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In a feature that departs from mountain biking just a bit, I have decided to share my 2018 backpacking trip to Graveyard Lakes in the Sierra Nevada. It was a difficult trek, but an amazing experience.

Having friends who enjoy the outdoors as much as I do, a backpacking trip was discussed and planned for several months. We decided on a location, bought supplies, and drove the 4Runner up to the site where we camped near the trailhead so that we could get an early start the next morning.

The hike up was pleasant and challenging. Two river crossings, mostly uphill, and about 2300 vertical feet of climbing made it a long day and we were happy to get to the campsite. The four of us overpacked. We had plenty of what we needed at the top of the mountain, but it was a big pull to get it all up.

We were able to enjoy filet mignons on the first night of camping. As a rule, we always freeze the steaks and bring them along for the first nights meal. They defrost as we hike, and they are tender and ready for cooking right about the time we set up camp.

Relaxing, fishing, hiking, and eating great food rounded out the trip nicely. One day, we hiked to the upper lakes and enjoyed their 10,000+ foot altitude. The views were spectacular and the air was clean. Our campsite afforded us private access to our very own small pond where we were allowed to build fires and where we could do a bit of fishing. I was able to pull out my fly rod and I pulled a few trout out of the lake to enjoy during our evening meal. 

Hiking back down was rough but a far better ordeal than the hike in. Mostly downhill, we landed at Vermilion Resort (our trailhead) mid-afternoon. We enjoyed a sandwich, french fries, and a fresh pint from the food service. After a good night’s rest at the campground we drove home and rejoined the world.

It may not be mountain biking, but it is the next best thing. Backpacking allows an outdoor enthusiast the ability to see parts of the world that are not reachable by bike. It’s always an adventure, and always worth the trip.