Cinder Cone
Where: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Trailhead: Summit Lake
Level: Moderate
Duration: 8 hours
Length: 17 miles out and back
Gear: Icebreaker Tech T Lite shirt, Outdoor Research Turbine Shorts, Boreas Topaz 25, Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles, and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot
Cost of Parking: Free

Really long days like this happen when I try to jam pack a lot of things into a short amount of time. I started at the Summit Lake trailhead where our campsite was. My intention was to go all the way out to the Cinder Cone (which I will be tackling this weekend), back and down around the whole Clusters Lake loop. It didn’t happen. It ended up being an out and back past Echo Lake, two unnamed lakes, Upper & Lower Twin Lakes, and Rainbow Lake to just a mile short of the Cinder Cone near the Fantastic Lava Beds and Painted Sand Dunes. This trail loops around Lower Twin lake and connects with the Pacific Crest Trail so you can opt to take that for a bit of a change of pace on your way back.

The trail up to Rainbow Lake is absolutely beautiful, but heading past that to the Cinder Cone is very hot, dry and barren. I highly suggest doing the full lake loop separately from the Cinder Cone for a more enjoyable and scenic experience. I also highly recommend hopping into one of the Twin Lakes, or maybe even Echo Lake and shouting really loud. They don’t call it Echo Lake for nothin’. The water is cool, crisp and so ridiculously clear! If you’d like to torture yourself, I would recommend this exact hike.

Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone