We were anxious to get into the Sky Lakes Wilderness to check out the mosquito situation once we finished hiking near Brown Mountain. Sky Lakes will not be easy to accomplish using just day hikes, and we've been studying the maps intently.
Not unlike other weeks, the news has continued to make our heads spin. Covid-19 appears to be out of control with bars opening and parties happening where people are not wearing masks. That by itself is enough to make us crazy, but also Michael Flynn's criminal case was ordered dismissed by an appeals court panel. Joe Biden appears to be leading in polls, which gives us cautious optimism.
We hiked the PCT one-way, north to south, going past the trail junction for Mount McLoughlin. Fourmile Lake and the smaller lakes on the first part of the hike are lovely. We hoped to be early for the little blood-suckers, but they attacked us for the first four miles of the hike, which meant we didn't stop to ponder the scenery. Once we got within a mile of the Mt. McLoughlin trail, though, the mosquitos mostly disappeared so that we could enjoy a good lunch and the rest of the hike. We won't likely be back to Sky Lakes until late summer/early fall when the mosquitos settle down.
Access: We did this as a one-way shuttle hike, because we could see that breaking it up into two out-and-back hikes didn't help make the length shorter. One-way is approximately 10.5 miles. We left one car at the spot right where the PCT crosses Highway 140. It's a little hard to find, but the guardrail ends right before the turn when coming from HWY 62; also be very careful of the fast-moving traffic on the highway. Then we drove up to Fourmile Lake on a very dusty road and left the other car at the trailhead to the left as you enter the campground.