Circle the Cirque Crest

Day 1 – Saturday, September 4, 2004

Currently most photos were taken by me with my Nikon Coolpix 5000 digital camera.  I am posting Brian's photos as he gets them scanned.  His photos were taken by a Canon 35mm using filters, GNDs, multiple lenses, a tripod, and 70 rolls of Velvia asa 50 film.........more equipment than I could ever learn to use OR want to carry for that matter!!!!  You can tell Brian's photos as they have a black border when enlarged.

Our trip began late Friday night with a drive from Sacramento to Cedar Grove road's end trailhead.  We needed to get permits for our trip so we slept in the woods near the ranger station for only a couple of hours, having arrived about 4:00 am.   We had no problem getting a permit as the trail we were to use, Copper Creek, was not near as popular as the other trail at this location to Paradise Valley and on to Rae Lakes.

Copper Creek trail climbs from about 4950 feet to over 10,000 feet and many people choose to do it in two days, staying at lower tent meadow.  Our time was limited so we knew we had to climb over 5000 feet to just short of Granite Pass the first day.  We did not get started until 10:00 am and in spite of the lack of sleep Friday night, the hike was not near as bad as I had anticipated.  The trail is gently graded and I only remember one short spot where the trail went downhill.  I HATE to go downhill on a trail that is supposed to gain altitude.

The sky was cloudless and the trail was hot with very little water available along the way.  My advise is to get water every chance you get when ascending this trail.

We arrived near Granite Lake late in the day and camped in a meadow with a meandering stream.  We saw deer in the meadow and heard coyotes in the evening.  This was the coldest night of the trip and my water bottle was half frozen in the morning.



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Trailhead parking


Looking back

Looking back

Looking up

Finally the top


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The top