Mount Agassiz Day Hike via Bishop Pass
In the third day of my hiking trip, I had scheduled Mount Agassiz. The proximity to Bishop Pass, easy access and the class 2/3 climb up, almost 14,000 ft with the view of the Palisade, made it very appealing. I'd have to say that if there is a day hike someone would like to do but is unsure of the logistics, this is the one. The road from Bishop to South Lake is all asphalt, there is day parking right at the trail head, toilets and trash containers. Bishop Pass trail is absolutely beautiful and easy to hike. The only down side to this trail would be the swarms of mosquitos along the lower elevation area of the trail.
It states that taking the Bishop Pass trail, from the trailhead to Bishop Pass, is 5 miles. My GPS said less than that but I'd go with the official number. I started the hike at 5:00 AM and I was at the pass at 7:40 AM, casually hiking and taking pictures along the way. Mount Agassiz became visible about an hour after I left the trailhead. I had no idea which it was until I pulled out a picture with the ascent routes marked on it, and I noticed the similarities.
From Bishop Pass it is best that one takes a good look, and some pictures, of Mt Agassiz. I did, lucky me. When I was on the mountain itself it is impossible to certainly know where one is. If I didn't have the pictures in my camera to look at for clues, I'd have gotten on a route I did not want to take. Going up the mountain is a pain. The rocks/boulders are lose and tiring on the feet. Don't even think of carrying trekking polls up this mountain: no use. From the pass to the top of the mountain it took me 2.5 hours. I summited at 10:10 AM.
I was lucky to have a mostly cloudy day, so the Sun did not torch me. On the summit I was impressed with how majestic and scary the Palisade mountains appear. Actually, one of the hikes I had plan for the rest of the week was Mount Sill. After I saw how the glacier and Mt. Sill looked from the top of Mt Agassiz, I decided that Mt Sill wasn't for me, not as a solo hike anyway.) A couple of days later, however, the plan changed again, reluctantly I hiked to the top of Sill. That hike/climb wasn't by far as bad as it appeared to be from Mt Agassiz. I'm glad I second-guessed myself.
Coming down from Mt Agassiz I ran into another hiker going up: a gentleman named Allen. Further down on the mountain there were some long patches of snow: I used these patches to hike down. Although I got wet because of the melting snow, it was better and faster than hiking down on the boulders. Once I made it back to the pass, it was about 5 miles or so back to the parking lot. The distance did not seem so fantastic anymore. After a while, however, the trail got busy with tourists/hikers, in fact that broke down the monotony. I was back at the car at 2:25 PM, 9 hours and 25 minutes later.