My California - The Sphinx Lakes

in SoCal Steemit2 months ago (edited)

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For this weeks Show Us Your California contest by @socalsteemit I head out into Kings Canyon National Park to explore...

The Sphinx Lakes!!

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I drove down to Roads End to start my next adventure. The first couple miles of the trail just continued up the wide floor of Kings Canyon. Then I took the junction up the Bubbs creek trail. I crossed the Kings river, crossed Bubbs creek, and then started climbing up and out of the canyon. As I climbed up I got some great views looking down the canyon. Then I got to the Sphinx junction where I recrossed Bubbs creek on the wooden bridge and then headed up the Avalanche pass trail. And the views just got more impressive as I went.

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The trailhead at Roads End

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Hiking along the floor of Kings Canyon

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South Fork Kings River

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Crossing Bubbs creek

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Looking up at The Sphinx

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Overlooking Kings Canyon

Eventually I got to the Sphinx creek crossing. Which was where I left the trail and started hiking cross country up the Sphinx creek drainage. This turned out to be much more difficult terrain than I had expected. Lots and lots of thick trees and brush and other fun and exciting obstacles. Finally I made it to the lowest of the Sphinx lakes. And although I had planned on hiking to the upper lakes, I was pretty beat from all the bushwhacking so I called it a day and just made my first camp there.

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Crossing Sphinx Creek

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Arriving at the lowest Sphinx lake

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Trout fishing

The next morning I packed up my camp and made my way up to the upper lakes and setup my camp there where I had originally planned it to be. After camp was setup I headed out for a climb up to the top of Cross Mountain(12,185')! The climb was steep, but all easy class 2. And although RJ Secor called it an "insignificant peak" I can tell you that the views from the top are anything but insignificant!

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Meadows along Sphinx creek

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The second Sphinx lakes

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Arriving at the upper Sphinx lakes

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Upper Sphinx lakes

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Overlooking upper Sphinx lakes on my way up Cross mountain

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Arriving at the summit of Cross mountain

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Views from the top of Cross mountain

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Views from the top of Cross mountain

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Standing on the summit of Cross mountain

After enjoying the summit for awhile I headed back down to my camp at the upper Sphinx lakes for a fun evening of trout fishing.

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Back down at the upper Sphinx lakes

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Upper Sphinx lakes

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Trout fishing

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Trout fishing

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Trout fishing

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Evening at camp

The next day was the big day... the climax of the trip... the ascent of Mt. Brewer(13,576)! Which no one would ever say is insignificant, both in physical stature as well as it's historical significance. From my camp I continued up the Sphinx drainage passed the uppermost Sphinx lakes to the Sphinx Col. At the Col I ran into another hiker who told me he was on a trip headed towards Longley pass. I crossed the Col and headed up the Brewer creek drainage to the base of Mt. Brewer. The climb up the northwest slope was pretty straightforward although I ran into some ice patches near the top, but I was able to easily bypass them with some class 3 climbing on the rocks. The summit was absolutely spectacular!! There were 2 summit blocks, and I'm not sure which one was higher, but I climbed them both to be sure! The summit had huge views overlooking almost all of Kings Canyon National Park.

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Upper Sphinx lakes

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Upper Sphinx lakes

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Upper Sphinx lakes

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Crossing Sphinx Col

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Mt. Brewer from Sphinx Col

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Views from Mt. Brewer

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Views from Mt. Brewer

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Views from Mt. Brewer

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Standing on the summit

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Summit selfie

I spent quite awhile on top just soaking it all in. But eventually it came time to go. So I descended back down the northwest face, across the Brewer creek drainage, and back up to Sphinx Col where I ran into yet another hiker(which was kinda odd to run into two people at the same spot way out in the backcountry, especially considering I hadn't seen a single person otherwise since leaving roads end!) who was on his way to Big Brewer lake for the night. After chatting with the hiker for a minute I headed back down to my camp at the Sphinx lakes for my final night of the trip.

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Sphinx lakes reflections

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Sphinx lakes reflection

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Sphinx lakes reflection

The next morning I packed up camp and started making my way back down the Sphinx creek drainage. This time finding a slightly better route avoiding some of the bushwhacking. Eventually I got back on the trail and dropped back down into Kings Canyon and back to Roads End wrapping up yet another awesome mountain adventure!!

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Descending the Sphinx creek drainage

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Descending the Sphinx creek drainage

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Looking at the Sphinx from the Avalanche pass trail

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Overlooking Kings Canyon from the Avalanche pass trail

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Overlooking Kings Canyon from the Bubbs creek trail

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Back on the floor of Kings Canyon

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Back at the trailhead at Roads End

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Evening by the Kings river

Until next time...

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into

My California!!

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all photos by @derekrichardson

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https://www.californiamountainadventure.com
Contact me on Discord

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#SoCalSteemit is building and supporting the Steemit community of Southern California. If you are from SoCal and are into creating quality content here on Steemit, we'd love for you to follow us @SoCalSteemit and join our group on Discord

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Wow, great pictures and awesome trip! Good work on the trout too! 👍🏻

Thank you for participating in this weeks Show us Your California contest!

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