|Sunrise below Muir Pass.|
The popular "North Lake to South Lake Loop" or "Evolution Loop" is usually referred to as a "loop". . . The Forest Service and Recreation.gov describe it as the "North Lake to South Lake Loop". There are countless online trip reports for the "loop" including some on Summitpost, Backpackinglight and High Sierra Topix. I stopped counting after finding 14 videos for the "loop" on YouTube.
According to the FKT site the current fastest known time for the "Evolution Loop" is 10 hours and 31 minutes. Impressive, although not so much considering the FKT holder had to hitch a ride back to North Lake after "finishing" at South Lake.
I have often wondered what it would be like to do a proper loop and include the last section over the Tyee Plateau and close the circle back to North Lake . . . So last week I hiked from North Lake to North Lake and along the way threw in some cross country travel and peak bagging to keep it interesting. In the end it was a 64+ mile loop with four passes and 34,200' of elevation change.
I started with my usual late night drive through the desert on Wednesday night to camp at the base of the East Side of the Sierra near Independence. Spending a night at 4,000' always helps me acclimatize to the big climb over the Sierra Crest on the first day, and by Thursday morning I was ready for the climb over Lamarck Col from the North Lake trailhead.
|North Lake to North Lake Loop, 64 miles.|