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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Had a nice little adventure yesterday off the beaten track. First intended to take the paved road in to Upper Blue Lake and just do some hiking around with my wife and youngest daughter. We discussed the trip with the Amador Ranger Station in the morning, and were pleased to hear that the road was still open, unlike the high passes on Hwy 4, and Hwy 120.

Murphy is alive and well however, and through some confused directions we ended up taking the western route in, which is unpaved. No worries. I have a Jeep.

We hadn't gone far until we found some moderate sized water holes in the road, and they were all well frozen over. Not deterred, we pressed on. We ran across a couple of women who were hiking, and another family who had driven up a little higher than the hikers, so we knew we were not alone up there.

But the higher we went the more snow/ice we found. Still, nothing too hairy though, so on we went, encouraged by the thought that we were not really alone. When we got up to about 8500 ft., the road became a little more like an offroad trail than a dirt road, and became pretty icy, and began to run along a drop off I really didn't want to fall off of. At that point, I said heck with it; it's just no longer worth the risk.

So we stopped and played a bit in the snow and ice, took some pictures, and headed back down. I'm looking forward to getting back up there when the roads are actually clear. I think that will be a nice mild little trail into an area that promises to be a beautiful place for some high elevation R&R. Hope you like the pics.













Sunset was nice on the way home.
 

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Without snow, it's a 2WD road that is just really bumpy. But, if you continue on past upper and lower blue lakes, you run into the blue lakes-hermit valley trail, which is fun and has some great campsites. It ends up out at hwy 4 above lake alpine. You were just below the summit. On the other side of the ridge it drops off and there is a valley below where the mining town of Summit city was located. Monty Wolfe's cabin is near there as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Without snow, it's a 2WD road that is just really bumpy. But, if you continue on past upper and lower blue lakes, you run into the blue lakes-hermit valley trail, which is fun and has some great campsites. It ends up out at hwy 4 above lake alpine. You were just below the summit. On the other side of the ridge it drops off and there is a valley below where the mining town of Summit city was located. Monty Wolfe's cabin is near there as well.
Hey, thanks Forbergler. Don't know how I managed to miss your post until now. It was a great day. Glad to have the extra info -- that's even better than we had hoped for.

Really, we just intended to drive in to Upper Blue Lake and do some hiking around, but got up there and discovered we had taken the wrong one of the two roads going in. Then when the snow/ice appeared I got pretty uneasy, as we were up there alone. The Rangers knew we were headed up there, but still.

Just past the end of my tracks, the road goes off camber with a pretty good drop-off. I began to pucker too much and decided it just wasn't worth pushing on forward. Good thing too. I stopped to survey the situation and then didn't have the traction to continue forward. It was just too slick with the sun shining on the snow/ice.

And, of course, I hadn't aired down at all because I wasn't planning on doing what we were doing. So I just backed out to where we're parked in the shots -- probably about 75 yards at most -- and we played a while before turning back downhill. We'll definitely be going back though, especially with all the cool stuff you've told me about now!

I had the impression that the road from Blue Lakes to Hwy 4 was closed. Is that not the Deer Valley Trail? Would be great if it is open because our club does Adopt-a-Trail on Corral Hollow and Matley Loop/Ridge trails near Bear Valley Ski Resort and Tamarack Lodge.

Thanks again.
 
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