Evolution Valley (June 4 - July 8, 2007)

The view from the top of the North Fork of Big Pine Creek 14ers inspired me to want to do a hike
in the area we could view. It turns out, it was the same area Chris had been wanting to go for
a while. I had been resisting because it meant we would have to do a long trip, and more than
3 or 4 days out, is too long for me. So, we compromised, and decided to do this trip. The
beginning trailhead started at South Lake (out of Bishop) and ended at North Lake. Chris parents
happened to be in Mammoth that week and agreed to move our car from the beginning trailhead to the
ending trailhead on Sunday on their way back to San Diego. They even left us a nice treat of snacks
and drinks in the car! How Sweet!

Chris at the South Lake trailhead, ready to start the hike.

South Lake. It's a bit drier than it was last year when we came with my parents.

A cool tree stump at Long Lake.

Long Lake, looking toward Bishop Pass.

From a little higher up. Long Lake is the farthest lake.

The view over Bishop Pass. I believe, Thunderbolt Peak, is the highest peak on the left. We
climbed Thunderbolt from the opposite side last summer.

Chris with the view of the way we are headed behind him.

Thunderbolt again, in the center.

This is the second day, when we started decending to where the John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail is.

A little further down the trail... The slabs here had water running down them.

Here is even further down the trail, you can see the water running down the slabs.

After joining the John Muir trail/Pacific Crest Trail, we started accending again, next to the river.

This is a larger waterfall coming out of a lake where we stopped for lunch.
The second day was very hot, I was hoping for rain!

Chris coming up the trail to where the waterfall is.

This is looking back at the way we came.

A waterfall going into the lake we lunched at. This lake was VERY cold. I couldn't bring myself to
jump in, but Chris did!

I got my wish, clouds rolled in! This is where we got up above tree line again, heading toward Muir Pass.

Chris at the river crossing.

There was a lot of water flowing down from the melting snow and the higher lakes.

Chris heading toward Muir Pass.

From Muir Pass, looking over the other side. We camped at the far lake that night. We were
considering not going over the pass this day because it was still so cloudy. Since we had time, we
decided to go, and lucked out; the sun came out while we were on the pass!

Muir Hut on Muir Pass. This was built in the 1930's as a shelter for hikers stranded in a storm in
this barren area.

Pointy snowcups!

Chris next to the hut.

Our tent in the rocky area.

We ended up with a really nice sunset!

The next morning, day 3, we hiked along this lake, Wanda Lake. You can barely tell where the water
meets the shoreline!

Very pretty!

Down into Evolution Basin. This was my favorite area!

Chris crossing the river at Evolution Lake.

Evolution Lake.

The edge of Evolution Lake just before going down the steep switchbacks.

Chris going off trail to take a scenic shot.

Some waterfalls near a campsite.

Finally at the river! This is the San Joaquin River.

Getting near our campsite, after about 15 miles...

The narrow part of the river, was really deep, and clear! At first I thought this was a reflection!

Day 4. We got to the next intersection where we go up to Piute Pass. This is Piute Creek. I
noticed the rocks in this river were round instead of slabs of jagged rock!

Chris on the bridge.

We're hiking up toward the pass.

Looking back at the way we came.

Chris enjoyed the bark from this Ponderosa Pine tree.

We think we missed an intersection and took a wrong turn. We ended up a little too high, but in
this open area.

We went cross country to Upper Golden Trout Lake, where we camped that night. This is at the inlet.

Chris enjoying the view from camp.

Here's Upper Golden Trout Lake. Chris and I jumped in for a swim and were able to walk across the
whole thing. We did find a hole near the outlet that was deep enough to swim without touching bottom.

From near Piute Pass looking back where we came from.

Up the trail.

On the other side of Piute Pass looking toward it.