Tuesday, April 13, 2010

my first peak,Sitton

Happy 100th post.

Kristi and I hiked to the top of Sitton Peak in the San Mateo Wilderness of the Cleveland National Forest last Saturday. It was a very fun hike as the trails varied in vegetation and elevation. We made it to the Bear Canyon Loop Trail about 9 in the morning and we headed out. The trails are nicely maintained and the trail signs are easy to find.

Sitton Peak is sits at an elevation of 3273ft, but feels much higher once on top since the views are spectacular. We took Bear Canyon Trail to the Bear Ridge Trail to the four corners area and then followed the marker towards Sitton Peak. On the way back we took the Bear Canyon Trail from the four corners area back to Ortega Hwy. Round trip the hike was 10.3 miles with an elevation gain of 2100' and it took us 6 hours total.

The last part of the leg up to the Peak is a killer. Straight up we had to climb. It took us 40 minutes since we had to wait for other people to pass us coming down. I need to find out how much elevation gain is on the last part, because it was steep and strenuous. My legs were on fire!

Lunch at the top was awesome. My cool sister brought me lunch and the views were great all the way around. We stayed on top for about 30 minutes or so. Hiking down that incline Kristi and I found ourselves scooting on our behinds more than once since it was so slippery and steep. I could barely squat at the end. Even my toes hurt.

The hike back was warmer and Kristi and I were both walking a bit funny near the end. Kristi did a 10 miler the weekend before and she said this one was a bit more strenuous. We also realized there are many little uphill portions on the way back which we did not like. Doh!

As far as nature goes, it was just beautiful and peaceful out in the wilderness. We saw oaks, sycamores, a hawk, heard lots of birds, many lizards, a horned lizard, and a RATTLESNAKE! We were about a half mile to the end of our hike and on a single track. Kristi was in front and I was behind her. All of sudden a massively huge snake rattled his rattle at us in warning. We were about 10 feet away. Kristi jumped and we backed up slowly as those suckers can be fast. He was on a slope next to the trail and he had to be old because, again, he was HUGE. We let him saunter off and slowly approached, made sure he was gone, and took off. I think we kept expecting another snake to jump out at any minute since this part of the trail has slopes on each side so they could be close!

We made it out and treated ourselves to ice cream and candy at the candy store before heading home. Thanks to Brian and Ashley and their Hiking Blog! We read your posts to find a hike to do. Thanks for the information.

It was an awesome hike and I would do it again! I have a video in the works and will post soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post.