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the grandstand

The Grandstand talks about hiking in a way that is personal, humorous, and humble with the belief that spending time in the wilderness makes us better people. Hikes are more than just mileage and elevation gain—for many of us, they are a means of enduring, and possibly even enjoying, whatever life brings our way.

The Grandstand was named after a rock monolith at the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley.

 

Upper Twin Lake and George Lake, Kaiser Wilderness

Upper Twin Lake and George Lake, Kaiser Wilderness

Over Memorial Day Weekend, we explored a lesser-known part of the Sierra, the Kaiser Wilderness, which is situated northeast of Fresno above Sequoia National Park. The hike begins at a trailhead off of Kaiser Pass Road, climbs over Potter Pass, and descends again into a basin of rolling granite, meadows, and two lakes, Lower and Upper Twin. If you're willing to climb again after reaching Upper Twin Lake, George Lake is well worth the extra push.

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Although we encountered lingering snow at the higher elevations, this 9.6-mile hike has an elevation gain of only 1500 feet and never exceeds an altitude of 9,100 feet, making it the perfect early season hike for beginners, kids, or those who are prone to altitude sickness. 

We met a forest service volunteer at Upper Twin Lake who looks after the area. I told him that I had never had to work so little on a hike to encounter something so beautiful—I felt almost like I hadn't earned the view. He laughed and agreed that although the hike isn't nothing, the rewards far outweigh the effort.

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Crabtree Trail in the Emigrant Wilderness

Crabtree Trail in the Emigrant Wilderness

Hiking in a Cloud

Hiking in a Cloud