Does this trail exist? | High Sierra Topix  

Does this trail exist?

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

Does this trail exist?

Postby Eric1234 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:45 pm

I was looking through maps of the peaks surrounding Lake Florence and noticed a strangely drawn trail heading east from Thompson Pass (south of Lake Florence) and into Red Rock Basin. Does anyone know if this trail is real, old and in disrepair, or just a goof-up on the map? Note that this trail appears on MyTopo but not CalTopo.

This trail looks appealing because it will provide easy access for a link of of four peaks in the area: Mt. Shinn, Ward Mountain, Zingheim Heights, and Fleming Mountain



User avatar
Eric1234
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: San Diego, Santa Cruz, Bishop
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Does this trail exist?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:15 pm

In general the Thompson Pass trail is very faint. Not long after you leave the trail around Florence you will have to stay very sharp to even follow it. Before reaching Boulder Creek I lost it completely in a heavy Red Fur section of forest. After this it is not too difficult to follow it to the top of the pass but for the last couple hundred feet you will likely lose it completely. Once on top you pick it up and I searched for signs of the cut off that heads for Red Rock Basin but could not find any of the trail. Just before the largest lake in the basin there is some signs of the trail heading off for Thompson Pass but it's better to consider the trail completely lost. Although the cross country into this area is very easy and could be considered mostly class 1 with maybe a few small class 2 areas.

As for the rest of it at the largest large in Red Rock Basin there is some signs of the trail but not much leaving the area. Although I did not try to follow the strange route it seems to take on the map so I found no more signs of it not long away from the lake. Also where it shows it crossing the North ridge of Mt. Flemming I cannot believe it ever actually crossed there. It's an easy class 2 crossing but not only is there no signs of the trail but it's mostly all granite slabs. The nature of the terrain would make it far more likely to cross the SW saddle from Mt. Flemming.

Some photos of this area can be found here in Week 9 of my trip last year.
User avatar
RoguePhotonic
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1668
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:52 am
Location: Bakersfield CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Does this trail exist?

Postby paul » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:19 pm

That area is very easy to navigate in without a trail. I went through there - coming in over Thompson Pass - on skis (so obviously not following a trail) and it was very easy finding my way around. You'll do better to assume there is no trail and treat it as a cross-country route.
User avatar
paul
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:35 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Does this trail exist?

Postby tomba » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:34 pm

I agree with Rogue's description. I went on this "trail" a couple of years ago, going west. Only in very few places I could see any remnants of this "trail". Consider it a route suggestion, not a trail.

The trail crossing Thompson Pass is very easy to lose. I had to pay a lot of attention to tree blazes and cairns. At Thompson Lake I was surprised by sounds of engines. It was from Ershim OHV Route. After the lake I lost the trail completely in an area of many recently fallen trees. I ended up going mostly straight down to the trail around Florence Lake. It seemed that I would have to do awful bushwhacking across manzanitas but I always managed to find a reasonable route.
Last edited by tomba on Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
-- Found trash? Please pack it out. Thank you.
User avatar
tomba
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Bay Area
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Does this trail exist?

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:19 am

I did a trip 18 years ago into Red Rock Basin via Thompson Pass, and can confirm that a) that trail was not easy to follow, b) the noise from ORVs rather spoils things, and c) from Thompson Pass there is a much better route into the heart of Red Rock Basin: just go east and up, and follow close to or on the crest. The walking is easy, and the views are spectacular.

An alternate way into Red Rock Basin involves more cross-country, but is much more interesting and scenic. Leave the Thompson Pass "Trail" shortly after it approaches Boulder Creek, at a point where the creek is easy to cross (between 7600 and 7700). Go ESE on the big easy slabs until they end in forest, then turn right straight up the slope, keeping close (but not too close) to the unnamed stream canyon on your left.

When the slope into the canyon starts to gentle out (around 8700), veer left into the canyon and find the fork. Follow the left fork up. At the headwall below Mount Shinn Lake, you want to angle up slabs to the right then follow a ledge back to the left. From Mount Shin Lake it's an easy pass into Red Rock Basin.
User avatar
TehipiteTom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:42 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Does this trail exist?

Postby sekihiker » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:55 pm

For Bob Burd's take on the area, see: http://www.snwburd.com/bob/trip_reports/shinn_n1_1.html
A few years ago, I gave up going north on the Burnt Corral trail from Hobler Lake. It looked like the trail hadn't been maintained in years. Deadfalls were the main problem. I was able to get into the Red Rock Basin on a use trail which is in good shape. Old stock trails can still be found in the headwaters of Post Corral Creek and I traveled some of them as shown on the maps from a couple of my reports.
http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/~si ... index.html
http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/~si ... index.html
User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:47 pm
Location: Fresno
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Does this trail exist?

Postby SweetSierra » Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:57 pm

When I lived in Fresno I went on many hikes with the Tehipite Chapter of the Sierra Club. One of them was a day hike to Hobler Lake in early spring. The trail was soon snow covered. The leader had thought we would hit the lake fairly soon and it was late afternoon and still no lake. The leader left us to go in search of the lake and after a couple of hours came back saying he never found it (my younger sister was anxious. She thought we would have to spend the night out there). We walked out in the dusk and dark. I always think of Hobler as the mysterious lost lake.

On another trip in Dinkey Lakes Wilderness two women friends and I did a five-day loop (my first multi-day trip) in which we had planned to loop back over Thompson Pass, into Red Rock Basin, and back to Courtright. This was another spring trip in which we lost the trail in snow at Second Dinkey Lake. We were heading I think to East Lake but never found the trail. After the lake, the trail was good through Rodeo Meadow but it dead ended in deep snow at Summit Lake. We gave up on Thompson Pass and decided to head cross country for a small unnamed lake to the south, and after many ups and downs looking for the lake, my friend realized she forgot to account for the compass declination, and we were far south of where we wanted to be. We ended up climbing a knoll where we could see Courtright We descended Dusy Creek on the 4-wheel drive road and walked around the reservoir. I lost my car keys in a creek on the first day, and a ranger patrolling Rodeo Meadow on a horse gave my brother the message to bring a spare set. Saved the day. Good times :)
User avatar
SweetSierra
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 12:23 pm
Location: Nothern California
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests