Kings Canyon Backpacking Trip
Wednesday, September 19 to Sunday, September 30, 1973

Bob: 11 Nights, 11 Days, 70+ miles

This was a backpacking trip I took but could not remember details, had only the pictures. I just found a letter I wrote to my Grandma that adds some info:

" Right now I'm getting excited about an upcoming trip to the Sierras. Yesterday I took some of my Birthday money and bought an Instamatic Camera and a new pair of tennis shoes so I'll be able to take pictures of my blisters from hiking. Strung across my room on long pieces of thread are 8 apples, all peeled, cored, and sliced into thin wedges so they'll dry out and can be carried easily. I also sewed up some holes in my backpack and sweat socks. I quit work Tuesday afternoon and leave for Kings Canyon Nat'l Park at 4:30 AM Wednesday. We're going to follow a long, circuitous route that will first take us north and east cross country (no trails), then head south on trails to Mt. Whitney, then west to Mineral King. The whole trip will take ten or eleven days. I'll return by Sunday, Sept 30..."

[note: Sept 30 on a Sunday occurs in 1973, thus giving dates for this trip].

The actual trip did not include going all the way to Whitney and Mineral King.

I hitchhiked from Berkeley to Kings Canyon. The only clear memory I have of this trip was on the last day. I was hitchhiking out. I had not showered for at least a week. A very nice couple in an expensive looking black sedan stopped and picked me up. A fly came in with me. After a couple of minutes of driving, each of them rolled down their window to let fresh air in. And the fly out.

This panorama was not labeled, but based on other photos I have seen, it is clearly Rae Lakes, near the end of the trip.

Many of the photos I took, I also labeled with comments. I have included the comments with the photos below. Based on those labels and a topo map, I was able to put together the route, which shows where each photo was taken. The photos are numbered to match their numbers on the map.When I put this route up, I really did not know which way I went around the loop, so guessed. Now as I re-read the notes, I realize there is one note that confirms my guess: picture 17 - "..first Rae Lake".

1 - "Kings Canyon from Copper Creek Trail"

2 - "Kings Canyon from Copper Creek Trail", also

3 - "Granite Lake from above Grouse Lake"

4 - "Grouse Lake, Kings Canyon, 10,473 ft."

5 - "Grouse Lake, Kings Canyon, 10,473", also

6 - "Upper Glacier Lake from Goat Crest (11,500 ft)"

7 - "Western State lakes," "kes; Goat Mountain in far....nd" I assume: "State Lakes; Goat Mountain in far background"

8 - "Horseshoe Lakes from ridge between State Lake & Horseshoe (11,300)"

9 - "Cartridge Creek Trail, Triple Falls (8000')"

10 - "Cartridge Creek Trail looking North"

11 - "Cartridge Creek Trail
Marion Lake (10,400)"

12 - "Cartridge Pass (11,700) looking south to Bench Lake (far background) and
Mount Ickes (12,968) (left background) and Pyramid Peak (12,777) (right background)."

13 - "Pinchot Pass looking South (12,000')"

14 - "Large Rodent, below Pinchot Pass"

15 - "Deer; Woods Creek, John Muir Trail"

16 - "John Muir Trail, looking towards Baxter Creek"

17 - "Fin Dome from John Muir Trail, First Rae Lake."

18 - "Rae Lakes"

Trail Route

Click on camera symbol on map to see photo of that location (or scroll back up the page to view the photos)

Elevations Along Trail
(Underestimates distance)

Map Symbols
  • Solid yellow lines: probable hiking route, based on photos, notes, and topographic map trails
  • Solid red line: possible alternative route in getting from Grouse Lake to Goat's Crest where photo was taken of Upper Glacier Lake. The yellow line assumes I did cross-country, the red line assumes I stuck to trails except when I needed to get up to Glacier Lake and Goat's Crest.
  • Camera icons show probable locations from which photos were taken; click on symbol to go directly to photo
  • Features that appear in the photos are marked with yellow dots and labeled in black italics

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