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TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 7/25-7/27 2014

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TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 7/25-7/27 2014

Postby richlong8 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:48 am

On July 25-27, I went into the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness on my first backpack trip in over a year, since having 2 back surgeries in the fall of 2013. It was great to get out into the Sierra again, away from roads, and cities, and test my capabilities. I had never been to this area, and think I had avoided it because I had heard it receives much use. The easy trail, and lakes being within 3 miles of the trail-head were just right by me for a first trip. The road in is rough! As much use as this area gets, I would love to see them fill in some potholes.
There are plenty of trip reports and info out there on the Dinkey Lakes, so I will keep it brief. I stayed at Swede Lake, which is quite pretty. After setting up camp in a nice established site, I headed up on a day hike to snap a few pictures, and catch a few fish, to South Lake and First Dinkey Lake. There were a few groups already camped at South Lake. The number of people at First Dinkey Lake surprised me. Boats out on the lake, people swimming, fishing, quite a crowd for a wilderness area. I didn't bother wetting a line after seeing one stringer full of a dozen small fish, and the apparent owners eagerly tossing out power bait. Later that afternoon, after getting back to South Lake, I fished about half of the lake's perimeter, catching and releasing a few fish in the 8-9" class.
The next morning, I headed up to Second Dinkey Lake, and after a brief stay, spent several hours fishing, relaxing, and reading a "Honor Harrington" paperback at Island Lake. Seemed more like the High Sierra to me. Fishing was for goldens, and golden hybrids, up to 10".
One thing that struck me on this trip was how shallow most of these lakes seemed. Also, the inlet and outlet creeks were all dry, bone dry. Most of my fishing, I cast way out with a Kastmaster or Z-Ray hoping to get out to the deeper, cooler water, letting the lure settle to the bottom before retrieving. Modest success..nothing big, and maybe 10 fish landed all 3 days. The last lake I visited on Saturday was Rock Lake, which seemed to have the deepest water, but I had no bites there, but fishing at 2 pm is often not the best time to judge whether a lake has fish or not.
I had a great time, great sunsets, nice scenery, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next trip already. I took pictures with my new, lightweight, Sony RX100 Mk 3 compact camera, and it is easy to carry, and fun to use. I posted a response in the Photography forum to someone's question about battery use and that particular camera. I think it is a nice camera if you need or want to leave the larger camera at home.
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Last edited by richlong8 on Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:37 pm

Very cool TR and photo's Rich, especially since this was your first trip out in 2 years!
Brought back some memories of our HST get together last year at Island Lake.
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby seanr » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:35 pm

Thanks, Rich, that is the closest Sierra wilderness to me, yet I have only visited it via Courtright. Dinkey will be a contender for my first family backpacking trip with young kids. I now can empathize with coming back from injury, but was fortunate to simply need to rehab from a broken ankle, a couple of surgically placed screws, and ongoing swelling still (minor now), a year later. Come to think of it, Three Sisters Peak from Courtright was my first rehab venture back into the Sierra last Thanksgiving week. I was indeed thankful to be back as you were!
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:56 pm

Glad to hear you're backpacking after those two back surgeries.

Yes that road is rough and the number of potholes grow every year--I don't think they'll ever patch those holes. It would be better if the entire road was gravel and occasionally regraded, rather than there being that paved section with the ever-growing potholes. I've been driving up that road since 1989 and it is much rougher now than then.

First Dinkey is commonly crowded, as is Mystery, no doubt because these are the two closest lakes to the trailhead.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby rlown » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:19 pm

I think this year the timing is off. This should have been done in June.

Agree with the gravel comment.
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:17 pm

Dinkey is crazy busy - I can't believe we still see Toyota Corollas and Mini Coopers up there. Went once and found a BMW in the lot.

We have caught 13" fish out of Island and Mystery. It just depends.
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:00 pm

Good to get back in the figurative saddle. It's a pretty area, despite the crowds at some lakes.
giantbrookie wrote:Glad to hear you're backpacking after those two back surgeries.

Yes that road is rough and the number of potholes grow every year--I don't think they'll ever patch those holes. It would be better if the entire road was gravel and occasionally regraded, rather than there being that paved section with the ever-growing potholes. I've been driving up that road since 1989 and it is much rougher now than then.

First Dinkey is commonly crowded, as is Mystery, no doubt because these are the two closest lakes to the trailhead.

As far as I can tell, what little pavement is left is there solely to taunt us. I can't think of any other reason.
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:38 pm

Nice to see you getting back at it Rich!! Kudos!! The fishing at the DLW often has a mid summer slump, and I would guess with the low water year nows the time. Yeah the road keeps getting worse and worse. I doubt Tehipte T will take my advice anymore as I told him he could drive his Fit/Leaf (got me ? :) ) up there, but I swear I saw a Prius there in 2012 :D For what its worth, last two times we came in from the Tamarack Summit off of Hwy 168. Lot more dirt road, but far fewer small car eating potholes.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby richlong8 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:19 am

When I left, I took a wrong turn and ended up at the Tamarack Summit on 168, and the road did not seem any worse, except for the jeep full of "standing up teenagers"? in the middle of the road doing about 50mph! I'm glad(for them, and me), I was going very slow, and somewhat protected in my 4Runner. I am grateful, and blessed to be able to get out on any kind of a trip, only 8.5 months after a back fusion surgery.
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby iHartMK » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:08 pm

I hope they never fix that road. Let it get rougher and rougher.. til it's 4WD only. Then maybe DLW will be pristine and quiet again. I have been going up there for 25 years now, and every year there is more and more people. We were up there 3 weeks ago and saw 6 different fires burning at night around First & South lakes. The campfire ban was in full effect. If I only had phone reception...
I guess it's true what they say about the Forest.. "Land of Many Abuses"
Living On Kaweah Time
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:13 pm

iHartMK wrote:I hope they never fix that road. Let it get rougher and rougher.. til it's 4WD only. Then maybe DLW will be pristine and quiet again. I have been going up there for 25 years now, and every year there is more and more people. We were up there 3 weeks ago and saw 6 different fires burning at night around First & South lakes. The campfire ban was in full effect. If I only had phone reception...
I guess it's true what they say about the Forest.. "Land of Many Abuses"


Only 6?

Slow night....
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Re: TR: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness 725-7/27 2014

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:05 pm

iHarkMK wrote:
We were up there 3 weeks ago and saw 6 different fires burning at night around
First & South lakesThe campfire ban was in full effect. If I only had phone reception...


Did you call the Ranger Station when you got out to report this? I hope you did! The last
thing we need is another major fire in the Sierra. :(
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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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