I decided to head a bit further up the mountain to find a cooler and shadier hike this week. The basin was all well and good, but it was also a little – okay a lot – exposed. Only a few miles up the road there are plenty of pines to cool things down.
I’ve started up the Green Mountain Trail before, but we only made it a mile or so in because we weren’t prepared for the constant uphill. This time, I knew what to expect and therefore savored each precious flat run that much more.
Technically, you’re supposed to start at the top of the trail and work your way down, but I adhere to the rule of Uphill First, because there’s nothing like breezing through several miles straight downhill then realizing now you have to go straight back up.
It was a quiet, clear morning, with excellent views of the city and Thimble Peak once I got high enough.
I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Water consumed: just shy of 3 liters
Hours hiked: 2.5
Wildlife Spotted: a few Mexican Jays, several squirrels, and so. many. lizards
Elevation at Start: 5830 ft
Smells: Mostly pine, some sand and sunscreen
Sounds: The drone of the road for a little while, then bees and flies and the incessant soft rustle of pine needles.
This tree! I love how its trunk looks so dead and then there’s just this life bursting from the top.
The path diverged in the wood and I… went down the one with the trail marker.
I’m on team “this is a good sign.”
One of the few places where the trail isn’t just sand and rocks.
…yeah, that’s more like it.
I don’t want this to devolve into a bunch of flower photos, but the wildflowers along this trail were just delightful. So tiny! So full of life and color!
Now, if you can just imagine the sound of a full hive of bees right next to your ear, you’ll really get the full experience of this portion of the hike.
Aaand up we go. For the next – oh, I don’t know – half mile?
The views are worth it, though. The views are (almost) always worth it.
What is this I don’t evem.
I take a break to eat some of my sandwich and make a friend.
One of the few level places.
Here there be mountain bikes.
This tree is where I decide to take another break and then turn around. The trail, which has been climbing steadily for the last hour, has decided to plunge straight back down. Maybe next time, trail. Maybe next time.
No longer a cloud-free day.
Yeah. That view.
I love how there are wildflowers even coming up between the hundreds of dozens of steps.
Finally, get back to the ridge that runs along the road and finish the hike.
A++ would hike again.