I saw and walked this trail for the first time 18 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Not on its challenges, which can be considerable, but on what unfolds for the walker.
It’s called “Crankcase Grade” because that’s what old logging trucks left behind as they traversed this when it was a road. It’s now part of the John Muir trail system and peppered with boulders and a granite staircase of sorts. After a short grade from the parking lot, the trail goes up. It’s not so much that it goes up but that many walkers, myself included, have come from much lower altitudes. Thinner air and exertion make a hard combination.
This is the view looking back down the trail. It’s a good excuse to stop and catch a breath.