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Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

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Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby udpumpkin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:28 am

If anyone can give me some camping advice for an upcoming backpacking trip in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, I would greatly appreciate it. I have done long run/hikes in this area before, but this is my first time backpacking in the area. I am going with a group of seven and have a rough idea of the loop we are going to take. I am looking for advice with regards to which lakes would have areas around them suitably large enough for our group to setup camp. The lakes in question are:

Ediza - seems like it has a lot of area but is a popular place to camp

Nydiver - I have seen trip reports with people camping in this area. Enough room if we spread out?

Cecile - I have seen trip reports of people camping here as well but the pictures seem to indicate perhaps limited 'flat' spots to pitch a tent? Also, is the trail from Ediza to Cecile mainly loose talus? Probably good to know to give the group a chance to decide whether to tackle the trail or find a spot at Ediza/Nydiver.

Iceberg - I haven't seen many trip reports involving camping at Iceberg. Judging from the pictures this looks like it could be tight for our group. From what I have read, the trail from Cecile to Iceberg is all loose talus, is this right?

Thousand Islands - Doesn't seem like it will be an issue unless it is crowded already.

Clark Lakes - Judging from pictures it seems like there will be suitable areas to handle a group our size.

Any other lakes that we should consider in the general vicinity?

Thanks in advance for any advice you have to offer!



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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:00 pm

Hi udpumpkin,

Welcome to HST! Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby udpumpkin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:58 pm

Thanks. I'll search around on the forum some more to help answer my questions. My most specific question is whether the lakes I mention in my post will have enough suitable sites to pitch a tent for a group our size (seven people in four two-man tents). I'm guessing we will be ok at most if not all of the lakes mentioned.

I'm mostly concerned about the Ediza/Nydiver/Cecile/Iceberg chain as we are doing a clockwise loop Agnew Meadows > Ediza > Thousand Islands > Clark Lakes > Agnew Meadows. On the first day every lake past Ediza will add to the distance traveled the next day - which would be totally worth if it there is a good place to camp when we get there.

Lastly, our group is made up of physically fit people that range from 16-year-olds who have never backpacked before to middle-aged-men that backpack with some regularity. Level 2 I would say.

Thanks again and I will continue to search through old postings to learn as much as possible about the area!
Last edited by udpumpkin on Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:17 pm

Best camping for you group would be at Ediza, Nydiver, 1000 Is lake, Clark,
Garnet, Minaret Lakes.
Take Cecile and Iceberg off you list for camping.

Lastly, our group is made up of physically fit people that range from 16-year-olds who
have never backpacked before to middle-aged-men that backpack with some regularity.

This is why we ask folks coming to HST these question, knowing you groups ability will
allow use to make recommendation based on it.
The route between Minaret Lake to Lake Ediza is a class 2-3 and may be a little to
precarious for those in your group who have little or no experience. There is a very
steep and narrow slot leading up to Cecile Lake, and then your group has to cross
over a snowfield at Iceberg lake which is tricky and needs to be timed for the right
time of day, otherwise one needs an ice axe.

PS Scroll down in this post and you will see why this route can be difficult even
for those with some experience: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=6945&start=0&hilit=iceberg+lake
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby udpumpkin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:45 pm

Great, thank you very much. We were planning on hiking from Agnew Meadows to Ediza Lake via the Shadow Creek trail. From what I have read, Ediza is a popular camping spot so I was thinking Nydiver, Cecile or Iceberg would be possible alternatives. We were then going to double-back on the trail up to Thousand Island. From what I had read, it sounded like the hike between Iceberg and the Minarets would probably be too much for our group. I think the same may be true for the direct hike from Nydiver to Garnet.

We'll reserve Cecile and Iceberg for day trips without full packs if some in the group are feeling up to it.

Thanks for the link to the Iceberg Lake discussion. I had read the thread but couldn't see the picture posted until I registered. We are not bringing crampons (leave at the end of July) and it is unlikely the entire group would want to do anything that would expose one to a significant fall - probably just short stretches of Class 2 at most. From what I have read, it does not seem that the hike from Ediza to Nydiver would pose that kind of risk.

Thanks again. It's a nice luxury to be able to learn and get advice from others before making a mistake.
Last edited by udpumpkin on Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:05 pm

think the same may be true for the direct hike from Nydiver to Garnet


Yes, Whitebark Pass is definitely not for the inexperienced!
Southern end of Ediza, following the creek up a couple of hundred yards and there
are some good campsite that are less over-run then the ones one the western side
of the lake.
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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby udpumpkin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:17 pm

It sounds like a good plan then would be to hike to Ediza. If the group wants to tack on a little more distance then hike to Nydiver to camp. If not, go to the southwestern end of Ediza away from the lake and find a spot to setup camp.

Next day we would back track to John Muir and up to Thousand Island Lake and hope to find a nice tranquil spot for our group. Would that be towards the West?

Following day go the long (or short) way to Clark Lake to camp.

Last day hoof it to Agnew Meadows to exit.

Great to plan this out ahead of time. Thank you!
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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:29 pm

Next day we would back track to John Muir and up to Thousand Island Lake and
hope to find a nice tranquil spot for our group. Would that be towards the West?


No camping on the western side of the lake. Lots of sites on the northern side, go
into the forest not near the lake, to many folks want to be close to the lake.
Also remember to keep a clean camp, bears are really active at all lakes, but
especially at 1000 Is Lake.
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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby udpumpkin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:41 pm

Would you recommend skipping Thousand Island and camping in a different area? Looks to be lots of options in the general area. I may have been spoiled in past trips with the remoteness (i.e. few people) of it all. We went to Yosemite during the fires last year and camped at Vogelsang. Not a soul around.
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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:47 pm

No, the views at sunrise from the northern and northeastern shores are
sub-lime, classic postcard, and should not be missed.

If you get there early enough in the day, a hike up to Davis Lakes is
well worth the effort, especially if your lucky and the carpets of Indian
Paintbrush are in force, as they may also be on the southern side of 1000
Is Lake.

You may also be treated to some wildflower gardens on the High Trail back
to Agnew Meadows.
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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby udpumpkin » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:51 pm

Thank you for all of your advice!
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Re: Trip Advice: Ansel Adams

Postby Dave_Ayers » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:08 pm

There are several camp spots along the north side of Ruby Lake with plenty of room for 7. I don't recall many spots at Emerald Lake. There is also flat ground at the far western end of 1000 island between the main lake and the tarns, I camped there once. And there are spots at Badger Lake too, though that may be slightly out of your path.
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