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TR: Duck Pass-Tully Hole-Silver Divide Lakes-Cascade Valley

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TR: Duck Pass-Tully Hole-Silver Divide Lakes-Cascade Valley

Postby lvray » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:00 am

Home for a few days so I though I would post a few trip reports.

June 30 through July 5 we traveled over Duck Pass to Lake Virginia, down into Fish Creek, explored a bunch of lakes and then headed down Cascade Valley and up the trail to Purple Lake to make a figure 8 lollipop loop. Most of this was familiar territory, but we had not previously visited the lakes in the upper Fish Creek drainage north of the Silver Divide, nor had we done the upper section of the Cascade Valley trail. It was somewhat early in the season, so we ran into hoards of through hikers on the PCT-JMT sections of our route, as well as at Lake Virginia. There was still some snow on Duck Pass.

Once down in Tully Hole, we headed cross country up past Hortense Lake, past Mace Lake and then to Izaak Walton. We camped at upper Izaak Walton because we were just awe struct by the beauty and solitude of the location (especially after having spent the night before at over crowded Virginia). We continued on past the Cotton Lakes and on down to Tully Lake where we picked up the trail. With the exception of Tully Lake, which was uninspiring, all the lakes on this side of the Silver Divide were beautiful and the cross country travel and route finding easy.

We next headed down the trail, made the crossing on the bridge, and headed up to visit the lakes around Silver Pass, camping on the ridges above Lake of the Lone Indian. The next day we headed back toward the crossing, but rather than crossing the bridge, we headed down Cascade Valley. Previously, we had done the section of Cascade Valley from Iva Bell hot springs to the lateral up Minnow Creek and loved it. This upper section was just as impressive with great flow in the cascades. The Cascade Valley trail really is very scenic and under rated, IMHO.

The last day, we headed up the connector trail to Purple Lake, back up to Duck Pass, then cross country over to Deer Lakes. We were somewhat surprised to find the connector trail to Purple Lake in very good shape. Deer Lakes were unremarkable, so we opted to camp at an unmapped lake on the plateau high above Duck Lake. Great views.

All in all, it was a great trip. The lakes north of the Silver Divide are stunning and well worth a visit.

The system limits posting to 12 attachments, so here is a very small sample of the pics we took.


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Lake Virgina


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Hortense Lake


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Upper Izaak Walton Lake and the Silver Divide


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Lower Izaak Walton Lake


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Upper Izaak Walton Lake as we climbed toward Cotton Lakes.


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Cotton Lake plateau and Red Slate Mountain


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Pond we camped near on ridges above Lake of the Lone Indian


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In Cascade Valley


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Cascade Valley


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Overlooking Deer Lakes


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Plateau above Duck Lake where we camped.


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Unmapped lake we camped near on plateau



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Re: TR: Duck Pass-Tully Hole-Silver Divide Lakes-Cascade Val

Postby lvray » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:07 am

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Headed to Duct Lake Pass

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Duck Lake

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Lake Virgina

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Looking down Cascade Valley while heading down switchbacks to Tully Hole

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Hortense Lake

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Hortense Lake

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Mace Lake

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Upper Izaak Walton lake

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Near Cotton Lake

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Above Lake of the Lone Indian

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Cascade Valley
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Re: TR: Duck Pass-Tully Hole-Silver Divide Lakes-Cascade Val

Postby lvray » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:12 am

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Cascade Valley

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Purple Lake

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Looking down on Mammoth Creek & Barney Lake

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Above Duck Lake headed to Deer Lake Basin
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Re: TR: Duck Pass-Tully Hole-Silver Divide Lakes-Cascade Val

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:29 am

Thank you for the TR and all the wonderful pictures Ivray, and yes the Silver Divide area is very pretty. :thumbsup:
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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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Re: TR: Duck Pass-Tully Hole-Silver Divide Lakes-Cascade Val

Postby SSSdave » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:04 am

Quite a tour, thanks for taking time for your report. You ought to have found some favorite places you might spend more time at in future years.

Over a few decades I've semi-basecamp backpacked into most of the areas you visited and more within the Fish Creek drainage. We also visited the area again on a 9 day trip this summer between July 15 and 23 during the greenery and wildflower peak. As a landscape photographer I consider it is one of the most scenic basins in the range but that is dependent on timing as the aesthetic nature of such places continuously changes during summers and varies somewhat from year to year with better conditions usually following above average winter snow packs plus early summers with a bout or three of thunderstorms. Too early in the summer and landscapes tend to be contrasty with significant areas of melting snows while turfy meadowy areas are soggy wet mostly still brown with few flowers. Too late and turfy meadowy areas become dry, brown, again with fewer flowers.

The scenic value of individual lakes also varies daily dependent on time of day and weather. Passing by lake scenery when background landscapes are backlit is highly likely to be drab boring and during midday light especially about granite or snowy landscapes is constrasty harsh. By far most important to viewing scenery are specific locations one is viewing from. Where trails and cross country routes pass beside lakes has nothing to do with where a lake will be most aesthetic. Framing timberline lakes well usually requires putting aesthetic background peaks into one's frame while finding complementing near lake shore beautiful foregrounds. And of course calm reflecting waters add dimensions to a lake scenic that cannot easily be evaluated unless one is there for such experiences. Walking along same shores during a windy afternoon with churning wavy surfaces or while cumulus buildups dimly drably shadow broad areas of landscapes hides much potential. At times views directly along lake shore edges are not as scenic as further away up higher where background peaks come into view. Much much more.

David
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Re: TR: Duck Pass-Tully Hole-Silver Divide Lakes-Cascade Val

Postby Love the Sierra » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:54 am

Thanks for the marvelous TR!
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Re: TR: Duck Pass-Tully Hole-Silver Divide Lakes-Cascade Val

Postby TehipiteTom » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:22 am

Nice report, great photos. Hortense Lake is an old favorite of mine, and that whole area is lovely.
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