One sunny June we set our sights on hiking the Piute Pass at Inyo National Forest north of Yosemite National Park. I had never heard of Inyo before my trip. We got our permits 3 months ahead of time when the permits were first offered so we can camp for two nights in the back country. This means you must be prepared to carry a backpack with food, bear can, sleeping bag and your own tent.
The hike is simply stunning, and you'll walk through forest, up through glaciar carved granite benches, Piute lake, and other smaller lakes before you get to the pass itself.
I've lived in northern California most of my life and couldn't believe I didn't know about Inyo before my hike. I spend so much time travelling internationally that this trip reminded me of how much there is to see and appreciate in my own backyard. Lesson learnt.
Communing with nature here is very different simply because of the fact that we didn't see many hikers and the vistas were all visually so breathtaking. This has to be one of my favorite hiking trips.
Tip: You have to get the permit as soon as the dates are published due to limited availability.