TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by bobby49 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:47 pm

I cannot condemn any backpacker for saving weight by carrying a little Canon Powershot camera. I carry one myself. However, a modern DSLR camera can get you much better focus accuracy, especially when you have obstructions in the near field.








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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by tmorton23 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:52 pm

I'm planning on doing a similar trip this coming August (around the same time of month) only clockwise and starting up Woods Creek to hit the Rae Lakes. I'm curious about the water availability at Sphinx Creek. That's my planned campsite for the last night of my trip, and I'm wondering how long the creek will be flowing. Is it pretty reliable? Or should I consider pressing on down to Bubbs?

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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by GGC23 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:22 pm

I've camped at Sphinx Creek in August of a dry year, and there was still water there. If I recall correctly, it's a pretty big, strong flowing creek, so you should be ok. The camping at the creek was pretty marginal, IMO, so if you have the energy, contining down to Bubbs wouldn't be a bad idea. But the descent from the only camping area along Sphynx Creek to Bubbs Creek consists of bone jarring, giant granite steps and there's nowhere to camp once you leave the little area along Sphynx Creek. So make sure that you're ready to commit to the entire descent!

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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:24 pm

Since I was out backpacking I missed your trip report so am glad that someone asked a question and bumped it up. That is a great route and I have been over all of it. I have made it to the Roaring Fork Ranger Station in one day and it was BRUTAL!!! To me, Avalanche Pass is mentally challenging because you are looking at what you think is the summit and it is a false summit quite far from the actual pass. It seems like you will NEVER get there!

As for Sphinx Creek, above the switchbacks, there is a nice established campsite on the Avalanche Pass side of Sphinx Creek, slightly upstream of the trail . At Sphinx Creek down on Bubbs Creek, there is a nice camp area upstream about 300 feet, south? of the bridge. (better than the campsite right on the Bubbs Creek Trail on the other side of the bridge). And speaking of great campsites, there is a wonderful camp area across the small creek just at timberline (north side of the pass) as you come down from Forrester Pass, on a flat area with a nice meadow, some little lakes, and some trees. Deer hang out here too.
Merge4_Forrester Bench.jpg


For the first time, this summer, I descended the Kern River trail from Lake South America to the junction with the Wallace Creek Trail. It was nicer than I had anticipated, fairly maintained, with waterfalls and some spectacular cliffs. I have never been up the Tyndall Creek trail, which intersects this trail, so cannot comment on it. But I think you would have liked that trail just as much.
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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by Matthew » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:11 pm

Hi tmorton23
I agree with all WD and HHC23 said.
Sphinx creek is large so it should have water year round, but is also has a very, very healthy population of mosquitoes - the most of any area in that loop! You could camp there or along Morraine creek which I think should have water too. Both areas are nice and flat, but neither have views.
WD: I hope I get back there (Kern River Junction) soon.

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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by tmorton23 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:44 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:24 pm
And speaking of great campsites, there is a wonderful camp area across the small creek just at timberline (north side of the pass) as you come down from Forrester Pass, on a flat area with a nice meadow, some little lakes, and some trees. Deer hang out here too.
Because I'm doing a clockwise loop, my current plan is to go from Vidette Meadow (or thereabouts) over Forrester and continuing south. Any recommendations for camping on the south side of Forrester? There appears to be a lake (on the east side of the trail) just south of the two larger ones below Forrester. That's my current idea.

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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:27 pm

The locations shown on the map below are where I have camped. A lot of people camp at the upper site. The one down at the lower lake is protected from the wind and few people use it. Neither have timber. The swamp shown on the map south of these two sites was a shallow lake the last time I was there; cannot recall, but I think there was some scrub timber. There are much better sites down on Tyndall Creek.
South of Forrester Campsites.jpg
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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by tmorton23 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:11 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:27 pm
The locations shown on the map below are where I have camped. A lot of people camp at the upper site. The one down at the lower lake is protected from the wind and few people use it. Neither have timber. The swamp shown on the map south of these two sites was a shallow lake the last time I was there; cannot recall, but I think there was some scrub timber. There are much better sites down on Tyndall Creek.

This is extremely helpful! Thank you WD!

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Re: TR: Avalanche, Colby, Kern Junction Mdw, Forester, Bubbs starting 12 Aug

Post by bobby49 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:53 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:27 pm
There are much better sites down on Tyndall Creek.
If you continue south along the JMT, you will arrive at the trail junction with the Shepherd Pass Trail, and this is near Tyndall Creek. There are all sorts of protected tent sites along the east side of Tyndall Creek.

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