Just N of Big Pete Meadow(833)-Campground along Evolution Creek(851)
Today’s Mileage: 18mi
Today has been my favorite complete day in the Sierras so far. This morning while we were waking up, we also had Team Legs at our camp. They were in their sleeping bags making breakfast while the four of us did our regular morning routine. It is funny because every group functions differently and our morning routine must be quite a sight. The four of us are spread out around the camp area and usually don’t say a word to each other. We are each in our morning zone and have perfectly timed out the 5:30am departure time. Not many hikers are willing to get started that early when the temps are in the 30s and few are reliable to be consistently ready on time. I swear it’s lkike the army watching how each one of us packs up the same way each morning. Then, like we are Power Rangers or something, we all click our belts almost in unison and hit the trail in our usual hiking order without having to say a word, but knowing we’re ready to kick some trail ass! Great way to start the day:)
We had a 5mi hike to the top of Muir Pass. The pass turned out to be my second favorite after Forester. It started out steep and then had a long gradual climb for a few miles. There were a lot of fase summits and then we walked up one and all of a sudden saw the hut a the top. We didn’t even have to use our ice axes or do anything death defying. My kind of pass! It was a gorgeous walk above tree line with sweeping views and the snow didn’t have a ton of sun cups, so I was able to take my eyes off my footing and enjoy the view. Here are two pics of the route we took. If you look closely, you can see the tracks running through the center and weaving upward with hikers.
At the top was a hut in honor of John Muir. A lot of other hikers were there this morning. Team Legs, Bert & Ernie, and Hobbes. Blister climbed up on top of the hut so I could get a picture.
It is known that this pass has a long 6mi gradual descent that need to be done early to avoid postholing deeply the whole way down. The descent took a couple hours it was one of my favorite stretches along the whole trail so far! Again, no sun cups, no trees, sweeping views, and a gradual downhill. We went down 2,700ft and you know what that means…no more snow! Around 1pm, hit a great forested area that kept winding downward toward a big ford called Evolution Creek. The forest was awesome! No mosquitoes yet thanks to the snow. Also, there was still a lot of water, but it didn’t take over the trail like yesterday. For example, this “lake” is usually a dry meadow…
We were relieved to find that crossing Evolution Creek wasn’t too bad. We took the alternate crossing where it was calmer. Here are Pine and Blister crossing.
The current had some force to it and it got up to my belly button at one part. I’m glad we got that one out the way cause it’s one of the big name fords.
We found a campsite just after the crossing were camped by 4pm. Enough time to dry out our clothes and have a fire. We could have gone farther, but regardless of the mileage today, the remaining miles would take two days and we won’t be able to get the ferry into our next stop (Vermilion Valley Ranch) until late afternoon the second day, so there is plenty of time to get the mileage in. Plus, it was so great to end a day and not be completely worn out. A great Sierra day!