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Backpacking the North/South Lake Loop: Hutchinson Meadow to Goddard Canyon

Day 2 on the North Lake/South Lake Loop

Day 2 on the North Lake/South Lake Loop

DAY TWO on the North Lake/South Lake Loop

Our second day on the trail would be relatively short, and connect us with the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail with the Goddard Canyon Junction our destination. We awoke to another beautiful, clear morning and we headed southwest along Piute Creek towards the JMT junction.

Bishop Loop Day 2 Details
Distance: 8.8 miles
Time: 5-7 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Gain/Loss: +498’/-1,537′
Dogs: No
When to go: Late July-Early October
It may be called a ‘creek’, but Piute Creek was raging! There were several wet crossings during the first three or four miles.

The trail turned south and down a series of switchbacks, through manzanitas, and all the way down to 8,000 feet and the bridge that crosses over the creek and marks the junction of the John Muir Trail and the entrance to Kings Canyon National Park.

Piute Creek

Piute Creek

This just happened to be the morning of the full solar eclipse, but unfortunately cloudy skies rolled in and obscured our view and we never got to see it.

We took a few quick pics at the bridge, then crossed over and took a break in the campground on the other side.  Here it started to rain, so after a snack, we put on our rain jackets and covered our packs and headed southwest along the JMT.

This section of the JMT follows the powerful San Joaquin River southwest – past Muir Rock, then through Aspen Meadow, and then across another large bridge with some beautiful campsites on the other side.

Another bridge over the San Joaquin

We continued along the trail until just before the Goddard Canyon trail junction and bridge – where there was a great campsite along the trail with great access to water and a nice fire pit.  That was ours! The rain had stopped and it was camping time.

Our campsite at Goddard Canyon Junction

Although this was a relatively short 8.8 mile hiking day, it positioned us perfectly to climb up into Evolution Valley first thing the next morning – and that is always our strategy…try and set up the climbs for first thing each morning!  Climbing late in the day after a long day on the trail is no fun…at least for us.

Another family of deer joined us at the campsite, and we enjoyed their company by the fire during dinner until it was time for bed.  I suspect they slept nearby, as they were up and ready to greeting us first thing the next morning.

Hutchinson Meadow to Goddard Canyon Trail Map & Elevation Profile

Download file: NL-SL-Loop-Day-2.gpx


Originally hiked on Monday, August 21, 2017.

Continue to Day Three: Goddard Canyon to Sapphire Lake


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