I drove up to Ebbetts Pass early and arrived at 8:45 AM. It was very smoky, primarily from the huge fire west of Yosemite. This trailhead is remote and there is no trail quota which is rare now a days in the Sierra. I got on the trail at 9:15 and soon entered the Mokelumne Wilderness. How do you pronounce Mokelumne? The hiking was real nice, very interesting old volcanic scenery mixed with granite. I would highly recommend this hike to any one looking for 2 – 4 day hike. Very very cool looking peaks, and a lot of variety from chaparral, to thick forest, to green meadows, flowers, snow, creeks, lakes, reservoirs, dears, chipmunks, grouse. If there wasn’t smoke it would have been even more spectacular as there are some amazing looking peaks that could occasionally be seen in the distance. At times while hiking the smoke actually added to the enjoyment of todays hike, it’s hard to explain but hiking through thick forest with thick smoke was kind of cool.
Ebbetts Pass Trailhead
Ebbetts Peak (9160 feet) looking north
Ebbetts Peak looking south
Reynolds Peak (9679 feet)
Like most of the peaks in the region, Reynolds Peak is composed of dark volcanic rock. Volcanic activity from 20-4 million years ago covered much of the region in layers of lava, ash, and mudfloes. Over time, erosion and glacial activity removed much of the covering layers from all but the more prominent peaks and ridges. Reynolds Peak is the remains of one of these active composite volcanoes. (from SummitPost.org)
I hiked 7 miles and then stopped for lunch just past Pennsylvania Creek. Except for the smoke the weather was nice.
After lunch the next 3 miles was mostly uphill as I headed toward Raymond Lake trail.
About 15 years ago Pistol, Len and I hiked to Raymond Lake from Wet Meadow. We fished for the Golden Trout and climbed Raymond Peak (10,014 feet).
Raymond Peak (lake in scoop above trees)
After I passed the Raymond Lake trail I continued on toward the Blue Lakes basin until I stopped at 4 PM at a beautiful campsite at Lily Pad Lake.
Lily Pad Lake
I did not like the looks of the water, and it was still a bit early so I decided to hike on to Tamarack Lake. That was a good choice, I made camp near the lake, filtered water, fished a bit, it was a great camp. Soon after I got in my tent, it started to rain so I had to scramble to get the rain cover over my tent. It stopped raining as soon as I got my tent cover on and did not rain again.
I hiked 16 miles today. PCT mile 1048 to 1064. I have now hiked 126 PCT miles in 2018.