The first five miles of the hike climbed steeply uphill to the summit, an elevation gain of 3,500 feet. The weather was absolutely perfect for hiking – sunny yet cool and comfortable. Soon into the hike we entered a burned section of forest, then climbed steep switchbacks up a tall ridge. There we were treated to the first of many amazing views – we could see Mammoth and the Terraces on one side and tall snowcapped mountains on the other.
A nice view at the start of the hike
A nice lake
The ridge we hiked up
Me at the top of the ridge with beautiful views behind me
From there, the trail continued to climb steeply alternating through meadows and forest. After a few more miles, we got our first view of the rocky summit ahead of us. During the entire hike up to the summit, it felt like we were going slow, but we made it to the peak in less than three hours which we felt was pretty respectable.
Another great view a little further up
Here we could see the summit ahead of us
We stopped at the summit for about an hour, where we ate lunch and took in the incredible views on all directions. We could see Gardiner, the Absorokas, and Paradise Valley on one side and Electric Peak looked as though we could reach out and grab it on the other side.
Electric Peak in the background from the summit
Colin and me at the top
View from the top
Another summit shot
Paradise Valley in the distance
Gardiner and mountains from the summit
It was hard to leave the amazing views at the top, but we knew we better continue in order to finish the 7 miles left in the loop. We began switchbacking down the other side of the mountain from which we had ascended. The other side was a grassy meadow that offered amazing mountain views as we descended. It took us an hour and a half or so to get down the switchbacks. From there, we entered a forested area and then connected with part of the Terrace Mountain loop towards Mammoth. The trail was mostly downhill from the summit onward, which is harder than it sounds to hike. We finally finished the hike at around 6:30 PM and about 6 hours of beautiful hiking.
A view on the way down
One last look back at Electric Peak
Sepulcher Mountain was definitely one of the more difficult hikes I have done, but it was also one of the most beautiful. The views from the top were indescribable and the photos I took just don’t do them justice. I am really happy that Colin was here to share such an amazing hike with me!
After the hike, some of my friends at the dorm had a little birthday party for me. It was really sweet! Erica, Maeve, and Jess gave me really wonderful presents – a hand drawn card, a Yellowstone mug, a Junior Ranger badge (with my name on it!), and an arrowhead. Kate and Michaela baked me a delicious cake based on Michaela’s Italian grandmother’s cake recipe. It was delicious! Afterwards, we had a bonfire outside and everyone came down to hang out. Chris improvised a blues song and made up a verse about everyone at the fire – it was really memorable. What a great birthday weekend!