Pear Lake Area, Sequoia National Park, Sept. 99

In mid September, Warren, Beth and I decided to get in one last trip before the symphony season got going so we took a relatively short trip to Sequoia National Park to see the sights near Alta Peak and Pear Lake. The weather was perfect and there were NO mosquitoes- what more could you ask for. The trail starts at the Wolverton trail head.

The trail in was only six and a half miles but it was virtually all uphill. Fortunately there was plenty of shade. The views weren't great until we hit the Watchtower corner, but then we could see our destination; the end of a long glacial valley. Notice below how the trail is carved into the side of the canyon wall above the river.

This is the famous solar toilet at Pear Lake (center). We never figured out what was solar powered but it was a welcome sight. We actually camped at Emerald lake which was about a mile before Pear Lake. It also had a solar toilet. Both lakes are little jewels of the Sierra Nevada, surrounded by high cliffs carved by ancient glaciers. Below is Pear lake itself. There were only a couple of other campers at this very popular destination. Our plan was to day hike up to the top of the rim in the picture below so we could see the Great Western Divide. Alta peak is in the top center. We ended up more to the left but at the same elevation.

While Warren went to look for Moose Lake, Beth and I went for the top of the rim. We had to kind of circle around to the left in the last picture to catch the ridge where we could walk to the top. This is looking back toward Pear lake which would be just below the dark cliffs in center left.

Looking the other way, we could see the giant rock pile that was the top of this unnamed peak that was just about exactly the same height as the more famous Alta Peak (which was only a few hundred yards to the west as it turned out). This is a little over 11,000 feet. It was a bit of a grind, and at times it seemed like we would never get to the top, but finally we hit the ridge and were rewarded with a fantastic panorama.

Now looking to the East, you can see Beth (that little speck just left of dead center) winding up the last few hundred yards to the top. Moose Lake is just to the left. This is part of the Great Western Divide. Behind these mountains we could have seen Mt. Whitney if there had been less haze.

Beth, who plays second horn with me in San Jose, and I, claimed this unamed peak for the symphony horn section! This was a great trip and I highly recommend it. The time of year made it special because there were only a few other people anywhere near us at any time and the bugs were gone for the season. Of course we might have run into just about any kind of weather at this time of year, but we lucked out big time. The trail back to Wolverton was all downhill!

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