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Mineral King Trip Report

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:02 pm
by shadow11
Got back from a 6day/5night backpack 55 mile or so loop in Mineral King area. I was surprised how few people were out there. Probably ran into 15 people in 6 days and one was a group of 8. It was my first time in Mineral King area and it is beautiful up there. All the trails were in great shape and stream crossings were not an issue. If I ever figure out how to post pictures I will post some.

Day 0 - Drove from SOCAL to Mineral King - arrived Saturday at around 4PM and had no problem finding a site at Cold Spring Campground - Atwell had a lot of spots still open also.

Day 1 - rented Marmot wire and wrapped around the car to keep marmots out - it was funny seeing what people did with the wire and tarps. Did the climb up to Franklin Lakes and then Franklin Pass and then down to Forrester Lake. Had the lake to ourselves and it was really nice. It looked like there was another lake (unnamed) a little South of there that would have been nice to stay at also.

Day 2 - Headed down and then up to Big 5 Lakes. Stayed at the first one at 9,830 feet. Again a nice lake and we had it to ourselves once again.

Day 3 - Headed down to Big Arroyo Junction and then up to Nine Lake Basin. Ran into a couple of climbers at Big Arroyo who just finished Black Kaweah and then were going to do Red Kaweah the next day. Thought we were not going to find flat spot to camp at Nine Lakes but North of lake had a huge flat spot. Only one other person at this Lake.

Day 4 - Did a little exploring at Nine Lake Basin. Watched a group of 7 or 8 go up Pants pass - looked real steep to me but they kept plugging away. Went up to Kaweah Gap down to Lake Hamilton (took a quick swim) and then stayed at Bearpaw Meadow. Only a couple of people here.

Day 5 - Went from Bearpaw to Cliff Creek. Surprised to see a permanent structure at Redwood Meadow. There was a spigot at Redwood Meadow also. Started clouding up and thundering around 1 or so but never rained. Had this campsite to ourselves also.

Day 6 - Cliff Creek back to Mineral King - this was a lot of uphill to Timber Gap but it was in the shade and nice. First time I every heard anybody complain that there were not enough switch backs. Moved pretty quick to get out and get a piece of pie before the long ride home.

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:57 pm
by KathyW
Sounds like a really nice trip shadow - that area is just beautiful. How were the mosquitoes?

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:52 pm
by Shawn
Great report - Mineral King is a gem, it's nice you had a chance to explore it for a week.

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:13 am
by Cloudy
Hello all, first time poster! Yes, that's a pretty good trip. I especially like Precipice Lake just below Kaweah Gap when there is still some ice on it. I also find that cabin at Redwood Meadow to be a beautiful structure. If you look closely, you'll note the bear claw marks at about shoulder height on the logs. I slept on the porch once...

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:53 am
by Snow Nymph
Nice trip report, but *no_pics*

We did a similar trip a few years ago but in reverse, and came out at Sawtooth Pass. I didn't use the diaper or wire for my 4Runner, just a few mothballs and ammonia and I popped my hood. No damage.

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:45 am
by shadow11
Mosquitos were not real bad. Used a little bit of Deet at Forrester Lake, Big 5 Lakes, and Nine Lake Basin. Didn't need any at Bearpaw or Cliff Creek. Could have gotten by the whole trip with just putting on fleece and a head net but it was a little hot.

No snow in the Lake at Precipice, but it is a real nice lake - just one small patch of snow about 10 feet wide on the trail.

I am hoping to get up pictures. I am new to digital camera and have to figure out how to get pictures from camera to computer and then from computer to website - that is my goal for tonight or tomorrow (if I can get out of work).

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:55 am
by maverick
Any flowers at Timber Gap? Some years this place can really be a flower
garden, but I suspect this year is not one of those years.

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:26 pm
by SSSdave
Just returned from my Great Western Divide trip and saw quite a lot of backpackers along trail areas. Talked to a number of groups doing loops via Timber Gap or Frankling Pass. There are still nice numbers of snow patches in shady northern exposures that are keeping all the streams flowing nicely though at much lower levels than usual for early July. Looks more like mid August. Unlike some people have reported, I saw lots of wildflowers though maybe a tad less than on average years. Also some meadows that have long been in the sun are already browning. Moderate numbers of mosquitoes that hang out in the many seep areas and along streams. They were often annoying me and my hands and wrists were bitten more than usual because given their lower than normal numbes, I minimally bothered to apply DEET during the trip. ...David