Cake
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    • Sometimes the stars align and you get a chance to set out on an epic run hike on the Fourth of July. An unplanned, last minute adventure to conquer the Leavitt Peak with 3 of my friends was exhilariting and somewhat terrifying. Could we really make it to the top and back in one day?

    • The 3 am alarm woke me up and I scrambled to get ready for what was going to be a long day. After meeting up with friends we set out on a 4+ hour drive just north of Yosemite to the Sonora Pass. As the morning light peaked through the mountains we knew the adventure was about to begin.

    • As we arrived at the campgrounds at the base of the Sonora Pass campgrounds the beautiful wildflowers and the peaks caught my eye.

    • It was going to be a tough course with many switchbacks, creek and snow crossings. So we we left promptly at 8:30 am with the goal of reaching the peak before noon.

    • Sonora Pass is already at 9,624 ft and the Leavitt Peak reaches 11,573 ft so we had a lot of climbing ahead of us. The trail ahead was a part of the famous Pacific Crest Trail which spans all the way from border of Mexico to the border of Canada spanning 2,659 mi.

    • After 4+ hour drive we were eager to get moving, so we set out at a brisk pace. The first set of switchbacks took us through the meadows and small creeks.

    • As we climbed above the 10K feet and above the treeline, the snowy passes and a narrow single track trail kept us on the edge overlooking the valley below.

    • Finally we crossed the first peak and saw our final destination in the distance: The Leavitt Peak right above the sign in this photo:

    • I couldn't resist and had to take our group photo. When you are in a hurry to get up the mountain, it is so easy to brush it off, only later to regret not taking one. So we did:

    • The single track opened up and followed the ridge with the valley views on each side along the way.

    • It was a short-lived moment and we had to slow way down to cross many of the banks along the trail.

    • Once again we sped up along the ridge as the trail started to look barren yet beautiful.

    • Looking to the left side of the trail the spectacular view of the valley made watching every step ahead of us challenging.

    • The snow still covered a few sections of the trail and we had to watch our footing.

    • The spectacular view at around mile 4 at the crossing was such a pleasant surprise and made the entire journey worth it. We took a few minutes to soak in the view.

    • With a background a scenic as this we couldn't resist to get another group shot.

    • We were getting closer and closer to the Leavitt Peak with just under a mile left to go.

    • The wildflowers all around the trail brought feeling of happiness and joy to what otherwise was a hard climb.

    • The spectacular view of the Pacific Crest Trail below us made a stark contrast to the wildflowers we just past.

    • It was a lot harder to climb than we thought with rocks sliding under our feet with every step.

    • Nature Wanderer

      Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. I'm kicking myself for never having ventured off the road from Sonora pass. I've probably driven it a hundred times in my life. It's the most useful pass for my adventures, taking me to and from coastal California to the trailheads that provide quick backcountry access on the Eastern Sierra. I've never ever hiked around there. You're now proven that I need to 😁

      📷: Photo I took from the top of Sonora Pass is the spring.

    You've been invited!