John Muir Wilderness/Little Lakes Valley

Camping at Rock Lake, we are up at dawn to an ineffectively fly fish, when everyone else was catching strings of trout with spinner reels using powerbaits.

All we caught was an art trout! So we had to console ourselves at “Pie in the Sky Cafe” at 9,800 feet. With only one oven they produce about 45 pies a day. Our options that day were as follows:  blackberry/loganberry. rhubarb (best ever said Steven, “Tart and Sweet”)..cream pies (chocolate, banana, lemon)…cranberry walnut…cheddar pear…pecan/chocolate chip…dutch apple…cherry. So many pies, so little time!

Fueled with pie a la mode, we hiked this classically glacier carved canyon studded with trailside lakes up to Morgan Pass. One of the early Sierra wagon routes over this pass to the Tungsten mines. The Wilderness Act of 1964 created the John Muir Wilderness. I couldn’t say it better than the man:

“I only went for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown…for going out I found, was really going in”.

I wish we had explored the Tamarack Lakes on the other side of Mt. Morgan to avoid the mass of people on this popular trail. However, at Long Lake, the 3 mile mark, few people except backpackers went with us the extra mile to Morgan Pass and the nearby Chickenfoot Lake and gorgeous Gem Lakes. They all sit just below the Bear Creek Spire, the dominant peak in the feature photo. Although the Little Lakes Trail is ranked “easy”, beware all you Coastal Dwellers, even a 4% grade will leave you winded at 10,700 feet!


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About Sally

A Studio Artist and painter trained at Stanford university, Sally has since then graduated from a long career as an Attorney with the Public Defender, and returned to painting. Living in Mexico with her son for a year, they adopted a feral dog, Lety. Sally's son left for college and their dog adopted her new best friend, Steven.

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