TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

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TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

Postby clevelandc88 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:38 am

I have done a lot of hiking in the Sierras, and this was by far the best trail I have ever been on. I rarely ever revisit a trail I've already done, but I decided to come back here just another 2 months after I hiked this solo. A lot of geological diversity on this trial, with lots of different scenery. The hike never has a dull moment.

I started at the bottom of Walker Lake at about 6 am. It was not that cold, about 45 degrees. The trail immediately climbs down to the shore of Walker Lake until it brings you back up again.
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It proceeds by taking you with an unexpected meadow with a large stream, tall grass, and trees. One of the most tranquil parts of the trail. If I didn't have a destination in mind, I could have just relaxed and explored here for hours.
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The trail then sky-rockets upwards over 2000 feet to Lower Sardine Lake. It took me about 3 hours to get there, but I really took my time. On the way up, I used a spotting scope to scan the slopes for Bighorn Sheep, but found nothing.
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I did, however, find this amazing little waterfall off the side of the trail where I dipped my feet and ate a light lunch.
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When I finally reached Lower Sardine Lake, I was simply stunned by its beauty. There were TONS of tiny little fish in lake, congregated in swarms!
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I thought about visiting Upper Sardine next, but it was actually much farther off the trail than I expected -- at least a 30 minute round-trip detour, so I decided to proceed towards Parker Pass. I finally arrived at Summit Lake at 3pm, where i laid down and took a 30 minute nap. Pure tranquility. I had still not seen another soul on the trail.
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From Summhttp://static.panoramio.com/photos/ ... 3727.jpgit Lake, I got a little lost and did something stupid. I followed a trail that I thought went to Parker Pass, but it turned out that I went off the the left too early on a trail that actually leads to a historic mining cabin. The trail eventually dies off, but I thought I had just lost it. Instead of backtracking, I continued cross country straight west until I ended up in Parker Pass. I realized afterwards that I had caused myself to climb and drop an unnecessary 1000 feet. The views were outrageous, though! It didn't feel like i was in the Sierra at all...it felt more like Colorado with lush green, snow patched mountains and plateaus.
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I continued down the Parker Pass trail and decided to drop into Parker Pass Lake, which is rarely ever visited by people passing through, which is a shame because this has some of the most beautifully colored water I have ever seen in the Sierras. Totally worth the tedious boulder hopping!
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I decided to set up a camp on the very northwest end of the lake near the Glacier, which turned out to be a bad idea. In the middle of the night, my tent got semi-flooded in the soft meadow I set up in from water flowing down from the day's melt I guess. I had to end up picking up my tent and moving a little bit north to higher ground, but not that big of a deal. I woke up in the morning and hiked all the way back out!
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More pics available on my Panoramio: http://www.panoramio.com/user/clevelandc88



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Re: TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

Postby balzaccom » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:41 am

Nice report. We had a great trip there last year---with loads of brook trout in Lower Sardine Lake. So many that it was almost comical to fish for them!

We also posted some photos of the mining cabin etc. Lovely area!

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And here is the whole photo log of the trip:

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/ ... dMonoPass#

You'll see that we had quite a bit of smoke from the Rim Fire for part of this trip...
Balzaccom

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Re: TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

Postby maverick » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:03 am

Hi Chris,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for sharing this wonderful TR and pictures. In your
second photo with the trail going through the aspens, is a beautiful place in the Fall!
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
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Re: TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

Postby clevelandc88 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:26 pm

Thanks, everyone! I loved your sunset pictures!
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Re: TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

Postby balzaccom » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:24 pm

Two more of Lower Sardine lake:

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And at sunrise the next morning

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Balzaccom

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Re: TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:00 pm

I have been to Bloody Canyon/Mono Pass a couple of times: always interesting. John Muir spent a cold miserable windy night at the pass. Supposedly Bloody Canyon got its name from horses bleeding from encounters with the rough rock. One time when in the area with my regular pack-pard, we met another traveler, and they both wanted to go down Bloody Canyon. OK, I said. Go for it. For me, been there, done that. I went back to the Mono Pass/Tioga Roaed TH and drove down to Walker Lake to the lower Bloody Canyon TH, laughing all the way. Laughing, because I knew what was coming for them. I beat them to the TH and was waiting for them. Sure enough, as soon as they arrived they were swearing and complaining about that last ugly climb up the moraine to the TH and paring lot. :nod: Just look at the map, though old maps do not show the "new" TH and parking.
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Re: TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

Postby John Harper » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:36 pm

I've hiked into Parker Lake, very beautiful, as are the Walker Lake areas you mention. Is Parker Pass Lake above Parker Lake, can't seem to find a reference? Parker Lake has more vegetation around it as I recall. But, still some glacial blue.

John
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Re: TR: Bloody Canyon - Parker Pass 6/14/14 - 6/15/14

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:05 pm

Parker Pass Lake is to the SW of Parker Pass, not a 1/4 mile away. Parker Lake is way down to the east.
Over by Helen Lake is "Helen Lake Pass" and an easy stroll over to the pass above Lost Lakes, easy cross-country all the way. Helen Lake is also a good starting point to tour all of the lakes to the east of Kuna Crest, again, all easy cross-country.
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