My all-time favorite time while backpacking was when I realized I was further away from any human being than I have ever been before.
This happened the summer of 2005 when I took a 5 day 75+ mile loop around the high sierras. On the night of day 2 I camped out were my (photo to the right) was taken just below Forester Pass.
Day 3 and I got off the JMT/PCT via the High Sierra Trail. As I descended into the valley where the kern river begins, I realized I was the only person in the entire 360 degree field of view, (see photo).
I got the idea for this trip after seeing an up and back 5 day hike from the ranger station at the end of Hwy 180 to Lake South America in Backpacker magazine.
I thought a loop would make much more sense.
When I picked my permit, the ranger looked at me funny and told me, you know only 1 other person has gone over Colby Pass this year and he did it the opposite way from the way I went.
It was this reason that I knew I was the only one around for so many miles.
As I ascended Colby Pass after crossing the Kern River, I found a few foot prints in the mud from that 1 other person.
Other than that, there was not a single piece of anything I could find that told me anyone else had been there.
This was an awesome trip and I did not see any one for 2 1/2 days.
Just wondering if any one else has had similar accounts and felt the same way about it.
The photo shows the start of kern river. It continues further down all the way the the valley floor.
The little knob hill across the valley is where the trail continues on to Colby Pass.
I have a few more pictures of the trip on the "User Test Forums" page.