Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin | High Sierra Topix  

Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

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

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby shan1203 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:43 am

Elizabeth,
Thanks so much for all of the info! On your advice, I've already downloaded the Mount Clarence King 7.5 Minute topo map. I can see how the additional detail will help, especially considering all the comments we've received about getting ledged out and the importance of good navigation. I love the pic of the 'dragon' in the lake :) Can't wait to see it myself!

Ska-T & Shhsgirl,
It definitely seems that the Kearsarge entrance and clockwise route is the most common. We've never done a Sierra Trip by entering on the west side, all of our adventures thus far have been through an Onion Valley, Bishop or Red's Meadow entrance - so we're excited to enter via Road's End. We originally were looking at a Rae Lakes Loop, but wanted more adventure and the counterclockwise direction just 'stuck'. Let's see how it goes! :D

Happy Hiking,
Shannon



User avatar
shan1203
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:54 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby cgundersen » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:53 pm

Hi Shannon,
I got pre-occupied with the news about the missing hiker, Greg, in Gardiner basin, so I'm slowly catching up. Anyway, from the mounds of advice, I think you'll have a great time (if the weather cooperates), and it'll be better if there's good news about Greg. I'm not sure how recently it happened, but there's a burn zone on the south side of Gardiner Pass, and it made it harder to pick up where the "true" use trail runs. Regardless, if I ever go back that way, it'll be down by the creek, not on that silly hillside. And, as I mentioned before, if you can get into the middle arm, it's gorgeous. Good luck!
Cameron
User avatar
cgundersen
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby shan1203 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:27 pm

Hi everyone,

Just got back from our trip - we completed the original itinerary:
    Paradise Valley
    JMT junction
    60 Lakes ('Fjord' Lake)
    Gardiner Creek
    Lake 10,530 below Gardiner Pass
    Bear Box before Junction Meadow

We really appreciate all of the beta and advice we were given and for the wealth of information available on this site. cgundersen and oleandar - I especially appreciate the amount of detail you put into your posts - thanks!

I'll post a full trip report soon!

Happy Hiking,
Shannon
User avatar
shan1203
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:54 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby jeremy1701 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:23 am

We were very successful in finding the old trail as marked on the USGS topo for the majority of the trip through Gardiner Basin, including over Gardiner Pass and down to the climbers trail, thanks in large part to the beta we received here.

Thanks everyone!
User avatar
jeremy1701
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:51 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby BSquared » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:15 pm

So, it looks like everyone who's posted here did the loop going from Sixty Lakes Basin to Gardiner Basin. Any reason for this? I've been looking at going over Kearsarge to Charlotte Lake, Gardiner Pass, through the basin, over Sixty Lakes Col, through that basin, then up and over Glen Pass and thence back to Onion Valley. Better to do it the other way? Either way good? Any suggestions on which way is easier to navigate?
—B²
User avatar
BSquared
Founding Member
 
Posts: 871
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Jericho, VT
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby Ska-T » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:17 pm

I've only done it the way you describe, i.e., Kearsarge to Charlotte Lake to Gardiner Pass, to Sixty Lakes Col, etc. The route finding seems more reasonable to me and I like the way Gardiner Basin progresses in that direction.
-Scott
User avatar
Ska-T
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Huntington Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby sekihiker » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:56 pm

BSquared wrote:So, it looks like everyone who's posted here did the loop going from Sixty Lakes Basin to Gardiner Basin. Any reason for this? I've been looking at going over Kearsarge to Charlotte Lake, Gardiner Pass, through the basin, over Sixty Lakes Col, through that basin, then up and over Glen Pass and thence back to Onion Valley. Better to do it the other way? Either way good? Any suggestions on which way is easier to navigate?

I've done it from both directions and found neither way difficult.
User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Location: Fresno
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby BSquared » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:23 pm

Wow, quick responses! Oh, I love this bulletin board :)

So, Scott and SEKI (and anyone else who's done it this direction), any particular tips for the Charlotte-Lake-first route? As I look at the maps (USGS and Acme—I'll definitely follow the advice to buy the Mount Clarence King quad if we decide to try this trip), it looks like one place a trail would be *really* helpful is on the descent from Lake 2096 m toward Gardiner Creek; otherwise, it looks like one can follow streams and otherwise generally visually navigate pretty well through the entire cross-country part of the trip. Other posters have indicated that the old trails through the area are pretty well obliterated; is that what you found?

I think one of you suggested that 5 days would be plenty, and we should have a week, hoping for a layover day or two (but perhaps an extra at the end, just in case—we'll be catching an airplane); any recommendations for campsites and/or layover days? Any suggestions generally? We'd probably be doing this late season, right around (hopefully after) labor day...
—B²
User avatar
BSquared
Founding Member
 
Posts: 871
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Jericho, VT
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby Ska-T » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:48 am

BSquared, after leaving Charlotte Lake you will follow a climbers use trail that parallels Charlotte Creek a couple hundred ft above it. Don't leave the use trail too soon on your way to Gardiner Pass. There is a use trail on the north side of the pass (over on the east) to help you get down. On the steep slope down to Gardiner Creek I think we found a use trail for at least part of it. We didn't have time to explore the side basin holding Lake 3223, but on the map it looks like it is worth visiting. Mt Cotter is a nice scramble from Sixty Lakes Col and is far easier than Mt Gardiner or Mt Clarence King. Hope it isn't too dry for you this year after Labor Day.
-Scott
User avatar
Ska-T
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:59 pm
Location: Huntington Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby shan1203 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:15 pm

Ska-T,

Mt. Cotter was in our plans - but, we didn't end up having time to give it a shot. I kind of wish we would have, but also welcome the opportunity to go back - it was such a great spot!

Happy Hiking,
Shannon
User avatar
shan1203
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:54 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby leica69 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:05 pm

I have done the loop twice going Onion Valley, Charlotte Lake, Gardiner Basin, 60 Lakes Basin, Rae Lakes, Glen Pass, and out. In 30+ years of backpacking the most dramatic camping spot I've found is by the outlet stream of the uppermost lake in Gardiner Basin. There are no level spots anywhere around the lake. The only level spots are the few small sandy spots that have silted in from the outlet stream runoff--maybe enough for 3 or 4 tents, no more. As the terrain drops off quite steeply to the west when you sit looking west with your back to the lake there is no foreground beyond the few twisted shrubs within the first 10'-15'. You feel like you are on the edge of the world. Best camping spot ever on a great loop!
Last edited by leica69 on Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
leica69
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:58 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Trip Advice: 60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin

Postby maverick » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:37 pm

Hi Leica69,

Welcome to HST! Any photo's or TR you would like to post, especially with the Leica name. :)
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: 8028
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

PreviousNext

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], MSNbot Media [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest