TR: Lake Aloha Apr 20-21 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Lake Aloha Apr 20-21

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TR: Lake Aloha Apr 20-21

Postby tim » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:23 pm

I took my twins (now 14) and a couple of their friends to Lake Aloha for a quick one night trip Monday-Tuesday. We were originally planning to go to Yosemite for two nights but the forecast of thunderstorms prompted me to look further north where the forecast was better. We were very fortunate with the weather, as despite some thunder and storm clouds over the Crystal Range on Monday afternoon we stayed dry and on Tuesday lunchtime we had some thunder again and a few drops of rain just as we got back to the Echo Lake trailhead. Monday night was cold (high 20s) and clear though the days were warm enough in the sun and there was no wind whatsoever.

There was a lot more snow than I expected on the PCT above Haypress Meadows (though completely clear up to that point) - it was solid and at least a couple of feet deep from the first to the second Lake of the Woods turnoff (about half a mile) and the Aloha Basin itself had quite a bit (and the lake was nearly completely frozen), though we found it easy enough to find a clear campsite at our usual site on the peninsula at the southern end of the lake and there were plenty of large clear rocky areas to sit on. There was a remarkable difference between the north and east facing slopes, which had significant coverage, and the south and west facing slopes which were largely bare.

It was wonderful to have the whole area to ourselves - on the way in we met one couple coming out who had camped at Heather over the weekend, and then just a handful of day hikers on the way out, only one of whom was going all the way to Aloha. No mosquitoes to speak of either, with the few who had emerged into the snowy landscape thinking better of it. I'd definitely recommend this as a great weekend trip in the next week or two - there is just enough snow to be fun, without being too time consuming (we just had hiking poles, but no gaiters or spikes), and the walk in (~6 miles) is easy enough.

Storm Crystal Range.jpg
Storm over the Crystal Range

Storm Mosquito Pass.jpg
Storm over Mosquito Pass

Sunset Crystal Range.jpg
Sunset over the Crystal Range

Sunset Aloha.jpg
Sunset over Lake Aloha

Dawn Aloha.jpg
Dawn over Lake Aloha

Looking south.jpg
Looking south

Morning over Aloha.jpg
Morning over Lake Aloha

PCT beyond Haypress Meadows.jpg
PCT beyond Haypress Meadows

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Re: TR: Lake Aloha Apr 20-21

Postby rlown » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:14 pm

Very nice report! thanks for sharing.
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Re: TR: Lake Aloha Apr 20-21

Postby Vaca Russ » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:37 am


Those are some nice shots of the Lake Aloha area and the Crystal Range. Yes, there is still a lot of snow up there.

Here is a shot of Desolation Valley from the the north taken last Saturday.

Deso Valley.JPG

Compare that to the snow free area north of Mosquito Pass, Rockbound Valley.


That couple who spent the night at Heather must have had fun in the snow!

Heather Lake, taken from the South slope of Jacks Peak.

Thanks for the report!

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: TR: Lake Aloha Apr 20-21

Postby Tom_H » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:25 am

Thanks, nice to see there's still some snow somewhere. Still, the Rockbound Valley pic is verry telling.
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Re: TR: Lake Aloha Apr 20-21

Postby FeetFirst » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:08 am

Looks like a great time! :nod:

I really appreciate the pictures for trip planning. There's actually a bit more snow in the Aloha basin than I expected.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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