Burt and Anna

With a loud incessant demand, the homing device went off Thursday afternoon, gathering my attention to the single fact it was time to go.

Friday afternoon saw the Subaru packed for both car camping and back packing.  A quick stop at Whole Foods for food to go and a leisurely drive to Monitor Pass.  This stretch of California Highway 89 connects Markleeville, Ca to Interstate 395 as it runs north and south from California to Oregon.  High, wide and lonesome.  Oh boy.

Final destination was Burt Canyon and Anna Lake,  18 north of Bridgeport on 395.  But Monitor pass was an excellent place to pull off the road  for about a half mile and enjoy a deeply quiet and elegantly cloud filled evening.

Low angle 8:00 pm light.

The Subaru oven. Excellent for reheating pizza. Make sure you close the hood (gently) for maximum efficiency.

With the pizza ready it was time for the evenings entertainment.

Dinner and a movie.  A front row seat for the epic nature pic, ” The Passing of the Clouds.” In bigger than IMAX format.

The cloud movie was superb.  Later, I converted the Subaru oven into the Subaru tent and settled in for the night.  It was close to the new moon so there was no moonlight to wash out the starlight.  And the stars did their job, spectacularly exhibiting the  brilliant wonders of the constellations, the Milky Way Galaxy, and multiple shooting stars, all for the asking.  Just look up. Bravo.

Last month was a day hike up Willow Flat into the lower part of Burt Canyon.  This month I wanted to return and stay a night or two towards the end of the trail.  Upper Burt Canyon is about three miles long, ending in a rounded panorama of  11,000 foot plus mountains.  It is not a wide canyon, and the soaring  walls on either side scream out, “avalanche country”.  This place must just get hammered in winter.  I don’t know how  so much incredible scenery can be packed into such a small stretch, but for a relatively easy six-mile hike in from the trailhead, this has to be one of the best deals around. Walk a little get a lot.

Coming out of the forested elbow that transitions lower to upper Burt Canyon.

Hiking in halfway up the canyon, I chose to make camp on the east side,  just below Walker Mountain.  Walk  two hundred feet from camp and you are in the middle of the canyon floor.

Ink Rocks on the left and Flatiron Butte, center.  11,094 ft.  and 11,381 ft. respectively. The canyon floor is 9,200 ft.

Mt. Emma north of the canyon, overlooking lower Burt Canyon and Willow Flat.

Having enjoyed the stars so much the night before I opted to not use the rain fly on my tent, allowing for much better star-gazing, even if it was through a fine mesh.

End of the day light on the south end.

First light next morning.

Alpenglow and clouds.

Anna Lake sits at 10, 579 feet, 1.7 miles above the Burt Canyon trail towards the south end of the canyon.

Just a bit before the trail junction.

As the trail goes up, the reward for all the snow that occurs in the winter is the moisture the wildflowers love.  At this elevation they last longer into the season.


Quickly gaining elevation you are afforded multiple vantage points where your mind can be stopped.

Outlet to Anna Lake

The closer you get toAnna Lake, the more severe the landscape gets.  Not a place to spend the night, but rich in detail for those who love the high country.

Left of the outlet.

Right of the outlet.

Elegant swimming pool entry.

The trail back down was a very good one to use hiking poles on.  They definitely make downhill easier.

Waters from Anna Lake finding their way to the canyon floor and the Little Walker River.

And finally back at camp:



P.S.  click on any photo for a bigger experience.  And here’s a few more thumbnails at the risk of  visually burning you out.  No particular order. Take your time.




















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