Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9 | High Sierra Topix  

Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

Postby markley » Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:38 pm

We woke up early Saturday morning and made the 3.5 hr drive to Atlanta for our 12 o'clock flight which went off without a hitch. Even had some time to throw down a few cold ones in anticipation of our 4 hr flight! We landed in LA around 2 pm and headed straight to pick up our rental van which would serve as our home base for the trip. These guys were awesome to rent from and this van came equipped with just about everything we would need aside from food (propane stove, cookware, 5 gal water tank, refrigerator, and a bed)!
Image20150810_100651 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
After stocking up at Trader Joe's we hit the road to Gray's Meadow campground where a very good friend whom I've not seen in years was waiting to greet us. The drive was beautiful as we headed up 395 with views of the sunset over Mt Whitney and surrounding peaks.
Image20150808_194627 by bahuffma1, on FlickrImage20150808_192222 by bahuffma1, on Flickr

After diligently reading the fire reports, smoke maps, etc., we weren't really sure what to expect as we arrived. But much to our delight there was no evidence of any smoke! Our original intention was to meet up in Sequoia Nat'l Forest, however the Cabin Fire (and potential smoke from the Rough Fire) were just too close for comfort. Following the advice from HST members, we decided to head east first, which was a great choice for many reasons. We made it to the campground around 8 pm where our friend and his girlfriend were waiting with a Black Butte Porter in hand!!! And so our vacation began.....

After staying up a little late catching up over a few (many) beers and attempted night shots of the Milky Way, we got off to a slow start on Sunday morning. Probably wasn't a bad thing to hang at 6000 ft as we were able to acclimatize a little :whistle: . Filled up on coconut pancakes and bacon we made our way up to the Onion Valley TH. I was amazed at how many cars were there..had to park along the road well below the parking lot. We had no plan on which hike we were going to to so decided to just decide once we hit the trailhead. After talking with the trail maintenance fella cleaning the pit toilet, we decided to head up to Golden Trout Lakes. I believe his advice went something like this: "That trail is like a highway" (referring to Kearsarge Pass trail).."I'd go up that way...not as many people do and you'll see why". So off to Golden Trout Lake we go..to see why! Being our first hike, and not sure how we'd all react to the elevation we figure we'd just take it easy...so here we were starting at 9000 and heading to over 11000 ft. :retard:
Image20150809_113605 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_114113 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_162903 by bahuffma1, on Flickr

With the "you'll see why" comment, we expected a slow scrambling climb up to the lakes. While the trail was easy to lose in many places(and that we did (even stumbled upon some cool old mine's? along a cliff) it wasn't as bad as anticipated. We definitely did a stretch of unnecessary scrambling over what appeared to be a rock slide over the old trail.
Image20150809_155203 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_155756 by bahuffma1, on Flickr pointing towards the way we went and the way we should have went!
My buddy and I didn't mind this at all...our significant others though..well let's just say they were troopers!

In the meadow just below the split we were trying to decide whether to go the lake to the left, or the lakes to the right.
Image20150809_153911 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
That's when a local from Independence (the only person we saw on this hike) came cruising down the trail with rod in hand. HIs advice was to go to the right two lakes.." the trail is a little hairy, but you can't really mess it up..and the golden's were hitting like crazy".. so that's where we went. After the scramble across the rock fall we had just done, this last little "hairy" part seemed like a breeze! So after our ~3.5 mile (2400 ft gain) we arrived at the first of the two lakes! WOW were we blown away!! We had the entire place to ourselves and decided to just take it all in for a few hours..even caught my first golden on the first cast!! As well as a quick dip in the lake.
Image20150809_133734 by bahuffma1, on Flickr

The hike down was much easier as the trail markers were easier to identify..even cut off about a half mile without all the accidental scrambling. Was also gorgeous as the lighting was phenomenal.
Image20150809_162522 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_153101 by bahuffma1, on Flickr

We were thrilled that there were so many wildflowers out as we expected everything to be dried up due to the drought.
Image20150809_164112 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_100904 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_153847 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_153129 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_153112 by bahuffma1, on Flickr

This was the first of several stops on our 2 week trip around the southern Sierra, and couldn't think of a better way to start it out.
Image20150810_104414 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_173140 by bahuffma1, on Flickr
Image20150809_160940 by bahuffma1, on Flickr



User avatar
markley
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:18 am
Location: Mills River, NC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

Postby The Other Tom » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:51 pm

Great photos. Thanks for posting. BTW, I'm just over the boarder from you, near Greenville SC
User avatar
The Other Tom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

Postby markley » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:58 pm

The Other Tom wrote:Great photos. Thanks for posting. BTW, I'm just over the boarder from you, near Greenville SC

Thanks Tom! Nice, I make it down that way quite often!
User avatar
markley
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:18 am
Location: Mills River, NC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:08 pm

Very nice TR and pretty pictures, looking forward to the rest, if anything like this one, we will have a great series to look forward to, thanks. :)

PS From who did you rent the van, how much a day, and by any chance do you have any photo's of the inside?
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8050
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

Postby markley » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:30 pm

maverick wrote:Very nice TR and pretty pictures, looking forward to the rest, if anything like this one, we will have a great series to look forward to, thanks. :)

PS From who did you rent the van, how much a day, and by any chance do you have any photo's of the inside?

Thanks maverick! And thanks again for all your help!

We rented from escape campervan in LA. I believe there's one in San Diego as well. This version was about $1500 for 14 days (for 100 miles/day). We ended up with 1,550 miles, so had to pay a little extra. Would have been $1350.

I do have some inside pics, but the website would show more.. escapecampervans.com

This was the smallest version they have. Made it very easy to pick-up and go.
User avatar
markley
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:18 am
Location: Mills River, NC
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

Postby balzaccom » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:19 pm

Those are really beautiful photos. Thanks for posting them,
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1292
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

Postby LightRanger » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:17 am

Very cool man. Great first day.
User avatar
LightRanger
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 5:07 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Onion Valley-Golden Trout Lake day hike - Aug 9

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:54 am

Thank you for that info, and your very welcome. :)
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8050
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: C and r, lvray, sekihiker and 11 guests