Day 40: Independence via Kearsarge Pass to Woods Creek (18.5 miles - 799.8)
Updated: Aug 25, 2019
June 16, 2016 - That was the best night sleep I’ve had since I started my hike. Still woke up early around 6:30am, just hard to sleep past that time. After everyone got up we ate breakfast and packed up our gear to get ready to head back to the trail. Jim, the motel manager, said if we were ready by 8am he would drive us the 15 miles to the Onion Valley Trailhead that would take us back to the PCT.
We loaded up in his truck and drove the 15 miles and 5,000 feet up. It was a nice drive up the mountains while sitting in the back of the truck. Its a very curvy road the whole way up. Once at the top we thank Jim and put on our packs on ready to hit the Sierras. Surprisingly even with the amount food in my pack it seem lighter than I thought it would be.
So we head up the trail towards Kearsarge Pass, 2,500 feet up over 4.8 miles. We pretty much stayed together on the way up. Once at the pass we broke off into smaller groups as everyone has their own pace. I started off with Salty but didn’t take him long to move faster down the trail. Its crazy how fast he can move in sandals. Heading back to the PCT I got to see great views of Bullfrog Lake and the surrounding mountains.
Once back on the PCT we only had about 11 more miles for the day but we did have Glen Pass to deal with. My guidebook said Glen Pass can be one of the scariest one just because of the icy rocks. Hopefully since it was later in the day there would be less ice on the rocks. The trail up was hard to follow as a good bit was covered in snow so I had to rock scramble a few times, not a lot of fun because it was steep. I got to the top and just like all the other passes I got a great view. The hike up wasn’t so bad like the guidebook said because I guess with little to no ice helps.
We all wait for everyone to arrive before heading down the north side of Glenn Pass. The way down was a little hard because there was so much snow and had to follow footsteps rather than an actual trail. It was still tricky at times but was a lot of fun as we got to glissade a few times.
Down at the bottom of the valley was Rae Lakes, beautiful snow filled lakes. So we spend our lunch break there. I even decide to get in the lake but only knee deep as it was so cold.
After lunch it was only about 7 miles to Woods Creek. The first half took us around the many lakes which then took us into the woods. Finally we arrived at Woods Creek where we made camp for the night.
We camped right next to this large creek that has cool bridge going over it. It’s a good thing there is a bridge because I don’t think I would want to try and ford that creek, water moving way too fast.