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South Fork Bishop Creek

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South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby jimmeans » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:25 pm

Has anybody been up to the South Fork of Bishop Creek this spring? I'm interested in road conditions and snow conditions past South Lake.



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Re: South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby maverick » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:34 pm

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: South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby jimmeans » Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:24 pm

Blackfoot and I drove to South Lake today. The Inyo NF website reports the road as closed, but we had no problem getting to the lake. We didn't even encounter any snow on the road until we got past Parcher's. We've been in this area in March 2013 & 2014, and in those years we had to park at least 1/2 mile below Parcher's. We day hiked to the John Muir Wilderness sign, and it was pretty easy going. Not much snow until the trail turns west from the lake at 10K, and the snow that we encountered was pretty consolidated. It was easy to pick out the softer spots from that tracks left by previous hikers.

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Selfie at John Muir Wilderness boundary.


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View south from vicinity of wilderness boundary.


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South Lake from boat ramp.
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Re: South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:55 am

The only upsides about so little snow will be allot less mosquitoes and nice lakes to swim in like last year. Most of them I came across were great for swimming in August.
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Re: South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby Beantown » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:02 am

jimmeans were you able to drive to south lake, or is the road gated? same for north lake?
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Re: South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby seanr » Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:08 am

jimmeans, thanks for posting! Beantown, HWY 168 closes for the winter just above Aspendell (at the beginning of a potential avalanche/rockfall zone). I recall a gate. It is listed as closed if you click 168 on Cal Trans, but ought to open within a couple weeks: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/clsdlst.htm
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Re: South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby Bluewater » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:14 pm

Thanks for the update!
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Re: South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby jimmeans » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:34 pm

Beantown, seanr is correct regarding the gate on 168 above Aspendell which also blocks access to North Lake.

On the South Lake Road there is a Road Closed sign just above the Bishop Creek Lodge which is about 4 miles below South Lake. Plenty of people including my group simply drove around the sign. We saw a car parked along the road below Parcher's which had a warning from the CHP posted on it. The warning stated that the vehicle was subject to citation because of the road closure, but again it was just a warning. As you get closer to South Lake there is an uphill section of the road about 100 yards long that had enough icy snow on it that created problems for passenger cars. We were in a 4-wheel drive and made it easily all of the way to the hiker's parking lot at South Lake. There were quite a few cars parked below the problem spot in the road, and there were some trucks and 4-wheelers at the top. Parking lot photo is attached.

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South Lake hikers parking lot
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Re: South Fork Bishop Creek

Postby Beantown » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:29 pm

Thanks for the info. I am heading up Thursday for 4 days to hike/ backpack. I have a jeep with 4wd so I'm sure I could make it up. So it seems that even tho the road is closed people still drive up and don't get hassled? Same like the road to onion valley.
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