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TR: Tableland/Alta Meadow Loop - 08/14

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TR: Tableland/Alta Meadow Loop - 08/14

Postby BufordT » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:40 pm

Finally getting around to sharing some trips. I was looking for a short trip (2 nights) with easy access to higher country and no crowds. This loop through Tableland in Sequoia NP fit the bill. Started from Wolverton and went clockwise:

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Route
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Took the trail past the Watchtower and began the cross country portion near the Pear Lake ranger station. Spent the first night maybe a mile past the ranger station in complete solitude. The next day continued up to Tableland. Here is a view looking back on the enjoyable cross country route after gaining Tableland:

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Looking Back
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Upon climbing up to Tableland, I was surprised to see another soul. It turned out to be the gentleman who maintains http://sierrahiker.com/, and, who I think was surprised to see me. After chatting for a bit with this super-knowledgeable fellow, we parted ways. I strolled across Tableland to go sit on the Kings-Kaweah Divide and see what I could see. I'll only provide a picture of Tableland while heading that direction, and not the view from the Divide:

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Looking toward the Kings-Kaweah Divide
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From the Divide, crossing back over Tableland, I picked out a route to Moose Lake. Standing on the shore of the lake creates an infinity pool-type effect, with the Mineral King area providing the backdrop. From articles I came across, apparently a celebrity got lost trying to find her way to Moose Lake about a decade ago.

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Moose Lake
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From Moose Lake, my planned cross country route took me over to Alta Meadow. Apparently a maintained trail used to exist between these two areas, and I even found a report that a good use-trail was still in existence. However, my track record with "good use-trails" proved consistent, and I couldn't find it. Maybe it's just me...Anyway, the big deal is to go west from the lake. One definitely does not want to be drawn into heading south down Buck Canyon - which is reported impassable and is really gnarly-looking when viewed from the High Sierra Trail. Here is the point where I crossed over a little ridge, this point is south-south-west of Moose Lake:

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Crossing over
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Shortly after crossing that little ridge, Alta Meadow can be seen. I still had no luck finding a use-trail and probably took a more difficult route than necessary in an attempt not to lose too much elevation while traversing:

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Traverse to Alta
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Spent the night at Alta Meadow, where I believe another party had camped as well. I had used up a lot of daylight enjoying Tableland and the Divide, which resulted in setting up camp as darkness fell. Easy trail walk out the next day.
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Re: TR: Tableland/Alta Meadow Loop - 08/14

Postby sekihiker » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:23 pm

I remember meeting you out in the middle of nowhere and, yeah, I was surprised to run into someone else. Thanks for posting the report. It brings back good memories. I posted a report of my trip at: http://www.sierrahiker.com/ElizabethPassLoop/index.html
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Re: TR: Tableland/Alta Meadow Loop - 08/14

Postby zacjust32 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:18 pm

Great report! Some of my favorite country, and easily accessed too.
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Re: TR: Tableland/Alta Meadow Loop - 08/14

Postby sheperd80 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:11 pm

Great pics. I had no idea the sky was upside-down in that area :-) Thanks for sharing.

Im planning a 2 day loop there this summer. I was gonna head counter-clockwise through Alta to Moose then cut straight across to Pear and back out via the trail. I was thinking it would be easier to find Pear Lake coming from Moose as opposed to going clockwise and trying to find a trail at Alta Meadow to get back out. But it sounds like you had no trouble with that.

Any thoughts on one direction versus the other?

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Re: TR: Tableland/Alta Meadow Loop - 08/14

Postby zacjust32 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:36 pm

There's plenty of resources here if you search Moose Lake or Tablelands to give you some ideas. I took a dayhike last year to overlook Moose coming from Alta Peak and I didn't find travel too difficult. This whole area is pretty forgiving in the way of route finding: not much talus and easy granite slabs (hence the name Tablelands). I will say I found the views looking down into Table Meadows to be great though. Plus, once you get to Alta peak, there's not much more climbing to do. This is the route I took counter-clockwise.

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Re: TR: Tableland/Alta Meadow Loop - 08/14

Postby maverick » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:20 pm

Any thoughts on one direction versus the other?


Please start a separate thread if you are interested in getting information. Thanks
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