TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

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TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby Bruce B » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:28 pm

It's been about 15 years since my wife joined me on a backpacking trip. I made the mistake of taking her on several rough hikes like the Mt. Whitney Mountaineer's Route and the San Gorgonio Vivian Creek Trail. While neither trail is technical or particularly long, they are not what I'd call fun or relaxing trails for the casual backpacker. From these trips, she learned that backpacking is exhausting, gives you altitude sickness, and makes your big toenail fall off.

I was quite happy when she decided after all these years that she wanted to join me on a short backpack. We looked at options and decided the Treasure Lakes trail from South Lake would be a good reintroduction to backpacking. It looked beautiful, fun, and not long or difficult.

We spent Friday night at one of the many campgrounds along the road on the way to South Lake. Saturday morning, we headed up to the trailhead. Unfortunately, all the overnight parking at the trailhead was taken. I dropped her off at the trailhead and found parking about a mile down the road. Hiking up pavement for a mile is not my favorite way to start a hike, but that's life on a peak season weekend in the eastern Sierra.

The trailhead at South Lake provides a nice view of the fun that lies beyond.

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Ozzy the pack dog along the trail.

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We set up camp at lower Treasure Lakes. There were a few groups already there, so we crossed the creek and skirted the lake until we found this site. It was away from the others and offered more solitude.

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After setting up camp, I headed out to explore the upper lakes while my wife cooled her feet near our camp. There is no clear trail all the way to the upper lakes, but the route follows this beautiful creek for a while.

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The route to the upper lakes.

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The first of the three upper lakes.

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Napping in the sun next to a beautiful alpine lake. It doesn't get much more relaxing than that.

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On the way back to the lower lakes. Ozzy is crossing the creek here but is hard to see. He blends in with the logs.

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One of the two lower lakes.

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Shortly after I got back to camp, clouds rolled in and we had about 20 minutes of rain with some small hail. We dove into the tent and napped it out.

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Ozzy at camp after the rain. I think he looks somewhat presidential in this photo.

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Morning light on Sunday.

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Not my favorite picture... It would be better with a wolf on that ridge. Even a coyote would do.

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A self-portrait after we packed up camp before heading back down.

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The hike back to the trailhead was quick and easy. It left us plenty of time to pick up lunch at Great Basin before driving back to San Diego. Treasure Lakes is a nice weekend backpack if you don't want to wander too far from a trailhead. If I go there again, I'd camp at the upper lakes. I thought they were prettier, had fewer people, and had some great tucked away campsites.



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Re: TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby Jimr » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:02 pm

Congratulations on picking a hike worthy of reintroduction after the Whitney MR and Vivian Creek. Actually, I think Ozzy would have made a great wolf for the moon shot!
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Re: TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby Shawn » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:15 pm

Beautiful photos and Ozzy is a great looking dog! I was up there earlier this year, sort of a hidden gem.
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Re: TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby maverick » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:57 am

Good choice for the location, thanks for sharing the TR and pictures. Love Ozzies sleeping photo's, classics. :)
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Re: TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:02 am

A very nice TR!

Maybe Ozzy would win this year if we all write him in for Prez.. Just a thought given the current choices. :)
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Re: TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby Gypsy Wind » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:39 pm

Great TR.
Heeler's are the coolest of trail dogs, Border Collies too.

I usually do day hikes and never noticed special parking spots for overnight parking, am I missing something?
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Re: TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby Bruce B » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:11 pm

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Gypsy Wind wrote:Great TR.
Heeler's are the coolest of trail dogs, Border Collies too.

I usually do day hikes and never noticed special parking spots for overnight parking, am I missing something?


As you get to the end of the road, the first couple parking areas are signed "Day Use Only." The lot at the very end is signed "Overnight Hiker Parking" or something similar.

When we got off the trail, I saw a lot of day hikers using the overnight parking. That probably explains why the lot was filled. Meanwhile, there were many open spots in the day hiking lots. Perhaps the overnight lot should be signed "Overnight Hiker Parking ONLY."
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Re: TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby Love the Sierra » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:35 pm

Hi,
Beautiful trail report. Can you tell me, please, where the trailhead is? It looks like the eastern side but I am not quite sure.
Thanks
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Re: TR: South Lake to Treasure Lakes 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

Postby Bruce B » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm

Love the Sierra wrote:Hi,
Beautiful trail report. Can you tell me, please, where the trailhead is? It looks like the eastern side but I am not quite sure.
Thanks


You are correct. It's an eastside trailhead near Bishop.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/rec ... 0&actid=30
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