The aura of autumn: Fall hikes |

The aura of autumn: Fall hikes

With the hordes of summer visitors gone, fall is the perfect time to explore the Sierra with knowledgeable park rangers. The California Department of Parks and Recreation Sierra District and the non-profit Sierra State Parks Foundation are sponsoring several fun and educational fall activities. These free hikes appeal to hikers of all ages and abilities.All hikes go as scheduled, though the goal may be changed in extreme conditions. Wear adequate clothing for weather conditions. Pets are not allowed on the hikes. The state does not provide transportation. Although the hikes are free to the public, in some cases day use parking fees may apply.Kokonee Salmon &Fish Habitat TalkDonner Memorial State ParkSaturday, Oct. 21When Donner Creek turns red it’s time to come and witness the unusual migratory spawning habits of this scrappy Donner Lake resident. You must call ahead to register at 582-7892.Difficulty: Easy with no elevation gain at 6,000 feetDuration: 1 hourMeet: Donner Memorial State Park Emigrant Trail Museum parking area, Donner Pass road 2 miles west of Truckee.Tips: Bring layered clothing and rain gearInfo: 582-7892Carey’s PeakGrover Hot Springs State ParkSunday, Oct. 29A hike to 8,700-foot Carey’s Peak overlooking Woodfords and east into Nevada. This is the drainage providing water to the Washoe sacred falls.Difficulty: Invigorating 8-mile hike (4 miles is off trail)Duration: 6 – 7 hoursMeet: 9 a.m. at Horsethief Canyon trailhead across from Snowshoe Springs Campground. The campground is 4 miles west of WoodfordsTips: Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, layered clothing and good boots.Info: 694-2248Donner History WalkDonner Memorial State ParkSunday, Oct. 29Find out who was where and what happened while The Donner Party was there. You will be walking to historical sites near the Emigrant Trail museum and then driving your car to the historic sites at Alder Creek.Difficulty: Easy – no elevation gain at 6,000 feetDuration: 2 hoursMeet: 10 a.m. Donner Memorial State Park Museum, Donner Pass Road, 2 miles west of Truckee.Tips: Dress in layers and wear sturdy boots.Info: 582-7892Hawkin’s PeakGrover Hot Springs State ParkSunday, Nov. 12Hawkin’s Peak at just under 10,000 feet rewards the energetic hiker with views into the Carson Valley and south to the Sonora Pass area.Difficulty: Moderately difficult 4-5 miles, 2,000-foot elevation gainDuration: 5 hoursMeet: 9:30 a.m. at the beginning of Burnside Lake on the intersection of Hwy. 88 and 89; we will carpool from there.Tips: Bring a lunch, warm clothing and waterInfo: 694-2248

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