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.