Had a great 2 night conditioning trip in the Hover Wilderness/Northeastern Yosemite area. I have never entered at Virginia Lakes before. I took Thursday afternoon off and we drove down from Reno to Bridgeport to see what permits would be available. It was hot and I wanted a trailhead that starts high. Virginia Lakes at about 9000 feet qualifies nicely. The weather ended up being perfect mild blue skies for the next 48 hours of the trip.
Thurday afternoon at about 3:30PM we headed up over the pass towards Summit Lake. We turned north towards Hover Lakes at the intersection just east of Summit Lake. We made it to just north off East Lake when darkness forced us to make camp. I forgot my altimeter timepiece and we spent 48 hours with only the sun or stars as a clue as to the time. It was fine for a trip with modest goals but I clipped the altimeter timepiece on my pack when I got home so I will have it next time.
Friday morning we headed towards Green Lake and then worked our way up Glines Canyon towards Virginia Pass. The trail was in pretty fantastic shape for a trail that doesn't get maintained anymore. Virginia pass had a wonderful view down Return creek all the way to Cathedral Peak and Clouds Rest. The trail down from Virginia pass was much more neglected and we lost it several times before we approached Return Creek. We decided to goof off the rest of the afternoon and enjoy cooling off in the creek and just laying around.
Saturday we headed down Return Creek until we joined the trail to Summit Lake. We had a lunch break at Summit Lake and then headed back over the higher pass back to Virginia Lakes. This was a great little 2 night trip done on the spur of the moment. We passed an incredible number of lakes for the miles traveled. Here is a picture from Virginia Pass. You can see Cathedral Peak and Clouds Rest if you zoom in on the 17 mile distant peaks.
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We saw multiple locations of old cabins and mining equipment. Here is what I think is some water related mining equipment. There is a pipe coming up from the creek going to some equipment. Nearby is a rusted out boiler that may have been a steam engine to power the equipment. This stuff was halfway up Glines Canyon towards Virginia Pass.
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