Monday, July 11, 2016

Big Pine

Big Pine Creek, Inyo National Forest, John Muir Wilderness, Nature, Running water, Camping
Big Pine Creek / River.

I went camping in Big Pine, California this past weekend with my boyfriend and friends.  We went to the Palisade Glacier Group Campground, a campsite that is situated in the mountains of Inyo National Forest.  The site was right by Big Pine Creek (river?) which had all the glacial runoff from the mountains.  It was really soothing to hear the rapidly running water all afternoon and night.  I wanted to wade in, but had forgotten to bring flip flops.  

Big Pine Creek, Inyo National Forest, John Muir Wilderness, Nature, Running water, Camping
Stella, Jack Russel Terrier, Terrier
The group campsite; Stella loves camping.

The plan on Saturday was to hike the Big Pine North Fork Trail which includes a steep ascent ascent of over 2,000 feet over 4.5 miles to a loop with multiple mountain lakes.  I made it as far as the Fourth Lake in the loop which meant I ascended to 10,700 feet.  I had purchased hiking boots for this trip; I don't hike very much, but wanted the extra support and grip for this journey.  It was a good thing I did because I ended up hiking over 14 miles round trip! 

Big Pine Creek, Inyo National Forest, John Muir Wilderness, Big Pine North Fork Trail, Mountains, Hiking
Big Pine Creek, Inyo National Forest, John Muir Wilderness, Big Pine North Fork Trail, Mountains, Hiking, First Lake
Hiking up Big Pine North Fork Trail; First Lake.

The water in the first few lakes was turquoise.  We were discussing whether the water was this color due to mineral runoff or Rayleigh scattering affected by the depth and the consensus was the latter.  We stopped on the banks of First Lake for a quick bite before heading on our way.  At this point, I was starting to get dehydrated and was trailing fairly behind the group.  I wish I'd had the strength and stamina to hike more because the rest of the group went much further on the trail.  A few friends of mine hiked over 24 miles!  Altitude sickness 5 miles into the hike took a toll on me so I stopped to rest for a while on the banks of Fourth Lake.  There were a few of us who opted not to take the longest hike up towards the Palisades Glacier.  Either way, we ended up separating into smaller groups.  Unlike other hikes, the way down the mountain felt much longer than the ascent.  It was easy to get lost and most of us took some wrong turn on the descent.  One of my friends actually forded the river back to the site carrying Stella.

Big Pine Creek, Inyo National Forest, John Muir Wilderness, Big Pine North Fork Trail, Mountains, Hiking
Big Pine Creek, Inyo National Forest, Fourth Lake, John Muir Wilderness, Big Pine North Fork Trail, Mountains, Hiking
Big Pine Creek, Inyo National Forest, John Muir Wilderness, Big Pine North Fork Trail, Mountains, Glacier Run Off, HikingView of the mountains from the trail; forest around the banks of Fourth Lake; glacial run off that fed into Big Pine Creek. 

I'm glad that I went on the camping trip.  The views were pretty amazing and you don't get to climb up a mountain every day.  I would've preferred to not have experienced dehydration and altitude sickness which made parts of the hike pretty miserable.  There was a point where I definitely thought, "Why do people put themselves through this for fun?"  My bottom half was aching, I was sunburned, and my stomach seemed to jostle with each strike of the heel on the descent (stomach upset is a symptom of altitude sickness).  It took all of us the rest of the evening to recover enough from the hike to walk without hobbling.  Despite all the suffering, I'm already thinking about taking my hiking boots out for another spin.  Go figure!  With that, I leave you all with my one of my favorite pictures from this trip: a photograph of Mount Sill.

Big Pine Creek, Inyo National Forest, John Muir Wilderness, Big Pine North Fork Trail, Mountains, Hiking, Mount Sil

10 comments :

  1. Oh my goodness this looks so gorgeous! Big Pine has now made my "must go camping here" list, haha. Love this post and the photos are beautiful!

    Allie - AllieWays.com

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  2. Wow, that's a lot of walking. Worth it for that scenery though, it's beautiful! You got some really great photos.

    Jane / deluminators

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  3. Wonderful photos! Looks untouched and I love the way you have captured the water.

    Hiking is suffering but it's the sense of achievement that you get knowing you have done it that feels amazing!

    nat - dignfiable

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  4. yes, the views are amazing! what an adventure! I dream to experience this one day <3

    kandice.me

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  5. Wow, what a gorgeous place for the hike! I love hiking and would love to visit this one :) Hiking is somehow similar to running, you have to start from small and went bigger and bugger at the time. I hope that you won't feel as miserable as you felt now the next time. x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

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  6. These photos are breath taking Alyse, love how you captured the waterfalls and crystal waters :) I've never been hiking but I know it's a big thing in the US!

    Hanh | hanhabelle

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  7. what a panorama!! it's gorgeous <3 you really feel satisfied after a good hike..the view usually pays off<3
    xx from italy
    Cate ღ kate/idoscope.com

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  8. Wow, gorgeous photos and... that water really is turquoise!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

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  9. Oh wow - it looks so beautiful there! I'd love to brave a trip like that, but I can barely walk 5 miles nevermind 14 haha! I'm SO unfit! It sounds like you had an amazing trip though!
    xo April | April Everyday

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  10. Your pictures are amazing and I love reading travel diaries. Great view

    Stephanie | www.stephykeung.com

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