The trusty Fit in front of the Cedar Grove Lodge, closed for the season but with a pay-phone, still operational, that I used to tell Jane of my departure. I camped in Cedar Grove the night before the hike.
Climbing north from Roads End and looking east; a controlled burn further to the west and fires further south had really smoked things up that morning.
Ascending the Granite Pass trail, looking east to the area of Mount Clarence King and the King Spur.
Granite Basin at about 10,000 feet altitude. The sub-freezing fall nights have turned the meadows brown.
Looking north from Granite Pass, elevation 10,673, into the drainage of the Middle Fork of the Kings River. The distant views were obscured due to smoke from the west and south.
The base of an old snag along the trail, looking north.
I camped about three or four miles north of Granite Pass at about 9500 feet. Just after a stream crossing, I noticed a faint trail leading east which led to this horse-packer campsite with rustic table. The campsite did not show any obvious recent use. The turquoise-colored bag on the left is my Ursack, a lightweight bearproof food container. My wood-powered stove is heating up some delicious Trader Joe's Indian food packets.
My Lunar Solo E in camp the next AM, with packer table just beyond. A pleasant and well-sheltered campsite.
I was trying out my wife's hiking sticks on this hike. I have walked for years with a single hiking stick but saw lots of people using two sticks so figured I'd see how well they work for me. A stock drift fence/gate is at the far right of the photo.
I found the hiking sticks to be annoying whenever I wanted to grab something (camera, food, sunglasses) but definitely a benefit for smoother and lower-stress walking, especially going downhill.
Some high clouds were beginning to appear.
Same vista but different exposure, looking west towards Kennedy Mountain.
Trail junction; I took the route east towards State Lakes.
Pleasant trail in the region of Glacier Valley, looking southeast.
Panorama of the largest of the State Lakes. Several nice-looking campsites near here. Notice small dusting of early-season snow on the north-facing slope across the lake.
The dusting of snow gave certain vistas a chilly aspect.
Looking west along the long axis of the lake, from the east near the inlet stream.
Another vista, looking west.
Inlet stream; it's rather remarkable in that it meanders back and forth several times at the head of the lake. I saw several trout here.
Another State Lake, this one to the northeast of the previous one.
Another view of the more northerly lake; there are at least two more lakes to the east and south in the State Lakes group, neither of which I visited on this trip.
State Peak to the east, 12,620 feet elevation; this lake is at about 10,500 feet. I turned around and started heading back towards Granite Basin at this juncture as it was a bit past noon.
Drainage stream from State Lakes.
Looking south up Glacier Valley, which I decided to ascend, There is no trail here but the walking is easy. I decided to see if I could ascend the headwall of the valley up to the Glacier Lakes beyond; the topo map made it look do-able.
A bit further to the south, ascending Glacier Valley. It was becoming steadily more overcast and a bit colder.
Looking north down Glacier Valley, having ascended a portion of the headwall. Shortly after this point I decided not to push it as the steepness was a little beyond my solo-hiker comfort level, plus there were small patches of ice on the rock I had to be VERY careful to avoid.
Small frozen waterfall on the headwall of Glacier Valley. Instead of continuing upward, I contoured over to the west onto a timbered area.
Contouring to the western side of Glacier Valley, looking down to the northeast.
Looking back at the area I had been ascending. Just a little too steep and icy to be worth trying to ascend on this trip.