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Trip advice: Mammoth area, Fish Creek, September

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Trip advice: Mammoth area, Fish Creek, September

Postby Pietro257 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:05 pm

I need some advice about a loop trip I'm planning out of the Mammoth Lakes/Reds Meadow area through Fish Creek. My crew and I are very experienced backpackers. We're in good shape although we're getting long in the tooth.

I hiked along Fish Creek in 1975 (a detour on my John Muir Trail hike) and in 1980. I'd like to bathe in the hot springs there again.

Here's the basic outline of the trip:

1. Rainbow Falls trailhead in Reds Meadow to Fox Meadow (8.6 miles) or Iva Belle hot springs (12.1 miles)

2. Fox Meadow to Iva Belle hot springs (3.5 miles) or layover (0 miles)

3. Iva Belle hot springs to Purple Lake (9.7 miles)

4. Purple Lake to Mammoth Lakes trailhead (8 miles)

My questions:

1. Are the mileage estimates above accurate? I find different mileage listings on maps and websites.

2. Will water be an issue in any of these areas?

3. Which is the best route from Iva Belle hot springs to Purple Lake? From the springs, you can go north (to the Second Crossing) or go southeast to the Beetle Bug Lake junction.

4. Rather than exit at Mammoth Lakes trailhead, would it be better to take the JMT from Purple Lake back to Reds Meadow? Is this route easier or more scenic?

Thanks in advance for your help.



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Re: Trip advice: Mammoth area, Fish Creek, September

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:26 pm

The Duck Lake trial is more scenic than the PCT. I am not sure if the shuttle busses stop at the trailhead but you could walk to the George Lake trailhead if need be. The PCT would be more convenient and probably easier.
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Re: Trip advice: Mammoth area, Fish Creek, September

Postby tim » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:44 pm

When in September? After the Reds Meadow shuttle stops it will be a pain to recover your car if you exit via Duck Pass.
However if the shuttles are still running then note the Duck Pass trailhead is a lot higher than Reds Meadow so most people do the loop the other way round.
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Re: Trip advice: Mammoth area, Fish Creek, September

Postby Pietro257 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:53 pm

Thanks for the info. My hiking dates are September 9 to 13. Does the shuttle run then? When does it stop running?

I thought to go to Fish Creek first because I kind of like the idea of walking downhill on the first day of a Sierra hike...
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Re: Trip advice: Mammoth area, Fish Creek, September

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:51 pm

Pietro257 wrote:

Does the shuttle run then? When does it stop running?


According to their site:

REDS MEADOW SHUTTLE BUS
The mandatory Reds Meadow Shuttle is no longer operating for the 2014 season. During shuttle bus
operating season (June 14 to the Wednesday after labor Day), visitors not meeting one of the
exceptions must ride the shuttle bus.


Which means the 9th of September will be last day for the shuttle service in 2015.
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