Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Outside with Charlie: Hope Valley

Ferris_Charlie

The goal with very young children on hiking trails is to get them started early to build an appreciation for the great outdoors.

If your child did well on hikes around Sly Park Lake, Granite Lake above Silver Lake and then to Lake Margaret without being carried, this hike is the next step.

Hope Valley is an outdoor paradise. While there are several hikes here, this one will test your little hikers legs and stamina, along with yours. It’s not technical, or overly strange, it’s just 2.5 miles uphill with no lake at the end.

The Hope Valley Overlook trail starts just west of Sorensen’s Resort on Highway 88. The parking area is easy to spot. It’s an old logging road that is marked by the US Forest Service as a fire road.

Just up from where you park the road is gated. Make certain that your car is not blocking the gate.
There may be other cars parked there. If there is no room, find a spot on the north side of the highway, which should be easy to do.

This fire road is where you begin. What is noticeable right away is that this is an uphill experience. You don’t need a ladder or climbing gear, but it is definitely uphill.

You will gain 1,200 feet in about 2.5 miles. There are some spots that level out for a bit, a short respite before the upward hiking begins again.

Notice the blue diamonds on the trees. This road is a cross country and snowshoe route in the winter. Follow the blue diamonds, as the entire hike, up to the spot where you turn for the overlook, is on this road.

You’ll cross a creek about five times along the way. The route takes you in and out of shade for the entire hike. It’s a conifer forest with aspen groves mixed in. In autumn, they are simply mind boggling.

In late spring and into summer, wildflowers are in bloom and will delight your eye and camera.
Take the time to look north when traversing the switch backs. You will find some very camera worthy views out there.

About an hour and a half into the hike, depending on your hiking pace, the road will level out. While it does so in a few places along the way, this time you will be noticeably higher.

Just after this level stretch takes a short, mild downhill, and levels out again, you will come to what looks like a faint road off the north side of the main road. This is it.

The entrance is marked by two ducks, three rocks stacked on each other, about 10 feet apart. Look further down this faint path, and you should see more ducks.

A word of caution here. If you come to a “Y” in the road, after more than an hour and a half into the hike, with Forest Service road markers that say Road 31053, you missed the overlook turn off. At that spot you will also see, on the road you are on, a marker that says Road 31053B. Turn around. Go back on the same road. Look for the ducks marking the trail to the overlook.

Take the faint path over the decomposed granite and lava. Within a short bit you’ll know how come you are here.

Off to the north-west is the big overlook. Keep following the trail to this spot. The views of Hope Valley are stunning.

Your little hikers may be a bit tired. It’s time for snacks or lunch. Keep them close, as the overlook has nothing to prevent anyone from going over the edge.

Enjoy your time here. Work your camera out, fill the memory card.

The trip back will take less time. It is all downhill. The road is gravelly, as you noticed on the way up. Take care on the way down, as slipping on the loose rocks is a possibility.

If your little one is good with this hike, extending your future trips should be OK. Get outside!

Charlie Ferris

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 14 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

 
.

Opinion

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 9 Comments

 
Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

.

Letters

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 8 Comments

 
Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

 
Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8