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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

JMT Day 17: Mather Pass

Sunday, August 07, 2011
Destination: Lake Marjorie
Starting Location: Upper Palisade Lake
Today's Miles: 11.50
Trip Miles: 168.60

We began our day as the sun shown over the mountains through the trees.
 Then we began our climb up to Mather Pass.

We soon were out of the trees into expansive views.

There was also lots of fairly steep snow, which caused conditions to be somewhat treacherous.

After some fun scrambling we made it to the top and discovered the view on the other side.

Looking back to Palisade Lakes from Mather Pass

Josh on Mather Pass

We tried to get a picture with the three of us but the camera fell and almost broke itself on the rocks so we didn't try again.

On the descent there was less snow, making it relatively easy. We hiked in a treeless canyon for many miles near the South Fork of the Kings River.

We even saw a dead deer in a stream that we crossed!

We climbed up to Marjorie Lake. The mountains have a different color, more red.

Small Lake North of Lake Marjorie
 Lake Marjorie
   This is our first campsite at over 11,000 feet. Austin did a cannonball into the snowmelt water, that made my foot instantly numb when it entered the water.

JMT Day 16: Palisade Lakes

Saturday, August 06, 2011
Destination: Upper Palisade Lake
Starting Location: Little Pete Meadow
Today's Miles: 12.00
Trip Miles: 157.10
Today we hiked through some meadows and then ascended the great Golden Staircase to Palisade Lakes.

Today began with the meeting of Little Pete, our friendly meadow deer. She didn't want to talk very much but walked around the borders of our campsite. Maybe she wanted some cheese or maybe my socks. We didn't feed her, as she needs to find food for herself and not be dependent on humans.

We hiked through lots of beautiful meadows (Grouse and Deer) and began to climb to Palisade Lakes.

 The trail was very well designed throughout the climb. The golden staircase was a pleasant set of switchbacks. There were lots of nice flowers and an endless supply of the world's finest gold. We didn't take any though, wilderness policy.

After finishing the pleasant climb, we made it to Lower Palisade Lake and hiked beside the water.

Looking back

Upper and Lower Palisade Lakes

We had heard about a nice campsite by a waterfall. However, we couldn't find it. We did pass up a nice campsite between the two lakes with an excellent view.

I'm not sure about the water availability there as the trail is up high on the eastern ridge.  Our campsite of choice was well above the Upper Palisade Lake, down the mountain a little ways, but still pretty high up.

JMT Day 15: Muir Pass

Friday, August 05, 2011
Destination: Little Pete Meadow
Starting Location: South part of N. Evolution Lake
Today's Miles: 13.00
Trip Miles: 145.10
Today we did our sixth pass, Muir Pass, and it was one of my favorites!

On the way to the pass, we hiked past beautiful Sapphire Lake.

Wanda Lake

We could see for miles! Today was through a lot snow but that made it fun.

Looking to Muir Pass

 There was a nice hut dedicated to Muir himself on top of the pass. We were tempted to stay the night but realized our journeys should take us farther.  Also, I don't think it was allowed unless it was an emergency.

The desent was somewhat treacherous. In one spot, we saw the trail off to the left so we crossed a stream and went over to it. When we looked back, we saw that the snow bridge on the other side was very thin and very high. We had almost thought about going that way, but chose otherwise. A relatively good decision.
Helen Lake

Looking back

Hiking through Le Conte Canyon was beautiful!

 We ended up camping at Little Pete Meadow after passing through beautiful Le Conte Canyon along  We stopped and made dinner before continuing our hike.  This is something we had planned to do.  We haven't done it much because our days usually end before we have the urge to eat dinner.  At camp we decided we were still hungry. Austin heated up a nice flat stone for some hot chocolate on the fire. Then we used the stone with some cheese we had found at Muir Trail Ranch, some Taco Bell Sauce, and tortillas for the best quesadillas in a very long time!

JMT Day 14: Evolution Lake

Thursday, August 04, 2011
Destination: South part of N. Evolution Lake
Starting Location: near San Joaquin River bridge
Today's Miles: 11.00
Trip Miles: 132.10
Today we journeyed up to Evolution Valley, through it, and then up to Evolution Lake. It was a very pleasant day and we had nice weather and few bugs. We did enjoy climbing about 2500 feet and the trail was constructed most excellently to ease our climb.

We crossed Evolution Creek where the trail crossed as the ranger had put a sign there telling us that it was the best place to cross. The crossing was nice. I could have just kept walking up stream because I believe we crossed it again later. Maybe I'm wrong.
We stopped and talked to Ranger Dave and he told us the weather will be nice and Muir Pass should have the most snow.

We stopped to have lunch near McClure Meadow.

Then we had a big climb up to Evolution Lake.  As we neared the top of the climb there was a rocky overlook of Evolution Valley below.

Evolution Lake is very beautiful!  Evolution Lake was one of the numerous "most beautiful lakes" we have come to. I jumped in the pleasant chilling water!

We found a big rock slab to camp on near southern end of the lake.  The evening light was excellent on  mountains to the east of Evolution Lake.

JMT Day 13: Muir Trail Ranch

Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Destination: near San Joaquin River bridge
Starting Location: Senger Creek
Today's Miles: 10.20
Trip Miles: 121.10
Woke up relatively late today and had a big descent to Muir Trail Ranch for our final resupply. 
  It was a nice transaction, however, we ended up leaving a lot of food behind due to our early arrival.  We swapped out some food from the hiker barrels as well.  My pack weight topped 50 pounds and I felt it the rest of the day.
After leaving Muir Trail Ranch we couldn't find the trail back to the JMT, so we just went off trail with the GPS.  A family followed us, so it was good to find the trail again!

We left the John Muir Wilderness and entered King's Canyon National Park today as well!  It's supposed to be spectacular!

There was beautiful hiking along the San Joaquin River.

We found a nice campsite a little before the trail crosses the river and begins its climb to evolution valley.   Josh cooked up some high quality food to eat.

About Me

I've been born and raised in the great state of Michigan. I recently graduated from physical therapy school. I enjoy being active, playing sports, and running. Backpacking has become a great interest as it is a physical challenge that provides many rewarding views and experiences. I strive to make a difference in the lives of those encounter in every day life, on the trail, or even just on this blog. May God bless each of you. Now go find an adventure! It's only a few feet away!