Day 4: Sapphire Lake to Big Pete Meadow 9.5 miles, 1300 ft elevation gain
Day 4 I began with a climb up to Muir Pass. I had already camped at ~11,000 ft so it was only another 1000 ft to the top, but at this altitude there is still huffing and puffing involved. Already above the tree line, the terrain is rocky and barren, but beautiful. I walked past Wanda Lake before climbing. At the top of the pass (11,975′) also sits Muir Hut which is also pretty cool.
The North Lake/South Lake loop is a really perfect slice of the Sierras. At 55 miles and nearly 10,000 feet of elevation gain its a nice 5-6 day hike with easy logistics out of Bishop, CA. More than that, it covers some of the prettiest sections of the Sierra such as Piute Pass, Muir Pass, Bishop Pass, Evolution Basin and Dusy Basin.
I had wanted to do this loop as part of a 200 mile hike with my son in the summer of 2019. But an injury cut the trip short and we only did half our planned route. With the craziness of 2020 I realized mid summer that I didn’t have a hike planned, so on a whim I flew out to California to do this loop by myself.
Finally day 4 of our Alaskan multi sport adventure brought clear blue skies and a bright warm sun. After breakfast we hiked to Davidson Glacier. After hiking through thick forest we came to the flat sandy moraine where the Davidson glacier river flows. We walked across the glacial sand to the rocks and boulders where we climbed to get good views of the glacier. It towered hundreds above us, the turquoise glacial ice peaking through, and the river commencing beneath and roaring past us. It was magnificent.
I went on a multi sport high adventure trip to southeast Alaska with my son in July 2018. We really experienced Alaska. No cruise ships or easy tourist excursions for us. We did it native style…with all the cold the wet the physical and the bruises that entailed.