Eastern Sierra High~


Today we hiked the Crystal Lake Trail in The Eastern Sierra,

with a brave friend who led the way and cut in front on high altitude precipices!

We climbed 1,000 vertical feet starting at a base of 8900 ft,

passing many pristine alpine lakes,

and making a few nice friends en-route!
Tomorrow we go higher starting at a base of 9,900 ft and heading up into Tioga Pass, land of no wifi, so I will hopefully be back in touch the day after tomorrow.
Cheers to you from the high Sierras~

239 thoughts on “Eastern Sierra High~

  1. The colors are so vibrant I feel I could step into this gorgeous scenery. Cindy, thank you for sharing this trip and starting my evening dreaming, just before my eyes close. <3

  2. It’s so clean and gorgeous out there, wow! I can just about smell the fresh air from viewing these images. And your brave guide seems to be doing a great job of showing you around. Enjoy yourself Cindy! Cheers! <3

  3. I pray no one in your party gets altitude sickness. My husband got it when we went to Mineral King at 10,000 feet. That was early in our marriage.

    Your pictures are stunning.. Have a great time off the grid!β™‘β™‘β™‘

    1. That is no fun at all. I didn’t feel too well at Independence Pass on the Contintenal Divide at 14,4 but we drove up there with no acclimation. We have been acclimating, doing day hikes to avoid this.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. We have spent so little time in our own high country, I’m envious. Love the dog. Our Westie is one week out of ACL surgery, the result of over-exuberance in a 10-yr-old dog.

  5. What a hiking adventure! That’s a lot of climbing! The view is breathtaking.
    Good to have a brave friend leading the way. πŸ™‚

  6. remarkable Pictures, in great Detail. Have you seen in the first picture, when you enlarge maximum at the left side behind a slightly slanted fir tree at he rim of the lake somone has lost a pair of pink slippers?

      1. No problem. I bet the fishing is good though. πŸ™‚ My little 8 yr. old grandson is already an experienced fly fisherman, so I have to pretend to ask the right questions, and tell good ‘fish stories,’ for him. πŸ™‚

  7. I hope you had a great hike.

    The pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. I am not sure, but I think I would have turned around and the dogs and we would have jumped in the lake instead?

  8. Looking at the mountains there, Cindy, tells me that has to be a very old mountain range. They are so rounded. Lovely views from there too.

    1. You know your mountains. Many were volcanoes and there is a lot of lava flows, pumice mountains, and red rock here. You can’t see this as much in winter with all the snow.

  9. I was going to backpack from Kennedy Meadows to Mt. Whitney this summer, Cindy, but had to skip it. You are wandering around in my favorite part of the world. Jealous. πŸ™‚ –Curt

    1. We just hiked Whitney a few days ago and are still lusting at the cabins as we have been for years now. The leases are running down now. It is so stunningly gorgeous up there.

      1. “We just hiked Whitney,’ she said casually. πŸ™‚ That is one heck of a hike. I’ve usually come at it from the west after I’ve had a few weeks of backpacking under my belt. –Curt

        1. Oh no, we didn’t summit! We’ve been doing a series of acclimating hikes, after Whitney, in Tioga Pass outside of Yosemite, and up in Mammoth Lakes. Going higher and longer each time. I am amazed to see how my stamina compares very favorably with when I was younger and the altitude bothers me less. Of course I am not doing 13 miles, mostly vertical in a day, like I did when I was young! But have you noticed this with yourself, that your stamina is good for long hauls with altitude? Tomorrow we are going to see The Ancient Bristle Cone Pine Forest, something I have never done. I want to hug 4,500 year old Methusula and get tips from her on healthy aging…….

          1. I have always been amazed at how fast the body acclimates, Cindy. And it is definitely faster if you have a lot of high altitude living/hiking in your past. I think our red blood cells say, “Oh my, I recognize this,” and immediately begin to take in more oxygen. The last time I climbed Whitney I did so at the end of a 360 mile backpack trek. I won’t say it was ‘a piece of cake,’ but I was definitely ready for it. Some 20-something (40 years younger than I) trail runners were coming up from the east side and fell behind me on the ascent. πŸ™‚ They were a bit surprised, but I wasn’t. My body had had a lot of time to acclimate.
            As for the Bristle Cones, I love them. As I recall, Methuselah wasn’t marked at the time. People would probably break off pieces. Please pass on what advice the old fellow has to give you. πŸ™‚ –Curt

  10. What a hike and what a great friend to have with you. Looks as though the lakes have boats on them–that would be nice as well. Enjoy the hike. Breathe well!

  11. Thank you for these gorgeous photos Cindy…I’m right there with you…in spirit of course πŸ™‚ When I lived in Arizona I was always struck by how high above sea level we were even when not in the mountains. Sierra Vista itself was apx. 4,600 feet and that was in the foot hills of the Huachucas…I <3 it πŸ™‚

      1. Yes, after awhile you get this exhilaration and energy boost and then really WANT to keep going. We have reserves of energy in us, the mysterious “second wind!”

  12. What awesome views Cindy!! It looks like you were perched on top of the world! Stunning photos (like always!) What a wonderful hike (we are in Wisconsin, taking some much flatter hikes with our kids here!) xox

      1. HI Cindy– yep we’ve been bobbing in, hiking around lots of lakes here– so beautiful and green!! I can imagine the photos you’d take here– There are bald eagles nesting in the trees around our lake.! xox

    1. We are, thank you Maria, and it is still gorgeous despite the terrible visible toll of the ongoing drought. I saw a bear cub yesterday, all alone with no mama bear to protect it. Sad. 🐻

  13. Cindy, the photographs in this post are astonishing; bringing tears to my eyes with their beauty. The one with your ‘best friend’ brings a wonderful sense of perspective. Such crystal clarity -I can just imagine how pure the air feels! What an amazing place.

  14. High country lakes are one of my favorite places, Cindy. Aside from being so pristine and beautiful, they’re usually so far from the beaten path that you can actually find quiet…, and peacefulness. The scent of the spruce and pines is intoxicating too. πŸ™‚

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  16. Those photos are amazing, Cindy. I love those deep blue lakes and congrats on all that climbing and walking. I’ve just come back from driving my daughter to school which is a 90 minute round trip and that exhausted me. I was driving behind a Police car which had signs of fatique written on it and yawning as I read “yawning”. Need a nap before I take the dogs for a walk to the beach.
    Your trip sounds amazing!
    xx Rowena

  17. Cindy these photos are incredibly beautiful. I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to the cool or cold weather. I’m adapting after leaving Southwest Florida’s warmth. I have managed to get to western Nebraska where my first experience with temps below 45 degrees is currently taking place.Lol! πŸ™‚

  18. Looking out on that view would leave me breathless, of course the altitude would do it, too. πŸ˜‰ Cindy, the dog and little chipmunk were so crisp and clear. The chipmunks scamper so fast I capture “blurs!” Thanks for sharing this gorgeous overlook on such pretty blue lake and evergreens, I can almost smell their needles and bark!

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