Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes | High Sierra Topix  

Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby kevingong » Sat May 31, 2014 10:42 pm

Hi, first time posting here, looking for some advice on a trip this year, probably in August.

Some background on me: Level 2, Class 1, like lakes, scenery, photography. Last year did North Lake to South Lake (7 days, 58 miles), looking for something similar in difficultly, maybe a bit longer. We did some 12 mile days last year, probably don't want to do much more if we can avoid it.

What I'm considering right now is Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes (8 days, about 70 miles), camping at (in order) Fremont Lake, Dorothy Lake, Tilden Lake, Kerrick Canyon (near trail intersection just north of Bear Valley Lake), Benson Lake, Matterhorn Canyon (near trail intersection), and Summit Lake.

Are there good campsites at all those locations? (esp. in Kerrick Canyon and Matterhorn Canyon) Anything to watch out for? I'm assuming creek crossings probably wouldn't be much of a problem at that time this year.

Thanks,

- kevin



User avatar
kevingong
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby Tom_H » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:21 pm

There are numerous places to camp at Dorothy, and there may well be a lot of other people there. If the mosquitos are gone by then, just south of Dorothy at the west end is a small pond with a pretty view. On the north side of this pond are some boulders with nice camping between them. This place will give you solitude from other people at Dorothy. Before you set up a tent or fly, however, lay down for a few minutes and see if there are mosquitos. If they are gone, this is a nice place. If they are still hatching, you can't enjoy it 'cause this is where they hatch.

Also be aware that from Tilden on you will be in serious bear territory. The northern and eastern sections of Yos is where they relocate bears from the valley.
User avatar
Tom_H
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: Wilton, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby kevingong » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:24 pm

Thanks Tom. We do use bear canisters, but I will keep that in mind.
User avatar
kevingong
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:15 pm

Hi Kevin,

Welcome to HST! Numerous overused sites at Dorothy Lake and Fremont Lake
(would rather stay at Hidden Lake):\ , the best campsite at Dorothy is located
in the only stand of trees on the southeast side of the lake. It's good that you
going in August, Tilden can be really bad during mosquito season, as can the
Seavey Pass to Benson Pass corridor. Kerrick Canyon is okay but the lake right
(east side) of the trail after you cross Thompson Creek, with the multiple island, is
a better option then Kerrick. Seavey Pass has some nice lakes kind of hidden off
the trail that are quite pretty. Smedberg Lake is good, but Sister/Surprise
are too, and offer a lot more solitude when Smedberg is crowded. Lower part of
Matterhorn has some decent camping. McCabe Lakes are worth the effort if you
have the time and energy.
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby balzaccom » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:47 pm

I agree with Maverick about Matterhorn Canyon---but we liked camping at one of the last groups of trees as we hiked up the canyon. Spectacular country.

As for Dorothy Lake---you can find some lovely spots to camp at the nearby lakes, without so many people. They are only 1/4 to one mile off trail, STella Lake is lovely, so are some of the others.

There are lots of photos of these areas on our website in the destinations section
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:13 am

Welcome to HST, Kevin. Always enjoy reading your trip reports.
User avatar
TehipiteTom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:42 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby Tom_H » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:14 pm

balzaccom wrote:As for Dorothy Lake---you can find some lovely spots to camp at the nearby lakes, without so many people. They are only 1/4 to one mile off trail, STella Lake is lovely, so are some of the others.


Ditto. And you have much more of an alpine feel with some of these being treeless compared with Dorothy.
User avatar
Tom_H
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: Wilton, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby kevingong » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:18 pm

Thanks for all the tips. Current revised plan:

Leavitt Meadows to Hidden Lake, Stella Lake, Tilden Lake, Lake 8896 (between Stubblefield and Kerrick Canyons), Benson Lake, Matterhorn Canyon (where it meets the PCT), Summit Lake, Virginia Lakes.

Smedberg Lake looks nice, but I'm guessing it'll be a bit too far and we'll want to stop at Benson Lake instead. McCabe Lakes doesn't look like it will fit in on this trip. Sigh - so many places to visit! Plus, I'm skipping most of Matterhorn Canyon which I hear is supposed to be great. So maybe I'll plan another trip in the area some other time.
User avatar
kevingong
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby Silverfox » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:24 pm

Kevin, You won't see much of Matterhorn Canyon on the route your taking, but you will find some spots along the creek near trail junction. If you have enough steam left, hike up the PCT another 1000 feet to Miller lake.
Miller Lake.JPG
Miller Lake
Nice meadow and sandy beach, water will be significantly warmer and great place to relax and take a swim. There are nice campsites under the trees on the western shore of the lake. Summit Lake has campsites on the western and eastern shore.
Summit Lake.JPG
View from eastern shore of Summit Lake


Silverfox
User avatar
Silverfox
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:05 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: Leavitt Meadows to Virginia Lakes

Postby kevingong » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:13 pm

Thanks again for the advice. Trip completed. For those interested, here's my report:

http://kevingong.com/Hiking/201408HooverWilderness.html

Personally, I probably liked Tilden Lake the best, but the family really really liked camping at Benson Lake - they wished we were there longer.
User avatar
kevingong
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: lvray and 1 guest