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Ice Crystals grow out of High Sierra Soils

A common event is cold night time temps causing crystal formation in soils.

 Ice crystals grow out of Sierra soils.

This effect "scrubs" the trail of tracks. Tracks on the trail are dated from the last crystal-freeze or rain in that area. Wind ages and obliterates tracks. The crystals above formed during early May of 2002 in the open flat of Meiss Meadow.

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Wolf Creek flows as Slush

I guess this topic deals with cold effects on terrain, on water, on lakes and streams.

Here's Wolf Creek flowing as slush during October of 2011:

Wolf Creek flowing as sulsh, October 2011.

I was facinated by this. I would have spent the morning watching it revert to liquid water, but I had a hiking partner with time constraints during this backpacking trip that I could not blow off.

In for a penny, in for a pound.

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Meiss Family Cabin, Meiss Meadow, Meiss Country Roadless Area

Forest Service Sign at Meiss Cabin in the Meiss Country Roadless Area in the Southernmost part of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

 Meiss Cabin historical marker, Forest Service.


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Environmental News May 5 to 7, 2014

Science and Environment News
May 5-7 2014

May 7

As CO2 levels rise, some crop nutrients will fall, Nature, May 7, 2014. 
"Researchers have some bad news for future farmers and eaters: As carbon dioxide levels rise this century, some grains and legumes will become significantly less nutritious than they are today. The new findings are reported in the journal Nature."


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Sayles Canyon Coyote

Sayles Canyon Coyote
By Bill FSayles Canyon Coyote, El Dorado National Forest.

I don't know if this is the same coyote as the one I saw at the Sayles Canyon Trail junction along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in the Meiss Country Roadless Area. Same coloring, and he is displaying the same calm, quiet intensity as the one I saw.

But, if this is not the same one, I'll bet he knows the coyote I saw.

Map embed: 
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The Thin-Crusted U.S. Sierra Nevada Mountains: Where Did the Earth Go?

"Boulder, Colo., USA – In an addition to Geosphere's ongoing themed issue series, "Geodynamics and Consequences of Lithospheric Removal in the Sierra Nevada, California," Craig H. Jones of the University of Colorado Boulder and colleagues examine the seismological study of the entire extent of the U.S. Sierra Nevada range using seismograms collected in the Sierra Nevada EarthScope field experiment from 2005 to 2007.

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Amphibians in a vise: Climate change robs frogs, salamanders of refuge

"By hightailing it to nearby ponds and shallow waterways, frogs and salamanders have – until now – had a way to evade exotic trout introduced to the West’s high-mountain lakes for recreational fishing.

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Natural Exposure makes kids Spiritual

Playing outside could make kids more spiritual, Michigan State University, Kristen Parker, Gretel Van Wieren.

"In the study, published recently in the Journal of the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, children who played outside five to 10 hours per week said they felt a spiritual connection with the earth, and felt their role is to protect it."

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High Sierra Water Purity Information: Giardia Lamblia, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidium

High Sierra Water purity and contamination information and resources for backpackers.

Giardia and Cryptosporidium are generally recognized as the basic threats to backpacker water purity in the High Sierra. Our first line of defense is knowledge. Below we will get a range of information supporting a range of responses.

To treat or not to treat, that is the ultimate question.

Below Dr. Rockwell insists Sierra Water is safe, further down we see Dr. Derlet finding indications of widespread contamination.

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High Sierra Roads and Trails: Spring Evolution, April-May 2014

2014 Season Introduction
April 13
2014 has brought a serious amplification of the multi-decadal trend towards shorter, drier Winters in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This is the least precipitation I've ever seen during Fall and Winter.

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Ducks, Stony Ridge Lake, Sept 09

Ducks busy feeding up in the marshy area just South of Stony Ridge Lake on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail 6.62 miles South of Meeks Bay Trailhead.

Ducks above Stony Ridge Lake, Desolation Wilderness, Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

September 17 2009


Stony Ridge Lake


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Kingsbury/ NV 207 2014-2015 Summer Construction

Cayenne posted up this important-informative notice of upcoming long term work on Nevada Highway 207, Kingsbury Grade. THANKS!

Kingsbury Grade connects the South end of the Carson Valley with the Southeast corner of South Lake Tahoe. Kingsbury Grade hits the Tahoe shore a bit South of Stateline in South Lake Tahoe. There's a road map showing Kingsbury Grade at just above Cayenne's original post. Kingsbury Grade is at the top of the map.

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High Sierra Nevada List of Check Dams

Rough Draft List of all High Sierra Check Dams between

Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney,

Along the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails.


Lake Genevieve, Desolation Wilderness, LTBMU. 

Stony Ridge Lake, Massive Check Dam, LTBMU. 

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Grizzly Peak to Jack Main Canyon via Bond Pass

We hike South on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail 3.08 miles from the Grizzly Peak trail junction over Bond Pass to join with the PCT in the top of Jack Main Canyon in the very Northwestern corner of the North Yosemite Backcountry.

From Grizzly Peak we've 1.08 miles South to the next Horse Meadow trail junction on the North side of Summit Meadow.  This one is marked with a recently replaced trail post (2012).

Horse Meadow trail junction

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Brown Bear Pass to Grizzly Peak trail junction

Brown Bear Pass marks our exit from Summit Creek's awesome valley into the High Emigrant Meadow.

Brown Bear Pass to Bond Pass and Yosemite

On the far side of Emigrant Meadow a 200 foot low ridge divides Emigrant Meadow and Emigrant Meadow Lake from Grizzly Peak surrounded by Grizzly Meadow on its East side. 

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Upper Lunch Meadow to Brown Bear Pass

Backpacking South over the last mile and a half up to Brown Bear Pass from Upper Lunch Meadow we first encounter the trail junction teeing off to the South over Mosquito Pass to Emigrant Lake a half-mile above Upper Lunch Meadow.

This map covers this potential route

Emigrant Wilderness Map

Emigrant Lake is the third lake down the Canyon of the North fork of Cherry Creek from Emigrant Meadow Lake in Emigrant Meadow.

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Sheep Camp to Upper Lunch Meadow

Hiking South of Sheep Camp's exceptional campsites we travel through some unique shaped and colored golden granites of Emigrant Wilderness.

Trail Guide

We enjoy the shade of the light forest cover alternating with sections of dry sage meadow. A bit short of the lower edge of Lunch Meadow, the North end, we come upon a fine group site.

We will leave this behind in favor of one of the sites either on the North or South end of upcoming Lunch Meadow.

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Saucer Meadow to Sheep Camp

Sheep Camp is 2.48 miles up 880 feet of elevation from Saucer Meadow proper.

Sheep Camp is about 2 miles South of the last of the "Saucer Meadow Campsites' spread for a half mile South of Saucer Meadow.

This is an exceptional section of trail, especially the last quarter mile up to a narrow passage in the ridgline at the top of this narrowing arm of canyon just off the Northeast side of the crest of Blackhawk Mountain.

This is quite a stunning section of trail.

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Relief Reservoir to Saucer Meadow Campsites

Saucer Meadow is 560 feet above our trail past Relief Reservoir over 1.58 miles. This constitutes a hard degree of moderate difficulty trail.

This page is set up to provide basic information to supplement the trail guide, the most valuable of which are your comments, questions and experiences.

Each of these will help inform backpackers who've not experienced this wonderland.

There are no good campsites at Saucer Meadow itself. What I call the Saucer Meadow Campsites begin about a half mile South of Saucer Meadow.

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