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The Bishop Pass Trail - wanders along beautiful forests, lakes and meadows. It becomes very rocky and the trees
disappear as you near the pass at 11,960 feet. From the pass area (as you see in the photo above) you can see Long Lake,
Saddlerock Lake, and Bishop Lake, in order from bottom to top. They line up to make for a beautiful landscape photo.
The date is September 3, 2006, and just small patches of snow remain on the higher elevations. The Bishop Pass Trail is one
of the most popular trails in the High Sierra. Bears are reported to wander the area, and bear proof canisters for food and
scent items are required for overnighters.
Photo by Mike Koerner
Dave (rear) Matt and Sean, cross a small
bridge near the lower end of the trail.
At the pass at last (11,960 feet) crossing the only
snow we encountered on the trail. Not far from here,
we left the trail and headed southeast cross country to
Mike (rear) and Sean working their way up the rock
near Thunderbolt Pass. This kind of cross country
travel takes balance and a whole lot of work. It seems
you rarely have a flat surface to plant your foot on,
and many times the rocks will shift under foot which
only adds to the difficulty.
Sean checking out his GPS and setting a "waypoint"
somewhere between Bishop Pass and Thunderbolt Pass on
our cross country journey.
A perfect horseshoe bend on the trail. My hat is off to all
those who have put in all that backbreaking work to build
the fantastic trail system that honeycombs the Sierra
Nevada Mountains. Even though we end up having to
leave the trail on most of our climbs, we certainly do
appreciate all the miles that we are able to make use of
them. They are like a super highway in comparison to a
rough four wheel drive road when we compare them to
most of our cross country travels.
A beautiful tarn along the trail makes for a refreshing
sight. The Sierra's are littered with these jewels, and
they add tremendously to the back country experience.
No, this photo is not staged. Mike is actually stepping
on that small rock. It is obstacles like this in rocky
sections that make ones feet and ankles ache a bit
when the day is done.
Mike (rear), Matt, and Sean heading up the
rocky section toward Bishop Pass.
Reaching the south end of Long Lake, we now head for
Saddlerock Lake. Completing the trek along the shores of
Long Lake is somewhat of a milestone due to the length of
the Lake. But for some reason, the return hike along the
Lake seems to take longer even though we are going down
hill. Possibly this is because we are more in a hurry on the
Sean standing in one of the lower meadows early in
the morning. These meadows act as a green oasis in
what otherwise will be a rocky experience up high on
the climb itself.
The group working up the well maintained switchbacks on the
lower portion of the Bishop Lake Trail heading for Long Lake.
This section latter in the day will be full of day hikers heading
for the lakes above.
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