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Precipice lake trail and trip

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Precipice lake trail and trip

Postby Davidleeshort » Fri May 13, 2016 10:32 am

I am looking on taking a overnight trip to lake precipice. Any recommendations for the trail would be appreciated. We are planning on 5 days. We have moderated skill. Many day hikes with limited overnight experience. We've done the 28 mile half dome in one day. We usually have a base camp then hike out and back. Thanks again for any advice with this trail.



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Re: Precipice lake trail and trip

Postby maverick » Fri May 13, 2016 12:38 pm

Hi David,

Welcome to HST!

I am looking on taking a overnight trip to lake precipice. Any recommendations for the trail would be appreciated. We are planning on 5 days.


Please clarify, is this an overnight trip or a 5 day (4 night) trip? Also read: http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... f=1&t=4205
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Precipice lake trail and trip

Postby AlmostThere » Fri May 13, 2016 2:55 pm

You don't say when you want to go. There is a section of trail between Hamilton and Precipice that retains snow, and can be quite precarious. Plus you'll have quite a bit of competition for permits.


Half Dome isn't typically a 28 mile trip. Try 16-18, if done from Happy Isles. Aside from which, that's only going to impress me if you did it without any soreness, blistering, exhaustion, etc. Nit picky of me, but it really doesn't say anything about fitness to mention a single event -- if you are hiking every month and doing some sort of cardio several times a week, or running and biking and hiking on an ongoing basis, that gives more useful info that quoting a single hike as an accomplishment. Especially when anyone can do a hike and suffer like crazy, as do the majority of the people I've ever seen on the trail to Half Dome.
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Re: Precipice lake trail and trip

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon May 16, 2016 9:16 pm

A more feasible option would be to hike to Hamilton Lake in a day (not that bad). Then get up early and day-hike up to Precipice Lake and return to Hamilton, pack up and get down the trail as far as you can, maybe out, maybe not. Then go the rest of the way out the next day. I honestly see little reason to lug a full pack up to Precipice when you could just day hike it.

Other logistical issues: you have to pick up a permit at Lodgepole, and this can take half to an hour. Then drive to Crescent Meadow (can be quite slow due to all the tourist traffic). Then get ready, put any extra food and smell stuff in the bear box. Unless you get your permit the day before, you are not going to get on the trail early enough.

What I have done, is a 6 hour drive to Lodgepole, get permit, and on trail by 2-3 PM. We then made it to just before Buck Creek by dark. Next day it would be feasible to go to Precipice Lake. Then you could walk out from Precipice Lake in a long day. I actually walked out from Nine Lakes Basin in 11.5 hours last year. And I am an old lady! You do not have to run down the trail; just keep a nice steady pace and take very few rest stops. There is basically no camping (because no water and no flat ground) once you pass Mehrten Creek (on the way out).

I would not say that you cannot do this, but transport and other logistical issues make an overnight more difficult. You did not mention where you are driving from, and if you plan to get your permit the day before. Just add a half day and your plan becomes much more reasonable.

Best to wait until after mid-July because of the possibility of snow in the "tunnel" gully.
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Re: Precipice lake trail and trip

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon May 16, 2016 9:21 pm

My reply assumed you are asking about a 2-day, one night (overnight) trip.

If you are simply asking about a "base camp" to day hike to Precipice Lake, then that would be Hamilton Lake. In that case 5 days is plenty of time.
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