$35

Blue Lake Trail with Hank Meals

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Nevada County

950 Maidu Ave

Details to be provided upon registration

Nevada City, CA 95959

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Hike Blue Lake Trail with Hank Meals

Join Archaeologist Hank Meals and Hiking For Good as they continue their Yuba Trails and Tales series exploring the Blue Lake Trail.

It’s the fourth offering exploring cultural landscapes at different elevations within the Yuba, Bear and American River Watersheds.

LOCATION: Nevada County
AVAILABLE DATE: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Saturday, July 20
APPROXIMATE TIME: 6 - 7 hours (includes driving time and lunch break)
LENGTH: 6 - 8 miles (depending on the enthusiasm and curiosity of the crew)
DIFFICULTY: Moderate to Challenging (depends on fitness level), a few rocky climbs
ELEVATION: Mostly on the 5,000 feet contour

“When I’m hiking in this environment, I feel like I’m in a huge art gallery with smooth sculpture beyond human imagination accented with pockets of variously textured vegetation,” said Mr. Meals.

The trail contours the southeast facing slope of Grouse Ridge with Fordyce Creek and the Spaulding Dam Reservoir below.

Blue Lake along with nearby Rucker and Fuller Lakes were originally dammed in the 1860s to provide reservoirs for the hydraulic mines of Alpha and Omega, located near Washington on the South Yuba. The three reservoirs were known collectively as the “Omega Lakes.” Now, they are part of a giant plumbing system consisting of dams, canals, tunnels and penstock engineered to provide water for hydroelectricity and irrigation.

After a short climb on a rocky road, the trail follows a small unnamed ditch with stacked rock retaining walls at mid-slope in a forest of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, incense cedar and black oak. Eventually, we’ll suddenly step out of the trees into a glacially created, granite dominated and largely treeless area with spectacular views of Old Man Mountain, Red Mountain, Brady Mountain, Emigrant Gap and many other mountains and ridges. There is also nearby evidence that indigenous people were here thousands of years ago.

From here hikers will have the option to continue about a mile to Granite Creek or, if the crew is so inclined and/or able, a scramble upslope for splendid views while negotiating massive boulders and outcroppings.

The Spaulding Dam impounds water from the South Yuba, Fordyce Creek, Canyon Creek and the Middle Yuba and is part of the Yuba-Hydroelectric Project encompassing approximately 400 square miles. Together with the Drum-Spaulding Project the Yuba-Bear Project is considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to be “the most physically and operationally complex hydroelectric project in the United States.”

The hike out and back is less than six miles (continuing to Granite Creek will make it closer to eight) and fairly easy with an elevation gain of only 760 feet – but we always have the option to make it a longer day. Bring a hat, windbreaker, sun protection, enough water and wear sturdy shoes or boots.

Hank Meals shares a lifetime of knowledge about the diverse people who lived and worked in this watershed throughout time. Don’t miss this opportunity to hike with a living legend and learn about your watershed


About Your Guides

Hank Meals is known for his extensive and intimate knowledge of his habitat. A prolific writer and author of several books on hiking trails in the Yuba Watershed, Hank shares information, stories and discoveries about the topography, natural history and culture of the Yuba River basin in the Sierra Nevada. Read Hank’s blog at: yubatreadhead.blogspot.com

Laura (Hiking for Good) is an outdoor writer with a passion for getting people out into nature. Check out Hiking For Good at hiking4good.com

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Date and Time

Location

Nevada County

950 Maidu Ave

Details to be provided upon registration

Nevada City, CA 95959

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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