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Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby Tom_H » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:36 pm

O.K., here is a big loop you could do out of Twin Lakes. The computer says the entire thing is 95.4 miles, but that is with all switchbacks cut to straight line segments, so it's definitely more. There are endless ways to shortcut this into something smaller on other trails within the perimeter of this map, so all you would need to do is study the trails you see within. I threw in several cross country portions. Not sure I got the Lewis Lakes XC portion right.

http://caltopo.com/map?id=4F2S

One XC side trip I did not show is to Hyatt Lake, fondly known as the Hyatt Regency for the large sand beach on the NE shore.

Another little change might be to skip Emigrant Lake and dip down to the Twin Lakes that are in N Yosemite.

Be aware this route goes through Hoover, Emigrant, and Yosemite, thus you'd have to take a bear canister if you plan on entering Yosemite. Not required if you stay out, but you still need some good anti-bear system. I use tandem suspension to save weight, but one must be skilled with the rope in order not to get a permanent tangle.
Last edited by Tom_H on Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:40 pm

Part of the fun of any trip for me is to pour over maps and figure out my own route. I have a spreadsheet for routes and figure each route many ways, loop both clockwise and counter clockwise, and compare logistics. I find this fun. But that's just me. Since you are familiar with the Sierra from your other trips, I bet you could figure out a pretty good route, if so inclined. If you get more familiar with off trail travel, tons of new loops open up! Good beginner off-trail areas are Upper Kern River including Wrights, Wallace and Milestone basins (access via Shepherd Pass), Humphreys Basin including up to Royce Lakes and over to Granite Park (access via North Lake), or Upper Basin (access via Taboose Pass- and can side trip over Mather Pass to Palisade Lakes). Would you be interested in a little less mileage with more off-trail exploring and fishing? If short on days, you do not want to spend 8 hours driving. In this case I would stay Bishop and south and on the east side.
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby Captain Slappy » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:34 am

maverick wrote:Captain,

Would be happy to recommend you a route, but you have been to HST a couple
times requesting intell on areas for your upcoming trips but never wrote a TR,
Conditions Report, or Mosquito Report. It would be nice if you participated and
submitted some intell or TR that would help your fellow HST members too.

You're right, maverick. I've started writing a trip report with pics and will post over the weekend.

I really like the Pinchot and Mather Pass loop since it would fill in the space between the Rae Lakes and North-South Lake loops I've done. Then it becomes a question of doing Sawmill (or Taboose?) from the east -- I wouldn't be getting a 5 am start, unfortunately -- or driving the extra hours to Roads End. The Twin Lakes loops are a good idea too since it would be territory I haven't seen. The 95 mile+ loop is probably too much. I could cut that in half using Dorothy Lake pass or Meadow Creek.

Wandering Daisy wrote:Good beginner off-trail areas are Upper Kern River including Wrights, Wallace and Milestone basins (access via Shepherd Pass), Humphreys Basin including up to Royce Lakes and over to Granite Park (access via North Lake), or Upper Basin (access via Taboose Pass- and can side trip over Mather Pass to Palisade Lakes). Would you be interested in a little less mileage with more off-trail exploring and fishing? If short on days, you do not want to spend 8 hours driving. In this case I would stay Bishop and south and on the east side.

Milestone Basin was going to be an off trail excursion the last time I was in the area but ended up trying to beat the snow and skipped it. From everything I've read about the trailhead to Shepherd Pass, it looks like the road will be challenging to get to in normal 2wd vehicle. Upper Basin looks good too. I would definitely be interested in doing more off trail hiking, even if it means fewer miles.

Thanks for the ideas everyone. You've given me 3 or 4 loops and some side trips to look into, and I'm sure after I look at the maps more closely I'll be back with questions at some point.
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:17 pm

Captain wrote:
You're right, maverick. I've started writing a trip report with pics and will post over
the weekend.


Thanks Captain. :thumbsup:
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:52 pm

The Northern Yosemite Loop out of Twin Lakes is beautiful Captain, and well
worth doing. Matterhorn Peak and Canyon are beautiful and a fun climb, Smedberg
Lake, Sister, and Surprise Lakes are very pretty, the last two offer more solitude
if Smedberg is busy. Benson Lake is a favorite for some folks, and the pretty
hidden lakes around Seavey Pass are worth a stay. The Big Slide Canyon area
offers some outstanding cross country sections like Crazy Mule, Doe Lake, Tallulah
Lake, and Rock Island Lake, that you can use to extend your trip if your comfy
with cross country. If you do decide with this trip then do it clock wise, coming in
the Crown Lake route and exit Peeler Lake route, both lakes are also worth seeking.
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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: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby ucangler » Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:18 pm

What comes to mind for me is trying the Golden Trout Wilderness. You'll have many loops you can chart out yourself depending on how far you want to go.

http://stevenojai.tripod.com/gtrout.htm
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby Hobbes » Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:45 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Good beginner off-trail areas are Upper Kern River including Wrights, Wallace and Milestone basins (access via Shepherd Pass), Humphreys Basin including up to Royce Lakes and over to Granite Park (access via North Lake), or Upper Basin (access via Taboose Pass- and can side trip over Mather Pass to Palisade Lakes).


Captain wrote: From everything I've read about the trailhead to Shepherd Pass, it looks like the road will be challenging to get to in normal 2wd vehicle.


Our Daisy is spot on - Shepherd to Milestone, Taboose to Basin and Piute/Pine to Humphreys/Royce are perhaps, IMO, the best loops outside of Horseshoe/Whitney. (Horseshoe you can go in via [New] Army to Miter/Crabtree and come out Cottonwood, Whitney you can go down Discovery from Trail Crest to Crabtree and then loop back around via Guitar.)

As for the Shepherd trailhead (actually Symmes), there is a stock parking lot right off the main dirt fire road. It's not more than 1/4-1/2 mile from the hiker's TH. Right after the stock lot, the road gets rutted, sandy, etc, but before that it's hardpacked & graded, similar to the road up to Green creek (near Bridgeport) and better than the gravel road to Saddlebag lake.

It's where I've parked my Sienna, and will be doing so again for the HST meetup. Shuttle guys don't mind it either, since it's only around 2 miles off the Onion valley road and doesn't require any special vehicles.
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby Hobbes » Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:53 pm

One more thing, if you're into fishing or curious about the Kern Cyn, from Horseshoe, you can head south over Trail pass thru Mulkey Mdw down to the Kern River bridge, follow the river back north and join the HST, and then either head back up to the PCT and exit out (New) Army or Cottonwood, or continue up to Milestone and then either grab the PCT back to Horseshoe, or exit Shepherd or Whitney Portal.

This one has pretty big miles (20+ day), and has been on my to do list for a few years. If we get a big snow year next year, I'll probably shoot for August to let the river calm down.
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby sparky » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:14 pm

miter basin/crabtree pass loop is pretty tame, but involves class 2 cross country. One of my favorite areas of the sierra.
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby balance » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:09 pm

Greetings Captain

How about North Lake to Lamarck Col: through Darwin Canyon and Evolution Meadow: JMT along the San Joaquin River; Piute Canyon Trail along Piute Creek; head East at Hutchinson Meadow; swing North up to Desolation Lake; and exit via Piute Pass to North Lake. Pretty good fishing along the way.

I would suggest camping in Darwin Canyon, as it is beautiful. You might also include Puppet Lake for a little more cross country activity.

Roughly a five day trip. This would sure take you through a variety of terrain.

Peace.
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby Captain Slappy » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:59 am

balance wrote:Greetings Captain

How about North Lake to Lamarck Col: through Darwin Canyon and Evolution Meadow: JMT along the San Joaquin River; Piute Canyon Trail along Piute Creek; head East at Hutchinson Meadow; swing North up to Desolation Lake; and exit via Piute Pass to North Lake. Pretty good fishing along the way.

Hi balance -- I did the North South Lake loop last year but would love to go back sometime and use Lamarck Col.

Thanks for the additional suggestions. I'm not into fishing unfortunately. Right now, I am going back and forth between a Twin Lakes loop and a Pinchot/Mather/Granite Pass loop. The latter comes out around 80 miles with Taboose if my math is correct. If I drive the extra hours to Roads End, it's more like 60 miles, which would be more achievable. However, I'm sort of leaning towards Twin Lakes since I've never been there.

The only thing that's given me pause is determining how photogenic and scenic Twin Lakes is. There seem to be a couple of comments that I've run across that say parts of the surrounding area are not as nice. I've also looked for trip reports and photographs, but there seem to be fewer than there are for the other areas. Can anyone comment on the scenery around a Twin Lakes/Dorothy Lake/Wilma Lake loop? Still spectacular? Thanks
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Re: Seeking suggestions for 40-60 mile loop east trailhead entry

Postby Dave_Ayers » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:37 am

I did a very nice mostly-loop trip from the Pine Creek TH last year. Head over Pine Creek Pass; down French and Piute Canyons; up the Muir trail over Seldon Pass; up Hilgard Creek and over Italy Pass; and back to Pine Creek. The total hike is a bit over 50 miles without side trips including about 15 on the JMT and about 6 mi repeated near the TH. There are several opportunities for peak bagging (Seven Gables, Mount Hilgard, etc.) and visiting side lakes (Rose, Sandpiper, etc.) if you want a bit more. Note that the foot path west of Lake Italy can be a bit hard to find and rather rough in places.
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