Steve Roper's book, Sierra High Route: Traversing Timberline Country, has drawn hundreds of backpackers into an exciting part of the range, along the crest in an area where the Muir Trail/Pacific Crest trail takes a wimpy lowland route. Snow blocks the high points on the route until late summer. Even on our Labor Day trip after a dry year, we hiked across snowbanks in a number of places. The route is mainly cross country. We ran into quite a few people everywhere on the route, all customers of Roper's book.
Night 0: Motel in Bishop
Night 1: Honeymoon lake, 6 miles and 3000 vertical feet from the trailhead.
Nights 2 and 3: L Lake. On the layover day, we visited a dozen lakes in this rocky basin.
Night 4: Lasalle Lake (11,562'). Soon after making camp, a characteristic afternoon thunderstorm hit us. A good deal of snow like popcorn fell, but did not accumulate. We were confined to our tent for several hours.
Nights 5 and 6: White Bear Lake. On the layover day, we visited Vee Lake and surrounding lakes. Our last day was a bonebreaker--cross country over Italy pass, scrambling over sometimes difficult country with a frustrating occasional trail in Granite Park, and then down on the fine trail from Honeymoon Lake.
Sunset at White Bear Lake
Sunset, third night, after a storm
Upper Pine Lake
Lower Pine Lake
Approaching the pass between Lake Italy and Granite Park--looks like the moon
Notes and photos from places around the world that have villages, ruins, and good food. And $35 hotels... Also, wilderness 4x4 camping and backpacking.