Thursday, November 08, 2007

Seiad Valley Preview

Many locals know well the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) as it crosses the flanks of Mount Ashland on it's way to Pilot Rock, Soda Mountain and over to Green Springs and Hyatt Lake. But on rare occasion the need to get away strikes. A recent, clear November day gave such inspiration for a trip like this.

The troops loaded up for the drive into southern California and then west on Highway 96 along the mighty Klamath River. Less than ninety minutes after having left Ashland the group found themselves at a dirt turn-off along the road, just west of the small community of Seiad Valley, with a Pacific Crest Trail marker pointing the way. Up they did charge. The car was left along the banks of the river at 1,500 feet and six miles later the runners stood next to an abandoned lookout tower at 5,200 feet.

Here the northern California mountains are framed by the old building's now vacant windows. Mt. Shasta can barely be seen.

Abbey (tongue a hanging), Erik, Kyle and Ian (R to L) stand on Lower Devil's Peak with rugged Kangaroo Peak in the distance and the Red Buttes Wilderness beyond that.

Looking down on Seiad and the Klamath River more than 3,600 feet below.

Now that most of the elevation was gained, the group continued to contour along the mostly above treeline flanks of Middle and Lower Devil's Peak reaching almost 6,000 feet. The crew took in the views and then backtracked to the car...a few trip notes...water is scarce and ticks are a plenty on this section of trail.

This little excursion definitely whetted our appetites to explore further on the PCT and to find out what other incredible vistas, summits and sweeping ridge lines lay between here and Mount Ashland.

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