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Slate Mountain & Needle Lookout

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Slate Mountain & Needle Lookout

Postby tomcat_rc » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:12 pm

Sunday June 3rd
KRV hiking

Alice, Holly, Bob, Michael, Liz and I hiked up to Slate Mountain -
it was a little over 10 miles with summit elevation at 9302ft.
stunning view of the Kern Plateau and GWD - being an eastern Sierra and
desert guy I was truly impressed. Not being totally worn out yet we drove
over to the Needles trailhead and hiked up to the Lookout Tower.
at first Alice said it was only a mile up but actually turned out to
be 2.5 - I think she was just baiting us in. the Ranger up there was
friendly and has lots of imformation. she had recently gotten her
20 year pin for services - congradulations. we were able to see smoke
from the Kernville fire. on the way back home Holly and I could
see the flames burning on the hillsides.
this is an extremely dry year - please everyone be careful in
regards to fire prevention

pictures now available:
http://tomcat-rc.smugmug.com/gallery/2959528#159977515

Image
mountain hiking is addictive:
I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want



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Postby Trekker » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:29 pm

Tom, fascinating area; that lookout reminds me of the one on Tahquitz peak in the San Jacinto's, but with different views from the top. Where exactly are those trailheads; looks like a cool place to hike!
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Postby tomcat_rc » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:09 pm

Hi Trekker -
if you are familiar with the trail of the 1,000 giants above Johnsondale, then you need to drive north of there to reach first the Needles turnoff and also the Quaking Aspen campground - located north of the Ponderosa - which I am told serves a good dinner also. the peaks are not as tall but lots of grand scenery
mountain hiking is addictive:
I can quit anytime I want - I just choose not to want
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Postby Moondust » Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:34 pm

I had the pleasure of hiking with Tom and some of the KRVHC regulars on this trip. We had a fun day! I'm looking forward to hopefully meeting some more of you "east siders" this year.

More info on this area can be found at http://www.ponderosaca.com There's a link to the hikes, driving directions, etc.

"Exploring the Southern Sierra West Side" lists the Needles lookout hike as 4 miles RT, but the sign at the trailhead says 5. I hear Ruby Jenkins is working on an update, so I'll be sure to let her know it is at least 5 mi RT or more like 6 mi RT with Beer.

Alice
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Postby madeintahoe » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:39 pm

Beautiful pictures Tom! That lookout is something...do you know the history of it?
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Postby tomcat_rc » Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:49 pm

ty Anita - it really was a beautiful day. there was a rightup on the lookout at the trailhead - I do not now remember the year it was built but it is one of the few manned(or in this case "womaned") stations left.

Moondust could probably give you more history of this area. the KRVHC was originally founded by Ruby Jenkins who has been hiking in the areas for years and is responsible for several guide books as well
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Postby Trekker » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:33 pm

FYI; Ruby Jenkins is the mother of the late J.C. Jenkins, who wrote the pioneering books, "Self-Propelled in the Southern Sierra, Vols. 1 and 2" which was one of the first backpacking books I ever read, and for whom Mt. Jenkins, part of Snow Nymph et. al's Trifecta earlier this year, was named. He was killed by a car on a road in, I believe, the Sierra, and his mother continued on with the newer editions of the books, which are now named "Exploring the Southern Sierra-East and West side." Both have everything from Backpacking trips to cycling trips, and probably a little history as well!
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Postby Ranboze » Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:57 pm

Very cool lookout tower, Tom :)
Walking outside is where I find what's inside.
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Postby Kerstin » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:48 pm

Thanks for the photos of a place I used to frequent in my late teens and then in my late twenties. The Needles area is one of my favorites!!

Those climbers in photos 27 and 28 look like they're doing Airy Interlude 5.9, on the Witch Needle. Beautiful rock!!! :)
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