My original plan for day three in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks had involved two 10-mile runs, but after a decision the previous day to start more of a taper I instead decided to extend my time in the parks by another day and complete the runs over two separate days. The other factor helping to aid the decision was that I could stay a second night in the same campsite and enjoy a more relaxed day with zero driving after completing my run for the day.
After breakfast I set out for my run from the Lodgepole campsite in Sequoia National Park. I would follow an out-and-back route along the Lakes Trail past a number of alpine lakes to my turnaround point at Pear Lake. As has become the norm on many of my runs of late I would set out with an ascent and then descend all the way back.
The first section of my run took me out on the same trails I had used to return the previous afternoon. I took the trail from Lodgepole towards the Giant Forest and turned off towards the parking and picnic area at Wolverton. I then reached the turnoff for the Lakes Trail and commenced my journey along a section of track I had not yet seen. One mile along the trail it splits in two before rejoining further along. For the outward journey I headed towards the Watchtower, climbing up for a look over the surrounding area. Interestingly the lookout is not at a peak or a high point along the trail, so you continue to climb as soon as you move past the viewpoint.
I continued to climb before arriving at Heather Lake, the first of the lakes. I approached the water’s edge to look around before setting off once again. From that point the trail would ascend and descend as I made my way between each of the lakes along my journey. I glimpsed another lake and decided that it was obvious how the name Emerald Lake had been derived when I saw its intense green colour. Then I reached the sign that informed me I had actually been looking at Aster Lake.
I continued past the campsite at Emerald Lake but did not make my way over to the water’s edge, which is located a short way off the trail. My final destination was nearby so I decided to push on instead. Some more ascent and descent lead me to Pear Lake. I stopped for some photos and finished off the Clif Bar I had started earlier, but did not hang around as there were surprisingly plenty of mosquitoes even at the elevation of 8,200 ft (2,500 m).
I returned along the same trail back to Heather Lake, and then just after passing the lake I reached the fork that would allow me to take a slightly different route back. This time I climbed over the Hump, which was a steeper ascent but provided some great descent on the way down. I had felt great throughout, and enjoyed a really relaxed run all the way back to my campsite. There was still plenty of time remaining in the day, so I enjoyed some lunch and then sat down to catch up on my blog posts.
For details of this run you can check out MovesCount.com here.