|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – January 2014
Backcountry swimming in Oregon, alpine lakes in John Muir Wilderness, and more.
Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail, John Muir Wilderness, CA
Pass five alpine lakes on this 7.4-mile (one-way), high-country out-and-back to Sixth Lake. From the North Fork Pine Creek trailhead, trek 3.4 miles west along a sagebrush-carpeted canyon. Enter a pine forest and revel in the heights of 12,999-foot Temple Crag (which offers 5.7 to 5.10 trad climbing). Pass First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Lakes—made green by the runoff of glacial silt—and walk another mile to Sixth Lake at 11,090 feet. See the 13,000-foot granite peaks of the Inconsolable Range and Fourteeners Mt. Sill and North Palisade reflected on its leprechaun waters (cast a line for rainbow trout). Pitch your tent below the cliffs on the western shore and awake early to catch the sunrise alpenglow reflecting off the glassy waters.
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