Day 42: Palisade Creek to Muir Pass Hut (19.2 miles - 838.5)
Updated: Aug 25, 2019
June 18, 2016 - Got another good night of sleep. I kept thinking it was going to be cold because of the strong wind I kept hearing but it was just the waterfall that I was camped next to. It wasn’t too cold at all so made for an easy morning to pack up.
I did sleep late and didn’t start hiking until 7:15am, those 2 passes yesterday took a lot out of me. The hike started off nice following a lake which then took me down a steep trail into the canyon, which followed a fast moving stream downhill. Then once at the bottom I had a nice flat forest to hike through which made for easy hiking. I was already at 9 miles for the day and it was not noon so I knew 15 for the day would be too short which is what the group had decided on.
Around mile 11 for the day I ran into Salty and we both decided to push it through to Muir Pass. Going for it in the afternoon can be a gamble because of 3.5 mile snow field all the way to the top. We could be postholing for awhile which is why the group wanted to wait until morning to head up Muir Pass when the snow would be hard and easier to hike on.
Right before the snow field I took my long lunch break next to this nice stream. Salty didn’t need the rest so he went ahead.
I then set off for what I thought was going to be a long 3.5 miles. Turned out it wasn’t too bad. Sure, it was hard hiking on the snow on some very steep sections but I was expecting it to be much worse. It was nice that the trail was easy to follow up to the pass unlike the last 2.
I head up this steep hill and see the Muir Pass Hut, I was happy because I knew I was at the top. There was Salty just hanging out talking with another hiker.
With it being only 4pm I kind felt like moving on but didn’t want to pass up sleeping on top of this pass and get to watch an amazing sunset and sunrise.
While waiting for sunset I ate dinner and talked with the other hikers. There are only 3 other guys up here other than myself and Salty. One of the guys is going to watch sunset then hike a few more miles. You aren’t actually allowed to sleep in the hut but it’s just too cool to pass up.
Then not only did I get to watch the sunset over the mountains at the same time an almost full moon was rising. This has to be probable my favorite spot on the trail so far, going to be hard to top this.
The next 17 miles are downhill with the first 3 through the snow field. I hope to get in around 27 and be that much closer to Mammoth and food. I’m going through food a lot faster but being at 10,000 feet and hiking all day you tend to burn more calories.