Fallujah you have a great trip planned. I was in just about all of these parts last year when I did a 110+ mile trip that took about 11 days. I definitely rushed through some areas, but since I was alone I could. And toward the end the being alone part started to get a bit daunting.. surprisingly I didn't see very many people on the entire trip. I started fairly early in the season. End of June into early July. Absolutely phenomenal trip.
You mention that when you get to Roaring River you have the choices of going back towards Ranger Lake, Up to Bubbs Creek to Roads End, or to Deadman Canyon and then to Mineral King. I would highly suggest going through Deadman Canyon to Mineral King. You will definitely not miss anything spectacular if you choose not to go to Ranger Lake. I have been on that stretch of trail and as others have pointed out it is dry dusty and gets quite hot. It was definitely my least favorite part of the trail last year. Going up to Bubbs Creek really means you're going to miss out one probably my favorite canyon in the Sierra. I've done many areas in the Northern Sierra and a few in the South and the beauty at Ranger Meadow is just staggering. If your wife loves meadows she will find it up to par. And the other highlight is the views descending Elizabeth Pass. Just unbelievable. You won't regret that. A word of caution... The trail on the south side of Elizabeth is a trail but it is easy to lose. There are many cairns there but to me it was a bit confusing and I lost the trail. Losing the trail there is not a big deal because you know you just need to head downhill until you reach the junction. Just be careful and pay attention.
Also on the topic of thunderstorms and lightning. I had my fair share of that weather last year in these parts. Nothing was so threatening that I had to turn back. Sometimes I had to wait it out an hour or so and then I continued along. Be cautious and remember your pace to know when you can reach a certain safe or safer spot.
Here's a few photos of Deadman Canyon and the views from Elizabeth:
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Last edited by alpinemike
on Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.