After hiking for the first time in the Sierra Nevada in May 2021, I could hardly wait to return! I decided to take a couple extra days off, adding them onto Fourth of July weekend, and drove the 12 hours back down to Bishop from my home in Oregon. This time I chose Kearsarge Pass as my hike, and while it didn't take the crown from Big Pine Lakes as my favorite in the region, it was amazing and well worth the effort. Speaking of effort, this is an intensely difficult trail. End of day total was about 17 miles and 4,000ft elevation change, topping out at 11,750ft. The view from the top of the pass was amazing, and Kearsarge and Bullfrog Lakes were beautiful. This was also my first time in Kings Canyon National Park, whose eastern border runs along the pass.