Trip Reports » Grouse Ridge overnighterby SeanAllan
Took a spin up to Grouse Ridge over the weekend. Grouse Ridge is located in the Sierra Mountains of Northern California. Even though it’s only an hour from my house it’s been years since I’ve been up that way. I fought hard to keep that area open to bikes when it was being considered for a Wilderness designation and have always considered it a special place.
The past few years have seen little to no maintenance from the Forest Service, a common theme anywhere other than the Lake Tahoe basin, which seems to have an endless supply of money despite no apparent revenue stream from timber sales.
I rode a bit down lower on the Upper Pioneer extension and Spaulding Lake trail, just a quick spin as I had worked earlier in the day and wanted to get up to the top of Grouse Ridge before sunset so Sasha and I could head out to Five Lakes Basin for the evening.
I loaded up hurriedly while Sasha enjoyed herself tormenting some unsuspecting chipmunks. I had just thrown some stuff together in the seatbag and nearly filled my Osprey Talon 22 to capacity before we headed out, I didn’t think I would need the Apline Explorer bag, but it would have been nice not to have to cram all my stuff in my race pack.
We headed out to Five Lakes Basin via the Sand Ridge Trail. The trail was free of downed trees for the most part, but the 1/2 mile hike a bike seemed to have escaped my memory. Once we finally got to the ridge it was all good, lovely views and lighting all around.
After a bit of searching we found a great little spot and unloaded. Sasha promptly found a nice little muddy spot to get down to the water, great, muddy dog in the tent……
We hiked a bit and settled in for the night. I knew I was undergunned in the sleeping area as I had only brought my 45 degree bag on what was likely to be a sub freezing night. It gets dark early this time of year and after playing a few games on the I-Pod we were off to sleep. I made it till about 4 am before I was uncomfortable, slept pretty restless till daybreak but overall slept better than I thought I would. Thankfully I had brought my warm sleeping bag liner or it likely would have been a rough night. Sure enough upon waking in the morning Sasha’s water bowl was frozen over…..
It warmed up pretty quickly and after a bit of breakfast we were off for the return trip to the truck. I had a bit of work to do so we headed out pretty early and were back to the truck by 9 am.
We rambled down the 6 mile dirt road to the pavement and headed home for the day. I nice way to end the year as it looks like we have snow coming this weekend.