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Steve, Katherine, and Norah | profile | all galleries >> Sierra Nevada Backpack July 2020: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks >> Day 5: Roaring Meadow to Elizabeth Pass Basin tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Day 5: Roaring Meadow to Elizabeth Pass Basin

Day 5: Roaring River to Elizabeth Pass basin

~ 7 miles, ~1920 feet elevation gain

After a two day combo of an off trail pass and 16 miles, we decided we would take it easy this day. Our original itinerary had us hiking from Roaring Meadow and veering off trail to Big Bird Lake and beyond. But after one off trail day that was so tedious, we decided to stick to the trail for the rest of our trip. It meant a few extra miles and an extra day, but we always give ourselves wiggle room and extra days on our trips, so it was no problem to accommodate this change.

From Roaring Meadow to Elizabeth Pass is around 11 miles and 4000 feet elevation gain. Adding in a descent down the other side to find a suitable campsite would make it another big day (and even bigger with that much elevation gain). So we decided to break up the hike and find a place to camp in the basin below Elizabeth Pass. We hiked around 2000 feet in seven miles, which wasn’t bad at all. A highlight of the hike was Ranger Meadow - just beautiful.

Beyond the meadow we were mostly above treeline and we could see the large basin below the ascent to the pass. Once in the basin we started looking for a campsite and found a wonderful one with a perfect spot for sitting by the water and soaking in the views. We had a leisurely afternoon and Steve also did a quick hike up to Big Bird Lake and back. We noticed a marmot checking us out and later in the day we entertained ourselves by watching him intent on licking the rocks. He was so absorbed in his task that we could easily observe him and take pictures. This was our favorite campsite of the trip (probably also helped it was our easiest day and we had ample time to enjoy it!).
Jeffrey or ponderosa pine cones
Jeffrey or ponderosa pine cones
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Ranger Meadow
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Big Bird Lake
Big Bird Lake
Big Bird Lake
Big Bird Lake
Views from Steve's hike to Big Bird Lake
Views from Steve's hike to Big Bird Lake
Views from Steve's hike to Big Bird Lake
Views from Steve's hike to Big Bird Lake
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Campsite in the basin
Peek a boo
Peek a boo
Campsite host
Campsite host
Campsite host
Campsite host