The next day very early and before the sun comes up, camp is struck and the climb begins. I have found on the two ascents the climb surprisingly easy. It is long with many switchbacks but hardly as difficult as some of the other passes I had crossed. But wait, there’s more!
One can hike the length of the John Muir Trail (218.5 miles) by starting from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley and walking south or from the Mt. Whitney Portal on the east side in the Inyo National Forest and hiking north. The singular advantage of starting from Yosemite and not at Mt Whitney is the climb over the Trail Crest (13,600 feet) with several days of food and all your camping gear. But wait, there’s more!
Muir Pass, named after John Muir, of course, is one of several passes that we crossed that measured near 12,000 feet. This part of the Sierras has some of the most stunning and remote mountain vistas, scores of alpine lakes, and deep canyons. At the top is a bungalow! But wait, there’s more!