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Route Advice w/ some new backpackers

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Route Advice w/ some new backpackers

Postby BeyondTheLens » Tue May 19, 2015 10:38 am

Hello fellow HST members:

I'm new here and gratefully found this resource through a typical google search and boy was I happy it came up. Allow me to introduce myself, I'm Carl from Orange County, CA. I'm an avid hiker/backpacker and have finally convinced my brothers and cousin to do a back country trip together for my birthday during 4th of July weekend. Our group consist of 2 beginner backpackers that have done multiple day hikes in so cal (ie. Mt. Baldy) and are highly motivated while the rest of us have some experience.

I have a permit reservation for Beck Lakes trail out of Devils Postpile. I would like to get your advice and opinion as to the best route/s to take that will allow us to hit ashley lake and possibly a way to summit iron mountain or a pass from Becks Lake trail. Knowing that our group will probably be slow we plan to hit the TH early friday morning and make it to one of the lakes to fish and camp overnight. Then the following day, we would like to either summit a pass or peak and back to a new lake for the last night and head back out to devils postpile on the last day. I would appreciate any recommendations and thanks in advance.

What level of backpacking experience do you have?
Level 1- 2 persons
Level 2- 4 persons


What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 1 terrain/trail hiking
- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country


What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography
- Fishing


How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead? 3 days, 2 nights (July 3-5)

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers? 6-8 miles w/ layovers at lakes

Do you have a route logistics preference: loop, out and back, point to point (which
may require 2 vehicles or hitchhiking)? Preferably a loop but out and pack is ok too

Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in(Yosemite, SEKI
western sierra start or eastern start ect.)? Ashley Lake, Iron Mountain, a pass

Will you be hiking with a dog? NO



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Re: Route Advice w/ some new backpackers

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 19, 2015 2:09 pm

Great loop! I liked Ashley Lake and thought it was second best to Beck Lakes. From Ashley you can easy x-country via Gertrude Lakes to Anona Lake. Anona is also pretty and has more campsites, but when I got there it was very crowded. Then pick up the trail to Fern Lake and down King Creek (Snow Canyon). The trail is used by horsemen so is pretty large. The last camping out is on King Creek just above the trail crossing. I did not find Holcomb Lake worth going to. I would do Day 1 to Beck, Day 2 to Ashley and then out. Before you decide where to camp, check with the FS permit office and see if any large groups have a permit for Anona, Fern, or Ashley Lakes. An entire college class was camped at Anona Lake when I was there in 2010!
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Re: Route Advice w/ some new backpackers

Postby schmalz » Tue May 19, 2015 2:54 pm

WD - You really prefer Beck over Ashley? I'm thinking about going there this weekend and for whatever reason had convinced myself that the Beck Lakes weren't as scenic as the surrounding ones.
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Re: Route Advice w/ some new backpackers

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 19, 2015 3:22 pm

Only because Beck Lakes are two lakes, bigger and more shoreline to explore and fish. I looked at my photos again, and yes, Ashley is more scenic (photogenic). I flashed by there pretty fast so may not have really looked at it enough. Ashley is definitely worth seeing. I also liked Deadhorse Lake, but it is very difficult to get to Deadhorse from Beck Lakes- not something for a group with beginners.
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