Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sierra and Gold Point Trip Report

I just returned from the Memorial Day Gold Point trip. It was a great trip. Gold Point is a ghost town in Nevada that Sheriff Stone (not his real name and he's not a sheriff) is trying to restore. Memorial Day weekend is the town's biggest weekend with upwards of 500 people attending the festivities.

Meetup had a campsite on a hill overlooking the town. We got there Friday evening, setup our tent and went to sleep soon after. I was up around 5 am waiting for the sun to take photos of the old buildings.

After breakfast we headed to the town of Big Pine in the Sierra. It's about a 90 minute drive from Gold Point. After a quick stop we drove to Big Pine trailhead. This is the trailhead for some of the best peaks in the Sierra including: Temple Crag, Mt. Sill, North Pal, Starlight, Thunderbolt, Mt. Winchell and Mt. Agassiz . These are all via the North Fork. From the south fork routes lead to Norman Clyde, Middle Pal, and the Thumb. I had never been to the Sierra this early in the year. The scenery was fantastic.

We followed the north fork to within a few hundred vertical feet of Sam Mack Meadow. This is one of the prettiest camping spots in the Sierra. I camped there about five years ago when I did Sill, Gayley, and Winchell. There was a lot of snow beginning around 10,600 feet.
Since this was an easy hike, I did not bring any snow equipment. We did leave the trail and scrambled up the rock face, but most in our party did not follow, so we soon turned around.
Gold Point is about three hours from Las Vegas.
Most of the year I am sure it's pretty quiet there.
Seems like the snow level in the Sierra is around 10,600 feet currently.