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Hot Showers, Soft Beds, and Dayhikes in the Sierra: Walks and Strolls Near Lodgings

Hot Showers, Soft Beds, and Dayhikes in the Sierra: Walks and Strolls Near Lodgings

by Kathy Morey

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With this book in hand, hikers can spend their days wandering in wildflower meadows, hiking to cragged peaks, or swimming in cobalt-blue lakes in the Sierra Nevada, and then settle into a deck chair at sunset to enjoy the alpenglow. Hot Showers, Soft Beds,&Dayhikes in the Sierra describes 112 carefully chosen dayhikes in Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, John Muir, Ansel Adams, Desolation, and Emigrant wilderness areas, and more. Many hikes have easy-through-strenuous options, and every hike listed is in close proximity to one or more quality accommodations (over 80 cabins, B&Bs, motels, lodges, guest ranches, and resorts are described).

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780899975566
Publisher: Wilderness Press
Publication date: 11/15/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 338
File size: 28 MB
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About the Author

The backpacking bug hit Kathy Morey hard in the 1970s and hasn’t let go yet. In 1990 she abandoned an aerospace career to write for Wilderness Press, authoring four hiking guides on Hawaii—Hawaii Trails, Kauai Trails, Maui Trails, and Oahu Trails—and Guide to the John Muir Trail, in addition to Hot Showers, Soft Beds, & Dayhikes in the Sierra. Kathy coauthored several previous editions of Sierra North and Sierra South and served as lead author for the most recent editions of both. She lives in Big Pine, California.

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1 Chicken Spring Lake

Place Total Distance Elevation Difficulty Level Type

Trailhead 9920

Streamside stop 3 9960 E O&B

Cottonwood Pass 8 11,200 S O&B

Chicken Spring Lake 9 11,270 S O&B

Best Time: Early July–late August

Topo: Cirque Peak 7.5’

Where to Stay: A variety of lodgings are available in Lone Pine.

Highlights: The drive to the trailhead is very scenic and airy. You’re in the high country from the minute you step out of the car. The well-graded trail passes through a wonderfully varied alpine landscape up to superb views at Cottonwood Pass. Chicken Spring Lake, tucked right under Cirque Peak, is starkly beautiful.

How to Get to the Trailhead: From the traffic light in Lone Pine, at the intersection of Highway 395 and Whitney Portal Road, turn west on Whitney Portal Road and follow it 3.5 miles to Horseshoe Meadow Road. Turn left (south) onto Horseshoe Meadow Rd. as it snakes up the mountainside to a fork at about 20 miles. Go ahead to the Horseshoe Meadow and Kern Plateau trailheads at the road’s end at a parking lot, 0.5 mile more, which has water and restrooms.

On the Trail: Pick up the sandy trail by a large information sign to the right of the restrooms and head west through an open forest of lodgepole and foxtail pines, soon entering Golden Trout Wilderness. The gradually rising trail stays in the forest edge as you skirt broad, dusty Horseshoe Meadow and bypass a use trail left to Trail and Mulkey passes. Stay on the main trail and near the west end of Horseshoe Meadow cross a couple of forks of Cottonwood Creek one after the other (they look like one crossing on the book’s map). Just beyond there’s a lovely, shady, streamside stop at 1.5 miles and 9960 feet, with lots of nice rocks to sit on. Sharp-eyed hikers may spot an old log cabin to the south—look but don’t disturb.

Continuing, cross the creek once more, pass a small, flowery meadow, and then begin a moderate, switchbacking climb toward Cottonwood Pass. Views soon open up over Horseshoe Meadow. Cross the creek again partway up, where there’s a fine display of flowers in season. Just below the pass, a signed but unmapped stock bypass route branches right; go left, staying on the main trail. Shortly reach Cottonwood Pass at a little less than 4 miles and 11,200 feet. The view westward, over Kern Plateau and Kern Canyon, toward one of the Sierra’s most beautiful subranges, the Great Western Divide, is sublime.

A few steps west of Cottonwood Pass, meet the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at a threeway junction. Turn right on the Pacific Crest Trail and follow it for almost 0.6 mile to the rocky outlet stream of Chicken Spring Lake. Turn right and follow the outlet, which is often dry by late season, upstream a short way to reach Chicken Spring Lake at 4.5 miles and 11,270 feet. This beautiful lake is a popular spot, so you’ll probably have company. Return the way you came.

Table of Contents

Summary of the Trips’ Best Features

Preface to the Third Edition


Get Ready to Hike!

How to Use This Book

Eastern Sierra

Chapter 1: Lone Pine to Convict Lake

Chapter 2: Mammoth Lakes

Chapter 3: June Lake to Bridgeport

Western Sierra

Chapter 4: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Chapter 5: Between the Parks

Chapter 6: The Valleys of Yosemite National Park

Northern Sierra

Chapter 7: State Route 120: The Yosemite High Country

Chapter 8: State Route 108: Sonora Pass Country

Chapter 9: State Route 4: Ebbetts Pass Country

Chapter 10: State Routes 88 and 89: Wildflower Country

Chapter 12: State Route 89 Around Lake Tahoe

Chapter 13: Interstate 80: Donner Summit Country

Appendix A: Top Picks

Appendix B: Hints for Staying in Lodgings

Appendix C: Backcountry Lodgings

Appendix D: Travel in the Sierra

Appendix E: How I Got the Data

Index of Accommodations

Index of Towns and Agencies


About the Author

Customer Reviews