My California - The Eagles Crest Loop

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For this weeks Show Us Your California contest by @thesocalhive I go to Sequoia National Park to hike...

the Eagles Crest Loop!!

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I drove up to the Mineral King area in the southern part of Sequoia national park. I snagged a permit from the ranger station and headed out for an awesome three day trek! I hit the trail up out of Mineral King valley and climbed up into White Chief valley. I spent some time exploring the old mines and tunnels and checking out old artifacts from the miners. I kept working my way up the canyon and then eventually I found a really nice spot to camp in the upper part of the canyon.

Crossing the east fork Kaweah river on the drive up to Mineral King

Hiking up out of Mineral King valley

Wildflowers along the trail

Old mining artifacts

White Chief valley

Wildflowers in White Chief valley

The White Chief mine

Inside the White Chief mine

White Chief valley

The upper mine

More tunnels

Vertical mine shaft

Blooming Columbine

Exploring the caves

My camp

The next day I packed up my camp and started climbing up to White Chief peak(11,159'). The climb was fairly easy and the views over White Chief Valley and out to the Great Western Divide were way awesome! From there I headed down from the peak and followed along the crest of the ridge over to the top of the Eagles Crest(11,185')! It was an easy walk to the summit blocks and then there was a class 3 climb up to the summit. It wasn't too difficult, but it took a bit of route finding which made it quite fun!! I had some lunch on the summit while enjoying the views and then kept moving west . I made my way over the top of the Miners ridge and then dropped my camping gear at the saddle above the Mosquito lakes. Then I made the kinda long but really easy climb up to Hengst peak(11,146'). The views from the top were really awesome as well, but Eagles Crest definitely took the prize as best peak of the day.

Views from White Chief peak

Some random artifacts along the Eagles Crest

Views looking east from Eagles Crest

Views looking west from Eagles Crest

Eagles Crest summit register

Views from the top of Miners Ridge

Views from Hengst peak

From Hengst peak I dropped back down to the saddle, picked up my camping gear, and headed down to upper Mosquito lake where I found a really nice camping spot on the west shore just up from the outlet. I setup my camp and spent the rest of the evening having a blast catching trout after trout after trout!!

Overlooking upper Mosquito lake

My camp

Trout fishing

Trout fishing

Hengst peak from upper Mosquito lake

Evening fishing session


The next morning I got up early and made the climb up to Purves Peak(11,032'). There was some brush on the route, but otherwise nothing super technical besides just being super steep and sometimes kinda loose. There were a bunch of little quartz crystals all over too, which were pretty cool to checkout. Purves had some really awesome views that definitely gave Eagle's Crest a run for it's money!

Views looking south from Purves peak

Views looking north from Purves peak

Wood sign on the top of Purves peak

Selfie on Purves peak

After enjoying my morning on the summit I made my way back down to the lake and packed up my camp and started working my way down through the lower Mosquito lakes. From the lowest lake I caught the trail up and over the Miners Nose and then dropped back down into the Mineral King valley where I started. It was a super awesome hike... but it was just the start of this trip. I got myself a campsite at the Cold Spring campground and immediately started planning for my next adventure!

Getting back to camp

Middle Mosquito lake

Lower Mosquito lake

Views from the Miners Nose

Old mining activity along the Miners ridge

Dropping back down into Mineral King valley

Camping at the Cold Spring campground

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Map (click to enlarge)

Until next time...

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into

My California!!

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all photos by @derekrichardson

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damn that looks like it was an awesome trip :)

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What a beautiful world, thanks for the videos to see the mountain tops of the region.

Some areas reach impressive altitudes in this range, middle mosquito lake rugged area looked good for camping overnight.

To think people rushed into areas like this to mine for the fortune, we go to enjoy the views in nature.

I've been trying to include more video clips. I think it helps make the post feel real.

All of the Mosquito lakes had pretty good spots to camp, but the middle one was probably the best. There were a bunch of good spots to camp there.

This area had a mining and logging boom, but it didn't really last long. Then Walt Disney tried to buy up the area and turn it into a big resort. But eventually it got added into the National Park and has been protected since.

Absolutely attractive. Never mind the Gold Rush, that is a place I have romanticized for some time, I think.

Did you know that landscape photography was kind of first popularized there about a century ago by Ansel Adams? Before he went on to make the Yellowstone what it is today. His family of German origin had moved there exactly during the Gold Rush...

Yep, I'm very much familiar with Ansel Adams! He pioneered photography in the High Sierra. Especially in Yosemite. I have a friend that jokingly likes to call me "Derek Ansel Muir" a combination of my name, Ansel Adams, and John Muir. lol. Although my favorite legend from the range is actually Norman Clyde.

Are the mines gold mines? It certainly looks like a great way to get away from "lockdown."😄

I think they mined some gold, but I think it was mostly copper and silver.

Nice trip! Love these pictures of the great mountains in So Cal. We have had so many fun adventures hiking and camping in So Cal. Nothing like fresh trout after a nice hike 😀

Thanks @birdsinparadise! And the trout doesn't get any fresher than that. Straight from the lake to the pan!

Man! This is an awesome account of an awesome hike @derekrichardson. When I lived in
Tucson Az, Hiking and camping were two of my favorite pastimes. Great exercise too!
Unfortunately, my other favorite pastime was drinking (booze) which eventually
Overwhelmed everything else. Long dismal story. I love these images and
Your recounting of your activities (that trout made what, a snack?)😈
My time in Az was in the late 70's, and everything has changed.
I doubt I could find my way around there now, definitely I
Know I couldn't do any of my favorite hikes now. Age
And the repercussions of my addictions would keep
Me in my car or on a picnic table admiring the
View. I am happy to upvote and reblog this
No, I'm not holding on to that tree, I'm about
To jump across that chasm

Very cool! Did you really jump across that chasm!?? Thats wild! I love it. lol. Arizona is pretty awesome. Most my family lives out there so I visit fairly often. Me and my mom will do backpacking trips out there in Flagstaff, Sedona, or the most incredible... the Grand Canyon!

That looks like it was an amazing trip and incredibly peaceful. Too awesome!

Thanks @wwwiebe! It was a great trip. The mountains are so peaceful.

WOW! that looks amazing! Fabulous photos

Incredible views, #derekrichardson. That's so cool that they have a register at the summit. How do they keep it from being destroyed by the elements? The old mines and caves are really cool. As it is Easter week (though I'm not a practicing Catholic), I could not help but think of Christ rising from the dead when I saw that one rock with the hole in it. Beautiful post, as always! How often do you have to replace your hiking boots? :-)

Thanks @jayna! A lot of the peaks in the Sierra Nevada have summit registers, but not all of them. And they're all different. Some are nice metal capsules that the Sierra Club put out there, a lot of them are in old ammo boxes, a lot are in small plastic jars. Some are in tiny little bottles hidden among the rocks that can be almost impossible to find! It's always fun to look through them though. Some get filled up and some sit for years without a single signature. I've seen some signatures in summit logs that were almost 100 years old! As far as boots go, I buy heavy duty mountaineering style boots so they can last me a couple years. I used to buy cheaper ones, but I'd tear 'em up pretty quick.

Wow, it must be amazing look through those capsules, especially when there are signatures from long ago! I don’t remember finding those when I hiked that area back in the day.

Stunning scenery! Thank you for taking us with you!

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Thanks, we never get to see that side of California. 👍

Yep! This side of California is quite a bit different then the Hollywood version people usually see.

Wao, I admire people who do this kind of tours, the truth is that I am very afraid of this hahaha, I loved your publication full of interesting descriptive and even more, beautiful photographs. thanks for sharing them. My support, a hug and the respective reblog here. @derekrichardson

Thanks @marybellrg! If you're not as experienced as I am in the outdoors I can definitely see how it could be scary. But for me it's like being right at home. lol.

hahaha yes, I noticed that, that's why I tell you that I admire very much those who do. I will follow your trail to keep recreating me with the landscapes and experiences. A hug from Venezuela, thanks for responding. @derekrichardson

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Thank you for participating in this weeks Show us Your California contest!

Man oh man. That's a real trek and a great post to show it off!

I love checking out old mines, but they give me the willies. I've never been able to attain any sort of comfort level underground. Doesn't mean I don't look, but I'm a LOT happier in the sunshine.

Thanks for a truly epic post!

Thanks @bigtom13! I like exploring underground. The only times I might get uncomfortable is when it gets really tight. Then I can get a little bit claustrophobic. But I'm usually able to handle it fine. The first time I explored the caves up there in White Chief valley a few years ago I was pretty deep in one of them and I did a belly crawl into a tiny tunnel... and it ended at an impassable vertical drop off, which dropped about 20ft or so down to where an underground creek was flowing... it was actually kinda cool, except that I was stuck and couldn't turn around... so I had to belly crawl backwards the whole way back out the tiny tunnel! It was wild.

Great nature photos, I would love to see it in real life!!

Thank you @rynow. It truly is a beautiful mountain range.

Great pics and recap! That mine looks like a great place to explore too! 😎

Thanks dude! The caves in White Chief valley are so cool. I didn't really do them justice in the post. At the upper end the main creek actually flows into the caves. So you can find creeks and pools and even small waterfalls inside these caves! And then at the lower end all the water comes blasting out of a big hole in the rock and then pours 80-100ft over a cliff! It's such a neat area. I'm kinda surprised it's not a more popular hiking destination.

What an amazing hike and fabulous scenery. Great photos. I think you were brave to make the trip by yourself. I didn’t see any animals and wondered if any coyotes and mountain lions around the area.

Thanks @redheadpei! Yes, there are coyotes and mountain lions up there. And bears too! I didn't get to see any of those on this trip, but I did get to see a family of deer!

Trip looks epic!

It definitely was!

Some really great shots!Post of the day for me

are you still allowed to go out these days? and how is it for a travel person to be in quarantine and lockdown ? always a pleasure

We have some restrictions here, everyone has to wear a mask and a lot of businesses are closed, but we can still go outside.