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TR: Upper West Walker

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TR: Upper West Walker

Postby will_jrob » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:09 pm

A 3 day/ 2 night trip to the head of the West Walker river in Hoover Wilderness 09/30/2014.
After checking forecasts, ahead of a Bay Area heatwave, I headed for the hills. Picked up a permit at Pinecrest, drove over Sonora Pass and by the aspen groves
Image, arrived at Leavitt Meadow trailhead. On the trail at mid-day with the view of Tower Peak aheadImage. Passed Roosevelt/Lane Lakes Image, and trudged beyond the narrow river gorge, and through aspen groves Imageand river ox-bow meadows. The river seemed very languid, not in a hurry to empty into desert. Late afternoon I reached Upper Piute meadows and plunked down on a site overlooking the meadow , with views of alpenglow on Tower Peak and Hawksbeak. The night started early and clear, but around 10:00 P.M. clouds appeared on the ridges and to the north, they never made it directly overhead, but made for frequent checks until they disappeared around 03:00. The morning was frosty and clearImage, and I was slow to crawl out and start the day. I dayhiked up the West Walker canyon to more meadows with views of Tower PkImage and HawksbeakImage, and reached the divide between Hoover Wilderness and Yosemite, and scrambled up S.E. slope of Hawksbeak. Terrific view, especially of north Yosemite peaks Image, extended from Sawtooth ridge to the Clark Range. Descended with some bushwacking to Kirkwood Pass Image, then followed the trail ,back at camp late afternoon. Another fine display of alpenglow Image that evening.This night the sky stayed clear, and dawn was colder than the previous one. Hiked out the next morning, meeting first people of trip that afternoon. All in all a fine Indian Summer trip.

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Re: TR: Upper West Walker

Postby jessegooddog » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:00 am

A few days ago I was reading interpretive signs at a little park along the Walker River near Coleville and was surprised and disappointed to learn that 30 to 40 pound Lahontan trout were once common until the DWP dammed the river in the 40s and destroyed their spawning grounds.
Last edited by jessegooddog on Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TR: Upper West Walker

Postby balzaccom » Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:52 pm

We love this area. The lakes up near Dorothy Pass are beautiful, and we've also explored Long Valley. It's a long hike on the first day to get up the canyon, after that, it's lovely.

I think next time we're hiking in from Leavitt Lake...to see if we can cut down on that initial slog up the canyon.

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: TR: Upper West Walker

Postby Tom_H » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:22 am

One of my favorites too. Some nice XC through the forests. I always liked roaming off trail through the woods. I grew up hiking through long sections of forests in the river swamp areas of south GA where there were no trails and no landmarks. That helps a kid develop a sense of direction. Following the elevation contour from Tower Lake around to the source of the West Walker is a very fun XC.
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Re: TR: Upper West Walker

Postby SSSdave » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:45 pm

Pic shows triangular leaf shapes, so be not a quaking aspen but rather a black cottonwood, populus trichocarpa which are rather common along the West Walker.
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Re: TR: Upper West Walker

Postby Cross Country » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:20 pm

One time on a trip from twin lakes I went the wrong way a wound up for the night at kirkwood lake.
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