Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Coyote Trail To The Huntington Lake Overlook

Dale Matson

6 Mile Loop, 4.5 hours, Trailhead Elevation 7,492’, Highest Point 7,913’
This route departs from the Coyote Snow Park off (Highway 168) between Shaver and Huntington Lakes.
Click On Photographs To Enlarge
Route With Waypoints At Some Outbound Trail Junctions
Suunto Ambit Download With Huntington Lake At Top

It’s been about 8 years since I’ve done this trail. It has lots of challenging ascents and descents. I am not a skilled backcountry skier and no longer strong and steady enough to ski this difficult route. Because of this I decided on my slow but certain Tubbs snowshoes and trekking poles. I decided on a counter clockwise trip on the Coyote Trail until I joined the Eagle Trail near the Shaver Lake overlook. I then stayed on the Eagle Trail for my return to the trailhead.

I was surprised to find that the trails out of the snow park had not been skied since the last snow. Fortunately a couple of good backcountry skiers from South of Fresno, John and George were headed to the Huntington Lake Overlook ahead of me. Both Susie my Airedale and I were thankful for their hard work ahead of us.

It was good to do this trail once again and I found it to be much better posted with trail signs along the route than years ago. Susie had no problem staying with me and probably did another two miles than me with side trips to investigate tracks and smells. It amazes me that a ten-year-old dog has this much stamina and enthusiasm. Huntington Lake was not frozen over and consequently more evident than other times I have been there. The Lake level was down and I don't know if it was because of the work on the dam.

It was a sunny warm day and I was down to my wool shirt and bare hands in no time. I fell once but unlike skis, I was able to get my feet under me without taking off my snowshoes. If you are a good backcountry skier, skis are the best way to do this trail. The trail signs are high to accommodate the snow pack. Some years, I have leaned my trekking poles against the top of the signs.

I used my Sony A7R2 with the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f4 lens for most of the shots. For one of my shots of Red Mountain and Huntington Lake, I also used an adapted Canon 70-200mm f4 lens.

Heading back down the hill I stopped in Shaver Lake at Norm’s Shaver Lake Deli. He was just leaving because his electricity had been out and he had to close up. He reopened the place just so I could get some snacks and a cola for the trip down the hill. Thanks Norm! He also sells some of my books for me in his store.

It was a good day. As the former tag team wrestling champions the Legion of Doom would say, “What a rush!”

 Trail Information At Parking Area

 Red Mountain 9,863'

 Huntington Lake

At This Junction I Opted To Remain On The Eagle Trail 

John And George Trail Breakers!


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