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Paiute Pass Trail 30E01
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mini location map2018-09-17
22 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Paiute Pass Trail 30E01Sierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2018
Hiking10.40 Miles 2,401 AEG
Hiking10.40 Miles   9 Hrs   15 Mns   1.12 mph
2,401 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was day hike #4 on my tour of Eastern Sierra trails and another one with amazingly beautiful scenery. The trailhead is located in the small North Lake Campground which only allows parking for campers with no RVs or trailers allowed. A large parking lot for hikers is located 0.6 miles down the road near the horse pack station. The gravel road into North Lake has some narrow one lane sections and tight turns so is not recommended for large RVs and trailers. I was staying at the Sabrina CG near the Sabrina Trailhead which was a short drive from North Lake.

The first 1.2 miles of the trail passes through forest staying close to North Fork Bishop Creek which it crosses a couple of times. Glimpses of the rusty red Piute Crags on the north side of the canyon can be seen through breaks in the trees. From there the trail switchbacks up a very steep short section of the canyon to arrive at the first lake, Loch Levin, leaving the red Piute Crags behind. The trail continues past a string of small lakes with no names and the larger Piute Lake on its way to Piute Pass. The trail is well constructed and maintained.

I encountered several backpackers who were doing a 4 day trip connecting with the south bound Pacific Crest Trail through Evolution Valley and exiting across Bishop Pass to the South Lake Trailhead. I was told this is a popular and well documented Eastern Sierra backpacking trip. One young couple doing this trip were from Ukraine. The woman was very serious never cracking a smile which was very unusual in such a beautiful place. Her male companion was the usual happy hiker but he had trouble keeping up with his companion and I had doubts he would be able to complete their planned trek. Perhaps that was the reason for her sour nature. Throughout my hikes on this journey I was constantly being passed by other faster and more fit hikers on the uphill sections. When I passed this couple I mentioned to the woman who was far ahead of her companion that they had the honor of being the first hikers in 4 days of hiking that I had passed going uphill. She sternly voiced her excuse in a clipped accent "We had snacks!"

On my return through the North Lake Campground I passed a campsite occupied by three men with no car. One man seeing my camera case asked if I had a spare SD memory card he could buy from me. He had purchased a new SD card for his camera (the only camera in the group) for their planned 4 day backpacking trip and were starting the trek the next morning. Their car had been dropped off at their exit location. He had just discovered that his new SD card was dead. I tried it in my camera and confirmed it was indeed dead. So I sold him my 16gb spare for the amount it would cost me to replace it. The card was full with old photos but he couldn't figure out how to format the card in his older Cannon camera. I took care of that for him and then took another look at his dead SD card. It wasn't actually an SD card, it was the adapter used for making the micro SD card work in the slot for the larger SD card. I asked him what happened to the micro SD card and he said he had left it back home because it was too small to fit the slot in his camera and he had assumed the other device in the package was a larger SD card (they do look very much alike). After leaving their camp I encountered a solo backpacker walking down the road towards the parking lot in the gathering dusk. He was a section hiker headed north on the JMT and asked for a ride to Bishop which was where he thought I was headed. He had left his car at the South Lake trailhead which was a much closer drive so I gave him a ride there instead and returned to my camp at Sabrina. Two good deeds in one day, I was completely full of myself. :)
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