Cliff Lake hike 05.26.2016

I'm alive! I know, I know, it's been awhile since I last wrote in this, I apologize. But I'm back! So that should mean something...right?

Anyways, I guess I'll stop boring you with the small talk.
A couple of buddies and I had a Thursday off, so we decided that a good hike was order. It was finally getting warm enough to where we thought most of the snow was melted (we thought wrong) so wanted to hit up a hike we all knew had some merit.

There's a big cliff next to the lake...they must have thought long and hard when they were naming it.  

This is called Cliff Lake, which is located about 5.5 miles NW of Courtright Reservoir, about 65 miles NE of Fresno, CA. We all grew up right in the mountains near this area, so we had all been to Courtright (I have a pretty vivid memory of being younger and hooking my thumb with a fishing hook at this lake) yet had never attempted the Cliff Lake trail, so we we're all pretty excited to get out there.

That's a lot of kindling.

Of course we had to stop off and see these bad boys: McKinley Grove. From their website, "McKinley Grove is a tiny, isolated patch of sequoias between, but not easily accessible from, Yosemite and Kings Canyon. The core of the grove is a small, shallow basin where a short paved path leads through a cluster of about 20 big sequoias."

Onwards and upwards! 

This was about 3 miles in...we had no idea what was to come...or how tired we would be after. Our last little glimpse of happiness. 

Some neat trail work done in the marshy areas. 

I'll admit that we lost the trail a few times, mainly because there was a lot more snow than we were initially expecting. 

Alas!!! We made it...and we were all very surprised at what we found. End of may, and the lake was still frozen over. We definitely weren't expecting that, and we were all a little bit more ecstatic because it made the view that much more beautiful. 

 

Cliff Lake: elevation 9,422ft.
Lat: 37.141334°
Long: -119.0451153°

Neature's ice chest. Hard to beat.

If you know me, you know I have a huge sweet tooth, so this moment was everything to me. 

Tore up from the floor up. We were all pretty beat, and dreading the hike back down. 

And that's Cliff Lake! This is definitely a good spot to backpack to for the night, and I can't wait until it warms up a bit more to tackle that. It was a fun hike, but just a little too long for one day. 

I'll slap up whatever adventure I tackle next. 

Until then, 

-J