05 June 2016

Sunday Peak

Sequoia National Forest

We climbed Sunday Peak with our backpacks weighed down with #10 cans of peaches and things out of the kitchen to get the feel of a weighted pack before going out for a three day trip. It was probably meant to shake out whoever might have signed up for a backpacking unit even though they should not have. I remember it being a sunset hike and we all had a grand time, so there was no actual shaking. I probably hiked it again in a similar way before going out on a five day trip another year. The camp is gone, but the driving directions still say to park near the sign for Camp Mountain Meadows GSA. I am rightly suspicious the sign is gone, but it has simply been replaced with one for the trail so that it is still easy to find. The area could be confusing with a motorcycle trail running past and the old camp road heading down to the meadows the camp was named for, but there is a second sign a little deeper in that makes the correct route clear.

Sunday Peak Trail sign
This way to go to the top of Sunday Peak so long as you have not got a motor.

We start the climb among the trees. The elevation has helped reduce the heat some something comfortable and the trees give plenty of shadows to help even more. They also block the view of the surrounding land for most the way up.

trees blocking most the view
Just short of the signed "photo op", as it turns out.

hiking up among the trees
An easy and distinct trail to hike all the way up among the trees.

There are flowers and mushrooms along the way. In one spot, the ravens are playing. All the while, it takes a gentle climb upward.

yellow flowers with faces
Tiny flowers on the forest floor.

There is a junction for Sandy Creek Fire Road signed with plastic nailed to a tree. Had we continued up from Bohna Peak, we would have been aiming at this junction or maybe a little way down the trail. Here, it is a faint trail that could easily be missed. In our direction, there seems to be the leftover from a wind storm. Small green branches are scattered everywhere as are a few full trees. It makes the trail mildly harder to follow as it twists through the forest right up to the top of the mountain.

marking the trails
Not particularly noticeable, but there are signs for the junction.

trees on the left, rocks on the right
Leaving the trees for the rocky peak.

top of Sunday Peak
Up at the top of Sunday Peak.

Even when the way is easy, it is imperative upon us to enjoy our time on the peak. Look out and try to see as much and as far as we can see. Off to the southeast, the peaks from yesterday are obvious, especially the split of Split Mountain. It takes a bit of looking to find the peak from this morning which is hiding down behind some trees. It is quite nice up on the peak.

Kern River Valley
The distant Kern River Valley.

The distant Needles are a sharp feature to the north on the way to the even more distant snowy Sierras.

Black and Split Mountains
The peaks from yesterday. Black Mountain on the right and Split Mountain on the left.

Bohna Peak
The peak from this morning. Bohna Peak is the near peak to the right and it shows the ridge that we traveled along to climb it going steep, flat, then steep again.

Eventually it is getting late, especially considering the long drive home still to come. We turn to retrace our steps back to the start. Along the trail, it is a very simple matter unlike along that long ridge line.

willow flowers
Passing the blooming willows on the way down.

©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 14 June 2016

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