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Before my big trips each year I like to do several warmup hikes - I live at 300' above sea level, and I want to get as much conditioning at elevation as possible. This year, events conspired against even a single overnight trip, but I managed to get in two decent dayhikes. The first was to Pear Lake. It is a nice hike of about six miles, maybe a little more, to Pear Lake. Total elevation gain, including the up and down when crossing Emerald Lake basin, is probably about 2500', and Pear Lake is at 9510'. I went with one of the scouts in my scout troop, and he loves water, so he had to go in for a swim. Pear Lake is very popular, and when we got there I saw at least 25-30 people lounging around. Way too crowded for my taste. Here is Pear Lake:
On the way we went through the Emerald Lake basin. I like Emerald Lake a lot:
Then, the following week I did a day trip to Franklin Lake out of Mineral King. Of all the places in the Sierra, Franklin Lake is my home. I go there often. It six miles one way, with 2600' gain, the lake is at 10,330'. I have been on top of every summit around the lake. Again my scout friend went along, with his father. Both of them went for a swim in Franklin Lake. Here's the lake:
One of my favorite views on the trail to Franklin is this one of Mt Vandever:
The following week I started my nine day trip...and I could have used more warmup hikes.