June 26, 2013 The South Fork Loop Hiking

The South Fork Loop

“Don’t tell me how far it is,” I say. I don’t want to know. We’re at the Mill Creek Ranger Station, waiting for it to open so we can get hiking permits. You need permits to enter the San Gorgonio Wilderness, even for day hikes, and in Summer there’s a trail quota to deal with (more...)...

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June 12, 2013 Mount Hollywood Hiking

Mount Hollywood

Rising only 1625 feet above sea level, Mount Hollywood may sound lowly. But it is surely one of the must-do summits in Southern California. You won’t need much more than a pair of sneakers and a water bottle to make it to the top, and from there, you’ll be rewarded with incomparable views of Griffith (more...)...

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November 7, 2012 Rim to Rim: I Think You Can Do It Hiking

Rim to Rim: I Think You Can Do It

The call comes at 3:30 a.m. In record-setting fashion, my brother has pushed this decision to literally the last minute possible. If he says go, we’ll hop in the car and drive to Grand Canyon Village, for a grueling but no doubt extraordinary day hike across the Grand Canyon, south rim to north. On the (more...)...

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September 30, 2011 White Mountain Hiking

White Mountain

White Mountain, California — It would be a mistake to call White Mountain an easy fourteener (is there such a thing?). But it’s not unreasonable to call White Mountain California’s easiest fourteener. Which is kind of funny, because from three directions—north, east, and west—White and its 10K gains offer just about as grueling a climb (more...)...

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August 25, 2011 Telescope Peak Trail Hiking

Telescope Peak Trail

Telescope Peak, California — monsoon moisture pops thunderheads to the south, while drier air pushes down from the north. Forecast: indeterminate. It’s seven miles from the trailhead at Mahogany Flat to Telescope Peak’s summit, and the majority traverse a broad, airy ridge offering not a hint of storm protection (more…) (more...)...

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September 4, 2010 Half Dome via the Cables Hiking

Half Dome via the Cables

It is perhaps the most famous hike in the United States. Every Summer, thousands attempt the 16 mile round trip from Yosemite Valley’s floor to Half Dome’s 8836-foot summit. Along they way they will travel through some of Yosemite’s most inspiring terrain, passing not one but two major waterfalls and countless jaw-dropping vistas. But the (more...)...

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August 15, 2010 The South Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop Hiking

The South Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop

It is only natural, standing atop Grand Canyon, to gaze into the depths below the rim and wonder if it’s possible to hike all the way down to the river and back in a single day. Hiking rim-to-river offers the ultimate Grand Canyon experience—a ‘trip through time’ traversing twelve distinct geologic formations. Attempting the entire (more...)...

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July 9, 2010 The Bridge to Nowhere Hiking

The Bridge to Nowhere

You have to admire the audacity of the attempt to build a road through San Gabriel Canyon connecting Azusa and Wrightwood. The planned route, along the East Fork of Southern California’s San Gabriel River, passing beneath the immense west and north faces of Iron Mountain and up the dramatic narrows of the East Fork canyon, (more...)...

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June 22, 2010 Williamson Blues Hiking

Williamson Blues

This past weekend I and two friends made a go at Williamson via the big-big West Face/Shepherd Pass route. We made it as far as Anvil camp, but had to turn back the following day when AMS took out one of my companions overnight. While I was disappointed at not getting a shot at the (more...)...

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October 24, 2009 Mt. Baldy Bikini Party Hiking

Mt. Baldy Bikini Party

Okay, I kid you not, as I was driving to Mt. Baldy this morning for an early-season training hike, I was bemoaning the dearth of scantily clad women in the backcountry. I mean, I’ve been hiking a long, long time, and while initially in my hiking career I was convinced I’d one day hit the (more...)...

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About SierraDescents

When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

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