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Kaweah Basin / Wrights Lake Basin beta

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Kaweah Basin / Wrights Lake Basin beta

Postby wanderin.jack » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:52 am

Thanks everyone for your help. That was a great hike and the route into KB was very straight forward.
Wanderin' Jack



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Re: Kaweah Basin / Wrights Lake Basin beta

Postby oleander » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:01 am

Just visited Wrights Lake Basin for the first time. It is some of the easiest cross-country in Sequoia NP. Most of the basin is kind of flat and wide-open, with trees only on the sides and a few along the north headwall. So it is easy walking with very clear lines of sight.

From the Kaweah area you will probably ascend the Wallace Lake Trail, turn north onto the PCT, and then turn up (the south side of) Wrights Creek where it crosses the PCT. Once along Wrights Creek, you'll be walking through woods for maybe 20 minutes and then it'll all open up into a giant meadow. You'll be able to see the Rockwell Pass area due north, and basically the whole Wrights basin.

Once at the (north) head of the lower/middle Wrights Basin, a sharp right turn would take you uphill into the upper third of the basin and the famous upper lake. I did not make it up there owing to weather. The going looks somewhat less easy in the upper third and I'll let someone else address that.

Camping looks to be plentiful everywhere. If you do get weather like I did and are avoiding exposure, know that the treeline goes to nearly 11,400 in places and you can find ready sites just by aiming for the trees. If you don't mind exposure, there are a ton of appealing lakes everywhere in the mid-basin with naturally flat spots around. I appreciated that most of the lakes in Wrights were not just potholes in talus, like similarly-elevated lakes in other basins. Be aware though that some of the lakes on your map will have gone to meadow.

In fact, lots of meadow in general, so practice LNT and try not to crush too much meadow. I generally walked up along the east side of the basin to avoid stomping over all the soft grass along the central creek.

Consider climbing Tawny Point - basically a little mountain overlooking Bighorn Plateau and sharing the same views - from the east. Once you're in the mid Wrights Basin, Tawny Point is right there and it looks to be a simple walk-up.

Rockwell Pass was easy. Rated Class 2 but I don't think I encountered anything over Class 1, really. On the south side the going is gentle. On the steeper north side, there is a good use trail descending all the way from the top of the right/east side.

From the north side of Rockwell Pass you can turn right to climb Tyndall's north ridge - you can either descend and use the Shepherd Pass Trail to get you to Tyndall's base, or proceed cross-country - or turn left along the Shepherd Pass Trail to return to the northbound PCT.

- Elizabeth
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Re: Kaweah Basin / Wrights Lake Basin beta

Postby wanderin.jack » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:39 pm

Thanks everyone for your input here. The KB was amazing and I'll be back. We were up in Pickit Basin during the 12 hour monsoon rain on 8/3 and had to navigate down through the fog...very exciting!
Wanderin' Jack
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Kaweah Basin / Wrights Lake Basin beta

Postby themappist » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:38 am

Would love more details on your picket and KB route. I'm heading up that way in 28 days and counting!!!
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