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TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Canyon

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TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Canyon

Postby Asolthane » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:21 am

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I did this 2 summers ago with a friend in early August.

We arrived at the Pine Creek trailhead in the evening and passed out. The following morning my friend woke up with a nasty cold and we weren't sure he could do the trip. We ended up driving into Mammoth lakes and buying some of the sudafed decongestant they keep behind the counter and going for it.

Day 1: Hike up Pine Creek
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to Pine Lake, which was stunning:
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continue past upper Pine Lake to camp at Honeymoon Lake. We found a bed of moss that felt like the most plush mattress ever created, and took an absolutely glorious nap before setting up camp. Stunning so far. My friend was actually quite sick, but is a tough son of a gun.

Day 2: Continue up the trail towards Chalfant Lakes
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My buddy was feeling terrible so we only made it a couple of miles and decided to camp here:
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Day 3: We were behind on our miles and decided to see if we could scout a pass that would cut the mileage down. From Granite Park it looked like there was a way over into Bear Lakes basin, which would mean we wouldn't see Lake Italy. It looked pretty gnar-gnar though! Like a huge canine tooth:
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It ended up being harder than it looked, as it meant climbing up a long steep section that was just small, loose scree with nothing to hold onto. Here's the view from the top looking down on Black Bear Lake:
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Black Bear Lake with 7 Gables in the distance:
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We camped at Big Bear Lake:
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It was pretty, but cold and windy up there. We were exhausted and my friend was still sick, so we set up camp and went to sleep early.

Day 4: We just rested and read a book to see if he could recover. I took some photos
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Day 5: EPIC adventure day, leaving a basecamp. We went down this creek
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and were treated to this amazing view of 7 Gables. What a mountain, another tooth looking thing, this time more like a shark tooth
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We checked out the lakes along east fork of Bear Creek, including Stub lake and 7 Gables Lakes. The latter was stunning and we took a swim:
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The we climbed up to Vee Lake
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and up the drainage
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and up
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and up
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and up
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and up
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and up to the top of an unnamed peak just shy of 13k
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And back to camp for a sound sleep. This was one of the most amazing days of my life. So beautiful, so fun.

Day 6: Over this pass
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and down to French Canyon.

Day 7: A day of frisbee, and then light painting at night
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Day 8:
Up French Canyon and over Pine Creek Pass (easy) and back down to Pine Creek Trailhead.

What a wonderful trip. I highly recommend Bear Lakes Basin. I would camp in the meadow above Vee Lake if I returned, seemed by far the best spot in the basin.
Last edited by Asolthane on Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:59 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby Asolthane » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:19 am

Are people seeing the photos? They show up in my browser, but not in tapatalk
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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:39 am

Can see them on the Win10 pc chrome. Tapatalk: no. Chrome browser on the Android: no. They try and load but don't get the grey zero with the line in them.

The map does show up though on all three.
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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby Asolthane » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:51 am

rlown wrote:Can see them on the Win10 pc chrome. Tapatalk: no. Chrome browser on the Android: no. They try and load but don't get the grey zero with the line in them.

The map does show up though on all three.


Ok, I went to the trouble to download them from google photos and upload them to postimage.org, where the map was hosted. That should fix it!

Let me know if not.
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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:56 am

WORKS in android chrome now!!! didn't test tapatalk as that's not this forums direction..
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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby Asolthane » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:00 am

I'm seeing it in tapatalk. Some good shots right?!

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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:07 am

Very nice shots.. Although (slight pause) where are the fishing rods and the fish pics? :crybaby:

Unless the guy in the red shorts was catching them with his teeth :D
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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby Asolthane » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:55 am

No fishing on this trip, this was 2013 before my dad bought me a Tenkara rod. I don't think I mentioned any fish...although there were some nice ones in 7gables lakes.

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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby oldhikerQ » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:49 pm

Thanks for the TR. I want to get to the Bear Lakes basin before I'm too old.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby LightRanger » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:28 pm

Sweet TR. Thanks dude!
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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby markskor » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:00 pm

Nice report...thanks!
Similar route to our "Visit the Bears - Follow the Green" adventure a few years back.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12225
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Re: TR: Pine Creek-Granite Park-Bear Lakes-Merriam-French Ca

Postby ExploreABitMore » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:54 pm

Nice TR and photos, thanks! I hope to do a similar loop, including Lake Italy this summer.
Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Night Sky Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/
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