Hike America: Northern California
by Dan Brett (The Globe Pequot Press)
© Dan Brett/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.
We day hiked from the Stanshaw Trailhead to Haypress Meadows, and then continued on to Half Moon Meadows. That's a bit over 5 miles from the trailhead. The trail was in good condition, with no logs down across it at all. From the trailhead the trail climbs gently then descends and continues through the Red Fir forest, up and down, and along pretty sub alpine meadows. On our late July hike it was warm and dry. There was still water in the larger creeks.
The fires of 2008 missed the Stanshaw Meadows area. Only when you reach Haypress Meadows do you see some of the effects of the fire. The trail from Haypress to Half Moon Meadows is in and out of the burned area. Most of the forest we saw was not burned badly. Most of the trees appeared to be healthy this summer; one year later. It looks like some of the trails have been freshly maintained since last year’s burn.
A very nice hike. I would be curious to hear about how much the fires damaged the further extents of these trails?
Great elevation gain with minimal pain. Wonderful ridge views and beautiful terrain. Many downed trees on the trail, most of which our arthritic canine companion was able to navigate around, under or over. We encountered several groups and individuals on horseback. We enjoyed a good camp spot at meteor lake, but poor swimming (silty). Advise camping at one-mile lake, which was very refreshingly swimmable and had good lakeside camping. Overall a wonderful 3-day hike for us.
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