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mineral king ?

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mineral king ?

Postby overheadx2 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:24 pm

Headed up to Mineral King next week with my brother and his daughter (who has been on several 3 dayers) for a Loop over timber gap to Bearpaw HSC where we have a cabin for a night and then back down Big Arroyo and over Sawtooth Pass. Fishing isn't a huge issue and photos are a higher priority, so would you camp at Little Five or Big five Lakes? Is there much of a difference in views? Also, any one know about the marmots? do I need to wrap my car? Thanks, Phil

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Re: mineral king ?

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:51 pm

Also, any one know about the marmots? do I need to wrap my car?

Yes, for piece of mind Phil. Check several previous threads on this subject.

Fishing isn't a huge issue and photos are a higher priority, so would you camp at Little Five or Big five Lakes?

Definitely Little Five Lakes, and not Lake 10476, but the second lake cluster north of the one containing the ranger station, you will love the views. Unfortunately Big Five Lakes are boxed in with ridge lines to the north, south, and west, the views become more, more restrictive as you leave the trail into the basin heading west.
The Kaweah Ridge is the highlight in this area, and the Little Five Lakes show cases this much better then the Big Five Lakes for a photographer.

Take time during the day, to scout out optimal golden hour locations, instead of running around at sunset/sunrise trying to find spots to take photo's from, and loosing out on a beautiful alpineglow, because you could not find a location, and set up in time.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: mineral king ?

Postby Buford » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:49 pm

I did the same loop last year. I am not a photographer, but I posted some cell shots and a mini trip report.

I thought Big 5 Lakes was also good though, the lakes with rocky ridges around them were dramatic. Maybe not the best for pictures, but I thought well worth the time to explore.

I thinking catching sunset and alpenglow from Columbine Lake is a must despite the people. Probably great for pictures too.

My biggest regret for the trip was not exploring nine lakes when I was so close.

The Rangers might tell you the marmots are no longer a problem in late July and your car will be fine. I didn't use anything, and only one car was wrapped in late July last year. The problem peaks in spring and early summer. However, if I went back, I would protect my car even after marmot season is supposed to be over. That is a long road to mechanical help. Especially when prevention is cheap, easy and quick.
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Re: mineral king ?

Postby justm » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:50 pm

My friend and I did a trip up there the last part of June into July. What a beautiful place !!! We saw , maybe 8 people total the entire 6 nights back there. We made a base camp at the lowest lake , in the big 5 lakes. The large upper lake there is very beautiful ,with great photo ops ! But if I had to do it again, I would camp at little 5 lakes, the whole area is amazing !!!
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Re: mineral king ?

Postby sparky » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:08 pm

I agree, I find little 5 lakes area more scenic but thats all opinion, both basins are nice. The lakes Mav mentioned also offer more solitude. I was treated to a storm with an incredible sunset on thunderheads over the kaweahs.
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