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Trip Report


Bears, lakes, huge trees, magic!

by dorapereliAtlasGuru Contributor

North AmericaUnited States2 days / July 2020

Highs & Lows

Swimming in Hamilton Lake

Not bringing an extra water filter

Itinerary Overview

This is one of the most STUNNING hikes ever. 

DAY 1: We started at Crescent Meadow trailhead and camped at 9 mile campground (9 miles from the trailhead). We were thinking of camping at Crescent Meadow but by the time we hit 9 miles, we were SO tired and our backs killed (we packed way to much), so it was a perfect place to stop. The site is so beautiful. We made a little fire, found a watering hole, made our backpacking dinners, and shared stories from the day. 

DAY 2: We decided to hike to Hamilton Lake, which was 6 miles from the campground. We didn't need to bring our packs, cause we would be sleeping there again that night! It still took us about 4 hours to get there. The elevation is high and the mountains uphills do not mess around! When we finally arrived at Hamilton, it was SO worth it. Oh my gosh. I have never been anywhere more beautiful. Because it is 15 miles out in the middle of no where, it is in perfect condition and not crowded at all. We swam, laid on the rocks, ate lunch, and took naps in the sun.  We also met a group there that came to fish for a couple of days. We headed back down the mountain to make it before dark. On our way back, we saw a BEAR! It was a teenager bear. It was the coolest thing EVER. It was picking at some food, and then ran away. 

DAY 3: We headed out, the same way we came, a much easier hike walking out. We saw a baby bear, climbing a tree! Another highlight of the trip. By the time we got back to the trailhead, our feet were exhausted, and our souls were happy. 

  • Day trip: High Sierra Trailhead
  • 2 Nights: Bearpaw High Sierra Camp
  • Day trip: Hamilton Lakes

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    I would have stayed an extra night! It is too beautiful not to.

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    Nope, going in July, the weather was absolutely perfect.

  • Packing tips?

    Don't forget to bring bear spray, and an extra water filter.

  • Any surprises?

    The elevation is high, so i recommend training with some steep hikes before hand.

  • Booking details?

    You do need a permit, so I recommend applying as early as you can.