North Lake to South Lake – Part 3 (Dusy Basin, Bishop Pass)


After spending four days at altitude, the last two days were a breeze. Thinking the climb from LeConte Canyon up to Dusy Basin would take all day, we got up pretty early. Since the climb was all on trail, unlike the hike over Lamarck Col a few days prior, we had a pretty easy time with this one.

The climb started right from the get-go. In fact, the steepest part of it was the first two or three miles. We quickly gained altitude and had great views over LeConte Canyon. The trail switchbacks up along the cascades that flow down from Dusy Basin. We had no trouble at all, despite the steepness of the climb, but we took our time and enjoyed the views.

LeConte Canyon

Looking back down LeConte Canyon as we climbed out to Dusy Basin


The creek that flows out of Dusy Basin cascaded down a lot of bare granite

Seemingly out of the blue, we found ourselves by a lake resting at the mouth of Dusy Basin. Over the horizon rose the Palisades, some of the most rugged terrain along the entire Sierra crest. Through every turn of scenery we were kicking ourselves for not making camp there. Clear blue lakes, meadows, light trees, and mountain vistas filled our views for the next hour or so.

Entering Dusy Basin

Our first glimpses into Dusy Basin


The Palisades hanging over Dusy Basin

Bishop Pass

Bishop Pass from Dusy Basin

The climb up to Bishop Pass from the Dusy Basin is relatively mild. We were on top before we even realized that we were near the top. For the first time in a few days, we could peer down into the Owens Valley area and the East side of the Sierra. We descended from the pass, past a few lakes, to our campsite near the aptly named Timberline Tarns.

Dusy Basin

Dusy Basin from near Bishop Pass

At Bishop Pass

Tyler and Nick hiking over Bishop Pass

Mount Agassiz

Mount Agassiz from Bishop Pass

East Side

Looking North from Bishop Pass

Timberline Tarns

Timberline Tarns near where we camped

Cloudripper Alpenglow

Alpenglow over Cloudripper

Agassiz Alpenglow

Alpenglow over Mount Agassiz

This, our last night of camp, was cold. We slept late after watching the stars for a while. The next morning we woke up early and hiked out. The hike was quiet, and the air was still. We got back to the car at South Lake around 8:00, our final steps over trail rather anticlimactic. This had been a big trip with a couple really long days. We were tired, dirty, and worn out, but still a bit sad to leave the backcountry.

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