Robinson Lake Trail

Or, Mt. Whitney weekend, day 1.

Erin and I drove from San Francisco to the east side on Friday afternoon, with a brief pit stop at one of the hot springs off Green Church Road. My insomnia proves particularly useful on these adventures, as I can easily drive us well into the night. We arrived at Onion Valley (9,200′) sometime between 1am and 2am and began the now familiar ritual of moving all food and scented items into the nearby bear lockers. After more or less clearing out the car, we cozied up in the trunk (bad practice, we know, but sometimes many times, laziness wins) and promptly fell asleep.

2016-07-09 08.18.53 2016-07-09 09.57.06

After enjoying the most magnificent sunrise through the back window of Erin’s SUV, I went back to sleep and managed to actually sleep in (!!!!) until around 9am. Knowing there wasn’t much to accomplish on Saturday outside of picking up our permit to hike Whitney and to do a minor hike to help us acclimate to the altitude, we very leisurely arose and gathered our belongings.

Around 10:30, we set off on the trail for Robinson Lake, an alpine lake a short 2 miles from the trailhead near campsite #8. It ascends roughly 1,340′ to about 10,540′. We took our time and enjoyed having the entire trail and lake to ourselves. After a snack break and plenty of sunbathing, we descended back to the car, packed up, and drove into Lone Pine to pick up our Whitney permit.

Since most of our trip to the east side had been in darkness, it was a treat to finally see the magical landscape of 395. Its mountains, boulders, fields, and flowers are nothing short of breathtaking; they create a landscape that feels as though it is from another planet.

Finally, we headed to Whitney Portal campgrounds and luckily snagged a walk-in campsite (#21). We set up camp, prepped our packs, and turned in early in anticipation of the (much longer) hike ahead of us.

2016-07-09 11.57.04

2016-07-09 12.26.40

2016-07-09 16.14.38

2016-07-09 14.52.58