Labor Day Adventures - September 2016

[Originally posted 09/09/2016]

I decided that the long weekend would be a good opportunity to bring the ladies along for a weekend adventure in the Sierras. My girlfriend is a grad student, so we like to take advantage of whatever time that she’s not busy. This weekend, we decided to hike the Sierra Buttes Fire Lookout, located in Tahoe National Forest just outside Sierra City. We left Saturday, and headed for my cabin near Grass Valley where we hit the river in the afternoon after a few beers at Knee Deep Brewing in Auburn. We crashed for the night for an early start up highway 49.

In the morning we took off towards Sierra City and the trailhead. As we were driving I noticed that there was a dirt shortcut that would bring us to the same spot, wahoo! It was an improved gravel road, and after a quick air down to 28psi, we were cruising along…

Nothing but green on the OEM nav, perfect.

We arrived at the trailhead to find that we weren’t the only ones that had this great idea to spend the morning outdoors. While the parking lot was full, thankfully the trail didn’t feel crowded

Doggo was rocking a new pack my buddy gave me, and enjoying every bit of it

As we hiked up the trail, we could see the fire lookout far up the mountain…

1,700’ elevation gain in 2.5 miles. Solid. On the way into town we caught a glimpse of where we had come from, and it was pretty amazing.

We made our way into Sierra City for lunch, and wound up getting some good BBQ at an event being held at a local historical mine, score!

Our campsite was going to be the Gold Lake 4x4 Campsite, located about 20 minutes outside of Sierra City. The 4x4 trail was about 2 miles long and had plenty of rock gardens to make the way in fun, and just the right amount for the lady. She has not been out with me on 4x4 trails before, so I am starting things out slowly to make it a good time for all! After almost a year with the 4Runner, I feel rather confident taking it on trails, and being able to pick good lines that work with my stock suspension. We went through a couple of tricky spots, and I am happy to say that not a skid plate was touched this time out, although I did use my sliders a few times. It’s a great feeling being confident, especially when you have a new to 4-wheeling passenger along for the ride. It makes things easy, and fun.

We ended up camping at Little Gold Lake, on the west side of it’s bigger compadre

The slide out in action

In the morning, we broke camp and headed out. Next stop, Truckee for lunch and then home to the Bay Area.

Overall, it was a great weekend exploring with the family, checking out areas new to us all. Every time that I go on one of these trips, I am amazed with how many roads, trails, and path are just there waiting to be explored. Using my GPS, I am constantly seeing off-shoots and places that I can go to on the next trip. I mark them with a waypoint, and archive them for when I plan another trip. I will likely be coordinating a T4R group trip in this area either in the upcoming months, or in the spring as there are a good amount of 4x4 trails, as well as some hikes and nearby lakes/rivers/towns. So look for something in the future discussing it more.

More to come… 

Max SheehanComment