Monday, August 15, 2011

Bassi Creek Revisited - Upper Bassi Falls & Bowl Peak

          We rode off from the cabin on our mountain bikes heading east along a trail (old road) that skirts the edge of the Van Vleck Meadow. We followed the trail slightly uphill and away from the meadow as it basically wraps around the east side of the meadow. Wildflower patches forced us to stop often so that we could identify and enjoy the views.
          We soon passed a primitive trail on our left that connects to the Loon Lake Trail. We rode down a small hill and back up another before coming to the 3 way junction with the Highland, Loon Lake, and Red Peak Trail. Again we took the Red Peak Trail towards Bassi Creek, but this time on our bikes. We crossed paths with a couple of equestrians enjoying their sport to the fullest. We admired the beautiful horses and chatted with the riders about trails in the area before moving onward.
          We soon found ourselves at the turnoff for the Bassi Creek Trail where we locked our bikes to a tree and continued on foot. We headed down to Upper Bassi Falls where we had lunch the day before. This time we decided to find a place to cross and explore the west side of the creek. We discovered that the views of the falls from the west are far superior to those on the opposite side.

Upper Bassi Falls

Upper Bassi Falls

          After finding a superb location on the brink of the falls we sat and enjoyed lunch.
          Craving more adventure we set off cross country to the top of a nearby hill in hopes of finding a lookout. We followed the path of least resistance through Manzanita scrub and strewn boulders as well as loose scree. Without too much effort we topped out and were greeted with a fantastic granite landscape with views in all directions.
          A giant round boulder rests conspicuously at the top like a huge bowling ball.

Round Rock and View of Crystal Range

          There are also many natural bowls in the granite that caught my interest.

Natural Stone Basin with Two Peaks in the background

Natural Bowls & Large Snag

          Sarah and I have decided to call the lookout Bowl Peak after the bowling ball shaped chunk of granite at the top as well as the many natural bowls.

Heart Shaped Basin

More Bowls

And More Bowls

          We enjoyed Bowl Peak for some time before retracing our steps back down the hillside to Bassi Creek. Along the way we came to a place that was laden with bear scat. It clearly seemed to be their toilet as there were many piles of scat concentrated in one small area. Some piles were very large and some small indicating the possibility of mother and cubs.
          After crossing back over Bassi Creek we retrieved our bikes and began the ride back. We took the same route back as we did coming out, stopping in the meadow to admire carpets of pink wildflowers.

Pink Carpet

          It was an enjoyable outing and especially fun to have the bikes.

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