John Muir Trail Day 5: Glen Pass
August 03, 2018
Our feet were hurting pretty bad at the end of the previous night but sleeping over 9 hours helped quite a bit. We got a slightly later start to day 5 after waking up early to tackle Mt. Whitney and Forester Pass the previous two days.
The first part of our climb up to Glen Pass was lush with ferns and undergrowth everywhere. A short time later we had walked past a great view of East Vidette and up to the Kearsarge Pass trail junction.
The climb up to Glen Pass was now underway. We hiked past the junction to Charlotte Lake and it’s Ranger Station. In just a few short inclines we would be there.
This was the first day where we had seen cloudless skies. The worries of afternoon thunderstorms were swapped for escaping the heat of the mid-day sun.
Tarn south of Glen Pass
The trail weaved in and out of a few unnamed lakes just south of Glen Pass. Pretty soon we could see the final switchbacks up to the top – always a huge mental boost.
About 15 minutes later we had made it to the top, looking on in amazement.
Looking north from Glen Pass
After a short snack break we started down to Rae Lakes. With no afternoon storms in the forecast, the plan was to eat lunch and swim around at Rae Lakes.
We finally made it down to the lakes and plunged in. The water felt so cold. As soon as I submurged myself I felt the sensation of having my breath taken away. But it felt so good to cool off, and even better to clean off.
Rae Lakes and Glen Pass
After our two-hour lunch break and swimming session was finished we headed down the trail towards the Woods Creek suspension bridge. The trail walked us around the shores of Rae Lakes and down the creek outlet to Arrowhead Lake.
There were a handful of small stream crossings after Arrowhead Lake but none of them required us to get our feet wet. The next lake up was Dollar Lake. We stopped here for a quick snack break before pushing through the rest of the downhill.
On the way down from Dollar Lake we yo-yo’ed along the trail with this deer. He seemed to have quite an interest in us, walking about a hundred feet ahead of us along the main trail. We followed the deer down the trail for over a mile before turning off to Woods Creek.
Deer along the trail
Once set up at camp we decided we needed to take another look at our itinerary. Because of the pain in our feet and wildfires causing too much smoke near Tuolumne, we decided to use our GPS and move our Red’s Meadow reservation back a few days. This way we would have two extra days before getting into Mammoth.