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Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:52 am
by oleander
Please tell me about Little Slide Canyon.

I'm interested in approaching it from the top (towards the end of a loop trip - with light packs). We'd be going Matterhorn Canyon - Burro Pass - leaving the trail before Mule Pass to hike to Ice Lake and then down Little Slide. Any navigation tips from that direction?

My own backpacking level is high comfort with off-trail navigation, and Class 2, a bit of easy Class 3 OK. However, we'll have someone on this trip who is more at the level of Class 1/easy Class 2 and afraid of heights and loose stuff. Should I save Little Slide for another time? Is it loose at all?

- Elizabeth

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:45 pm
by Wandering Daisy
There was one short (10-15 foot) cliff that I descend when I did Little Slide. Could be better ways, but since easy Cl3 does not bother me I did not try to find anything easier. I recall lowering my pack ahead of me then doing a bit of "chimney" moves. I took my daughter down it when she was 19 years old. She does not like rock climbing but did not have trouble. The key for us was being able to lower packs. I usually use my bear-hanging cord, or tie together some tent cord. Then you have to go through some high grass and cross the creek (was about a crotch deep wade for us, but slow moving water). I doubt it will be that high this year. Also remember quite a bit of rock hopping. Some rock scrambling to initially get into the canyon from the top.

Burro Pass is also quite pretty. You could simply do a short side-trip to the top of Slide Canyon and gawk at the Incredible Hulk and then go over Burro Pass. Your friend might be more comfortable with this.

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:08 pm
by maverick
Did you descend the western side of Maltby WD? That side is tricky, and one can easily cliff out before finding the correct path, which is staying higher on the eastern side of Maltby Lake, an easier route. The use trail will take you by the Hulk, the trail is difficult to follow in some parts lower in LSC, but the experience is well worth it, with that said, I would not recommend taking your friend down this route Lisa.

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:10 pm
by oleander
Oh, I love that idea of just doing a "short side-trip to the top of Slide Canyon" and then continuing over Burro Pass.

It's not obvious from the topo map where you mean by this "top of the canyon," exactly...Maltby Lake? Somewhere past/below it? The terrain descends slowly - it does not look (on the map) like a flat-ish walk followed by a drop-off.

Just trying to guestimate how much of a detour this is, time-wise.

Would Ice Lake or Maltby Lake (or the stream connecting them) be a good final-night place to stay before doing Burro Pass? How is the camping there?

- Elizabeth

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:28 pm
by maverick
Would Ice Lake or Maltby Lake (or the stream connecting them) be a good final-night place to stay before doing Burro Pass? How is the camping there?

If your planning to go to Burro, then I would recommend staying at the lakes under Finger Peaks, beautiful sunset shots of the Sawtooth Ridge, and the views west at sunset are quite pretty too, plus you will be able to get to the top of Burro early, the view down Matterhorn Canyon is sublime (I expect some nice form there shots Lisa :) ).

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:28 pm
by Sierra Miguel
Wandering Daisy wrote:Burro Pass is also quite pretty. You could simply do a short side-trip to the top of Slide Canyon and gawk at the Incredible Hulk and then go over Burro Pass.


You mean "Mule Pass"? She's coming from Burro Pass.

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:01 pm
by Wandering Daisy
You are right! I mean Mule Pass. The pass on the west side of Slide Canyon.

The buttress just west of Ice Lakes is a good viewpoint.

The cairned route I used dropped to into the canyon north of Ice Lakes and then down the drainage east of the ridge that is east of Maltby Lake.


Image
Entering the valley south of Ice Lake

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View from buttress. Maltby Lake

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:58 am
by TehipiteTom
It's pretty easy to come down Little Slide Canyon from the top if you bypass Maltby Lake altogether. Pass Ice Lake on the east side (use trail here) and continue down the eastern drainage (instead of the western drainage, toward Maltby Lake). LSC is spectacular enough that it's well worth going down it all the way.

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:57 pm
by Wandering Daisy
The route I followed in the mid-1990s was along that "use trail" that bypasses Maltby Lake. The cliffy stuff was dropping down below 9000 feet. Little Slide Canyon was not used as much in those days and other than a few sparse cairns, there was little evidence of a "trail". It has become quite popular now, so it is likely easier to follow.

Personally, I did not find the portion below 9500 feet added much to what you could see by simply day-hiking down to 9500 feet and returning to the trail below Mule Pass. I would guess 2-3 hour would be sufficient. If you just want to go over to the buttress viewpoint, about 1.5 hours is all you need.

If you camp at Crown Lake, I once saw a tent smack on top of the hill by the southwest shore. It would get you up out of the bugs and have a great view. You would just have to haul up some water.

Descending Little Slide Creek is more direct, and does save some time and elevation gain. If you do not pick the easiest route, it can be a but gnarly. I would not take a newbie down it. But if your friend is experienced with off-trail travel and rock hopping, and simply a bit afraid of heights, then maybe.

Re: Little Slide Canyon (Hoover/Yosemite)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:08 am
by TehipiteTom
Wandering Daisy wrote:The route I followed in the mid-1990s was along that "use trail" that bypasses Maltby Lake. The cliffy stuff was dropping down below 9000 feet. Little Slide Canyon was not used as much in those days and other than a few sparse cairns, there was little evidence of a "trail". It has become quite popular now, so it is likely easier to follow.

As of 2010 there was a use trail on which I don't recall anything cliffy. It went through a talus field in the 9000-9400 range, which may be where it bypasses the cliffs.
Personally, I did not find the portion below 9500 feet added much to what you could see by simply day-hiking down to 9500 feet and returning to the trail below Mule Pass. I would guess 2-3 hour would be sufficient. If you just want to go over to the buttress viewpoint, about 1.5 hours is all you need.

Well, the lowest stretches aren't that interesting. Coming up it, the views really started to open up around 8400--but then that may be the more dramatically satisfying direction.

But my advice is also colored by a serious dislike of the boring and endless Robinson Creek trail. If I really wanted to see Mule Pass I might do that as a side trip, and then take the vastly preferable route out down Little Slide Canyon.