18 August 2012

Sierra: Rock Creek

Sequoia National Park

This is part of a nine day backpacking trip that starts here.

Locate the trail head.

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

Clouds have moved in again for the morning as it dawns. There isn't much sun to enjoy, but we make the most of it. I feel already worried about the rain we may be getting for today. The sky seems to say, "Not yet, but soon." We find our way down to the south going trail and start to climb, quickly coming to a stock gate among the rocks. We make our way up, along the flat, and over a short pass to drop down into Rock Creek.

Crabtree Meadow
Looking back over Crabtree Meadow as we climb up into the rocks.

Guyot Flat
Guyot Flat, which seems like an easy land except that it is so high up.

Guyot Flat
Some more of Guyot Flat.

distant rain shadow
Off in the distance, someone is getting rained on.

Guyot Pass carved tree sign
A tree carved to name the pass, something that is seen on some of the shorter passes. PJ Guyot, here, is only 10,900 feet.

Rock Creek canyon
Heading down into the canyon of Rock Creek.

We drop, cross Guyot Creek, then drop quite a ways to get to Rock Creek. A few drops start to fall near the bottom, but it does not get heavy. We cross the creek and hang out for a little bit of lunch. We are pondering either going up to Soldier Lake for the night or up onto the Siberian Outpost, where we should be able to drop down some from the trail and find water, and this is the point to choose since we will need to carry more water for the second option. We are unsure about the water on the Outpost, so we don't go there. We cross quite a few little streams as we start to climb. At the junction, we keep left leaving the Pacific Crest Trail to its high route. The rain continues to become very threatening every time someone decides to take off a rain jacket.

meadow above the Rock Creek Ranger Station
A bit of the meadow above the Rock Creek Ranger Station and near where they were counting the people.

rain in our route
Looking across the creek, it is plain to see that it is raining.

The threats continue until we cross back over Rock Creek. This action seems to be crossing into the storm, because we enter a steady and determined rain. We continue through this rain until we reach Rock Creek Lake.

a bit of Rock Creek
Rock Creek in the rain, someone has decided to camp across it from the trail.

meadow along Rock Creek
Rock Creek passes through a few meadows.

Rock Creek Lake
Rock Creek Lake has quite a large meadow.

As we get to the camping area by the lake, the rain finally stops. We enjoy ourselves at the lake for a short time, then continue on our way to climb the last short, but somewhat steep, bit of trail up to Soldier Lake.

duck in Rock Creek Pond
A denizen of Rock Creek Lake, at least for now.

Rock Creek Lake with blue sky above
The sky is clearing up, so we can see some nice reflection in Rock Creek Lake.

steam rising on the mountains
Steam starts to rise from various locations as the rain finishes.

At the junction for Soldier Lake, we find that they don't want us going along the old trail on the north side of the meadow below the lake. Someone has duct taped the pointer for the lake and added a note to use the route marked "food storage box" further along that we used when coming down. We do, mostly, except for a short meadow crossing. My shoes have been good this day, staying dry, until I cross that meadow. Inspecting them shows that the leather seems to have a hole in it which seems to overrule the "waterproof" tag on the side.

meadow below Soldier Lake
It is really clearing nicely now, as we reach our destination at Soldier Lake. The rising mist is quite dreamy.

We find a spot to camp by the lake, surrounded by many other campers. We hadn't seen anyone the night before when we expected a crowd, and now we have at least three groups nearby. We find our place and make dinner. As the sky darkens, a cloud tries to creep in from Langley. I ignore it until it drops a few raindrops, then jump for my rain stuff again and quickly set up my shelter. No more drops come, it was just seeing if I would jump. I snuggle in under my tarp as the sky clears again.

Continue reading: day 9

©2012 Valerie Norton
Posted 28 Aug 2012

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