Jun 29 2012
Remember I said that Fridays are for Mineral King? If you don’t care about this place in the Southern Sierra, in Sequoia National Park, you can skip Fridays on my blog. If you only care about Mineral King and don’t give a rodent’s hiney about my art, you can skip Monday through Thursday on my blog. Okay, now everyone knows what is what, so let’s get to Timber Gap. (And welcome to my blog, you 2 hearty hikers from NY – hope you made your plane!)
It looks like this from the Mineral King valley:
A “gap” is a low spot in a ridge of mountains, a place that is the most sensible for crossing over. Sometimes it is called a “pass”.
To get there, you must endure a very steep 1/2 mile of trail with steps (“trail checks”) sized for giraffey people. It is hot, dusty, difficult. Suck it up, no whining, put one foot in front of the other, remember to breathe (if you can), and just get it over with.
There are fine views of the valley if you can focus through your huffy-puffiness:
The trail flattens out and then you are faced with a choice.
You may recall the last time I was on this trail was back in January.
There is more climbing through the groups of trees below and to the right of Timber Gap. This is where a tram used to run, bringing ore down to the stamp mill from the mines on Empire. Here is the remains of the tram tender’s cabin near the top of that second group of trees.
Shortly after breaking out of the trees, you cross a very small stream. If you look up, you can see where the mines were. They are still there, but didn’t produce so are simply interesting historical sites if you feel like scrambling up to see them. I didn’t.
Then you are on a wide open slope that can have great flowers. Probably won’t be great this year. In fact, this year is looking a bit weird. There was a swatch of wild blue flax that usually doesn’t appear until August!
After you’ve finished skipping and singing “The Hills Are Alive”, there is more climbing to do. The top of Timber Gap is about 9600′ (or is it 9700′ or 9800′?) and you must earn it. Here is the view over to the other side.
All the landmarks I might recognize from living in Three Rivers are too far to the left to see. Just saying, in case you were curious like I am about where Moro Rock and Alta Peak are!
Mineral King is a source of much inspiration to me. That is why Fridays are devoted to the subject on a blog that is supposed to be about a California artist.