I had a wonderful five day trip, one of my non-driving trips on which I took the Amtrak to and from Truckee. I walked from Truckee up to and along the Donner Lake Rim Trail, then headed south on the PCT past Donner Pass, Mt. Anderson, the North Fork of the American River (which becomes the Royal Gorge downstream), and into the Granite Chief.
I did some brushing work on the PCT, particularly the section between Five Lakes Creek and Twin Peaks that was completely brushed in four years ago and got me into doing maintenance on the PCT. So the trail is now reasonably clear again, though it needs brushing every year.
The funnest thing I did was to drop off the PCT at the southern wilderness boundary, into Bear Pen Canyon, first contouring around to the little dot of a pond that is on the maps. The pond is about two feet deep, about 50 feet across, and quite pretty. It is full of frogs that would call intermittently throughout the afternoon. They may have been mountain yellow-legged frogs, but I could never get a clear view of one to be sure. The call maybe matches, but I’m not a frog person.
From there I went along the bench and up to the ridge which divides Bear Pen from Powderhorn. What a wonderful world up there. There are great views into both canyons. The ridge is largely flat, with forest and openings, and further south great flower fields. The ridge gets almost no use, since the trail goes another way. Well worth exploring.
I walked out Blackwood Canyon after camping near the trailhead at Barker Pass, and caught the bus to Truckee and the train back to Reno, and back home on the bus. I like these no-driving trips, though they do take longer.
The snow is melting fast in the high country. Though some of the deeper snowbanks are still there and melting slowly, almost all of the shallow snowbanks disappeared in the last week.