Hiking Temple Krag - 10,000ft in the Sierras
With the weekend free from weddings we set off to hike in the high Sierras. 10,000 feet doesn’t seem that bad until you hike it for the first time. Slightly under prepared, our crew set out for a mission to conquer Big Pines trail in Inyo National Forest. Coming from a surf culture and city where people drank wine for recreational activities, climbing mountains was not our expertise. As we entered the city of Big Pines along Highway 395 we suddenly became aware that we were more than slightly under prepared.
Bear country with no bear canister, 50 proof sleeping bag for 30 degree weather, and vans as hiking shoes… summed up our thought process for our backpacking trip. As we talked to the mountain men at Elevate mountain shop, we were persuaded into upgrading our gear for the sake of survival. As we continued, no one talked for the remaining hour of the drive to the trail head; Each thinking if this was the best idea but yet ashamed to admit they had doubts. Before any of us could back out and head to the nearest motel 6 we packed our bags, made our lunch, and we were off.
A brisk 50 degrees with bursts of wind blowing orange and red leaves past our every move, we felt like we were in another part of the country. The first week of October was the perfect indicator that fall had finally begun. Every direction we turned, we were greeted with the beauty of wide open spaces; family of deer, gushing waterfalls, changing of colors, and the Palisade glacier. It was this glacier that fueled our momentum to continue on our one day trip that consisted of a 7 hour drive and 4.5 hour hike to reach the end goal. With 2,000 foot elevation gain in the span of roughly a mile, we had reached the base for our campsite at first lake.
Crystal clear skies, natural glacier run off, and turquoise reflected water greeted us right at our feet. We were isolated with no one in site, no technology, no light pollution; just fresh air and the sound of your own thoughts. Hikes like this question if its worth it, but views like this answer the question. It was a good call to escape home for the weekend. Enjoy the photos and presets from our good friends at Dirty Boots Messy Hair.
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