Day 5: Muir Pass and People

Friday July 17, 20.7mi/33.3km

Dusy Basin/Bishop Pass Junction (40.0/10,740ft) to Shelf above Evolution Valley (60.7/10,870ft) (CA)

Today I got to hike on actual trail, so I covered a ton of distance and took a ton of photos.

I was woken up at 6am by the sounds of this gal munching on the grass near my tent.

I packed up at hiked out in the chilly morning, watching the sun come up.

As I descended the Bishop Pass trail, I was shocked to see an actual bridge!

It crossed and re-crossed the stream, with many waterfalls along the way.

As I got lower, a forest appeared. It’s been a few days since I was low enough to see a forest.

And even some aspen trees.

And this behemoth of a pine tree.

The stream became a giant waterslide, running smoothly down a massive granite slab.

After a couple hours, I reached the junction with the JMT/PCT. Time to climb back up!

It was, of course, a superbly maintained trail.

And I had to stop and get a photo with the classic rock monster!

As I hiked up toward Muir Pass, I saw tons of hikers, I think I counted 20. And tons of waterfalls!

Nearing the top, I saw the source of these waterfalls, alpine lakes!

The trail did cross one very short patch of snow, probably only 50 feet.

At the Helen Lake, I ran into the hiking duo I saw at Glacier Lake, back on day 2. Bjorn and Taylor are doing their first long backpacking trip, taking a backcountry route thru King’s Canyon NP. So cool that we crossed paths again!

At the top of Muir Pass, is of course Muir hut. Looks the same as when I was here in 2015.

Except now the hut had become sentient, and is writing notes!

And there is a new commemorative plaque.

I ate lunch in the hut to escape the wind, and chatted with 10 other hikers coming and going. I hiked out at 1:30pm to see the afternoon storm clouds gathering, as I descended from the pass down to Evolution lake.

Hiking along Wanda Lake.

Hiking down to Sapphire Lake.

The outlet of Sapphire lake was nicely crossed on a perfectly placed series of stones.

The Evolution Lakes are my favorite, the have greenery around them.

And marmots too of course.

I departed the JMT/PCT just after the Evolution Lakes, hiking cross-country thru a nice forest, contouring across the hillside at just under 11,000 feet.

After two miles of this, I stopped to camp. It was a great spot, on a shelf 1500ft/450m above Evolution Valley!

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