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!