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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Onion Valley to Kearsarge Lakes, CA

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5 9 0
Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Sierra Nevada
Rated
4.6
4.6 of 5 by 5
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 6.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,226 feet
Elevation Gain 2,742 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,742 feet
Avg Time One Way 4.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.34
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
23  2018-06-25
Golden Trout Lake Trail
azbackpackr
571  2017-08-08
Onion Valley to Happy Isles
Mudhole
81  2016-07-01
Rae Lakes Loop Trail
Lucyan
57  2015-07-23
JMT - Onion Valley to Horseshoe Meadow
John9L
69  2015-07-23
Onion Valley to Horseshoe Meadow
chumley
24  2014-10-08
Kearsarge Lakes Trail to Charlotte Lake
Oregon_Hiker
54  2014-07-18
John Muir Trail - North Lake to Onion Valley
John9L
63  2014-07-18
John Muir Trail - North Lake to Onion Valley
BiFrost
Page 1,  2
Author MikeB61
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 1
Photos 5
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age 58 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Summer to Autumn
Sun  5:41am - 5:50pm
Official Route
 
8 Alternative
 
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by MikeB61

Likely In-Season!
This trip can be the first leg of a longer trip into Kings Canyon National Park and the Rae Lakes area. Although there is a lot of climbing to get over Kearsarge pass, our group did fine with a night at Onion Valley Campground to get a bit acclimated. As you hike up, you will pass several waterfalls, alpine lakes and fantastic peaks. The trail is very high quality and very steady. About halfway up is Gilbert Lake / Flower lake which can make a good point for a mid morning break. Beyond this point the vegetation becomes thinner and thinner. You eventually reach Kearsarge pass about 4 miles from the trailhead. The views from this point are fantastic as well. You'll see the Kearsarge Pinnacles as well as your destination, the Kearsarge Lakes. This is the entrance to Kings Canyon National Park. If day hiking, this can be a good turnaround point.

As you descend through steep rocky terrain, you will come to a signed junction, take the path to the left to head down towards Kearsarge Lakes and Bullfrog Lake (no camping). The upper path is a more direct path towards Charlotte lake or Rae Lakes. Taking the path towards Kearsarge Lakes you will come to an unsigned junction, take the left path again to go to Kearsarge Lakes. There are numerous nice campsites in the area, although you will probably have neighbors. The scenery is fantastic from here.

Bear canisters are required in Kings Canyon although we never saw any signs of activity int he 3 nights we spent in the area. This also is a good base to build to a longer trip in the area. We did a trip to Charlotte lake, then returned to Matlock Lake and back to Onion Valley.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-10-01 MikeB61

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Onion Valley to Kearsarge Lakes
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Onion Valley to Happy Isles
    This was my solo northbound journey from Onion Valley to Mammoth Lakes, CA and then from Tuolumne Meadows to Happy Isles northern in Yosemite Valley to complete my final 160 miles of the John Muir Trail. I hiked for 172 total miles over 14 days which included the entrance in from Onion Valley, 8 alpine passes, and some side trail mileage done at Muir Trail Ranch, Red's Meadow, Devil's Postpile, and Tuolumne Meadows.

    The original plan was to hike for 18 days straight, meeting up with a friend on day 11 who would join me for the last 7 days. Part of that final week would be spent covering 4 days of trail that I had already completed back in 2015. When my friend had to cancel after I was already on the trail, I chose to take 4 zero days in Mammoth Lakes to heal my feet and enjoy some luxuries. I reconvened with the JMT for the final 3 days of trail that I had yet to complete, making this a 2-section adventure all in one trip to close the gaps of the remaining miles of this amazing trail.
    Onion Valley to Kearsarge Lakes
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    4 day backpacking trip on JMT/PCT trails from Onion Valley to Rae Lakes and back via Kearsarge Pass and Kearsarge Lakes

    Day 1: Onion Valley to Kearsarge Lakes
    Day 2: Kearsarge Lakes to Rae Lakes
    Day 3: Dayhike to 60 Lakes Basin and Dollar Lake
    Day 4: Rae Lakes to Onion Valley
    Onion Valley to Kearsarge Lakes
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Onion Valley to Horseshoe Meadow
    About two weeks ago, 9L told me that by way of cancellation he had scored a last minute permit to finish his quest to complete the JMT via Onion Valley. I am fortunate enough to have a job with enough flexibility that planning a weeklong vacation only a week ahead of time isn't that big of a deal. With no other "major" hikes planned for the summer, I decided to take him up on the offer to join him on this trip in the Sierra -- a destination that is really tough for me to say no to.

    Despite the excitement and anticipation, I was somewhat apprehensive about this trip. John had estimated about 65 miles and set aside 6 days, but wanted to finish in 4 or 5. All of those numbers are way out of my comfort zone. But I got all my gear together and did my best to keep my pack weight down and plan meals smartly.

    It all turned out ok in the end. The 36 miles in the last 2 days wore on me and isn't something I would choose to repeat on purpose. I prefer some more downtime between destinations rather than just getting from point a to point b, sleep, repeat. An extra day in there would have helped me a lot.

    All I can say is I have newfound appreciation for those who have done the JMT or similar through hikes. Especially Dave1 and Fotg who plowed through this in 8 and 10 days respectively. You have my utmost respect. :worthy:

    Completing a hike like the JMT is not something I see myself ever doing. But I am truly impressed by those who make it a part of their life accomplishments, and I was honored to share a paltry few of those miles and stand atop Mt. Whitney and congratulate John for his personal feat. Bravo my friend. Bravo! : app :

    OVERVIEW
    Day 1: Onion Valley to Vidette Meadow
    8.8 miles / 2,692 aeg / 4h2m / 23m stopped (2.18 overall / 2.41 moving)
    Stunning scenery. Great weather. I would love to come back to this area again.

    Day 2a: Vidette Meadow to Tyndall Frog Tanks
    13.2 miles / 3,768 aeg / 7h38m / 1h43m stopped (1.73 overall / 2.23 moving)
    Forester pass is a grind. But a fantastic area with great views in all directions.

    Day 2b: Camp Wander
    2.9 miles / 426 aeg / 1h28m (1.98 overall)
    Happy to have no pack on my back. Nice wander down Tyndall Creek to the ranger station. Nobody home.

    Day 3: Tyndall Frog Tanks to Guitar Lake
    11.0 miles / 2,223 aeg / 5h26m / 1h 6m stopped (2.02 overall / 2.56 moving)
    Hiked with Heather, a nice girl finishing her solo through-hike who convinced us to camp at Guitar Lake.

    Day 4a: Whitney Summit from Guitar Lake
    9.5 miles / 3,166 aeg / 5h18m / 55m stopped (1.79 overall / 2.17 moving)
    Guitar Lake is great place to make summiting Whitney a more reasonable endeavor. Slow but steady and you're there in no time!

    Day 4b: Guitar Lake to Rock Creek
    9.9 miles / 1,102 aeg / 4h9m / 25m stopped (2.37 overall / 2.65 moving)
    This was a grind after Whitney in the morning. Foxtail pines were the only real highlight on this otherwise hot and dry stretch of trail.

    Day 5: Rock Creek to Horseshoe Meadow
    16.2 miles / 3,046 aeg / 7h15m / 51m stopped (2.23 overall / 2.53 moving)
    This was quite simply a death march with the car as the goal. Beautiful scenery though. Army Pass was tough and the final 8 miles down dragged on and on. The cooler still had ice in it and the beer was delicious!

    Despite the heavy stats, I really enjoyed this trip and love spending time in this area. The Sierra truly are a wonderful range and I will be back to explore more. Thanks John for doing all the planning so all I had to do was show up and put one foot in front of the other! Another great trip that I'll always remember :)
    Onion Valley to Kearsarge Lakes
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    JMT - Onion Valley to Horseshoe Meadow
    The John Muir Trail is finally complete! This was one of the hardest & most satisfying accomplishments of my life! The following is a day by day triplog of the southern section of trail followed by my final thoughts.

    7-23-2015 - 8.8 miles, 2,691 AEG - Onion Valley to Bubbs Creek
    After spending the night in a hotel in Barstow we drove to Lone Pine and picked up our permits and then drove up to Horseshoe Meadow where we were to meet our shuttle driver at 11am. To make a long story short he was over two hours late! He ultimately got us to Onion Valley and we started hiking around 2:40pm which was much later than originally planned.

    The hike up to Kearsarge Pass took a lot of effort. We had no time to acclimate ahead of time and my stomach was upset after the long shuttle ride. We hiked up the trail at a steady pace and took several breaks and ultimately reached the pass. The weather was cool and pleasant with overcast but little chance of rain. From Kearsarge Pass we quickly dropped down and connected onto the John Muir Trail above Bubbs Creek. We hiked southbound and selected a campsite in Vidette Meadow (9,600 ft) that included a fire ring and a bear locker. We had a fire and enjoyed dinner and then turned in for the night. I slept poorly that night. I assumed it was from the elevation. I'll have a hard time sleeping the next two nights as well.

    7-24-2015 - 13.2 miles, 3,768 AEG - Bubbs Creek to Tyndall Creek
    We started hiking around 8:30am and knew we were in for a big day. We had to cross Forester Pass at 13,200 ft. The trail is in great condition and made steady progress up hill. We took our time and enjoyed the views along the way. It's so beautiful here we caught ourselves oohing and awing! We also chatted it up with a few other backpackers and met a couple from Mesa and a solo hiker from Tucson.

    We continued the hike as we neared Forester Pass. You can't see it until you're about a mile below. The final stretch to the pass was a real grind especially from my lack of sleep. We took a break at the top and talked to more hikers. I've always enjoyed the camaraderie along the JMT. After our break we made the steep descent down the south side. The trail eventually leveled off and we cruised the next few miles to Tyndall Creek where we selected a site next to a small stream that included another bear locker nearby. Tonight we'll be camping at 11,000 ft so no fires. We both turned in around 9am. I had another night of poor sleep due to the elevation.

    7-25-2015 - 11 miles, 2,223 AEG - Tyndall Creek to Guitar Lake
    We have a relatively mild day planned. We took our time getting ready in the morning and hit the trail somewhat late for us. The going was fairly easy as we climbed to Bighorn Plateau. This is another sweet area with epic views! We caught a few glimpses of Mount Whitney and it looked intimidating and far away.

    We continued hiking and saw several other groups. Some of them we saw the day before. Before long we arrived at Crabtree Meadow and headed east towards Mount Whitney. We took a break near FOTG's campsite where we ate lunch and filtered water. We were going to camp here but it was early in the day so we continued an additional two miles to Guitar Lake. This put us closer to Whitney and at a higher elevation of 11,500 ft. The negative is we're above tree line so no shade. We both turned in fairly early. Our plan was to day hike Mount Whitney starting at 6:30am the following morning. I had another night of lack of sleep. The summit was going to be tough!

    7-26-2015 - 19.1 miles, 4,067 AEG - Guitar Lake to Rock Creek with Mount Whitney
    I slogged out of my tent a little before 6am and felt crummy from not sleeping. I know it's the elevation. We both organized our day pack and started hiking around 6:15am. The skies were clear and it was chilly. I wore a mid layer and a beanie. I wish I had gloves.

    We made steady progress as we hiked up the trail. Our day packs felt so light it was like hiking with nothing. This made a big difference as we ascended towards Trails Crest at 13,500 ft. We much effort we reached the pass. From there we had 1.9 miles and 1,000 ft of gain. Our pace was slow but consistent and we caught glimpses of the summit. It looked so far away as it teased us. My journey here has taken over two years and my goal was in sight. I had to exit the trail early the past two years due to injury. There is no way I'm turning around even though I feel crummy. I continued on and made the final push to the summit. Suddenly the summit hut was right in front of me and I knew I finally completed my journey! My eyes swelled and tears of joy ran down my face. I was elated to have finally completed the John Muir Trail! I composed myself and met Chumley on the summit. He greeted me with a handshake and congratulations. I was a bit groggy from lack of sleep and the elevation of 14,500 ft. We enjoyed the views, took pics and signed the register. After about 30 minutes we started our return to Guitar Lake. We flew down the trail and were back to camp around noon.

    We both tried to nap but it didn't go well. The sun was beating down on us and it was way too hot to sleep. We decided to pack up and head back to Crabtree where we would be leaving the JMT and heading south on the PCT for a few miles. We took a break at the junction and then continued south. We crossed Goyut Pass and then dropped down to Rock Creek where we selected a wonderful campsite next to a creek. We had another bear locker and were camping at 9,600 ft so we could have a fire.

    We got camp set up and started our fire. A few minutes later we were visited by the ranger. She was really nice and we chatted for a few minutes. She asked to see our permit just before heading out. I'm honestly glad to have my permit checked. Afterward we ate dinner and turned in around 9pm. I'm in for a good nights rest. The lower elevation helped a lot!

    7-27-2015 - 16 miles, 2,888 AEG - Rock Creek to Horseshoe Meadow
    We discussed our options and decided to hike all the way out back to the jeep. We had about 16 miles and had to go over New Army Pass. The first few miles had a mild gain as we climbed out of Rock Creek and left the PCT and continued east for the pass. We passed a meadow with a stunning view of Mount Langley and Cirque Peak. The Sierras are just breathtaking and never get old!

    The climb over New Army Pass took a lot of work! We talked about going over Army Pass but I opted to take New Army Pass because that's the route I had loaded. The climb was a real grind but was worth it! The views are stunning of Cottonwood Lakes! After our break we made the very steep descent down New Army Pass. The trail eventually levels off as you pass High Lake then Long Lake then Cottonwood Lakes 2 and then 1. The last few miles to the jeep were exhausting and thankfully downhill for the most part.

    We arrived to the jeep around 4pm and I was so happy taking off my backpack. I then go to open the jeep and find the battery is dead. I was so exhausted I wanted to freak out! Chumley kept his cool and asked some campers for a jump. It took a few minutes but ultimately we got the jeep started and were fine thereafter. We stopped in Lone Pine for Mexican food and then returned to Phoenix arriving home a little after 1am. The trip was over what an experience!


    Final Notes
    I took way too much food on all three of my treks. I could have saved several pounds of weight.

    Hiking the trail solo on my first trek was nice but I enjoyed having company on my next two trips. Having someone along for the ride helped keep things fun and fresh. It also helped on all the climbing up difficult passes.

    The best way to hike the JMT is to just wing it. Don't come up with a specific itinerary. Try to figure out how many miles you need to average each day and then go for it. Ideally camp low and cross the passes in the morning. Line yourself up each day.

    The JMT is a picturesque place and has a romantic appeal to many people. It's important to realize you are going to work your ass off on this trek! The passes are no joke and they keep coming at you. There is no way to cheat this trail. You earn every mile and every foot of elevation gain.

    I owe thanks to many people on this. Thanks to Keepmoving for originally inspiring me to complete this based on his triplog from August 2012. [ photoset ] . He also answered several PMs with my numerous questions about the trek. Thanks to BiFrost for going with me last year. I'm sorry Karl you didn't join me this year. This trek came together the last few weeks. Thanks to FOTG for answering questions on the south side of the trail. You're triplog also inspired me [ photoset ] . It was comforting knowing we were following your footsteps. Special thanks to Chumley. He shuttled me two years ago on my initial trek. He also completed the final stretch and greeted me on the summit with a congratulations! It was a special moment for me and I'm glad you were there to share the experience with.

    Completing the John Muir Trail is the highlight of my life! I faced much adversity after leaving the trail injured the two previous summers. I persevered and ultimately completed it! Now I need to pick my next obsession.
    Onion Valley to Kearsarge Lakes
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    John Muir Trail - North Lake to Onion Valley
    The time came for another trip into the Sierras. My plan was to continue the John Muir Trail from my point of exit last year, Piute Pass. I had an extra permit and Karl was down. I made all the arrangements and the days leading up to the trip flew by. I strained my ankle a year ago and I was hoping to finish the trail this time. I was up front with Karl letting him know we might have to bail early. We would take it day by day and exit if we had to. Things were going well on the trail until our sixth and final day. On the way down from Glenn Pass, I felt the back of my right foot tighten up. The strain of the trip finally caught up to me & I knew this was the end. We were near Kearsage Pass that leads to Onion Valley. This is a short exit only 7.5 miles. We spent the afternoon slowly hiking out. Along the way I met a backpacker named Dale and he agreed to drive us to Lone Pine and have dinner together. We wholeheartedly agreed. After dinner we made the return to Phoenix and that was that. I’m disappointed but this is what I expected. I’ll return next year to finish the final stretch.

    The following is a day by day trip report.

    7/18/2014 - 16.69 miles, 2,471 AEG - North Lake to Piute Bridge
    Our trip started from North Lake which is west of Bishop, CA. We hired a shuttle run by Paul Fretheim and left Karl’s vehicle in Lone Pine in the baseball field lot. We started hiking around 11am and made our way towards Piute Pass. I exited this way last year under heavy smoke. This time the air was clear and sunny. The views along this section are magnificent! This area is called the Humphreys Basin and you could easily spend a long weekend exploring. The drainage feeds into Piute Creek and that flows toward the JMT into the South Fork of the San Joaquin River. We covered the 17 miles ending around 7:30pm and we selected a campsite on the east side of Piute Bridge. We turned in around 9:30pm.

    7/19/2014 - 17.03 miles, 2,992 AEG - Piute Bridge to Evolution Creek
    The day started with a six mile roundtrip hike to Muir Trail Ranch to obtain our resupply. It was a smooth and quick process. We returned to camp and reorganized and then started the hike into Evolution Valley. This has been the top section on my looking forward to list and it didn’t disappoint. The canyon you head up is beautiful and surreal. The going is relatively easy as you slowly gain elevation. After a few miles we reached a set of steep switchbacks and we started the hike up into Evolution Valley. Within a mile of reaching the top we came to wet Evolution Creek crossing. I removed my trail runners and put on flip flops and crossed. The water came up to my knees. It was a smooth crossing. Karl crossed barefoot and had a little of difficulty but made it across just fine. Soon after a light rain started falling but didn’t last long. We pushed on and camped at the bottom of the switchbacks below Evolution Lake. We found a sweet site down and away from the trail nestled in an open lodgepole forest. The elevation was 9,960 and fires were permitted below 10K ft in Kings Canyon so we had a fire this night. We turned in around 9pm when some rain started falling. Karl said it rained to 1am.

    7/20/2014 - 17.26 miles, 2,493 AEG - Evolution Creek to Le Conte Canyon

    We initially woke to clear skies as we dried out our gear. Within an hour some dark clouds moved in and we quickly packed up camp. We started hiking at roughly 8:30am as the skies darkened. Our goal is to cross Muir Pass at just under 12K ft elevation. We made our way up the switchbacks as rain started fall. That rain soon turned to hail followed by thunder and lightning. We were approaching tree line so I stopped to wait for Karl hoping the lightning would pass. The temps dropped and I was soaked. Karl caught up soon after and we hung out. A group of three girls from the Bay area came by while we waited out the storm. We chatted with them for a bit and they continued. We followed soon after as I felt better the lightning passed. It had but the rain and cold continued. We hiked with the girls for a bit but the weather was too wet and soggy to make things enjoyable. After several miles the rain tapered out as we made the climb towards Muir Pass. You could see the shelter from a couple of miles away. Those last two miles were every man for himself as we left the girls behind. I arrived at the shelter and took a long break inside. Karl and an older woman also joined me. This is a great shelter from the elements. Fortunately the sun was shining now.

    After our break Karl and I continued to the northeast as we dropped into Le Conte Canyon. The downhill really takes its toll. My knees and ankles hurt at the constant step downs. We stopped at Shark Rock for some fun picks. We continued down and it wore us out. We selected a campsite near the bottom of the valley. We had a big day ahead of us. The plan was to climb over 4k ft over Mather Pass.

    7/21/2014 - 18.56 miles, 4,385 AEG - Le Conte Canyon to South Fork of Kings River

    We woke to a beautiful and sunny day. This time it would last all day and for the remainder of our trip. Although nice out, our tents were soaked in dew. I had coffee and oatmeal and then packed up my wet tent and started the long hike towards Mather Pass.

    The first few miles are easy going as you head through forest. Soon you come to some switchbacks and lots and lots of work! We much effort we reached the Pallasade Lakes. We took a long break there and took out our gear so it could dry off in the warm sun. After our break we started the grind up to the pass. The hiking was slow and difficult. The pass looked so close but was a tease. I rested numerous times as I neared. Finally I arrived and instantly sat down. While I waited for Karl I sent off a Spot Check In message. A handful of people were watching. I checked in at each pass and each camp we made.

    Karl joined me soon after and the two of us made our way down the south side of Mather Pass. We headed for bottom of the South Fork of the Kings River and sent up camp near the river. Once again the mosquitos were a pest. They were fine during the day but annoying each night. Our camp was at a bit over 10k ft elevation.

    7/22/2014 - 16.41 miles, 4,047 AEG - South Fork of Kings River to Arrowhead Lake
    We woke to another beautiful day. I generally woke each morning and 6:45am and immediately started breaking down camp. Karl and I both had a system for tearing down camp that worked for us. I woke and broke down my sleep system… Sleeping Bag, liner, pillow and air pad. After that I ate breakfast and took care of personal hygiene like brushing teeth and inserting my contacts. I then finished packing up camp and was ready to hike at roughly 8am.

    We had a solid climb ahead of us as we headed towards Pinchot Pass. The climb took a lot of work but was much easier than Muir and Mather Passes. I arrived at Pinchot Pass to a young ranger and a couple from Germany. We had small talk as I set off another Spot Check In. He didn’t ask for my permit. Karl soon joined me and we started the descent towards Woods Creek. The initial drop is smooth with breathtaking scenery. After a few miles the terrain worsens and the descent steepens. With much effort we arrived at the bottom of the canyon. Here is the suspension bridge that only one hiker at a time can cross. I went first and noticed two planks split in half. Several other planks are completely missing. I carefully crossed. Karl went second and the bridge twisted as he crossed over. Good fun.

    From there we started our hike up towards Glenn Pass. We wanted to climb 2k ft and camp at one of the lakes. We slowly made our way up and initially arrived at Dollar Lake. All the sites were taken so we continued the half mile to Arrowhead Lake. We got lucky and got a prime site overlooking the lake and it included a bear box. Arrowhead Lake sits at roughly 10,300 ft elevation. Mosquitos were bad again.

    7/23/2014 - 15.10 miles, 3,519 AEG - Arrowhead Lake to Onion Valley
    This will be our last day in the Sierras. I have been hyper aware of how my body was responding this entire hike. I had good health to this point but knew it could change at any moment. We had another routine morning in camp. I left a bit ahead of Karl and started the hike up towards Glenn Pass. I soon passed Fin Dome and Rae Lakes. This is another breathtaking lake in the high Sierra. It sits at over 10,500 ft. I continued on and slowly made my way towards the Pass. Glenn Pass sits at just under 12k ft. Once again I set off a Spot Message. Karl and I then started the hike down and towards Forester Pass. We talked about crossing it today if we had the energy.

    Along the way down we passed a 12 year boy with his mom. He was suffering altitude sickness and was still climbing toward the Pass. He didn’t look well. Karl told them they need to descend but she would not have it. They continued up and we headed down. We soon reached the upper Kearsarge Pass trail. There was also a lower trail about a half mile ahead. I knew this was our last exit. I did a quick mental check on my body’s health. I felt okay. Ankles and knees were achy but okay. We continued on and right as we reached the lower junction I felt the back of my right foot tighten up. I knew it was grim. We continued another half mile downhill and each step hurt more than the previous. I know my body and knew I couldn’t continue. We had another 40 hard miles ahead of us. The decision was easy. I told Karl and we took a break to assess the situation. There was no doubt I was done.

    We returned to the lower Kearsage Pass trail and started the hike out. Each step hurt and I counted the minutes to the Pass. It looked far but I covered the distance within an hour or so. Once at Kearsage Pass I took another break and talked to a few other hikers. There was a guy named Dale on his way out. I told him our situation and he offered us a ride to Independence. He was initially going northbound from there. We hiked down together and chatted about craft beer and books and the Grand Canyon. He then said he would take us to Lone Pine if we would join him for dinner. We gladly accepted. An hour later we reached his vehicle and that ended our trip. We had dinner in Lone Pine and said our goodbyes to Dale. From there Karl and I made the return to Phoenix and were home around 2:30am.

    Permit $$
    NPS


    Directions
    Map Drive
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    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix: I-10 West to San Bernardino, North on 395 to Lone Pine. Pick up permits in Lone Pine, North on 395 to Independence, left on Market Street (Onion Valley Road) 13 miles to Onion Valley Campground
    page created by MikeB61 on Oct 01 2011 1:43 pm
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