Distance: 9.2 Miles | Elevation Gain: 3000 Ft
I don't think words could adequately describe peeking out of our tent and seeing the sunrise wash over the Sierra Nevadas. Not gonna lie though, crawling out of our toasty sleeping bags into the crisp air was pretty rough. But the morning views and the lure of breakfast and hot coffee made it all worth it. After cooking up a quick bite, we packed up and hit the road north towards Big Pine.
The trailhead for the Big Pine Creek North Fork trail was about an hour north and easy to find. (No permit is required for a day hike, you'll need to get one at the ranger station for backpacking and overnight camping.)
The second half of the hike seemed never ending, especially with David telling me that it was only a mile/mile half more every 15 minutes, but when we finally reached a very frozen over first lake...there were no words. Partially because we felt breathless at 10,000 ft., but mostly because it was one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen. We spent a few minutes soaking it all in and refueling on gummy bears before deciding to head back instead of trekking over to the second lake, which was another 10-15 minutes away. Even though it was only 1:30pm, the sun was already starting to disappear behind the mountains and we didn't want to risk hiking down in the dark, especially with the random patches of ice covering parts of the trail.
We made it back to our campsite around dusk, made dinner (pulled pork tacos!), burned the rest of our firewood and called it an early night. We packed up our stuff and headed out bright and early the next morning. Already planning our next road trip to see these mountains again!