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TR Jackass Lakes, Ansel Adams Wilderness, 5-25-14

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TR Jackass Lakes, Ansel Adams Wilderness, 5-25-14

Postby sheperd80 » Mon May 26, 2014 10:36 am

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Saturday night i decided Sunday would be my only chance for a dayhike for awhile so i did some rushed planning. Jackass was the right distance, in an area I really enjoy.

Path: extremely vague in some areas, well marked in others
Difficulty: mostly moderate, a few strenuous climbs
Bugs: moderate, Picaridin worked well
Trail Conditions: varied, see below
Fishing: Decent (mostly natives i think, so trickier to catch, average size)
Crowds: saw a few hikers on the trail, solitude at upper lake

I started at the Jackass Lakes Trailhead. There is an option to start up the road further at Norris. Had i looked more closely at the topo I wouldve gone to Norris!

From Jackass TH you climb over *1000ft (edit) in the first mile or so. Not exactly how i wanted to start my first hike of the year! From Norris its a much more gradual climb and only 0.1 miles further from the first junction. It was a wake up call that i need to get back in shape for any long hikes.

The first mile or so is well trodden and easy to follow. After that there were sections of heavy deadfall and granite here and there that i scrambled through, rediscovering the trail occaisionally thanks to trail-ducks as my dad called them (stacked rocks) and painted arrows.

I reached the Wilderness boundary just over a mile in.
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Small snow patches in the shade...i wonder what the upper lake will be like!
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A nice view a little ways past the wilderness boundary. Forgive my phone-tography. Ill get a camera soon i promise ;-)
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I talked to a couple at the TH who were headed to Lower Jackass, so I decided to aim for Upper Jackass first and hit Lower on the way back.
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More snow lining the bank of the unnamed lake on the way to Upper.
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Pressed for time i decided it didnt look worth fishing, so i continued up. As i neared the ridge behind which Upper Jackass lay, the trail copletely vanished again, but i knew i could just skirt that ridge and eventually find it.

After a bit of scrambling around i found the other unnamed lake and alot more snow, but still no trail.
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I continued up, following the drainage and found myself stomping through calf-deep snow, falling into the occaisional shrub-trap.

Finally the first sighting of the lake through the trees.
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The snow was getting deep and fairly soft so i decided to stomp across the creek to the dry side.

Upper Jackass is beautiful. Snow and ice patches covered half of the lake, and the entire granite bowl behind it.
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Fishing was decent. First few casts got me a handful of rainbows amd brookies (thx dave :-D )from 8" to 12". I kept the largest and threw back the rest. Finger ruler is about 7 inches.
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It pained me to leave the lake, but i only packed for a day trip. So i headed back down to Lower Jackass for lunch and a bit more fishing.
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I spotted a big chubby marmot near the shore but he dissapeared into a hollowed tree before i got my phone out. I stuck my phone into the tree to try and get a glimpse. Theres something at the top of the 2nd pic that kind of looks like it could be his face but its hard to say for sure.
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I almost gave up after about a half hour of no luck. It was almost 4pm by then and the fish werent interested. But then I decided to find a better spot where i could get into the deeper waters and wake em up!

With a little patience and an extra bullet weight behind my lure i managed to nab one from the deep. He was a real fighter and felt much bigger than he was.
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I hit the trail back down at about 5 and managed to get back to the road before dark. I veered off trail at one point to get a glimpse of another unnamed lake below lower Jackass. I got a nice view, but getting to that lake started looking like more trouble than it was worth so i got back on trail and headed down.
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Got a glimpse of a doe on the way home.
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For such a poorly planned, rushed trip i actually had a great time.











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Last edited by sheperd80 on Tue May 27, 2014 5:13 pm, edited 13 times in total.



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Re: TR Jackass Lakes, Ansel Adams Wilderness, 5-25-14

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Mon May 26, 2014 10:48 am

Nice TR! Good to see how the thaw is coming along, too. BTW, the first fish you pictured is indeed a rainbow, the rest are brook trout. The tastiest kind to eat! ;-)
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." --Jeff Lebowski

Some pics of native salmonids: http://flyguydave.wordpress.com/
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Re: TR Jackass Lakes, Ansel Adams Wilderness, 5-25-14

Postby sheperd80 » Mon May 26, 2014 11:22 am

Fly Guy Dave wrote:Nice TR! Good to see how the thaw is coming along, too. BTW, the first fish you pictured is indeed a rainbow, the rest are brook trout. The tastiest kind to eat! ;-)


Thanks, edited the TR. I guess browns are a different tone than the brookies. One of these days I'll get one!

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Re: TR Jackass Lakes, Ansel Adams Wilderness, 5-25-14

Postby maverick » Mon May 26, 2014 11:49 am

Thank you for the TR and photo's. Some photo's are better than no photo's, and they
are not that bad.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: TR Jackass Lakes, Ansel Adams Wilderness, 5-25-14

Postby Jaeger » Tue May 27, 2014 1:17 pm

Thanks for TR shepherd! My brothers and I were up at Jackass lakes a few years back. Norris TH is definitely a little easier hike in. I felt like the drive to the TH took forever though, and very easy to get lost on Beasore Rd. Aside from the jackass lakes we scrambled up to Burro lake, one of the most beautiful views I've seen in Ansel Adams. Burro was full of frogs too. I'm sure Burro is still a total popsicle right now. Can't wait to make it out there myself again!
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Re: TR Jackass Lakes, Ansel Adams Wilderness, 5-25-14

Postby sheperd80 » Tue May 27, 2014 5:11 pm

Jaeger wrote:Thanks for TR shepherd! My brothers and I were up at Jackass lakes a few years back. Norris TH is definitely a little easier hike in. I felt like the drive to the TH took forever though, and very easy to get lost on Beasore Rd. Aside from the jackass lakes we scrambled up to Burro lake, one of the most beautiful views I've seen in Ansel Adams. Burro was full of frogs too. I'm sure Burro is still a total popsicle right now. Can't wait to make it out there myself again!


Yeah the drive up Beasore seems to go on forever. Nice pic of Burro, if i ever go back i might have to check that out.

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