All Aboard the Skunk Train Rail Bikes

Riding the Skunk Train Rail Bikes

On a less rainy weekend this past winter, I decided to leave hibernation and escape to the North Coast. The North Coast is a wild, beautiful and much less popular destination than Big Sur, south of the Bay Area. Enormous coastal redwoods call the North Coast home. The area is filled with logging history and relics of that era, including the Skunk Train. A few years ago, we got to take the Skunk Train to Camp Noyo. This time around, we decided to take the Skunk Train Rail Bikes out for a spin.

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5 Day Mineral King Backpacking Loop

As a young lass, Walden West Outdoor School & Summer Camp took me on my first backpacking trips on the Skyline-to-the-Sea route through the Santa Cruz Mountains. As the years went on, they added more offerings in the Sierra, which is how I discovered Mineral King. I’ll never forget flipping through those brochures in awe of kids jumping off rocks into alpine lakes. After 15+ years of waiting, my boots (trail runners, more accurately) finally touched the trails of Mineral King. If you’ve got some time to spare, this 5-day Mineral King backpacking loop is a must-do.

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Pyramid Peak to Price Traverse, Desolation Wilderness

Visible from Sacramento on a clear day, the Crystal Range is one of the most stunning ranges in the Lake Tahoe area. Desolation Wilderness from its lakes is great and all, but have you experienced it from above? The Pyramid to Price Traverse is a 3rd/4th class scramble along the Crystal Range. The traverse itself spans 2 miles. Getting out of the traverse is the toughest part. Here’s everything you need to know about the Pyramid Peak to Price Traverse.

Pyramid Peak to Price Traverse

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Staying at the Post Creek Guard Station

Mount Shasta dominates the landscape in Northern California, but this area is home to many hidden gems. Built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps for use as a wildfire lookout, the Post Creek Guard Station is now a quiet getaway for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life. With no cell service, this little cabin in the woods is the perfect place to quarantine and relax.

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Backpacking Fourth of July Lake, Mokelumne Wilderness

Backpacking Fourth of July Lake, Mokelumne Wilderness, June 2017

This winter was a Sierra snow year for the books. I’ve lived in California all my life but don’t remember a winter where it rained for three months straight. All the snow meant my Sierra objectives were looking a little bleak and buried. I brushed up on my map and compass skills with REI and hit the trail in Mokelumne Wilderness at the beginning of June. My destination was a place I’ve never been: Fourth of July Lake in the Carson Pass Management Area.

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