It was a really interesting stop to make and we even dropped our packs and took the time to follow the trail to the top of the rock formation to see the unique hexagonal "floor" that had been polished by the last glacier.
Perhaps the best part of our stop at Red's Meadow was our first experience with a hiker bin. For those who have thru-hiked, a hiker bin is a bucket full of items that other hikers didn't want or need from their resupply shipments. We were lucky enough to score some sunscreen, a half-full tube of Nuun hydration tablets and random condiment packets!
Leaving Red's Meadow we were in the bright and hot Sierra sunshine. The forest South of the resort had been burned in a large wildfire back in 1992. The area is now filled in with aspen trees, whitethorn and lots of gooseberry bushes. Some of the pines are coming back but it's a short and harsh growing season.
It was a relief when we made it back into the forest, even if it meant a climb. We enjoyed the views back North towards the Minarets as well as the views South of two red cinder cones, whose peaks we ended up hiking between.
Our last couple of miles brought us up a ridge beyond the cinder cones and through some lovely wildflower-filled meadows.
We made it into our camp at Deer Creek right as the heat and length of our day started to get to us. Thankfully we were met by our new trail friends who invited us to share their site.
Good friends at the end of a challenging day can make all the difference!