The idea was to get way out away from everything, to a lake 12 miles from park headquarters. It was a backpack trip of 7 days. I did this trip annually for several years usually by myself. Some people could do this hike in 6 hours or less, but it took me 2 days to get out there and 2 days to get back. The trip begins pretty much all down hill, five miles by trail and or dirt road, about a 1500 foot decent into a valley creek bottom. The width of this canyon is in some places, no larger than the creek, called a river in California, and in one place where the road crosses the stream, it is a quarter mile wide and used as a camp ground. The trail is stunningly beautiful with outlooks into the valleys and distant hills and mountains, with nothing unnatural as far as the eye can see, as much as probably 30 miles. However I used the dirt road which is not quite as nice, grassy knolls and mostly scattered Oak Trees, Pine, Madrone, Manzanita, Cypress, Yew and countless other types of trees, shrubs and bushes including lots of Poison Oak. The road was the shortest and fastest about one hundred miles south of San Francisco.
After reaching the river, the next stage is to get another mile by either climbing over a hill of about 600 feet or taking the flat river bed around. One could walk a trail on the creek's edge for awhile, but some of the river had to be waded, as the wood on either side was impenetrable. This can be tough on the bare feet especially with a 30 pound pack, gingerly trying to step between the underwater rocks set in sand and pebble.
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