Thursday, May 12, 2016

From Piute to Sierra

Day 36 - May 11
Mile: 602.1 to 620
up/down: 2350/3300 feet 

From our camp at Robin Bird Spring we enjoyed a beautiful walk through stately Jeffery Pines on our way to Lander Meadow in the heart of the Piute Mountains. We have been to this meadow many times by car but this time by foot, so gotta love that. Unfortunately the trail took a wide route around the meadow so we only touched the edge. Turning east we worked our way though a small burn from many years ago toward the edge and drop to Kelso Valley at St. John Pass. 


Dear friend Alison and her friend Don met us at the road with a car full of water and a few delicious snacks. Since there was another road crossing just two miles further we slack packed the distance with our packs in the back of her car. One more fill of all the water bottles including a couple extra liters each for dinner and breakfast, and off we went. It was plenty hot now in a Joshua Tree forest at 5000 feet elevation. After crossing the road at St. John Pass we technically left the Piute Mountains and enter the southernmost end of the Sierra Nevada. While Kennedy Meadows 75 miles ahead signals the entry to the "High Sierra," we are already here. When we got within 11 miles of our noon water meet up at Bird Springs Pass tomorrow we called it a day in the shade of some Joshua Trees. 



Tomorrow friends Dan and Brenda will angel us again with water in a very dry stretch. From there it will be 22 miles to Walker Pass. We'll knock some of that out in the afternoon and finish up on Friday. 


  1. I met some through hikers when I tested Bird Springs Pass for Dan and Brenda and brought them in for a 2-night zero. I will be bringing them up to the pass around 10:45 tomorrow. I can ferry you home if you are in the vicinity then.
    And correction, technically you have been in the Sierra Nevada since you crossed Hwy 58.
    Paraphrased from USGS: The Sierra Nevada's highest elevation is Mount Whitney. Its southern boundary is Tehachapi Pass, and the northern is Lassen Peak, the northwest boundary is Sacramento Valley, the southwest boundary is the San Joaquin Valley and on the east by the California-Nevada state boundary.
    I am researching some anomalies with USGS to determine the exact boundary. The Tehachapis are geologically the same as the Sierra but they uplifted later in the cycle.

    1. Thanks. I knew the Tehachapi mountains were technically Sierra but some consider them separate. What about the Piutes? Appreciate the offer but we'll be at Walker Pass much later than that.