John Muir Trail – Day 6 Muir Pass

After waking up in beautiful McClure Meadow we packed up early and headed for the high peaks. We climbed past Evolution Lake, above treeline, and then into the moonscape around Wanda Lake at 11,500 ft. This was one of the most exposed hikes I’ve ever done and the sight distances were incredible. Because it was so rocky the only way to make out the path above was watching to see other hikers creeping up like ants.

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Eye Spy two marmots on the rocks!

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Up, up up all the way to Muir Pass at 11,955 ft and the famous Muir Hut, built in 1930 by the Sierra Club as a shelter for hikers caught in storms. As you can see there is no other shelter for miles. And what a view from the top!

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We ate a quick lunch and chatted with the other folks that made it up there but didn’t dally too much. The last couple days gave us a little storm every afternoon and we did not want to get caught out. The hike down the other side of the pass was just as barren and even had some snow that hadn’t melted all summer. I could not imagine just wandering into this place one hundred years ago. It was so rugged, but so strikingly beautiful.


We descended for a couple hours until one of us randomly wandered off trail to a tiny little patch of trees and discovered a very special campsite. We had enough daylight to keep hiking another hour but decided to stay just for the sake of it. We ended up sharing the site with two older ladies who were struggling downhill behind us and couldn’t make it any further down that night. They were quiet company and left before we got up in the morning.

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We only had one more full day in front of us which was bittersweet. We talked about the climb we faced tomorrow and all the stories we had heard from hikers heading the other direction. We wondered about our friends Kristen and Daisy and talked about relationships at home. Bekka ate all meals out of her one mug, Daisy ate clif bars about 4 times a day, and I had an endless bag of peanut M&Ms. The three of us turned out to be perfect camp-mates.

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