Hiking above Springville
On a recent afternoon I went for a hike up towards the Snail's Head. This is the view
I see looking south across the Tule River from my house.
No doubt Native Americans camped right where my house is, on a bluff above the Tule
River. Just about a hundred feet from my front door are bedrock mortars in huge
granite rocks. They, too, I'm sure enjoyed the view of the Snail's Head. It rises about
1,000 feet above town to the south.
The area surrounding the Snail's Head is that of a private rancher's but I recently
learned from a long-time local that if one or two hikers want to hike up there and don't
litter or shoot or anything he'll allow it. So I set out to find a place to start hiking.
Needles to say, it is not easy to find a legal place to park and hike from. Locals don't
take kindly to you blocking their driveways and jumping their fences and hiking through
their yards, but I talked to someone up at the Lighthouse Church which borders the
ranch and he let me park there and start hiking. After I told him I worked for the
Forest Service he said I'm welcome back anytime.
I crawled through the barbed wire fence surrounding the church property and then
quickly found an old cow trail to follow. At first the going wasn't too steep but soon the
cow trails faded and the terrain got tougher. But I admired the many lichen covered
rocks, the oak and buckeye trees that have mostly lost their leaves and are prepared
for winter dormancy, and the expansive grassy slopes. Already wary of mountain lions
that frequent the hills, I saw a pile of cat scat and then decided to turn back. About
another 20 minutes and I would've had the summit... But I climbed just high enough
above town to get some great views. And, thankfully, the mountain isn't going
anywhere, so I'll go back another time after I find someone to join me... and maybe
once our winter rains begin and the hills get green and the flowers bloom. Holler if
you'd like to join me :)
|Another view of Hatchett Peak
|This hill has a cross on it and some local firefighters use it for a training run
|Moses Mountain is just peeking up and over Lumreau Mountain
|That's Dennison Mountain in the distance to the northeast of Springville
|That's Hatchett Peak which rises about 2,200 feet above Springville
My house is down there somewhere!
|Looking down over Springville