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Recommendations for 2 nights in Mokelumne

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:16 pm
by alc101ma
Hi Everyone,

I was planning an October trip to Deso but am now thinking of upping the wilderness quotient a bit and going south to Mokelumne. I've never visited the area before so it would be a nice change.

I'm a level 3 hiker and I'm bringing a friend who is a level 2. We'd love a loop that has lakes and great Sierra scenery. I wouldn't want to push it past class 2 terrain. Some backtracking is OK as long as it's not a 100% out and back. I'd also like to be able to wet a line and catch us some dinner.

Anyone have any recommendations for a 2 night loop? We're coming from the Bay Area if that makes a difference.
Thanks in advance!

Re: Recommendations for 2 nights in Mokelumne

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:51 am
by balzaccom
Not a lot of great loops in the Mokelumne Wilderness, as most of it is dominated by the river canyon. You can hike out of Blue Lakes To Granite Lake (a short and easy hike) and from the hike on to Grouse Lake...but that's not a loop.

Winnemucca, Round Top, and Fourth of July is another route---but also not really a loop. You'll need reservations to camp at either of the first two lakes.

From the south side (Highway 4) you can hike from near Lake Alpine to Wheeler Lake...and then maybe back through the trail along the ridge above Underwood Valley---but there might not be any water for camping on the second part of that loop.

Re: Recommendations for 2 nights in Mokelumne

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:26 am
by TehipiteTom
balzaccom wrote:Not a lot of great loops in the Mokelumne Wilderness, as most of it is dominated by the river canyon. You can hike out of Blue Lakes To Granite Lake (a short and easy hike) and from the hike on to Grouse Lake...but that's not a loop.

With some not too difficult off-trail travel, you can convert some of these into loops or semi-loops. I did one trip where we went to Grouse Lake the first night, then over the ridge to Snow Canyon for the second night. Devil's Corral is esy off-trail travel from Granite Lake, and from the trailhead. Evergreen Lake is super-easy off-trail, and a lot less crowded than Granite. So you can pick among these off-trail destinations to make a more interesting route than just a basic out-and-back.

Re: Recommendations for 2 nights in Mokelumne

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:56 pm
by wildhiker
A short loop that we did as a one-nighter is to start at Carson Pass, head south to Winnemucca and Round Top Lakes, then over the low pass down to 4th of July Lake and on down into Summit City Canyon. We camped here in the canyon. Next day, we hiked up the trail that climbs the south-facing slope above Summit City Canyon to Forestdale Summit. When we did this (about 10 years ago), that trail was getting a bit brushy. At Forestdale Summit, you hook up with the Pacific Crest Trail and take it back to Carson Pass.

If you are fishing, perhaps you would stop the first night at 4th of July Lake. Then the second day you could check out fishing in Summit City Canyon (there is a trail that heads many miles down the canyon) before climbing up to Forestdale Summit and then camp at the little tarns just north down from the summit. Last day would be a really short one in this scenario.

-Phil