02 Sep Day 134 – Muir Hut
At mile 838.8. Hiked 23.2 miles today.
Today I climbed both Mather Pass and Muir Pass. The valley that the PCT follows up to Muir Pass is my favorite spot on the PCT. The Middle Fork Kings River spills through this valley and there are quiet groves of trees at each level of the valley. The valley finally ends at a series of high mountain lakes.
While taking a dinner break on the Mather Pass climb, I met several young girls with day packs. They said that they were on a day hike. I asked whether they had a base camp nearby. They answered no and explained that they were hiking 55 miles today. They were doing a loop out of Bishop. It was already past 5 pm and I knew that the trail over Bishop Pass was 13 miles and they had about 6 miles left to reach that trail. I guess if they got into trouble on the JMT (John Muir Trail), they could get help from one of the few hundred JMT hikers that would be sure to be close at hand.
Here I am on top of Mather Pass in the early morning.
View from top of Mather Pass looking south. I camped somewhere down there.
Another beautiful lake.
The trail makes its way down valleys like this one.
Here is where I stopped for lunch. Just beginning the uphill toward Muir Pass. Soaked my feet in the cold water. It is first hard to walk on numb feet after a cold stream soak, but after a while, it feels good. I also soaked my shirt in the stream and put it back on. Cooling the body down makes it easier to hike.
The lower valley leading to Muir Pass has beautiful marshes and meadows.
The valley has a stream that spills through many cascades.
The valley has peaceful wooded areas interspersed with meadow.
Looking back down the valley you can see areas dense with old trees.
I took a break on the side of this cold stream. Again, I soaked my shirt.
Another view from the stream.
Higher mountain lakes. I enter the alpine. Muir has a long snowfield approach in the early summer. Good thing I am not here in early June.
Muir Hut and my tent in the lower right corner of the photo.