Mineral King to Bear Paw

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stringbop
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Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by stringbop » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:04 am

Is the trail from Bear Paw Camp down to Mineral King thru Timber Gap (Theodore Solomons trail I believe) so dull and boring that it would be better to go up and back the same trail on the Big Arroyo/HST? I usually like to do a loop if possible but if that stretch on the Theodore Solomons is too dull and forested, then maybe I should avoid it?








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AlmostThere
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Re: Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by AlmostThere » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:59 am

"Too dull?" So you don't like history, Sequoias and river crossings?

FYI it is not down to Mineral King. It's down, across the river, through Redwood Meadow, and UP and then down to Mineral King.

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stringbop
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Re: Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by stringbop » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:04 am

By down I mean south. And yes I am not interested in history, trees or river crossings. Looking for High Sierra Mountain Scenery, alpine lakes, huge granite rock formations....

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kpeter
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Re: Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by kpeter » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:12 am

I found the Bearpaw to Redwood Meadow to Cliff Creek to be the least interesting part of my loop. However, it did have its moments. It is pretty special to walk along through the giant sequoias--usually the only groves you access are heavily trafficked with tourists. Exploring those groves deep in the wilderness is a unique experience. I also liked parts of the trail as it descended through oak--reminded me of Yosemite. But there also were some dull overgrown forested sections that were so dense there was no understory between Redwood Meadows and Cliff Creek. Timber Gap is a real pass with real elevation gain and loss. It had it moments--interesting geology with red rock and some interesting waterfalls and meadows on its west side that were very different than anything else on the loop.

You can see some photographs and judge for yourself on my trip report.

http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... ng#p124452

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bobby49
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Re: Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by bobby49 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:12 am

I did that loop (Timber Gap, Redwood Meadow, Bearpaw, Kaweah Gap, Big Arroyo, Little 5 Lakes, Columbine Lake, Sawtooth Pass, etc.) in three days, and I found it very enjoyable. As I descended toward Redwood Meadow, I photographed an endangered Spotted Owl. Then from there, the stream crossings got interesting (challenging).

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Re: Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:15 am

Given your preferred scenery, definitely go via Big Arroyo, with side trips to Big 5 Lakes, Little 5 Lakes, and then be sure to camp either in Nine Lakes Basin and/or Hamilton Lake. Bear Paw is what is pretty boring. You will need to decide if you rather go over Blackrock Pass or Sawtooth Pass via Columbine Lake. Others have said that Sawtooth Pass is dangerous; I do not agree, if you are a good route finder and know all the safety measures to walk on steep loose scree. You can also take a side-trip to Monarch Lake. If you go over Blackrock Pass you still go over Timber Gap.

The route above is much longer than going via Timber Gap route you cited. I would take at least one week to fully enjoy all the scenery.

PS. I see nothing "wrong" about not being interested in history or large trees vs. high mountain scenery. At least you are honest!

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Buford
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Re: Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by Buford » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:20 am

My message disappeared. I agree with kpeter.

Big Arroyo is much better in my opinion. Down below Redwood Meadow you get low enough to hit oak trees. I like oak trees, but don’t need to drive 6 hours to see them.

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limpingcrab
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Re: Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by limpingcrab » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:31 am

If you like cross country and don't mind a bunch of small passes then go behind Hamilton Dome from Hamilton Lake and traverse the upper reaches of the forks of Granite and Eagle Scout Creeks along the west side of the Great Western Divide until you drop in to the trail over Timber Gap. It's a LOT of work, but one of the most absolutely amazing places in the Sierra (if you like rocks).
IMG_0289 (1).JPG
My wife on the southernmost ridge before dropping to the trail over Timber Gap. You can see the Angel Wings in the distance.
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creekfeet
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Re: Mineral King to Bear Paw

Post by creekfeet » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:53 pm

I generally go for big mountain scenery and lakes, but I loved the stretch of trail from Bearpaw to Redwood when I hiked it. There's something pretty special about hiking into a sequoia grove so far removed from any road, and I'm always a sucker for some oak trees here and there. The crossing of the Middle Fork is a beautiful spot, and has an awesome swimming hole if the current's not too crazy. Eagle Scout and Granite Creek are also pretty fun to explore. Lots of nice little pools to jump in, and the water's pretty warm by Sierra standards.

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