Completing my short jaunt along Stetattle Creek left me with a desire to do a little exploring for the first time along the Sourdough Mountain Trail.
The trail used to start behind the community pool. Now it starts behind where the community pool used to be since it's been filled in with dirt. There is a sign, it's near a shed and located just before you drive by the Diablo Dam Powerhouse.
This trail is also marked as a high water evacuation route, in case such an issue arises. Considering that the town is located immediately below a dam, and less than three miles down-stream from a larger dam with a 20 mile long reservoir, it's a good little escape route to be aware of. Ya never know.
Anyway, the Sourdough Mountain trail is notorious for a number of reasons:
1) At the top of the mountain/ridge is a Fire Lookout cabin.
2) Scenery is A+++ (when weather cooperates)
3) The lookout & surrounding area gained popularity via Jack Kerouac
, author of On The Road and Dharma Bums which were partially written or inspired by his time spent in North Cascade Lookouts.
3) It's steep, long and more steep. One of the guide books hints that the 'trail is known to decommission every knee in a boy scout troop'.
Needless to say, I have yet to have the right combination of predictable weather, strong hiking partners and be in suitable shape to make such a day trip all at the same time.
Knowing that reaching the objective is just to do a little bit of elevation training and knowing that it's ok to turn around at my comfort/convenience, this was a perfect chance to do a little exploring.
Perfect, except that I filled up the memory card on the camera. Four trails, blue sky, one day, 2GB memory card... shouldda known better.
There were a few photo ops before the memory maxed out, but nothing that hadn't really already been seen in the previous three hikes.
By my estimates, I hiked up the first 500 feet of elevation gain, to where the forest opens up a lttle bit and crosses some solid rocks before turning around.
As others have warned, this trail is steep.
As an evacuation route... well, I certainly hope the residents of Diablo maintain a solid Wellness Program because it was quite a workout to reach the 'safe zone' (yep, it's actually signed).
Here is the route map (combined with the Stetattle Creek route). Sourdough is the spur to the right.
Thus concludes an epic day of hiking. Wish there were more of them.
PS: Goat Lake trip report coming soon!! Whittled down the list of pictures to only 21. Now THAT was an epic hike!