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Hoover

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Hoover

Postby The hermit » Sat May 03, 2014 1:43 pm

Id like to do a loop later this month leaving out of buckeye th and return@twin lakes.anyone know how much snow to expect? Any pointers on logistics would be helpful too(can I leave my truck@twin lakes ?)



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Re: Hoover

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat May 03, 2014 2:02 pm

There is a major river crossing out of Buckeye that I would not want to do at peak flow but then I am really freaked out by river crossings. There may be a horse trail that starts on the north side of the river; not sure it would be open to the public. They graze cows in the long meadow after you cross (about 4-5 miles up the trail). Probably too early for the cows when you plan on going. Below the "Roughs" there is a stream that flows from the north and the slope can be unstable if saturated. There are also some big snow drifts below Peeler Lake. You also have to cross Buckeye Creek above the Roughs - not as difficult as the lower crossing. And above Barney Lake there is another crossing that will require wading- not a trip stopper either. If you want to avoid the fee for parking at Twin Lakes, there is a public FS parking lot on the south side of Twin Lakes -requires about another 1.5 mile walk to the car. The lot is at the trailhead to Cattle Creek(?).

Your route is nice. I really like Buckeye Creek and few people use that trail. I would give it a try but have a "Plan B" if you cannot do the lower crossing. It is not that far so you can turn back if needed. Hard to say when peak runoff would occur. Best to cross early AM - gets deeper in late afternoon.
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Re: Hoover

Postby Tom_H » Sat May 03, 2014 7:41 pm

How much later this month? That part of the Sierra melts sooner than many others. 82-83 was the heaviest snow year on record. At the time I was working as a professional guide running trips in Emigrant/Hoover. I was really worried about snowpack. My boss (from our parent corporation) and I spent a day in mid-May flying all over Emigrant/Hoover in his Cessna. There was heavy snowpack everywhere until we reached the West Walker. There was no snow at all up the West Walker, Kirkwood Creek, or down Buckeye, so that's the route we took for our first trip of the season. 108 was closed, so we drove all the way around on CA 4 in early June. We saw no snow anywhere. When we came out, 108 was open so we came back through Sonora Pass. The plows had opened the road, but snow was still 20' deep along the roadsides. With the snow we had this year, I doubt you'll even see many spots on secluded northern sides of peaks.

I have to tell you though, Buckeye Creek is not the most attractive place in the Sierra, but that's just my own opinion. The drop out of Peeler is very steep, but there are switchbacks. WDaisy is correct that it is not a descent you want to make on snow unless you are an advanced telemark backcountry skier, or you plan to rappel. The manzanita there is dense and snow with air pockets and manzanita below it tends to go fast once any of the manzanita is exposed.

You surely can leave your truck at Twin Lakes. The resort there is sizable. There are campgrounds, marina, store, parking. You might be able to call and ask whether anyone has already gone in/out to/from Peeler and reported back.

This route is not a pure loop. How are you getting from TH to TH? Have you considered starting and ending at Twin Lakes via Robinson Lk, Crown Lk, Snow Lk, Rock Isl Pass, Kerrick Mdw, Peeler? It's a shorter route, but you may enjoy it more than Buckeye. WDaisy has done this route and may share her knowledge of it.
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Re: Hoover

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun May 04, 2014 9:07 am

What many people think as unattractive in Buckeye Creek is the cattle grazing, rock slide/mud slide debris and arid vegetation at the start. The surrounding peaks are impressive, even if a bit dark and foreboding. It is not mellow or "sublime", but rather has a rough rugged look. There are no lakes and campsites are sparse. It can look quite dull before the vegetation greens; best done when wildflowers peak. The section from the Roughs over to Peeler Lake is in timber and not particularly outstanding. Nevertheless, I like the area. It is a nice change if you have already backpacked extensively in the Sierra. I may be bias because I have done some very nice technical climbing at the Roughs. Tom is correct that scenery wise, it is not typical for the Sierra and you could be disappointed. If you have never before been to the Hoover Wilderness you may like a loop from Twin Lakes better.
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Re: Hoover

Postby The hermit » Sun May 04, 2014 9:49 am

Thank you so much! Great detailed info. I will rethink my timing maybe go in june. I might hitch hike or bring a bike to complete the loop.
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Re: Hoover

Postby balzaccom » Sun May 04, 2014 9:52 pm

Another option is Leavitt Meadows trailhead. you do eventually have to get across the Walker River, but the pack station at Leavitt Meadows is very helpful about offering advice and updates on conditions. Once you get across the Walker River, it's pretty much plain sailing until you get over Dorothy Pass--and then you are in heaven. Worth a trip even if you can't get to Twin Lakes.

We've done that trip a couple of different ways over the years...and loved. Lots of photos on our website about this area.
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Hoover

Postby Tom_H » Mon May 05, 2014 9:03 am

balzaccom wrote:Another option is Leavitt Meadows trailhead. you do eventually have to get across the Walker River, but the pack station at Leavitt Meadows is very helpful about offering advice and updates on conditions. Once you get across the Walker River, it's pretty much plain sailing until you get over Dorothy Pass--and then you are in heaven. Worth a trip even if you can't get to Twin Lakes.

We've done that trip a couple of different ways over the years...and loved. Lots of photos on our website about this area.


If you go to Dorothy you then are faced with options of going seriously back downhill and up again to reach Buckeye, Peeler (both via Kirkwood Ck), or return to Leavitt Meadows, OR you have to go cross country to Tower Lake. From Tower you can go downhill on trail back to the West Walker, or cross country again following the contour through forrest until you come around close to the headwaters of the West Walker. You continue on use trail to the source of the West Walker, then go cross country into the headwaters of Thompson canyon and then when due west of Peeler go XC over a ridge saddle to reach Peeler.
Last edited by Tom_H on Mon May 05, 2014 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hoover

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon May 05, 2014 9:47 am

It may be too early in the season to cross country to Tower Lake- likely solid snow on the north side of the small pass. At about 9,500 the Ruth, Helen, Stella, Dorothy lakes area are not likely to be free of snow end of May. I did a similar route last fall. The cross country to Tower is not bad.
The lower lakes, Long, Chain, Fremont - may be a better choice this time of year. A lot will depend on the snow melt the remainder of this month. Really hard to guess right now.

Out of Twin Lakes, Mule Pass will also likely have solid snow on the north side, perhaps a lot of post-holing. On your original plan, after visiting Peeler Lake continue south through Kerrick Meadows and go over Rock Island Pass - it is less steep and the trail is on the sunny side with less snow.

To avoid parking fees, if you are using a bicycle, I would place the bicycle at Twin Lakes and park your truck at Buckeye Trailhead (free parking).

The only way you will really know, is to just DO IT! Nothing wrong with trying. Just be prepared to turn around if you have to. Seems like nobody wants to go out and explore anymore. Early season trips always have lots of uncertainty due to conditions and some sloshing through snow is to be expected.
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Re: Hoover

Postby The hermit » Mon May 05, 2014 9:53 pm

At least I'm on the right track choosing a relatively low elevation trip.I will wait at least till june. 108 opening up is pretty tempting and cheap vs. 120!
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Re: Hoover

Postby wildhiker » Wed May 07, 2014 3:17 pm

We did loops from Buckeye Creek trailhead returning to Twin Lakes in 1991 and again in 2009. Had no problem either time hitchhiking from Twin Lakes back to Buckeye Creek, although it took two rides. Don't forget to take your bathing suit and spend some time in the hot springs in Buckeye Creek after your hike!

I enjoyed the scenery in Buckeye Creek canyon, but hated the cows. Also, between 1991 and 2009 the trail had deteriorated considerably. We had a hard time finding the trail above the stream crossing in Big Meadows in 2009 - the cows had made so many criss-crossing use trails of their own. We ended up on some that went through very muddy areas and through aspen groves where we had to duck a lot under branches. As you get close to The Roughs, the cow trails consolidate back onto the single normal trail route. There are some small campsites in the rocky area at the start of the Roughs where you can see the big waterfall on the side stream to the north - they are less buggy than back down in the meadow areas.

You can improve the scenery dramatically by not following Buckeye Creek all the way up to Kerrick Meadows through the forest, but instead, head up the side trail west to Kirkwood Pass. There is a tarn at the pass with good camping and fantastic views of Tower Peak and the West Walker River drainage. From the pass, head south cross-country directly up the ridge to the head of Thompson Canyon. Walk down this open alpine valley to where you see a low saddle on the east side - head over it to drop directly to Kerrick Meadows. We took our children when they were 7 to 12 years old on this route.

-Phil
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Re: Hoover

Postby The hermit » Thu May 29, 2014 10:01 pm

Starting and ending @the springs was the main point! I think they will be under water. Tell me I'm wrong.
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