High Sierra trip with Jorge and Diana.

When Jorge suggested I join him and Diana on a hiking trip to Mount Morgan I said YES!  Several years ago I hiked Little Lakes Valley from Mosquito Flat to Morgan Pass, from where I had a good view of Mt. Morgan.  Climbing to the summit from there is a class 3 ordeal, which is above my capabilities.  After I got home I did some research and found out there is another route to the top of the Mountain, which included some very steep off trail scrambling, but nothing too serious.

In order to make sure would not have too much trouble with the altitude of Mt. Morgan we decided to climb Trail Peak just south of Lone Pine, which has an elevation of 11,622 feet.  After getting up at 04:30AM I got dressed, picked up my gear and drove to Jorge's house.  After loading everything in their car, we drove to Coco's just of Hwy 14 for breakfast.  Back in the car, we continued towards Lone Pine, turning off the Hwy just south of it, passing some great fields of yellow daisies, and driving up Horseshoe Meadows Road to the trailhead at about 10,000 feet elevation.

Once we put our extra food in the bear lockers we were off towards Trail Peak.  The first mile or so the trail flat and sandy, which made for easy going.  A group of people on horseback passed us by, doing a short loop from the pack station.  While crossing the bare plateau, a small cattle drive crossed our way, making for a prefect Western movie scene. At the far side of the plateau, the trail slowly went uphill through the forest until we reached the junction with the PCT.  From there, we climbed directly up the steep slope of Trail Peak.  Soon we made it above the tree line, and the views opened up.  The last part to the actual summit was easy enough, and shortly after we were able to enjoy the incredible 360 degree views of all the surrounding mountains.  The weather was also great, with perfectly blue skies and no wind.

We had our lunch on the summit and relaxed there for a while, taking in the great views, and recognizing some of the peaks we had climbed before: Mt. Langley, Mt. Whitney, Cirque Peak, and several others.  We took the same route back down to the trail junction with the PCT, where we found a large animal bone.  Now that we were back the actual trail, the walk down to the trail head was easy and soon we were back at the car.

The round trip hike was about 7 miles with an elevation gain of 2,200 feet.  This is a great hike to do by itself, enjoying fabulous views of the Sierras in just a few hours of effort.

We stopped in Lone Pine, where I bought a Camelback bladder, and enjoyed the best chocolate milkshake EVER!!  Back in the car, we drove to our hotel in Bishop,  had dinner at the Bowling Alley and went to bed early to get ready for our big hike the following day: Mount Morgan.