Saturday morning a few of the girls going on our summer Half Dome climb met up for a prep hike. We started out at about 6:30 in the morning (and 37 degrees outside), with light packs and freezing fingers to get as much hiking in as we could before 9am.
The Red Hills is a region of
7,100 acres of public land located just south of the historic town of
Chinese Camp in Tuolumne County. The Red Hills are noticeably different
from the surrounding countryside. The natural serpentine in the area
causes the plant assemblage to be limited to those species that are
tolerant of such minerals. And according to the BLM website, the Red Hills are the roosting and hunting grounds for Bald Eagles. However we didn't see any on our trip.
Do to the lack of rain all the streams and creeks running through the hills were bone dry, but we did find a cool bathtub meant for watering stock (also dry and also big enough for all 4 of us to climb into).
The trails were well marked and well groomed and some of the vistas were quite beautiful. One of the girls is an experienced Geocacher and we found 2 along our hike. It is like a real world treasure hunt! To learn more about it check out this website Geocaching.com.
We ended up doing just a little over 3 miles of mostly uphill hiking before it was time to head back.