Day 56: Woke up in a winter wonderland! Even though we were camped somewhere well under 10,000′, several inches of fresh powder had dusted everything.
We saw people today! Two guys passed our tent site as we were packing up. This was incredibly lucky because they blazed a great trail up Muir Pass for us. It was so much easier having footsteps to follow the whole way.
It took most of the day to get up and over Muir Pass (11,973′). When we reached Evolution Valley, it was thankfully (mostly) snow free. The snow is beautiful, but walking in it all day is completely exhausting.
Day 57: This morning we forded Evolution Creek. This is one of two potentially dangerous creek crossings that hikers seem to talk about. It was numbingly cold, but barely knee deep, probably because a lot of the snow has yet to melt. But we did see a bear! He looked like he also wanted to cross the creek, but after inspecting the water, he seemed to lose his nerve and walked away.
We spent much of the day following the South Fork San Joaquin River. At some point we exited Kings Canyon National Park and entered the John Muir Wilderness.
The trail began climbing towards Seldon Pass (10,910′). As we hiked up the switchbacks, clouds stacked up and it started to thunder. We reached Senger Creek – about a mile short of our goal – and quickly set up camp before it started hailing.