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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Late, Late Wildflowers this Year but finally found at Sagehen Creek!

My readers know that I have been on the lookout for any sign of wildflowers in the Sierra all summer.  We made another attempt this weekend beginning with Paige Meadows on the northwest side of Lake Tahoe along the Tahoe Rim Trail.  The only sign of spring at one of the most famous wildflower viewing meadows in the Tahoe basin, was one stand of snow plants and ravenous mosquitoes!  Despite having leggings on, I left with hundreds of bites on my legs and recommend bring bug spray along.  I think we are still 2 weeks away from peak in this high meadow.

Since we spent the night in Tahoe City after a sail on the lake, we decided to try a new trail (to us) since we are rarely on the north side of the lake.  We left early to beat the holiday traffic and drove north on HWY 89 about 7 miles north of Truckee to the Sagehen Creek trail head.  Ample parking is just north of the creek.  This was an out and back trail to Stampede Reservoir and was a wonderful surprise find.  The trail is flat, soft under foot and runs along the creek through wide open Jeffrey Pine forest and meadows.  Round trip is about 5 miles. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Late start to high country hiking in Tahoe!

After the enormous winter we had, (more than 50 feet) we expected a late start to hiking in the high country.  However, we never expected that we wouldn't see a hint of wildflowers by the 4th of July.  Our first attempt was on 5/31/19 when we ventured to Tahoe to find our only option to be the Tahoe Rim Trail out of Van Sickle at Stateline.  It was chilly day with no hope of getting barely above lake level before hitting snow.

Our second trip on 6/18/19 didn't prove any more fruitful.  With tons of snow still hanging on at low level, we were reduced to (and happily so) to our annual 8 mile hike along one of the most beautiful hikes in the country along the Rubicon Trail.  This is an out and back approximately 8 miles round trip from D.L. Bliss to Emerald Bay.  Although relatively flat, you are rewarded with Lake front view the entire way! 

On 6/26/19, we tried again to get some elevation gain on the Bay View Trail.  This hike out of Emerald Bay is one of my all-time favorites because it is steep and you can either reward yourself with views form Maggie's Peak or continue on to Eagle Falls.  Again our plans were foiled by snow fields below what we call the saddle between Granite Lake and Maggie's.  We tromped through the snow to the saddle but couldn't get any farther than the views from the enormous granite boulders.

On 7/1 my husband was sure we would be seeing wildflowers at the lower elevation of Lyons Creek near Wrights Lake but still we were stopped dead in our tracks by snow fields.  We made it into Desolation Wilderness but weren't able to get to Lake Sylvia.  After getting lost bushwhacking around the snow, we finally called it quits about 4.5 miles in.  The trail head for Lyons Creek is on the access road to Wright's Lake and offers up some of the best wild flower displays in the Sierra's but my guess is that we still have at least 2 weeks for that show.

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