“You have to be part mountain goat and part idiot to want to try this hike.”  I hadn’t read this description of the Mumford Bar Trail east of Foresthill, California. However, being an idiotic goat hasn’t stopped me before. The trail has been part of my backpack “training schedule” for many years. It’s my first major day hike of the season and I love it.
I have rational reasons. At 3225 feet above sea level the Mumford has two pluses to recommend it. I live at 165 feet in Roseville, which means if I’m planning a backpack at between five thousand and nine thousand feet, the Mumford is a good place to adjust to elevation or acclimatize. And, the snow melts there earlier than it does at higher elevations, so it can be accessed earlier in the year.
The trail is well-marked and the switchbacks are reasonable. That said, I’m sure the idiotic goat reference is to the fact that the trail drops 2720 feet in three miles mercilessly crushing toes against the inside of shoes/boots and jarring knees. (2720 is the depth of over nine football fields.) That’s one of the beauties of the trail. It’s a perfect place to test muscle and endurance. Roseville is flatland – not designed to build up those calves and thighs. Of course, the climb out is the proverbial icing on the cake.
So, how did I do on my first serious day hike after a hip replacement?
- Day 2 – sore from neck to ankles, but capable of walking and working on my book
- Day 3 – I was covered with mosquito bites – little ones that itch but aren’t that bad. My pal broke-out with huge welts immediately. My calves knotted and cramped. Tired – definitely. But ready to go again.
 California Hiking, The Complete Guide to 1000 of the Best Hikes in the Golden State by Tom Stienstra and Ann Marie Brown