Backpacking in the Sierra
Aug 15, 2015
You read that title right. Backpacking, not bikepacking. We left our bikes at home for a four day trip through some beautiful portions of the Hoover Wilderness and Yosemite National Park. At the end of the trip however we both agreed that our bodies prefer cycling to hiking. It’s nice to let the bike carry our stuff while we use the magic of mechanical advantage to move quickly, but not too quickly, through our landscape.
We spent a day at Bodie State Historic Park before our trip to get used to the elevation and to hang out with Carrie’s parents.
A pair of dudes on horses check out some of the abandoned houses in Bodie. We spent a day at Bodie State Historic Park before our trip to get used to the elevation and to hang out with Carrie’s parents.
We slept in Carrie’s parent’s front yard to test our sleep setup for the trip. A lightweight tarp and two-person bivy is perfect combo for the dry and relatively bug-free late summer in the Sierra.
A brief shower provided a perfect test for our tarp that we pitched in Carrie’s parent’s front yard before our trip. The tarp proved that we could bring a very light shelter that could keep us dry.
Yay, we finally found the trailhead! It took us far too long navigating the enormous Twin Lakes campground to find this sign.
Our time in the Hoover Wilderness was actually pretty short. We entered Yosemite on the first day and only reentered Hoover towards the end of our trip.
Carrie uses her amazing agility and perfect balance to rock-hop across a creek near Peeler Lake on our first day.
Carrie appears out of the bushes at Peeler Lake with a pair of freshly washed socks.
After passing Peeler Lake on our first day, we walked through Kerrick Meadow, a beautiful stretch of trail.
Carrie keeps it casual while walking through the pretty Kerrick Meadow on our first day.
Carrie “Meadow Walker” Jensen cruises through one of many pretty meadows on our first day on the trail.
Near Seavey Pass during the evening of our first day on the trail, we walked by some lovely small lakes.
Our first dinner on the trail consisted of ramen noodles and a homemade Thai peanut sauce found on Andrew Skurka’s website. Yum!
On our way to Benson Lake in the morning of our second day, we passed through a small fern gully, an odd sight in such a dry climate.
Benson Lake provided a nice resting spot on our second day. The waters of the “Riviera of the Sierra” proved to be too cold to enjoy.
Although traditionally only thru-hikers are given trail names, Carrie dubbed me “Sexy Legs” for our trip.
Carrie enjoys our dinner break on day two. We found a nice spot away from the wind, sun, and bugs to feed ourselves.
When you look up while hiking through Matterhorn Canyon, all you’ll see are large granite walls.
As we hiked up Matterhorn Canyon during the morning of our third day, we got our first good glimpse of the Sawtooth range. We were headed for the saddle just below the jagged rocks.
Carrie navigates her way up the large granite rocks to Burro Pass on our third day. We camped in the wooded valley behind her the night before.
Carrie takes a break after hiking down some switchbacks from Burro Pass on the third day. The nearby stream provided a welcome opportunity to drink pure Sierra water with a filter.
Getting to Benson Pass from Benson Lake was perhaps the most taxing part of our trip. We gained almost 3000 feet in 7 miles.
Near the end of our third day, weary from hiking over two passes, we came across some well-groomed and graded switchbacks. It was a welcome break from hopping down mule stairs.
Our final night on the trail found us pitching our tarp to block a strong wind. We later realized we made camp too close to a colony of carpenter ants, who spent all night keeping us up by crawling around in our sleeping bags.