August 27, 2006
|We were way up there... see the tiny speck of white to the lower right?
That's Jordan Lookout as seen from the North Road
My First Hike to Jordan Peak
My Summitpost Page on Jordan Peak
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|Yesterday Todd and I hiked one of my favorite local hikes... Jordan Peak. I'd hiked this trail twice before, once by myself and once with my Dad, but it's a good one and I wanted to share it with Todd. The hike is 3/4 mile and climbs about 500 feet to the summit of Jordan Peak, 9115 feet. At the top is one of 8 manned fire lookouts on the forest. Fire lookouts always have the best views ;) From the top of Jordan Peak you can see northwards towards Dennison Peak, Moses Mountain, Maggie Mountain, and the peaks that form the boundary between Sequoia National Forest & Sequoia National Park (Vandever, etc.) To the east you can see all the way to Olancha Peak on the Sierra Crest. To the south you can see Slate Mountain and Mule Peak and down the mighty Kern Canyon. To the west you can look down the Tule Canyon to the central valley and on a clear day you can see all the way to the California Coast Range. But to me the most special thing about Jordan Peak are the "nearby" views. You can see at least 8 sequoia groves from the top!
As the bird flies the peak is just a few miles from where I live. It takes a full hour and a half to drive to the trailhead, though. But the drive is very scenic and worth it. The trail switchbacks up through a shady red fir forest and only when you are steps from the top do you emerge onto the wild rocky peak. This peak has the distinction of quite possibly being the oldest lookout site on the Sequoia National Forest. The current lookout building was constructed in 1934 and all of the materials were hauled in by horses and mules. The 20 foot steel tower originally had open bracing to support it, but in 1970, the tower was enclosed with metal siding.
Todd and I had a great time visiting with the fire lookout. She told us some great stories of what it's like living in a place without plumbing, about the 5 Golden Eagles that fly around the lookout and the Peregrine Falcon that dive bombs her, and about the intense lightning and thunderstorms she has weathered. We then had a leisurely walk back down again.
|Looking south to Camp Nelson below and Slate Mountain above
|Mule Peak is just left of center behind Slate Mountain