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Onion Valley TH for Circle of Solitude

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Onion Valley TH for Circle of Solitude

Postby zwoij » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:31 am

Considering a similar loop but a few days shorter. Also wondering about the starting point, as Onion Valley would be new to me.

Last summer the ranger at Roaring River told me and my friend that Avalanche Pass had a great view if you continued out to the north end of the plateau. It was a magnificent place to camp. One of my favorite views, overlooking King's Canyon. Just carry in your water. I was thankful for the tip and want to pass it on.

There are too many places to see. I have been to Cloud Canyon, Colby Lake, and the High Sierra Trail to Whitney. I'm also wondering about alternate routes to Lake Reflection and Lake South America. Are they worth bypassing Colby Lake for? I have been to Colby and loved it.

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Re: Roads End vs Onion Valley TH for Circle of Solitude

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:09 am

As Cross Country referred to, if you are very comfortable on moderately difficult off-trail, an alternate route from Roads end to Reflection Lake: Sphinx Creek junction (trail), Sphinx Creek (trail), Sphinx Lake (off-and-on use-trail), side trip to Big Brewer Lake, upper Cunningham Creek drainage- South Guard Lake (off-trail), Longly Pass to Reflection Lake. From upper Cunningham you can also drop down Cunningham Creek (very steep and gnarly) to the trail above Roaring Fork.

I personally dislike Avalanche Pass, but that is just my opinion. Probably because twice I have done the pass as a part of very long days - one day from Road's End to Roaring Fork Ranger Station with a 12-day starting pack (Ugh!!). Too much walking in trees with only a few good views along the way. Psychologically, Avalanche Pass beats me up, because you are always looking at the ridge to the northeast (a false summit) and just when you think you have reached the top, you turn and have another 700 feet to go!

If you have two cars, you could either start or end at Wolverton, via Pear Lake (trail), Tablelands (off-trail), intersect Elizabeth Pass Trail on north side (via a small pass east of Lonely Lake) down Deadman Canyon to intersect the Circle of Solitude.

The problem for you with off-trail alternatives, is that if you are planning on doing the route in less days, off-trail travel is much slower so may not fit into your schedule.
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Re: Onion Valley TH for Circle of Solitude

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:45 pm


Welcome to HST! You post was split off the original thread, would prefer you start you own thread and not piggyback off the OP's thread. Also please read this, this will allow us to recommend possible routes that are within your abilities. Thanks
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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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