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Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

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Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

Postby oleander » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:18 pm

Have never been to Ionian Basin, Martha Lake, etc. and am wondering what the best trailhead approach might be.

Is there one you consider most scenic?
Most fun?
Fastest?

I'm very familiar with the eastside approaches (Lamarck Col or Bishop Pass to Wanda Pass). So a bit more inclined to try a westside approach - just to see some new scenery. However, still open to an eastside approach if it will get us there faster.

- Elizabeth



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Re: Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

Postby Jimr » Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:49 pm

I've been from Courtwright Res, over Hell for Sure Pass, over, I think Reinstein pass (from Martha Lake to upper Goddard Creek), then into Ionian from upper Goddard. I've also started at Wishon Reservoir, over Finger Col into Upper Goddard Creek, then into Ionian Basin. My favorite of the two was over Finger Col., but the view coming down the east side of HFS pass was pretty awe inspiring as well.
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Re: Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:40 pm

I like getting there via Lamarck Col, which remains my very favorite gateway to the magic of the Mt Goddard high country. I think it's also the quickest as well as being the most scenic and fun. My wife and I were into Ionian Basin on day 2 of our trip there in 1994. We were at Darwin Bench on day 1 then into the heart of Ionian Basin on day 2. In contrast I've been to the "rim" via Blackcap Basin and whereas Blackcap is nice (most sensibly reached on day 2), the buildup to the true high country (be the kickoff point Rancheria, Woodchuck or Hoffman Mtn) is a lot longer than getting right into on the first step out of the North Lake trailhead. Florence would also feature a pretty long lead up to get there.

In '94 we went into Ionian Basin via Lamarck Col to Evolution and over Wanda Pass. We left Ionian Basin to L. 10232 (or 10212 depending on the map) and then went out to Martha and Davis and then Evolution Basin again. Needless to say, reversing our return route would be a fine entry, too, although it would take longer.
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Re: Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

Postby sekihiker » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:44 am

Well, if you are in really good shape you can be in the Ionian Basin in a couple of days out of the Maxson Trailhead near Courtright. See: http://sierrahiker.home.comcast.net/~si ... index.html
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Re: Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

Postby SweetSierra » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:23 am

Over Bishop Pass, then up to the Muir Hut and over Black Giant Pass. Or from the west, a longer hike through Evolution Valley to the Muir Hut and over Black Giant. Black Giant is easy, and the drop from there into Ionian Basin is over a short bit of steep talus then steep scree/sand but not difficult. Then back out over Wanda Pass.
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Re: Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

Postby Fishon » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:14 pm

I've only been in the Ionian Basin once and that was last summer. We started at Courtright and ended up at Florence Lake. Here's the trip report.http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11496
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Re: Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

Postby jenreyn » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:54 am

I've been in Ionian a few times and went in different ways. I am from the Eastside so therefore my approaches are not from the west. This past year we went in from Wanda Pass and found it to be not too bad at all....once in Ionian Basin you just need to navigate appropriately to make things easier on yourself getting from point A to B. Going to Martha Lake is also easy from the East. From Lamarck head towards Davis Lakes on the north side and there is a use trail to follow North Goddard Creek to the confluence of Goddard Creek. Cross the creek and you are on good trail all the way to Martha. From Martha Lake you can loop back into Ionian via a pass next to Goddard and take Wanda Pass out back to the JMT. Black Giant Pass was also easy except for the very loose talus on the west side of the pass dropping down to the first lake. I found it not very enjoyable no matter what line we picked and had to be very cautious due to the nature of large loose blocks sliding around. I looked at it this summer from Wanda Pass and wouldn't want to really climb back up it either even though the steep part isn't terribly long.
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Re: Ionian Basin: Your favorite approach?

Postby JWreno » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:14 pm

My wife may be taking summer class this year and doesn't like off trail hiking. I am thinking Ionian basin from North Lake/Lamarc Col would be a fun adventure. I came up with my wife and did a resupply on northbound JMT trip in 2008 and exited over Lamarc Col so my wife could do Muir pass before leaving trail. I came back in at South lake and did Muir Pass a 2nd time a couple days later. I would't mind doing the Darwin Lakes/Bench area again.
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