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JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested

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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby tim » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:02 pm

vhsvhs wrote:@ JWreno - I think a visit to Iva Bell Hot Springs is worthwhile, at least once in your life. Iva Bell is hotter and less muddy than the springs across the river from MTR (I believe it's named Blaney Hot Springs). Also, there are multiple pools at Iva Bell, so it tends to accommodate groups better.


I like Iva Bell better than Blayney. It is quieter mid week and the camping is better. The Fish Creek/Minnow Creek route is a pleasant side trip, although the views aren't so good from the Minnow Creek traverse compared to the Purple Lake side of the valley. On the other hand the Reds Meadow to Island Crossing section is very pretty.



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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby JWreno » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:38 pm

Well my wife and I are in our mid-fifties and hope to stay in shape enough to continue to do it. We are ramping up the walking by adding an extra hour walk after work before dinner in addition to the weekend longer stuff.

When doing a new route off trail I try to lay out a track based on the slopes as shown on the topo. It is often in need of revision when you find the vegetation too thick or the bolder field too crazy for walking. Sat pictures are a help if you can tell you are on granite slabs or in the brush. GPS is just another tool along with the map, compass and what you can see. Last year in Emigrant Wilderness the GPS saved our bacon when the visibility went to nothing do to smoke. I was still able to follow our off trail route with minor adjustments even though I couldn't see the landscape more than a few hundred feet ahead.

I told my wife about my off trail ideas for the JMT trip and she said stick to trails. If she doesn't want to leave trails than we will keep the side trips to ones that have trail access. I hope to convince her after showing her some great trip report pictures. I have already seen some good photos related to Gabbot pass.
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:41 pm

Go up to Wallace Lake to camp, instead of Wallace Creek. Same for Arctic Lake instead of Guitar Lake. Crabtree Lakes also very scenic. You could also go over Rockwell Pass and come down Wright Creek, pretty much parallel to the JMT. Definitely Mist Trail instead of JMT on first day. From Shadow Lake take SHR up to Iceberg Lake, Cecil Lake and Minaret Lake. This year you should be able to avoid the snowfield. I would shuttle bus to George Lake and go up trail past Crystal Crag, on the ridge down to Deer Lake. Next day to Duck Lake and back on JMT. This is part of the SHR. I did Apollo Lake last year - I do not think it is worth the effort. Rather, go up to Melody Lakes and Three Island Lake and come back to the north side of Marie Lake to get back on the JMT. From Tullys Hole you could do the SHR to Mono Creek and then go back to the JMT.

Personally I feel the Ionian Basin deserves a trip in itself. Same with the Silver Divide - Peter Pande etc. Just too much to see to run by.
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:55 pm

WD wrote:
I did Apollo Lake last year - I do not think it is worth the effort.


Apollo maybe, but Orchid is worth every drop of sweat expended, especially the smaller
lake, a photographers dream.
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby JWreno » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:22 pm

I thought we could camp two nights in area west of Wanda as a teaser to convince my wife to come back to spend another trip there. I have hiked past the Muir stone hut 3 times and alway wanted I want to poke around a bit before dropping down again. Davis Lake looks easy enough from Wanda lake and we could camp two nights there and just wonder around the area for the day taking photos.

I haven't read enough trip reports but it seems that you could go from north of Wanda Lake west to Davis Lake and then south to a large group of lakes and continue south to Martha Lake. It may be possible to work your way east of Martha lake up to a lake with elevation of 11951.From there continue east into the area of the map just below the Ionian basin label. From there it looks possible to continue back up to the JMT near Helen Lake. This is probably too much to fit in a JMT side trip but would be part of a great North Lake - Larmark Col - South Lake trip in the future.
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:57 pm

Ionian Basin is a LOT harder travel than it looks on the map! Just getting to Davis Lake from Wanda is NOT easy. Lots of talus. I have done the route you are considering, and it really deserves its own trip.

Mav- I camped at Apollo - it has some pretty moments and the camping was pretty good, but it is an effort to get there. I guess, considering the entire JMT, this would not be my choice of a side-trip. I agree that Orchid is very photogenic.
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:01 pm

WD wrote:
Mav- I camped at Apollo - it has some pretty moments and the camping was pretty
good, but it is an effort to get there. I guess, considering the entire JMT, this would
not be my choice of a side-trip. I agree that Orchid is very photogenic.


Yes, Apollo was just included as a lake to visit if one was to leave the JMT a little further
north, but would definitely not be a destination lake for me either. Orchid could be
a multi-day hang out for me again, it really has that much to offer.
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby LMBSGV » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:11 pm

From my experience, the easiest way into Ionian Basin is over Black Giant Pass. Once over the pass, you can camp at the first lake (Lake 11,828 I think) and then spend the next day day hiking the basin as you wish (Chasm Lake is a must see). Or you can go past the first lake down the cliff to the major part of the basin and camp at one of the lovely lakes there. I stayed at the first lake since it retains daylight longer and the sunsets were gorgeous. Descending the cliff was pretty easy, but with a full pack, it would require being careful.

One bit of advice is resist the temptation to traverse over to Black Giant Pass from Muir Pass. While there's nothing technically difficult about it, it's a bit slow and tedious compared to following the trail down and then heading up to Black Giant Pass. I did the traverse from Black Giant to Muir since I was trying to avoid the down and then back up and wished I hadn't.

I also agree with Maverick's suggestion of Vee Lake in the Bear Lakes area, vhsvhs' of avoiding the tedious Bear Ridge climb and going through Second Recess, and WD's making a side trip to Wallace Lake. The sidetrip possibilities are numerous, and, in many respects, may be the highlight of what should be a wonderful trip. My advice is to have more than one sidetrip possibility planned and go with your instincts while you're on the trip.
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby The hermit » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:11 pm

Please don't make a gps track of the shr.that defeats the purpose of the whole thing. As for your side trips just read ropers description reversing the route. I disagree w/the opinion about fish creek.reds to iva is one day almost all down hill.then you skirt the silver divide w/many options. Highly recommended
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby vhsvhs » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:13 pm

JWreno wrote:
It looks like Second Recess to Lower and Upper Mills Creek Lakes and then to Gabbot Pass. Do you recommend returning the the trail that starts on the south shoreline of Lake Italy and travels west down the Hilgard Branch?


Exactly. After descending Gabbot Pass, you would traverse the north shore of Lake Italy to its outlet, where you can connect with the Hilgard Branch Trail and return to the JMT/PCT.
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby tim » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:42 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Ionian Basin is a LOT harder travel than it looks on the map! Just getting to Davis Lake from Wanda is NOT easy. Lots of talus. I have done the route you are considering, and it really deserves its own trip.


I agree the west side of the Wanda-Davis Lake pass (and the route along Davis Lake) is lots of tedious talus. But the climb to the pass from the JMT is easy and there's a great view. Probably worth the side trip to the pass, especially if you decide to camp on the peninsula at Wanda Lake.

Another option (since you've done Evolution Valley/Basin before) is to go up Goddard Canyon and North Goddard Creek to Davis Lake, then rejoin the JMT at Wanda Lake. If you camp at the North Goddard Creek junction (on the east side of the San Joaquin), then it's a full day to climb up past Davis Lake to Wanda. We met several people going that way round even though I thought heading downhill on the offtrail section made more sense (our trip report: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9921).

image.jpg
View into Davis Lake basin
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Re: I Got a Golden Ticket (JMT Side Trip Ideas Requested)

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:26 am

McGee Lakes are just over the hill from the JMT, and they're gorgeous. Definitely an easier detour than Ionian Basin, and well worth it.
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