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TR: Twin Lakes to Benson Lake

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TR: Twin Lakes to Benson Lake

Postby nsmeier » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:39 pm

Hoover Wilderness / Yosemite: Twin Lakes to Benson Lake Loop (clockwise)
(≈52 miles)

Nick, Jonathan, Kevin

August 9-14

This was a MeetUp hike organized by Jonathan

Twin Lakes is a private RV campground and boating area, but they also provide (for a fee) trailhead parking.

Day 1: Twin Lakes to Crown Lake (9 miles)
Day 2: Crown Lake to trail junction Matterhorn Canyon (13 miles)
Day 3: Matterhorn Canyon to Benson Lake (11 miles)
Day 4: Benson Lake to Peeler Lake (10 miles)
Day 5: Peeler Lake to Twin Lakes (9 miles)

This trip has lots of lakes. Most days had around 2,000-3,000 feet of elation gain/loss. While some descriptions of this trip suggest going counterclockwise, I suggest the way we did it, clockwise, as it puts the climbs in the beginning of each days journey. The only possible advantage of going counter that I see is that it makes day 2 relatively easy, with very little climbing at all. but on the other days, it puts some significant climbs toward the end of the day.

For a fuller description of the trip with photos, see my blog:

DSCN0162 Crown Lake.jpg

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Re: TR: Twin Lakes to Benson Lake

Postby balzaccom » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:06 am

Nice report!

We did this trip in the opposite direction, and I'm not sure I agree with your analysis. First day is always a climb. Second day we ended at Benson Lake...after that long steep descent. Third day we took it easy and stopped at Smedberg. Fourth day we camped in the upper reaches of Matterhorn Canyon---and hiking UP this canyon, with the expanding views of the Sawtooth range, is one of the highlights of a life of backpacking.


the remaining days were up and over a pass, then camping on the far side (Mule and Burro) and then down to Twin Lakes

It's a fabulous area. thanks for posting the report.

check out our website:
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Re: TR: Twin Lakes to Benson Lake

Postby Cross Country » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:18 am

I really enjoyed your report and fotos. They broght back memories of the same trip I took with my son Mike when he was 8 or 9 years old. It was a perfect trip for him. At Barney we saw two backpackers with llamas. I have the pics in my comp at home. If I were home I would put them in this reply but I´m in the Carribian with my I pad and my wife. We´ll be going to LA in October.
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Re: TR: Twin Lakes to Benson Lake

Postby JWreno » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:45 pm

We did this trip in reverse back in 2004. Spent 4 nights/5 days hiking. i enjoyed not seeing anyone from Peeler Lake down to Benson Lake. We also had Matterhorn canyon to ourselves. This is a great loop trip.
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