Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hike 59: Bailey Canyon to Jones Peak

Hiked Saturday, May 15. This was my fourth or so trip to the area, but the first time I actually went to the top of Jones Peak. The sign at Bailey Canyon says it's 3.3 miles one way. My return walk from the top took 1:10, which sounds about right for the distance.

Even before I got to the trail-proper, I saw this huge lizard, walking along the fence that surrounds the debris basin. Nothing in the picture to put this in context, but I'm pretty sure this lizard was longer than one foot long. Longest lizard I've ever seen. Haven't got an i.d. on it, yet.

This trail always seems longer and steeper than I expect it to be, and today was no exception. It seems even further when it's sunny, because most of this trail has southern exposure.

It was drier than my January trip, with only a slight trickle audible from the cabin foundation (about 2.2 miles up the trail). I didn't spend much time there, however, because an odd young, shirtless man was sitting in the dirt in the middle of the cabin, digging at the dirt with his hands. (He was still there, digging at the dirt, when I came back down the mountain, close to an hour later). Also, there was plenty of poison oak growing on the use trail I would have needed to follow to get to the water.

After the cabin, the trail begins a steep, switch-back filled ascent to Jones Saddle.

These yellow flowers lined large portions of the trail. I'm not sure about their species.

These guys are in the penstamon family, almost certainly showy penstamon. They look a little like Canterbury bells, except the bottom of the blower sort of looks like it's bent. Plenty of Canterbury bells were also blooming on this trail, but I've included pictures of them before.

There was a lupine bush growing at the top of Jones Peak. Yes, I've included lots of pictures of lupine already. But I just love these flowers. Here's a shot looking north, towards Mt. Harvard and Mt. Wilson.

Similar view, without the lupine in the way. :D

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