The Dusty Trail to Lion Point

September 13, 2013
Lion Point
Total distance: 5 miles

Driving along the winding Sierra Scenic Byway through Madera County, two friends and I were very near the exact center of California.  Our adventure today was to hike up to Lion Point in the Sierra National Forest.

The trail.

The trail.

I parked along the forest service road at an elevation of about 4,000 feet, where signs informed us that cutting firewood is allowed only if you have a permit.  We met the Friday group of Sierra Hiking Seniors at the trailhead.  Eighteen hikers showed up out of hundreds who are in the group.  I met new people, recognized a few friendly faces from last week’s hike and even remembered some of their names.

Heading up the road.

Heading up the road.

We set out as one and remained bunched up until people found their stride hiking up the 600 foot incline. Spur trails headed off in different directions making it confusing for those who lagged behind.  The route was dusty.  Rocks and ruts cluttered the road.  A cattle grid lay across one section but no cows were seen.  However, several animal tracks and scat of bear, racoon, deer and mountain lion were found in the soft dirt.  Manzanita and mountain misery lined the way, the latter giving off a pungent scent. Oak trees dripping with mistletoe and towering pines blocked the sunlight until we reached a clearing at the top of Lion Point.

Sugary-looking manzanita berries.

Sugary-looking manzanita berries.

There, we had a distant view of the Minarets located in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Minarets (courtesy of hmc.edu)

Minarets (courtesy of hmc.edu)

We saw nearby Musick Mountain, and a vast expanse of wilderness towards Fresno County.  We didn’t linger long at the top of Lion Point, enough to see the views, then turned around and walked down the slope back to the cars.

Musick Mountain.  I took less photographs of this hike, choosing to chat instead.

Musick Mountain

Part of the group’s charm is the socializing that takes place when the hike is completed.  As usual, the leaders brought out a table full of food and drinks.  People set up lawn chairs in the shade and relaxed for a while.  My trio had a ninety minute drive home and things to do, so after having a quick snack and receiving instructions for the next group hike, we bid an early farewell.

9 thoughts on “The Dusty Trail to Lion Point

  1. Dad

    I know I’ve said it before, but it makes me very happy reading your blogs. It’s like I am walking along with you and seeing what you are seeing and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells that you are enjoying. Nice that you continue to meet more new friends and see more beautiful places.

    Dad

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  2. Dorie H. Davis

    JUST TOO GORGEOUS…you are fortunate to live in “God’s Country”
    And, I am so very fortunate to be able to follow your travels, and to “track you ” online, etc. BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY…thanks for keeping me in your “LOOP”!!! The (southern CA) Auntie Dorie (Doris)

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    1. Janet Post author

      Hmm, I don’t know if they’re edible. I looked it up and they ARE. The berries photographed though really needed to be washed. They were very dusty. Manzanita means: little apples.

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  3. Kathy

    Looks like so much fun! Especially meeting new people as you hike. Didn’t know there was such a thing as group of hiking “seniors”. Do they have an age limit where you can join them?

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    1. Janet Post author

      Kathy, they must not have an age limit because I’m not a senior yet (still have about a decade to go). Many of the core members have been hiking together for 20 years (before THEY were seniors).

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