The Sawmill Pass Trail

Sawmill Pass Trailhead to Bull Lake (8 miles, +5,500/-500 feet).

Its been a while since I hiked! In May I had a losing argument with poison oak and it took more than a month for it to go away (it covered 2/3 of my body!).

Anyhoo, occupational hazard I guess!

I was originally going to do this trip with MixMaster, but he’s pretty busy right now, so I’m flying solo.

I also needed to be in San Diego this morning, so I couldn’t get to the trailhead until 3pm. It was 97 degrees! Yikes!

It’s hot!
Sawmill Point
Georgia O’Keefe-y
Welcome to Inyo!

The first two thousand feet of climbing went better than I expected, especially given how hot it was. I passed one set of day hikers who reported there was no snow at Sawmill Meadow (whew!) and one PCT thru-hiker who was bailing to Mammoth for a few days because “right now it’s too slippy and slidey” (oh no!).

The trail goes through sandy dry chapparal before cresting “The Hogsback” at 7000 feet or so, where it enters a pine forest above Sawmill Canyon.

First view of Sawmill Canyon
Sunset from The Hogsback

It was another one thousand feet up to pretty Sawmill Meadow.

Upper Sawmill Meadow

The last thousand feet or so were really tough. I was cramping really bad, probably because I am out of shape from my hiking/exercise hiatus during May.

I finally found the snow line just below Mule Lake around sundown.

The snow line at 9800 feet

I nestled into the uphill crook of a large pine tree and called it a day!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jawbone says:

    Great/fun photo of you, plus I especially like the “Georgia O’Keefe-y” image.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David Terrie says:

    I bailed down Sawmill in 2017 – was not feeling good going sobo. Really beautiful. Nice photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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