Yesterday hiking in Nevada and California took me from the sweet to the bittersweet. The Sagehen trail can only be described as a “sweet” trail. Trails have personalities. Some played with you and make you earn the summit. Some are just sweetheart, girl-next-door trails. That is the Sagehen trail. A lovely 5 miles there-and-back to a lake with added side trails available. I then did the Donner Summit and Mount Judas trails. That one is not sweet but gorgeous. Think of Mary Ann and Ginger. It was a great combination on a spectacular day.
Sagehen is a lovely hike through pine, aspen, and birch forests. You end up at a wonderfully secluded lakes with trails around the lake. It was a wonderful early morning hike. Great for dogs but you should try to get there early on weekends. Here are some pics from that hike.
I then went to the Donner Pass museum and the memorial to the Donner party. I would not recommend it. The film at the museum was remarkably poor quality and not worth the wait. I am astonished that more effort was not made for the museum and film. Even though I am a huge museum buff, I would skip this one unless you have time to burn.
I then went to Donner Summit and Mount Jude. The drive up the mountain is a bit chilling if you do not like heights. The Donner Summit is very steep but worth it with vast vistas on all sides. Remarkably, at the very top, I encountered some hikers I met below at the trailhead. They brought wedding outfits, hiked up the steep mountain, and were taking pictures near sun set. They agreed to allow me to share a photo.
The hike is awesome. Make sure to leave time if you do both Donner and Judah to be sure to make the drive down the mountain with some light. You are at around 8000 feet above sea level. It is a great hike and worth the effort. Here are some pics: