Sunday, August 03, 2014

Sporty Sunday: Hiking Grouse, Hemlock, and Smith Lakes

I thought I’d done all the hikes around Wright’s Lake. Now I recall that I attempted the hike to Grouse Lake (and beyond) last summer but took a wrong turn and ended up at Twin and Island Lakes instead. While both hikes share the first 1.1 miles of trail, the ascent to Grouse Lake (after the fork) is memorably steep. And the later ascents to Hemlock Lake and Smith Lake are hard to forget! Finally, Smith Lake is so stunning that I’d have remembered hiking here before.

I love this hike for the challenging elevation gain (1750 feet), plentiful water features, and views. At 5.6 miles round-trip, it’s easily done in a day, even with the drive from and back to Sacramento.

Source: Soares, John R. and Soares, Marc J. "Grouse, Hemlock, and Smith Lakes." 100 Classic Hikes in Northern California. 3rd ed. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books, 2008. Print.

Length: 5.6 miles

Water: All lakes are full and the outflow is moderate.

Use: Moderate to heavy.

Differences from published description: None.

Jasper’s rating: 5 paws out of 5.

Sporty Sunday is a recurring feature in which I share my fitness routine and offer and solicit advice. While this content might seem a little out of place in an outfit diary, a healthy, strong body is the foundation of my wardrobe. I hope to inspire my readers to be fit as well as stylish!

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