Looking for some help on deciding a route my friend and I will do just after Labor Day. We have between 3-4 nights available for the trip- this does not include the night before the trip. We enjoy high terrain, lakes, fishing, and some wooded terrain. We'd like to explore some off the beaten path areas away from the JMT, potentially climb up to a peak, do some fishing, explore, etc. The challenge with the limited time is having to tackle a large pass in on day 1- but this is doable for us. I have put together some potential routes below with the help of users on HST and other internet sources. Wondering if anyone has any other suggestions for a 3-4 night trip accessing from the east. Thanks!
Routes we are contemplating:
Option 1 - Lake Basin / Bench Lake via Taboose:
Day 1:Taboose Pass TH to Bench Lake (Night 1)
Day 2: Bench Lake to Lakes Basin over Cartidge Pass; taking a cross country route into valley below (north of) bench lake to find the use trail of cartridge pass; maybe explore up to Marion Lake in Lake Basin time permitting. Night 2 in Lake Basin.
Day 3: Fish/Explore around Lake Basin then hike to unnamed lakes just south of taboose pass trail (west of Taboose pass) and east of the junction with the JMT. Night 3 at unnamed lakes below taboose pass.
Day 4: Hike a bit up to taboose pass, then lots and lots of downhill to the trailhead.
Option 1A - Arrow Peak / Bench Lake via Taboose:
Day 1: Same as above
Day 2: summit Arrow Peak as outlined here - http://calipidder.com/wp/2011/09/arrow- ... ench-lake/
Day 3: Open to suggestions
Day 4: Hike out via Taboose Pass
Option 2- Window Peak Lake via Sawmill Pass
Overview of the proposed route is basically this - http://www.summitpost.org/window-peak-l ... yon/823504
Day 1: Sawmill Pass TH to Woods Lake
Day 2: Woods Lake to Window Peak Lake via woods creek trail/cross country
Day 3: Open to suggestions
Day 4: Return to Trailhead.
Option 3- Thanks to SSSDavie for this recommendation!
"But here is a better idea if you want some crosscountry challenge without getting in over your head. First climbing up 6k over the crest in one day is nuts for most of us. Better just to go part way and then the next morning go over and enjoy most of a day in the wonderful Woods Lake basin. Next day climb up crosscountry to Coloseum Col and bag Mount Cedric Wright then drop down scree and talus to the trail and continue over Pinchot Pass and on the trail past Lake Marjorie and vector crosscountry off past a small noname pond wandering over to these map cross hairs:
Then descend to Bench while traversing high enough that one can visit the noname lakelet southeast:
Option 4- Bear Lakes Basin
Route is described here - http://ladyonarock.com/2015/03/08/bear-lakes-basin/
Pretty good trip report too!
We were also playing around with the idea of 60 lakes basin/Gardiner Basin via kearsarge pass, but it seems like there are no fish in the lakes, and this is a more crowded area.
AND here is my backpacking experience:
What level of backpacking experience do you have?
Level 3- Numerous backpacking trips, some x-country travel
Eastern Sierras: Yosemite to Evolution Canyon on the JMT with an exit over Piute Pass last year; Twin Lakes "Lollipop" loop out of lodgepole (2014) , Red Slate Mountain via Convict canyon trail (2013). Other various backpacking trips on the California Coast, SoCal, and along the AT in New York. Have definitely progressed in skill and comfort over the years. Started out with a 40 lbs pack and struggling to do 8 miles, now down to a significantly lower pack weight and comfortable doing 20+ miles on trail in a day. I'm comfortable using map and compass, but prior to this September a requirement for myself is one of those REI classes that practices triangulation in the field. We also carry a GPS with us.
What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 1 terrain/trail hiking
- River crossings
- Class 3 terrain/pass/x-country
Have had some experience with crossing snow patches and going off trail on scree/talus in the below areas:
2015: Before taking the trail crossing East over Piute Pass towards Bishop we did some off trail exploring of the area. If my memory serves correctly we explored the Lower Golden Trout Lakes. This was very easy terrain to go off trail on as it was wide open.
2013:This was my first backpacking trip in the sierras and we decided to go off trail from Lake Dorothy up to the base of Red Slate Mountain. We tried to climb the mountain, but thunderstorms and exhaustion told us otherwise. We crossed snow here.
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