Hike In The Sierra Buttes

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Walking in snow trying to get to the Sierra Buttes

There have been a lot of hikes I have wanted to go on. The best part is that I am currently in a position to do just that.

To get outside and enjoy life—one of those, What Makes You Happy moments.

I decided yesterday that I would hike part of the Sierra Buttes. The one specific location was the lookout access trail. There are some fantastic views.

I recently read an excellent blog by a guy named Josh. He had some awesome photos of the hike as well! (Click this link if you want to check it out).

Interestingly, he went a few months ago, and the weather was great. As for me, you will see later that I was the only one out there and could not make it to the lookout. It was sad.

But getting outside with fresh air and amazing views make it worth it.

The Drive and Location

I drove through Nevada City, which could be a few articles by itself if you have never been.

Mainly because it’s a small town but very relaxing and has an older vibe.

a view of downtown Nevada City

I then drove for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and you drove past many really cool places like the independence trail (another hike I will be doing very soon) and multiple river access areas.

You then proceed through North San Juan (which has always been an exciting place), Downieville, and Sierra City.

An important note, or at least I think so, is that I found a public bathroom next to the Mason Lodge, which was an impressive and much-needed surprise.

All the other restrooms I passed, most of which were at closed campgrounds, were not open.

After a quick pit stop, I drove up a one-lane road.

The speed limit is 15 MPH, which is important because it’s a tight squeeze with two cars passing. On this trip, that happened four times, but we all made it pass safely. At the end of the paved road, you end up at a recycling place.

I would drive up the gravel and dirt road but soon choose against it. There were a lot of branches and jagged rocks everywhere.

Not wanting to get stranded, so I parked at the bottom and started my hike.

Overall, this was an easy and beautiful drive. I will say that if you get motion sickness, you should be the one driving or taking some meds. Quickly look at a map and see the road is far from straight.

Walking to the fire lookout at the Sierra Buttes

The Hike

You can make it up quickly if you have an excellent all-wheel or 4×4 vehicle.

Due to planning a road trip which I’m leaving for in just over a week!

I decided not to drive on the unmaintained road. It would have sucked to get a flat tire.

So I decided to park at what I consider the base (it is near a recycling place).

I then walked for about 3.5 or 4 miles to the trailhead.

You can see that I encountered snow around 6,400′. I did not plan for that, and it became challenging to know where the trail was to the lookout.

After about 100 yards, I decided that it was time to turn around, sadly.

About 15 minutes later, the temperature dropped, and I saw a very dark cloud over me. I then felt a lot better about turning around. Never mind, I was the only person out there and had about three hours of daylight left.

The views that I was able to see were amazing.

Random Hiking ThoughtsTrekking Poles, using them correctly

I have thrown around writing a blog about the gear I use while hiking.

Update: not only do I talk about my own gear, but I have a new website you can check out here.

There are a lot of other blogs and articles out there on the subject, but here is one thing I will mention. Trekking poles!

I stayed away from these for a long time.

Last year I purchased a pair last year, and it’s pretty amazing.

There are a few benefits to them. Not to mention they saved me a handful of falls during this trip. I almost twisted my ankle, but the poles kept me, and they were super helpful when I encountered the snow too!

With that said, people misuse the poles. There is a correct and incorrect way to use the wrist straps.

The poles I have are from Black Diamond. If you want more information and the best article I have found on trekking poles, click here!

Quick Note: For Those Using Trekking Poles

I just found this YouTube video and wanted to share it with you all.

In it, Miranda in the Wild (I still think we need to do a video together, “Miranda and the Wilde”) explains outdoor “stuff” way better than I can. Watch this short video about why you should try trekking poles today!

Remember, there are some amazing benefits to using them.

For a video demo on properly using them, go to 1:40 in the video above.

Sierra Buttes snow and turning back
The direction I was heading

Planning to go Back

I’m super bummed that I didn’t get to make it to the top.

Walking through the snow, I was amazed at how much it saps out your energy (granted, I was wearing cross-trainers and shorts), but you understand.

I am excited to return in a few months and see more incredible views. It helps that it is a quick trip for me.

After some time, I made it to the top!
Read this post to learn more.

I think spending some time in Sierra City would also be a lot of fun.

It’s another tiny town, but it looks like a few cool places to stay and a restaurant to check out.

Stay tuned on my trip back 🙂 Also, if you are in the area this summer, let me know, and we can make it a group thing!

Where have you hiked recently? Are you planning any hiking trips this summer, and if so, where? Let me know in the comments below!

One last thing, thanks to MSR Arms for the hat. I’ve been wearing it a lot lately, and it’s also going with me on my road trip!

Click the photo below or the link above to check them out (trust me, it’s worth it).

Sierra Buttes and MSR Arms
Walking back to the Rav, just before the storm hit<c/enter>

Check out a short video I made with a few photos, click here to watch it.

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