Kearsage Pass to Mammoth

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The first of 15 deer we saw in this stretch!

Wow- this 106 mile section was fantastic. Hermes and I have been joking about what to write in this blog post because everyday was so full of beautiful scenery- waterfalls, high mountain passes, mountain lakes, views, deer, forests, and rivers. I’m going to keep this post a bit short, but have far too many photos below- I think the photos really tell the story of this section better than my words can. We left Bishop full of Thai food and with heavy packs and spent our first night camped out just a few miles up Kearsage pass on a windy night. The next morning we woke up and hiked up Kearsage Pass to get back to the trail, we took a slightly different route and had a great view of Bullfrog Lake where we had camped on our way into Bishop.

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View from one of the many passes we did.

After we got back onto the trail we kept on climbing and did our second pass of the day- Glen Pass. This was a snowier pass and took us up around 12,000 feet. Hermes did his first glissading of the trail (sliding down a snowy pass), while I carefully picked my way down the through the ice and rocks. We ran into a huge group of thru hikers that we hadn’t met before and had lunch with them before hiking down into the Rae Lakes.

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Ice blue snow melt water.

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On top of a pass!

The next day we did two more passes and over 6,000 feet of climbing. This was one of the harder days we had in this stretch, but the hard work we put in hiking was constantly rewarded by amazing views, lakes and forests. After we got up and over our first pass of the day, Hermes and I realized we hadn’t packed quite enough food for this section and we began a strict rationing system of our peanut butter and Nutella which go in our wraps.

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These lakes have the clearest and bluest water we had ever seen!

Every lake we saw in this section was crystal clear but also ice cold! We managed to take a few dips in some of the rivers but the lakes proved to be just a bit too cold for us both (snow was melting directly into most of the lakes we passed).

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Rae lakes

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The alpine zone up by the passes was my favorite part of this section.

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Break spot by the Rae Lakes.

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PCT and JMT overlap almost all of the way to Yosemite.

The PCT and the JMT overlap for most of the trail between Mount Whitney and Toulomne Meadows- we have run into a few early Southbound hikers of the John Muir Trail who are having a blast.

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Heading up towards yet another pass!

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We are finally surrounded by water!

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The trees here are amazing.

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Mountain Reflection.

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Hermes on top of Glen Pass!

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Snow!!

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Alpine hiking…

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The views have been just unreal.

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Wildflowers, views and we love the PCT.

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Alpine lake.

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Frosty and Goldilocks!!

We were so excited to run into Frosty and Goldilocks on our way towards Muir Pass! Their blog is awesome too.

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Breakfast spot as we dropped into the valley that leads to Muir Pass.

This section of the High Sierra totally spoiled us for the rest of the trip. Each day we had breakfast and lunch break overlooking a view like this or next to a clean mountain lake. The camping in this section was unreal as well- right next to rivers, over looking valleys, in tall forests, and we didn’t have a single run in with a bear.

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Bearded brothers bars- AMAZING!!

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Yoga after breakfast

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Waterfall on the way into the valley leading to Muir Pass.

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So many waterfalls!

We are now spending TWO zero days in Mammoth in a condo with a few other thru hikers and are enjoying every minute of relaxation. The photo’s and captions below can’t do justice to how beautiful this section was- I know that I will be drawn to come back and explore the High Sierra in the future.

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Hermes loves taking flower photos.

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Hermes looking down into the valley.

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Loving the huge trees!

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Heading up to Muir Pass! My favorite pass in that section.

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So happy!

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Reflections

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Morning view.

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Muir Hut!

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We hiked through lake after lake coming down from Muir.

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Crystal clear and flat water.

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To pretty for a caption.

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Rock hopping on the reflection on the lake.

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Have I said we LOVE the PCT?

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The water coming over Muir was so clear!

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This was our first “real ford.” In a typical snow year this can be a scary and challenging crossing…our only problem was the mosquitos.

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Huge old trees.

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Entering the John Muir Wilderness, after passing through Seqouia and Kings Canyon National Parks. 

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We crossed our first real smoke from a far off fire. At the time, we didn’t know where the fire was but luckily it wasn’t anywhere near us.

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Using our bug nets! We finally (unfortunately) have started needing them.

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I am so in love with the forests and trees here.

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Aspen groves

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Silver Pass- our last pass of the High Sierra…

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High Alpine lakes…we hope we will see such beautiful lakes up the trail.

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Getting close to Mammoth and Reds Meadow!

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Breakfast at Purple Lake

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The view of the Minarets and Mt. Ritter as we hike towards Reds Meadow and leave the HIgh Sierra. The backside to Mammoth Mountain is off to the right and Yosemite NP is in the close distance. 

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900 Miles!!!!!

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I always think there is something so beautiful about burn areas, but can’t stop imaging how pretty it would have been as a living forest.

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Store! Cafe! Bus! Hooray! Mammoth Lakes here we come! 

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5 thoughts on “Kearsage Pass to Mammoth

  1. Youur style is unique compared too othedr peoole I have read stuff from.
    Maany thaqnks for postiing when you’ve got thhe opportunity, Guess I ill just
    bookmark this blog.

  2. Hey guys, guess what?! we’re flying to SF on Sat to hike with you. Don’t panic – just a day hike or less. No intentions to slow you down lol. Now in order to connect we need your itinerary – where you are planning to be on Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue. Also your cell number if you have one. Also let us know what do you need us to bring as far as food or else. Looking forward to see you guys!
    I also left a message on your FaceBook page
    Cheers!
    Eugene (& Inna)

  3. ALways a Good Hike through the John Muir Area….. There is ALOT more Good stuff Ahead….. SO much Emphasis is put on Yosemite and the Lower end of the Sierras……Can’t believe No BEARS ! LOL I had Bear encounters on three separate Tahoe area Hikes in the last 2 weeks! oh and Mountain Lions as well… Keep your eyes and Ears Open!

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