Iâ€™ve almost always attempted a peak when Iâ€™ve done significant hikes, but this was different. Like the 2019 Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike, this was point to point, with no peaks attempted. Not an especially exciting or entertaining trip report, but maybe informative for someone wanting to repeat it.
Itâ€™s a 367-mile drive from Onion Valley to Roads End, but itâ€™s only 21 miles to hike across. CalTopo says 3,655â€™ of gain and 7,865â€™ of loss. I initially estimated ten hours, but I thought I might do it in nine. Then I saw the 96Â° forecast for Roads End and reconsidered.
I had been to Junction Meadow (East Creek) from both Onion Valley and Roads End, so I had hiked the entire route at one time or another. Itâ€™s a straightforward hike on good trail the whole way. I started at 4:15 AM from Onion Valley, with my wife breaking camp and heading for Roads End via Bakersfield a few minutes later. I took the â€œlow roadâ€ past Bullfrog Lake to save a little mileage.
Sometimes, I filter my water, and sometimes I donâ€™t. I wouldnâ€™t trust the water in Bubbs Creek, right next to the trail and the horses much of the way. But Charlotte Creek runs a long way with no trail nearby before it joins Bubbs Creek. I figured I could get water there at mile 14 and not carry a filter. The 96Â° forecast for Roads End convinced me to bring the filter anyway. Two quarts and a refill at Charlotte Creek were more than I needed. Better safe than sorry.
Thanks to the early start, a few clouds, and the shade from the trees, I spent less than ten minutes truly baking in the hot sun. I finished at 1:45 PM, and my wife had only been waiting 20 minutes for me to arrive. It was a nice adventure, despite putting over 1,000 miles on the car by the time we got home.