An Icy Winter Wonderland for a Final Hike

Peak Summited2021 Hot Springs Mountain
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadSukat Rd to Hot Springs Mountain Rd (Los Coyotes Reservation Campground)
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsTrail snow-covered at times - Gear and expertise recommended
Trail ConditionsMinor obstacles posing few problems

This hike was so beautiful! It is one of our favorites anyway, but because we hiked in the evening on the day it started to storm, the hike was just gorgeous. We started a little after 1pm, and the ranger told us if the weather got bad then we would need to turn around, but no matter what he said to try and make it out before dark. The weather was already very cold, and the first mile up was very foggy. The fog continued the whole time, but that second mile up started to get very windy. We wanted it to snow but were worried it might just start to rain instead of snow. Getting into the trees after those first 2 miles was just great, and that is when we started to hit patches of snow and ice. There was a fallen tree on the path, but nothing hard to get around. We enjoyed some naturally grown pinecicles right around here too, yum! When we got to the part of the trail that leads up to the open field before entering a grove of trees, the wind was whipping like crazy, and the tree branches were covered in thick icicles! We put or crampons on as we entered the tree grove because we wanted to make good time to the top and the ice was very hard to walk on. The top was so fun to get to! The winds were even crazier at the peak, the tower structure looked like one giant ice cube, and the antennas/solar panels were completely snow covered and frozen also! The path to the actual boulder peak was completely covered in snow and hard to see, and we had to make it down before dark, so we just stayed at the tower for this hiking trip. It started to snow on our way back down the trail which is just what we wanted! The entire way back down the trail was then covered in snow, and it only started to rain and get darker as we hit the last 2 miles of trail down. The wind was still blowing so much that the rain hitting our faces felt like little needles! This hike was so beautiful and fun to do in the snow, and there were lots of animal tracks too! Great way to end this year's 6-peak-challenge!

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