Distance: 16.6 mi.
Elevation Gain: 6000 ft.
We reached the Vivian Creek trailhead just before 9 AM and we informed by a sheriff that there was a search going on for two men who should have returned home the night before, and he asked us to keep our eyes peeled for the missing hikers. With a sense of duty we quickly began hiking, only to come across a sign after 1/4 mile saying that hiking permits were required beyond this point. We called the ranger station from here to ask about the permits, but no one answered. Ultimately we decided to continue on, but recommend calling about the permit ahead of time!
We climbed steadily for the first 2,000 ft. There were two good water sources that didn’t seem at risk of drying up soon, at about 2 miles and 6 miles. We were a bit surprised at the amount of shade and breeze. We hit a multitude of switchbacks after a small stream at 12 PM, and climbed quickly from 9300 ft to 9900 ft. From here we headed left (north) over dry, rocky trail for the remaining 1,500 ft. The trail was a bit hard to follow in places, but generally pretty well worn. At 11,200 ft we turned right (east) for the final climb to the summit, which we reached at 2 PM. While we had lunch we encountered some very persistent chipmunks who tried going into our packs even when we were staring directly at them from inches away. They were pretty darn cute, though.
We started back down just after 2:30 PM and retraced our steps out, finishing at 6:30 PM. In the interim, the two missing gentleman were found by helicopter. Yay!
(Download the free Gaia GPS app on your phone to view tracks and then get a Gaia GPS membership if you want offline access. Discount below!)
Recommended brew: Bear Republic Brewing Racer IPA
- Day packs
- Trail runners
- Trekking poles