Day 2: My First Sierra Pass

Pinto Lake to Big Five Lakes
(7.2 miles, +3,000/-1,800 feet).

We started the day with a 3000 foot climb up to Black Rock Pass at 11,700 feet.  I was very excited because I had seen many pictures online from Sierra passes, but this would be my first experience in person.

Slowly but surely we made our way up the trail, passing above Spring Lake and then Cyclamen Lake along the way.  Nick said we should come back and explore those two lakes on our next trip!

Nick leans in to Black Rock Pass

Finally we made it to the top.  And the view was even more awe inspiring than I thought it would be.

We puttered around at the pass and then eventually made our way about 1000 feet down to Little Five Lakes.  Meredith and I went for a swim  while Nick tried his luck with the trout.

Meredith Island

We ate some lunch and then met a ranger at Little Five Lakes.  He showed us his yurt and let Meredith use his outhouse.  He also told us about mosquito season–apparently there were thick clouds of the evil bugs just a couple of weeks before we arrived.  The ranger sounded kind of exhausted, but glad the worst was over.

We asked him which of the Big Five Lakes he liked best, and he pointed to one below 10,000 feet, where campfires were allowed.  That sounded pretty nice, so we said goodbye and headed for his favorite lake.

The perfect Big Lake

After a few miles we reached the lake and set up camp for the night.  The campfire was wonderful!

Crossing between the lakes

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