A friend and I took our day off work to take a day hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in the high Sierras. I looked for a hike that would be reasonably challenging, but close enough and short enough to do in a day (including the drive out from the Bay Area).

Mitch agreed to go with me to summit Leavitt Peak which lies near the edge of the Stanislaus National Forest, if I am not mistaken. The peak elevation is listed as 11,573 feet on Wikipedia, though my GPS thought it is 11,644.

The trail is quite calm, except for the final, short jaunt up the peak itself. But even then there is trail the whole way. An especially nice point in the hike is when you come through a pass and look down on the several lakes and green in what I believe is the Emigrant Wilderness. We could see the towering peaks of the high Sierra well over 100 miles away by my estimation.

Just lowering from this divide, the trail breaks off from the Pacific Crest Trail and ascends Leavitt Peak. We actually missed this trail, even though it is clearly marked (as we noted on the way down). This resulted in a harmless scramble (though there was plenty of loose rock) until we again found the trail. I guess we will credit ourselves with having the good sense to find the easiest route up the mountain.

Leavitt Peak Photos