Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

2004 Log

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


January 10 – My first hike of the new year was at Almaden Quicksilver. (Report).

January 17 – Hiked at Almaden today. I did the loop out to Prospect #3 and back.

January 19 – For something different I drove up to Castle Rock State Park and had a great hike in the fog – via Castle Rock and Goat Rock out to the backpacker campground. (Report #1 and Report #2)

January 25 – Yesterday I thought I’d be skiing at Soda Springs today, but instead I ended up back at Almaden Quicksilver for a really beautiful hike in cool, crisp conditions but with new grass coming up everywhere. Did the loop out to Prospect #3. (Report)

January 31 – Did the loop from Mockingbird Hill at Almaden Quicksilver today – out to Prospect #3; up to the ridge and then to English Camp; then down Mine Hill and Hacienda back to my starting point. Report and photos here and here.


February 1 – Only time for an “urban hike” on the Los Gatos Creek trail today, but at least I got out.

February 8-9 – Two day trip to Tahoe for some tele’ skiing. Drove up on Friday night in a short but intense snow storm. Saturday dawned clear and cold and we spent the day at Squaw Valley. On Saturday we skied Heavenly Valley. I concentrated on “making my skis by friends” and getting relaxed on beginner downhills – a task on which I believe I largely succeeded.

February 13 – Friday the Thirteenth hike at Almaden Quicksilver. Did the long loop out to Guadalupe Reservoir and then back via the ridge, following game trails instead of the road at first.

February 15 – I had a couple hours this morning/afternoon so I took a quick AQCP hike. Went quickly up Deep Gulch, joined the English Camp trail, followed the footpath to the mill and the went down Woods Road, crossing the open meadow and then stopping at the next forested meadow, where I took some pictures before returning the same way.

February 22 – After a fairly insane week I had to get out for a hike today – even if it means that I’ve left some work undone that I’ll have to do late tonight. I managed to get it a quick hike up Deep Gulch past English Camp along the ridge to where I could overlook the valley while I ate my bagel. I dropped down the ridge cross-country through some old mining areas, emerging near the last mine below the summit on the Mine Hill trail. I descended via English Camp and Deep Gulch.

February 28 – Only time for an urban hike to Campbell on the Creek Trail today.

February 29 – a long hike at Almaden Quicksilver – perhaps the longest there so far. I began at Mockingbird Hill and headed out on the trail toward the Prospect #3 junction. Instead of turning up the hill here, I continued straight ahead past the Webb Canyon junction to a left lateral (looks like an old road) that may be the Cinnabar trail – at least that is how it is marked on the map. This joined the Mine Hill Trail and headed back toward Guadalupe Reservoir and the junction with Randol Trail. At this point I wasn’t sure which way would get me back to the car by sunset, but I chanced it and headed up Mine Hill Trail to the summit. From there I passed through English Camp and descended Mine Hill to the junction with the trail back to Mockingbird Hill.


March 6 – Great one-day ski trip to Sugar Bowl with Owen, Jane, Keri, Matt, and Chris. See online description.

March 13 – Beautiful spring hike at Almaden Quicksilver – from the Mockingbird Hill parking lot up to the ridge and around the loop. Lots of new grass and wildflowers today.

March 14Another beautiful day – seems more like spring than winter. This hike was at Sanborn Park. Hiked up to Skyline and then over to Castle Rock for a quick snack, then retraced my steps. Total distance is about 8.5 miles.

March 20First day of spring, so I took a quick early morning hike up the hill at Almaden Quicksilver.

March 27Grand loop hike at Almaden Quicksilver: Mockingbird Hill out to McAbee entrance area via the New Almaden Trail, then back via the ridge and Mine Hill Trail and Hacienda Trail. A bit more than 13 miles.

March 30 – Odd little hike at Almaden Quicksilver. It was cloudy with a very weak Pacific front coming in. I hiked somewhat slowly up to English Camp and poked around the buildings near the old mine site and a nearby grove of trees on the ridge. Then I followed Woods Road down to the forested section to take a few more photos. I descended Deep Gulch to return to the car.

March 31 – Quick one-day ski trip to Badger Pass and out the Glacier Point Road to just past the parking lot for Sentinel Dome. Probably about 16-17 mile round-trip.


April 2 – Quick Almaden hike this morning. Up Deep Gulch and then via Casitllero to Catherine Mine site. Then back down by way of English Camp. About 6 miles

April 3 – Another short hike, this one with the intent of taking some photos of flowers. Went from Mockingbird Hill out on New Almaden Trail and then up to Buena Vista Mine stie.

April 10 – The basic Mockingbird Hill/New Almaden/Mine Hill hike. Took my new camera today which added an hour and a half to the hike.

April 18 – New Almaden to Randol via Buena Vista Mine, up Prospect #3, Mine Hill, Hacienda.

April 24 – Hiked to the top of Mission Peak from the Stanford Read entrancce. I went beyond the top and headed on towards Mssion peak. Probably hiked about 9-10 miles overall.

April 25 – Hiked a loop at Castle Rock Park. Went out to nearly the campgound vai Goat Rock, then turned around to return past the waterful. Probably hiked about 5.5 miles or a bit more.


May 1 – I began the month with the standard hike up to English Camp, Bull Run, and Catherine Mine. Returned via Deep Gulch trail. This was the first day that has really felt more like summer than spring or winter.

May 2 – Did an interesting loop at Calero Park today – the first time I’ve taken a real hike here. I headed out to the junction of the Javelina Loop Trail and the Figueroa Trail and then returned via Figueroa. I’m guessing I hiked about 5 miles or so.

May 8 – Back to Calero today, this time to do the route that I intended to do last week: the Javelina Loop.

May 9 – Time for a quick run up the English Camp Trail and partway out the Woods Road Trail – to the flat area where the wind blows hard.

May 15 – Tioga Pass opened yesterday so, on our annual Waterfall Trip to Yosemite, we decided to drive over the pass and got as far as Mono Lake. Trip report.

May 16 – Quick hilly hike today so that I could get in some climbing – up to the high point on the Castillero trail via Deep Gulch and English Camp and back down the same way.

May 22 – Most of the way out to the trail camp at Castle Rock today – both ways via the Goat Rock Trail. It was cold, foggy, and wet – felt more like winter than spring.

May 28-31 – End-of-season ski trip to Mammoth. Drove up on Friday after work, crossed Tioga Pass in a snow storm, and camped in the desert east of Mammoth. Tele skied at Mammoth Mountain on Saturday and Sunday and finally managed to consistently link telemark turns. Yay! Drove home Sunday via Tioga Pass and across the Central Valley in 90 degree temperatures. Summer is here.


June 5 – Almaden Quicksilver hike – went up and down Deep Gulch trail to the junctions of Castillero and Mine Hill Trails.

June 12 – A week went by with no hike; things are getting busy at the end of the school year. Today I hiked up English Camp trail to the ridge and then down Wood Road trail to the parking lot. It looks like I could connect this hike with a route in Sierra Azul Open Space to create a 15+ mile hike to Los Gatos.

June 13 – Yesterday I hiked from New Almaden to the Woods Road entrance to Almaden Quicksilver Park. Today I drove to the same location and continued on along the Wood Road trail for perhaps 3 miles. With more time I would have tried for the top of El Sombroso – maybe next time.

June 26 – After a break of nearly two weeks (son graduated from UCLA and I had finals week at my college) I managed to get out briefly early this morning before going to a morning conference here in town. Hiked up Deep Gulch Trail at Almaden Quicksilver and got to the ridge; walked back to English Camp on the footpath and then descended via Deep Gulch.

June 27 – In preparation for my upcoming pack trip I climbed Mission Peak in a fairly straightforward manner today, resting on the summit long enough to watch the start of the thunderstorm build-up over the Sierra.


July 3 – First day of the Talusdancers trip is one week away, so I have to get in some extra climbing! I did the Prospect #3 loop today at Almaden Quicksilver.

July 4 – Only time for a short urban hike today on the Los Gatos Creek Trail.

July 5 – Quick hike up Deep Gulch past English Camp to the ridge near the old mine building and back down the same route.

July 9 – The start of this year’s annual talusdancers trip. Not really any hiking today since this was the day we drove to Onion Valley to set up our car shuttle.

July 10 – The first hiking day of the trip. We began by driving to South Lake where we started hiking. Today we went to Bishop Lake right below Bishop Pass.

July 11 – Today we crossed Bishop Pass and descended through Dusy Basin to the JMT in LeConte Canyon. From there were hiked down canyon to the confluence with Palisade Creek.

July 12 – We hiked up the Golden Staircase to camp at a bench above Palisade Lakes.

July 13 – We crossed Mather Pass and hiked about half way down into Upper Basin to make camp below treeline.

July 14 – We continued on down to the Kings River crossing and then climbed up to Marjorie Lake. There we decided to continue on and cross Pinchot Pass. We ended up at lower Twin Lake.

July 15 – A short day, we hiked down to the Woods Creek suspension bridge.

July 16 – We continued up to Rae Lakes.

July 17 – We crossed Glen Pass and then descended the JMT to the Bullfrog Lake trail, which we took to upper Kearsarge Lake.

July 18 – We crossed Kearsarge Pass and descended to the Onion Valley trailhead.

July 19 – Not a hiking day since we were hoteling it in Mammoth. I spent some time at Mono Lake doing photography then drove home.

July 28 – Took an evening hike at Almaden Quicksilver. Lost track of the time and had to run down Deep Gulch trail to get to the car at 8:30.

July 30 – Time for a quick hike down the Los Gatos Creek trail to Campbell.

July 31 – I took a short Castle Rock hike today, going out perhaps a half mile past Goat Rock. The trip was shortened by my encounter with a bicycle accident while ascending Hiway 9.


August 1 – My daughter and I rode the “Tour de Peninsula” this morning. This 33-mile ride started in Redwood City and traveled up into the Crystal Springs Reservoir area.

August 3 – I found time for a very quick up-and-back at Almaden Quicksilver via the Deep Gulch Trail.

August 7 – I found time for a very quick up-and-back at Almaden Quicksilver via the Deep Gulch Trail.

August 9 – Camped in Tuolumne Meadows and hiked past Elizabeth Lake to the top of the ridge – perhaps a 7+ mile hike.

August 10 – Not a hike day actually, but met talusdancers at Four Jeffreys campground for trailhead barbecue.

August 11 – Backpacked from North Lake trailhead to the 12,600+ tarn just below Lamarck Col; 5 miles and 3300 feet.

August 12 – Did the short climb to the Col (12, 880′) and then backpacked down to Lower Lamarck Lake.

August 13 – Finished the trip by hiking out to the North Lake trailhead. Happy Birthday to Me!

August 17 – After being completely lazy since returning from Lamarck Col I finally got out for an Almaden Quicksilver hill climb today.

August 21 – Did a variation on my Almaden Quicksilver Park hike today. Turned onto Hacienda Trail at the English Camp junction and followed it to the top of the ridge where I picked up the usual Mine Hill trail.

August 22 – Just time for a short “urban hike” today.

August 23 – A family trip to Point Lobos included a little bit of hiking.

August 26 – Quick hike via Deep Gulch, Castillero, and Mine Hill.

August 28 – Hiked the loop up to Capehorn Pass, out Randol, up Prospect #3, and back via Deep Gulch.


September 3 – A very short hike at Quicksilver. From Mockingbird Hill entrance up past the mine site to the Randol Trail, where I turned right and hiked a short distance to a spot where I wanted to take some picture.

September 5 – The Randol, Prospect #3, Bull Run, Mine Hill, Deep Gulch loop – in extremely hot weather during the middle of the day.

September 6 – Urban hike on the Los Gatos Creek trail – out to the bridge at Camden.

September 11 – Slightly different Almaden route today. From Mockingbird hill out on New Almaden trail and up Prospect #3 to the Randol Trail junction. Left turn and then down past the Randol Mine to return to the start. Things are really drying out and many trees are starting to drop leaves in earnest.

September 18 – Slow hike (lots of photography) at Almaden Quicksilver. Up Mine Hill to almost the top then back via English Camp and Deep Gulch. The first rain storm of the season was starting to approach.

September 19 – Another hike up English Camp to the summit of Mine Hill trail then back via Deep Gulch. Despite rain in the valley it was a dry hike – but cool.

September 25 – First day of a weekend in the Sierra. I hiked to Elizabeth Lake and stayed at Tuolumne Meadows.

September 26 – Spent most of the day driving and photographing fall colors in the eastern Sierra. Started at Tioga Pass, then visited Saddlebag Lake, Lundy Canyon, Virginia Lakes, Sonora Pass area, Monitor Pass, and then home via Ebbetts Pass.


October 2 – Urban hike on the Los Gatos Creek trail.

October 3 – Almaden Quicksilver. Up Mine Hill to the summit and back via Castillero, Hidalgo, and Deep Gulch.

October 8 – First day of our annual Talusdancers mid-October “so long to summer” . We met at Tuolumne and hiked out to Lower Cathedral Lake.

October 9 – Day 2 of the trip: We walked cross-country to Upper Cathedral Lake, then took a cross-country route over the ridge next to Cathedral Peak that brought us to Budd Lake for lunch. We returned via the end of the ridge closer to Echo Peaks – where it began snowing.

October 10 – Day 3: We hiked back out to Tuolumne the way we entered. Then we took our tradition end-of-season lunch and the Tioga Pass Resort before driving home.

October 16Almaden Quicksilver hike. Up Mine Hill a short distance, then right on Hacienda to rejoin Mine Hill at Capehorn Pass. Up Mine Hill to the summit and return via Castillero and Deep Gulch.

October 23 – A cloudy day that turned to rain during the final 15 minutes of my hike. Up Deep Gulch, past English Camp and then on the hiking trail to the summit and on down Woods Road. Retraced the same route to return.

October 31 – After a very busy week, capped by 4 days at a conference in Southern California, I finally got out for a hike today. I went to Almaden Quicksilver and did a new variation on hikes I’ve done in the past. I started at the Mockingbird Hill entrance and headed out on the New Almaden Trail. Some distance after passing the trail to the Buena Vista mine, I turned right onto a short, unmarked lateral trail that ascends a small ridge to the Randol trail just before it joins the Santa Isabel trail. At the junction I headed left towards Capehorn Pass, where I turned left to climb up the nearby ridge and finally descent back to the parking lot.


November 12, 2004 – Just time for a short hike at Almaden Quicksilver. After exploring up the creek near the parking lot I went up Deep Gulch and enjoyed spectacular fall leaves. Turned around at the junction of Mine Hill and Castillero (at the old Reduction Works site) and returned by the same route.

November 13, 2004 – Time for another short Almaden hike today – then back to grading papers. Started at Mockingbird Hill entrance and went out on the New Almaden Trail. Took the short cutoff up to the Randol Trail and then to Capehorn Pass. From there went over to Hacienda Trail and turned right, then left at Virl Norton Trail (for the first time) and headed back to the parking lot. A surprising amount of vegetation is coming up already – it almost feels like very early spring, except that autumn leaves are still falling.

November 20, 2004 – Time for a short hike today – very short. I quickly hiked up Deep Gulch to English Camp, where I crossed over the ridge and returned via the Mine Hill Trail.

November 21, 2004 – What was supposed to be a one-day XC ski trip turned into a hiking day when the Glacier Pass Road was closed. I hiked up above Vernal Falls and then around the east end of the Valley – mostly doing photography.

November 27, 2004 – Hiked to English Camp and back via Deep Gulch Trail. I left the trail to just before the buildings and headed up the ridge to the right to enjoy light drizzle, fog, and screaming wind. I found my way to the high point, which is a pile of rocks in a small grove of trees.


December 4, 2004 – Time for a short Almaden Quicksilver hike. Went out on New Alamaden Trail then took the shortcut lateral up to Randol. Came back by way of the Buena Vista pump house site.

December 10, 2004 – Took a very short hike today – mostly due to taking a lot of photos in the foggy weather. I went out on the New Almaden Trail again and eventually returned the way I came.

December 11, 2004 – Another beautiful foggy morning in the valley… and brilliantly sunny above. I hiked up Deep Gulch – the sun came out about half way up – and traversed the ridge to near Bull Run before descending the way I came past late fall foliage. A couple of outlaw mountain bikers were the only thing marring a beautiful morning.

December 15, 2004 – Continuing to take advantage of winter break, today I did a lazy hike up Mine Hill and then out on Randol from the Hacienda entrance to Almaden Quicksilver. I took the second turnoff to the Buena Vista Pump House, but left the trail a short distance later to visit the ridge when I took pictures in a fog recently. Today the ridge was in bright sun, with backlight illuminating the oak leaves. I’m still working on turning some of the photos into prints.

December 19, 2004 – Owen and Caroline and I completed our first (annual?) Almaden to Los Gatos Grand Winter Traverse today – a 16+ mile hike from New Almaden to downtown Los Gatos by way of 2999′ El Sombroso.

December 26, 2004 – After a week of Christmas stuff I got out today and hiked up Mine Hill to the Summit and then back via the English Camp trail – all in light rain.

December 28, 2004 – Quick urban hike on the Los Gatos Creek Trail.

December 29, 2004 – Up to Catherine Mine via Deep Gulch and back.

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