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Trip Report from 20 Lakes Basin, Tioga Crest

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Trip Report from 20 Lakes Basin, Tioga Crest

Postby Harlen » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:31 pm

Tioga Crest is a fun hike over easy ground which puts you up on a high and starkly beautiful plateau. This crest is gentle on the west side and impressively cliffy to the east. If you reach the highest points on the crest- which are at the north end, you gain some really impressive views on all sides. Bighorn Sheep were successfully reintroduced in this area, drawn from the Williamson herd, I believe. I have seen the Bighorns five or six times on past trips, and this time we saw fresh tracks and scat of both the sheep and black bear.
Other than that for wildlife, we saw, and constantly heard the ubiquitous Clark's nutcrackers and Chickarees, and also saw a variety of alpine chipmunks. Other birdlife in this area was the Cassin's finch, and Oregon juncos; other than that, it was pretty quiet.

For ease of access, great climbing and day hiking opportunities, and for the colorful scenery, 20 Lakes Basin is a good place to know.

s. Lake123.JPG
Above is the view from the south end of Saddlebag Lake, looking north. Shepherd's Crest is the mountain to the left in the distance, and Tioga Crest is to the right in the frame. The top is most easily reached by hiking up the gentle swale, which lies above the pine forest in this photo.

mossy creek.JPG
This is the upper half of that swale.

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Bear sliding on the snow.

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Note the rugged east side of the crest; the upper basin of Lundy Canyon.

20 lakes basin 124.JPG
Tioga Crest, with the look and feel of the mountains of South Eastern Oregon.

20 lakes basin 136.JPG
Last shot, looking north at Shepherd's Crest- a very different crest from Tioga's. It is mostly granite, and pretty steep country on all sides. McCabe Saddle is to the left of Shepherds' Crest, and Sky Pilot Col is immediately to the right. It doesn't look easy does it? Roper says:
...ever-steepening talus leads up to the left side of this bowl to the final indignity, a short but steep scree slope that most hikers will find offensive."

But it does lead one into the sublime country of upper Virginia Canyon. Happy travels.
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Last edited by Harlen on Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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Re: Trip Report from 20 Lakes Basin, Tioga Crest

Postby Hobbes » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:49 am

Saddlebag looks beautiful completely full and no one around. Did you do any fishing? Past 20 lakes seems to be an area not many people hike. Did you go past Lundy to the Green creek watershed?
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Re: Trip Report from 20 Lakes Basin, Tioga Crest

Postby Harlen » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:45 pm

Didn't fish, didn't carry on, other than to make a circle through 20 Lakes Basin. In the past, I've hiked out Lundy; went over McCabe Saddle and on and on; and have skied from the Green Creek watershed, over "Summit Lake Pass," (what is it's real name?) and on to T.Meadows and across.

What is the "past Lundy to the Green creek watershed?" route you were thinking of Karl? Sky Pilot Col - Virginia Pass?
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