Main Terrain Features
Very dry exposed volcanic terrain characterizes the majority of this 27.88 mile stretch of the PCT between Carson Pass to Ebbetts Pass. Coming around the barren flanks of Raymond and Reynolds Peaks brings the harsh beauty of this terrain home.
The slow movement of the massive mountainsides of eroded volcanic terrain across Raymond Peak's flanks are beautifully counterbalanced by the galleries of beautifully volcanic spires being slowly sculpted under Reynolds Peak. This is the alpha and omega of the local volcanic terrain: Seemingly delicate hard volcanic spires surrounded by billions of tons of red duff.
Though there are reasonable year-round water sources, including the drainages that run down around the circumference of Raymond Peak, as well as Pennsylvania Creek, the volcanic terrain and strange other-worldly shapes that have eroded out of Reynolds Peak give this dry exposed stretch of the trail an arid feel. There is little cover. This is hot hiking.
When I water up good, meaning drink up, rest up, and fill up my 22 oz bottle I'm not quite good to get to Upper Kinney Lake. I'll pick up some water out of either Raymond, Pennslyvinia, or Eagle Creek. This means we can adjust down our carried water supply to suite the distance to our next watering.
The little stream at Ebbetts Pass may be dry, so I water up enough at one of the creeks I mentioned above to reach Upper Kinney Lake, where I'll be spending the night to get an early start for the hitch-hike down to Lake Alpine Lodge for a day or two off, some great food, and to pick up my resupply for the next section of trail.
Unless we are hiking through to Kennedy Meadows Pack Station for our next resupply.
In that case we've got to water up enough to get to
Noble Creek from Upper Kinney Lake. Noble Creek is preferred for obtaining water against Noble Lake as a water source, because Noble Lake's water is pond-like and cow fouled due to the proximity of grazing stock.
The map above is linked to the trail guide reports on campsite on the stream just to the North of Raymond Peak as well as the campsites at Upper Kinney and Noble Lakes.
Next Section of Trail
On the theoretical side of trail we are passing South out of the Mokelumne Wilderness into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness. This boundary is substantiated and well marked by Highway 4's East-West route through Ebbetts Pass. Highway 4 opens up resupply opportunity.
Lake Alpine Lodge
The Lake Alpine Lodge sits about 15 miles West of Ebbetts Pass down Highway 4. The Lake Alpine Lodge accepts resupply packages sent through UPS and will hold and deliver them to passing backpackers for free. See the Lake Alpine Lodge for more information and details.
Administratively, the Toiyabe National Forest also administers the Carson Iceberg, as it did the Mokelumne Wilderness. Well, the Toiyabe administers the Mokelumne along its tattered Eastern edge.
The Toiyabe administers the Eastern sections of both the Mokelumne and Carson Iceberg Wilderness. The entirety of the Emigrant Wilderness lays on the West side of the Sierra Crest to the South of Sonora Pass, being the only wilderness between Tahoe and Yosemite that is not divided East and West between the Toiyabe National Forest on the East flank and either the El Dorado or Stanislaus National Forests on the West flank.
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