John Muir Wilderness lies in Inyo National Forest and Sierra National Forests. It’s home for some of the beautiful and tallest peaks of Sierra Nevada including the tallest mountain in the continental United states (48 states), Mt. Whitney. Me and my friend Kiran did two day backpacking to Dusy Basin, one of the fantastic areas in the wilderness.
Trail starts at South lake at 9800 ft. Trail quickly climb to 10760 ft. in 2 miles where it meets Long lake. As aptly named, Long lake is narrow but about 1 mile long. Next one mile of the trail pass next to Long Lake. After that trail climbs about 200 feet passing Spearhead lake and Timberline Tarns. Trails passes next to very beautiful Saddlerrock lake (and a tiny ledge lake) and Bishop lakes before climbing up over 1000ft in less than mile through several switch backs to Bishop Pass. Bishop pass is at 11972 ft. elevation. Due to harsh conditions, serve snowfall and wind, tree does not grow at this elevation. First sight of Mt. Agassiz, Mt. Winchell, Thunderbolt peak and North Palisades let you out a involuntary scream of joy. Upper Dusy basin is good for photographing Palisade range. Next 3 miles, we climbed down 1400ft in to lower Dusy basin. Its spectacular place. From last two trips, I realized that two day backpacking is not enough to explore these places in detail and photograph.
We hiked about 18miles in two days with 3500 ft. elevation gain. This trail is in and out type (means you will return on same route as you went in).
Here is the detailed map. I recorded GPS tracks for this trail, I’ll upload GPS tracks here for download.
In the night, when you lie on your back and look into the billions of stars in clear night skies; away from pollution and city lights; you can’t stop think about vastness of university. We look minuscule among countless galaxies, their billions of stars and solar systems. Yet, we are lonely planet and silent observers; so fragile and vulnerable for cosmic calamities. Despite the fact that there is no other place as alternative, global conservation efforts are merely a debate in many countries. Anyway, back to trip report. Two nights that I was in wilderness, I spent couple of hours looking at the sky and shooting Milky way galaxy.
On Friday, we left for Bishop (small town in Sierras, California) early morning so that we can pick up permits for the hike and get acclimatized to high elevation. That night we went to Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on White mountains. Bristlecone Pine trees here are longest living things in the world (over 4500+ years). Here are some pictures from this trip
Here some other pictures (These images are not in the gallery )
Me on the trail (Photo Curtsey of Kiran)