Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2-10-08 Walker Ridge Trip Report

I love California. I love being able to hike in early February, in shorts and short sleeves. Incredible.

So we went to Walker Ridge, which is a remote ridge on the border of Colusa and Lake Counties. It gets some use by off-road motorcycles, but the area is otherwise very lightly visited. It has some amazing vistas, and on a clear day you can see the Sutter Buttes and dthe Sierra Nevada. On this hike, we saw the Sierra very clear, but an inversion layer trapped all the valley smog/smoke/fog and obscured the Buttes.

The views of Snow Mountain were pretty fabulous, and the mountain lived up to it's name. We started off the hike with great views of the snow-capped peaks. We start at the highest point of the hike, so downhill we went toward Signal Rock. Along the way, we looked at an old chimney from a long-forgotten homestead. With mining, came the houses. When mining left, the harsh landscape left nothing else for the residents of the Sulphur Creek mining area. Only Wilbur Hot Springs remains in the watershed. From work to leisure, human uses of the region have changed greatly in 150 years.

This hike was a loop, looking at two large rock formations and the old Clyde mine. I've done this loop for many years now, and each time I am more astounded at the landscape. An entire pygmy forest of cedars, a grove of oaks in a sea of chemise, serpentine slabs with emerald green gloss and white veins.

I posted pictures on the images section of the Yolohiker website.

Andrew Fulks

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