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!
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.
It was another one thousand feet up to pretty 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.
I nestled into the uphill crook of a large pine tree and called it a day!