Category Archives: trip reports

by Scott Sady This blog post about Oregon waterfall photography and exploring the Pacific Northwest has been a long time coming. So long in fact, that I forgot about it until I was contacted by the Oregon Eclipse travel guide to use one of my starfish photos that I shot even earlier on Bandon beach….

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by Scott It’s that time again, time for our annual 4th of July backpacking trip report (but we know you all mostly just check in for the pictures,) so here it goes…. This year’s trip was up Pine Creek Pass just north of Bishop, California, in the High Sierra. Pine Creek Pass trailhead is at…

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  • Richard WhitneyJuly 11, 2016 - 5:36 pm

    Nice photography!
    What camera were you using for the celestial shots?
    Time exposure w/ clock dive?

  • Richard WhitneyJuly 11, 2016 - 5:37 pm

    Make that ‘clock drive’!

  • SteveJuly 25, 2016 - 3:00 pm

    Hey Scott — great photos and trip report. Headed up to Honeymoon this weekend and hoping the skeeters in the area have diminished. And thinking about bringing the big ol’ Nikon now! cheers

  • ssadyJuly 27, 2016 - 2:58 pm

    nikon d810, though the d750 produces a bit cleaner file up to iso 6400…

by Scott, A group of us have been backpacking together for the last 5 years or so. We always go someplace in the High Sierra range, but this year decided to hit the Trinity Alps for a change of pace. Not knowing what to expect, I did some research online and found very few details,…

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  • Dotty MoltJuly 9, 2015 - 11:10 am

    These are absolutely beautiful ! And what an amazing story ! When can I come along on one of your backpacking trips !!! ?

  • YvetteJuly 13, 2015 - 4:16 pm

    Always a highlight of our year. Thanks for capturing the experience. Beautiful photos and excellent descriptions.

  • jakeJuly 19, 2015 - 4:31 pm

    Hey I’m planning on doing this trip in a couple of weeks and I was curious how much water was on the trails? Should we pack extra or can we reach water without to much of a problem? Thanks!

  • ssadyJuly 19, 2015 - 4:47 pm

    Depends on which way you go in. If you go in like us via stoney ridge, then you won’t get water until you get up over the pass and near the outflow of Echo Lake. Everywhere else we seemed to find plenty of streams and lakes. I never carried more than 1L of water at a time, and only wished I had more that first day up stoney ridge.

  • MegJune 20, 2016 - 6:02 pm

    Hey Scott – Really appreciate this write up (and other posts too) and love your pictures! Trying to figure out how many days we need to do this trip. Thinking of trying to do it in 3-4 and was wondering how many miles it was? Appreciate your thoughts.

  • ssadyJune 21, 2016 - 5:52 am

    You could easily do this in 3-4 days. The way we did it, the hike in and the hike out were about 7 miles each, but the distance between the lakes in the loop is very short, like a mile or two.

  • John SharpAugust 16, 2016 - 4:27 am

    Hello.

    We are going in the Stoney Ridge trail head as you did. We plan on making it a loop all the way around Bear Basin.

    I have some questions:

    What is the parking situation at the trail head?

    Our plan is to stay night #2 at Diamond lake as you did and we want to hike Siligo peak. Is their a trail to the peak near Diamond or do we have to go back around towards Deer lake to access a trail? We are considering just going up to the peak with our packs then going back to Diamond to set up camp. Or would you recommend setting up camp at Diamond and “free” hiking to the peak?

    Lastly, as I have never been to this area I am somewhat concerned about your report saying there are a dearth of campsites at various lakes. Does this mean at the lake side proper? Are there nearby sites? We have a party of 4 using 3 tents.

    I hope you get this message and can respond. Thank you for your report, it was the inspiration for us choosing this route.

  • ssadyAugust 16, 2016 - 7:29 am

    Parking at the the trailhead was fine if I recall. It is not the most popular entry point. The easiest access to Siligo peak is from where the trail “t’s” to go down to Summit Lake. But Diamond Lake is only 1.5 miles from there, so not hard to do from there either. The lakes, except for summit, usually have one spot. Diamond Lake in particular has one nice large spot where you could all fit. If it is taken, I don’t remember much else there, even away from the lake, but there are a lot of beautiful meadows between lakes with running streams that are good for camping. The Stoney Ridge trail is long and hot and the water sources on the map did not exist for us. Bring extra water for the first days in, and Echo lake had a large flat area for camping.

  • heatherAugust 25, 2016 - 12:44 pm

    hi there – great post! can you recall the driving conditions to the trailhead? I can’t find much. we have a Mini and it drove fine (albeit slowly) to the Lost Coast trailhead a few years ago but thought I’d check…

  • ssadyAugust 25, 2016 - 7:27 pm

    We drove there in a prius

  • John SharpAugust 30, 2016 - 4:14 am

    Thank you for you timely response.
    Are there signs to get to the trailhead?
    Also, our plan was to stay at Summit Lake not Diamond. Again, with three tents which would you recommend?
    Thank you.

  • ssadySeptember 4, 2016 - 10:33 am

    HI John, Summit lake has a ton of campsites. I’m sure if you are not there on a holiday weekend, you will have no problems. Some of my favorite were around to the right of the lake as you come in from the main trail. There are signs for the trailheads, but get a good map, there are 3 or 4 trailheads that feed into this area, just depends where you are coming from and what kind of a first day you want to have.

  • RicardoOctober 6, 2016 - 8:28 pm

    Great photography and writeup, thanks! I see one of the guys in your group had a fly rod. How was the fishing overall? I’m looking for a trip I can bring my fly rod (with my 2 boys and wife) and good fishing is a must!

  • ssadyOctober 10, 2016 - 7:47 am

    We didn’t have much luck. Probably look up some of the fishing supply stores in the area and see what the best times are. One of our last trips was probably only a little bit harder than this one, but we had fish everywhere. http://tahoelight.com/blog/2016/07/sierra-backpacking-pine-creek-pass/

  • James MitchellNovember 9, 2016 - 9:38 pm

    Wow… you nailed it

by Scott I probably would not turn such a small subject area into a blog post at all if we didn’t come across one of the top wildflower hikes I have ever been on. Actually both of the 8 mile round trip hikes we took in the Point Reyes National Seashore were exceptional and worthy…

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  • Linda CrowellApril 30, 2015 - 3:08 am

    Yoor photos are absolutely amazing. They blow me away every time!

by Scott and Monique Hi there, Monique here, adding a few of my notes to this post about the Big Island of Hawaii! We decided to celebrate our 10 year anniversary with a trip that included some relaxing, and, of course, lots of adventuring as well. Since we honeymooned on Kaua’i, but neither of us had…

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  • Shoba ShrinivasanNovember 13, 2015 - 10:09 pm

    Oh I loved your photoblog…It was beautiful! We are planning a ten day trip tp the Big Island over Thanksgiving and I was looking for pointers…Is there anything that you would tell for a family travelling with three kids?? Great pics!
    Shobha

  • ssadyNovember 15, 2015 - 3:27 pm

    I think anything you see on the blog with the exception of the Emesine Caves would be great for kids. There is a lot of easy peasy snorkeling near and just south of Kona. The volcanoes national park lookout is an easy drive. While you are there I would continue down chain of craters road and take the short and easy walk out to the petroglyphs for a learning moment, plus the seashore and cliffs at the end of the road are quite spectacular. Depending on how old the kids are, they may be standing on earth that is younger than them, quite a trip. There are some easily accessible lava caves outside of Hilo and around and just outside of Hilo are some nice lagoons with springs, and the japanese gardens with lots of crazy trees. The actual botanical gardens is even cooler, with plants you would never see on the mainland. If you get the blue “Hawaii, big island revealed” book you will have the best travel book, in my opinion, you can find for the big island, food and all. Just know that some of the stuff is strenuous, and it will say in the book, and some of the access points to waterfalls and such have since been shut down. Kiholo bay just north of Kona was amazing. We saw literally 50 sea turtles, but the kids have to be able to walk for a couple of miles for that one. Have a read of the book and you will be able to decide what suits you best. If it was me and I had only a few things I could do, it would be Volcanoes National Park, and snorkeling and exploring around Kona. If I had the time, I would drive way up to the observatories at sunset just for another teachable moment.

  • AshleyDecember 22, 2016 - 5:43 pm

    Beautiful pictures!! Can you tell me what mm lens you used for the pics of Kiholo Bay and Waipi’o Valley? We are going in a week and can’t wait to check some of your recommendations out! Thank you!