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South Lake - Evolution Valley - North Lake Loop
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Sequoia National Park: A Complete Hiker's Guide
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National Audubon Society Regional Guide to California
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Table Mountain Inyo 3 miles
Big Pine Creek Campground 6 miles
Bishop Park Group 6 miles
Big Pine Canyon 6 miles
Upper Sage Flat 6 miles

Trail Journals

South Lake - Evolution Valley - North Lake Loop


Pages:   Introduction   1   2   3   4
 
Day 3 - To Below Muir Pass Map: Muir Pass
Little Pete Meadow
Little Pete Meadow
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Le Conte Canyon
Le Conte Canyon
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Today started with a fairly easy ascent to Little and Big Pete Meadows. Strangely, Little Pete Meadow seemed to be much larger than Big Pete Meadow. It also looked like it would have been a wonderful place to camp.



The trail started to climb more steeply above Big Pete Meadow beside the Kings River. You could probably make camp in one of the flat spaces along this ascent. This area is where the day's hike starts to get steep, but it isn't too bad because it is in shade.



The next big climb past this section isn't any steeper, but it is in the sun much of the time and gets very warm. This makes it buch harder than it has to be. Eventually you get to another meadow where you could make camp. There is a lake here which you cannot see from the trail until you start climbing further up the canyon.



Once above the last meadow the scenery begins to change. There is much more rocky rubble than grassy meadows. There is another lake here which also makes a good campsite. This is where we stayed the night.



There was a great lookout spot up here where you could gaze down on the canyon and in the distance we could see a pillar of smoke rising above the mountains. This was a bad fire year in the Sierra Nevada and this particular fire was in the Palisades area.

Day 4 - To Evolution Lake Map: Evolution Basin
Muir Hut
Muir Hut
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Evolution Lake
Evolution Lake
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Today is a fairly simple hike. The hardest part of the climb to Muir Pass is behind us, or it feels like it is since we are starting fresh in the morning.



We lost the trail almost immediately in the rocks just past the lake where we camped, but we found it pretty quick. The geography in this area is such that you only really have one way to go. We also smelled smoke and saw some ash raining down on us in the early morning, but this did not last long.



The next lake up is pretty small. A few campsites could be found between where we camped and Helen Lake, but not too many. We met some people on the trail who camped a Helen Lake. Once Couple loved it but all the others were miserably cold.



Once you climb up to Helen Lake you are trated to a grand view of a very large lake. The remaining ascent to the pass is short and easy. You can see the hut half way up. Once at the pass you get what must be one of the finest and strangest views in the Sierra. The strange part is that you can see for miles, but you cannot see a single tree anywhere.



Hiking down the other side of the pass is a very mellow descent to Evolution Basin. You then drop down to two lakes before finally descending to Evolution Lake. Just as we were approaching Evolution Lake we met two brothers who made some comments about the next lake down. However, there is no such lake. I can only assume that they thought that Evolution Lake was actually two separate lakes, which you can almost understand by looking at it on a map, but it is in fact onlu one lake.



There is some good camping at the North end of the lake. You could probably make a camp at the south end of the lake while much of the trail alongside the lake is too narrow. However, if you camp at the north end you can follow the river at the lake's outlet to stunning views of Evolution Valley.

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