Trip Review: Piute Pass to Muriel Lake & Goethe Lakes

Glacial blue lakes & granite crags in Humphrey’s Basin

Glimmering turquoise waters lay below the remnants of Goethe Glacier at Upper Goethe Lake
General route from North Lake parking lot to Muriel / Goethe Lakes
Derps #1 & #2 seek pats in Genoa, NV
Ascending above the tree cover and the Bishop Creek drainage
The view east into the Bishop Creek drainage near the final ascent toward Piute Pass.
The view from Piute Pass into Humphreys Basin, featuring Summit Lake in the foreground
(1) Pausing for a legendary charcuterie board lunch at the campsite (2) Campsites along Muriel Lake
(1) Muriel Lake from a high perch (2) Hiking around the west end of Muriel Lake toward Goethe Lake
Goethe Lake from Google Earth & two small pools directly below the glacier.
Moody skies above the lower segment of Goethe Lake
(1) Climbing the boulder bridge between lower & upper segments of Goethe Lake (2) The sun shines to show upper Goethe’s best colors
Frigid aquamarine glimmers from Upper Goethe’s surface
(1) Kristen modeling the finer things at golden hour by Muriel Lake (2) Pascal being obnoxious below the Piute Crags
Last light along the banks of Muriel Lake
Campsite, Muriel Lake & pink clouds at first light on Sunday
  • Optimal Length: I would have liked to have spent more than a single night in and around Humphreys Basin if the permits had worked out. There are just so many lakes / peaks in the area and the basin itself it a gateway to many other High Sierra Adventures. Other lakes I would have liked to have explored, and hopefully someday will, include Packsaddle Lake, Payne Lake and Desolation Lake, which sits below the region’s eponymous Mt. Humphreys.
  • Fishing Gear: Though I am striving to pack as light as possible these days (seems to always pay off), this entire area has a great reputation as a golden trout fishing spot. In fact, if you Google many any of the bodies of water in this area, the most useful descriptions are often from fishing websites.
  • Car Navigation: Google Maps basically only presented two viable options upon our return: (1) drive through Yosemite or (2) drive up to South Lake Tahoe. We ended up driving Sonora Pass, which may not show up automatically on your navigation device. Overall, we found it to be a technical drive but certainly faster than the other two would have been. Yosemite would not have been viable without a drive-in permit anyhow.

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David Yocom

San Francisco-Based | Venture Capital at iSelect Fund | Venture for America | Aspiring Outdoorsman | Future of Food & Nutrition | Mediocre Guitarist | Fitness |