Conflicting information on best way to get from Golden Trout Lakes to Dragon Lake. Gould or Dragon Pass?

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hisdudeness47
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Conflicting information on best way to get from Golden Trout Lakes to Dragon Lake. Gould or Dragon Pass?

Post by hisdudeness47 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:10 am

Hey there, I'm planning a ~30 mile loop through Rae Lakes/60 Lakes Basin/Gardiner Basin. My preliminary idea can be seen here (https://caltopo.com/m/20HG). Let me know what you think. I'm thinking 4 or 5 nights. Anyway, I wanna do quite a bit of XC on this route so I'm looking at going to Rae Lakes on the first night via the Golden Trout Lake area, over Dragon/Gould Pass, down to Dragon Lake, and then on to Rae Lakes. It's only about 5.5 miles, vs about 11.5 if I went the Kearsarge/Glen Pass route, and includes the XC adventure I want. However, I'm seeing conflicting information on what the best way to get from the Golden Trout Lake area to Dragon Lake is.

The High Sierra Topix map shows a route from Golden Trout Lake (see the attached green map pic) up to what I believe is called Gould Pass, but it's weird (http://www.highsierratopix.com/high-sie ... =2&zoom=14)... That green line looks like it ascends to a ridge, descends the other side, then ascends to what I believe is called "Dragon Pass". Also, the "Gould Pass" point on this map doesn't look like a "pass" at all. It looks like a peak, and the green line doesn't jive with it, so I'm confused by this route, where the location of Gould Pass actually is, and how to get there.

I'm seeing on the Dragon Peak Peakbagger and other sites a different route that ascends from the lake north of Golden Trout Lake (11401 feet on CalTopo but called Lake 11360 on attached pic) west to the same point (Dragon Pass?) as the other route. There's GPXs galore that show the "Dragon Pass" route and I've attached an image I found that shows the ascent and descent towards Dragon Lake.

Then there's also "North Dragon Pass" seen here (http://www.highsierratopix.com/high-sie ... =2&zoom=14).

So, my question is, what's the best way to get from the Golden Lake Trout area to Dragon Lake? Anyone have experience with an XC route that connects these two? Does anyone have a GPX that shows a complete route to Dragon Lake via their XC route?

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

EDIT: Or is it just easier to go Kearsarge/Glen Pass to Rae Lakes on Day 1, even if it is longer?
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Re: Conflicting information on best way to get from Golden Trout Lakes to Dragon Lake. Gould or Dragon Pass?

Post by wildhiker » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:36 pm

Hi Hisdudeness47,

Did you see this trip report on Dragon Pass?
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=18519
Sounds difficult.

I am struck by your ambition and ability to do this whole loop in 4 or 5 nights. I did the same loop in the clockwise direction, except I used the trail between Rae Lakes and Onion Valley at the end, as a skinny 18 year old college student in 1970. My buddy and I took 8 nights, which included a layover day at Charlotte Lake to hike down to Vidette Meadow without packs.

-Phil

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Re: Conflicting information on best way to get from Golden Trout Lakes to Dragon Lake. Gould or Dragon Pass?

Post by hisdudeness47 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:36 am

wildhiker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:36 pm
Hi Hisdudeness47,

Did you see this trip report on Dragon Pass?
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=18519
Sounds difficult.

I am struck by your ambition and ability to do this whole loop in 4 or 5 nights. I did the same loop in the clockwise direction, except I used the trail between Rae Lakes and Onion Valley at the end, as a skinny 18 year old college student in 1970. My buddy and I took 8 nights, which included a layover day at Charlotte Lake to hike down to Vidette Meadow without packs.

-Phil
Hey Phil, we're adjusting our plan a bit, but yeah, we're still aiming for 5 nights. Here's the new plan, still in progress (https://caltopo.com/m/A1UH). I don't think it's going to include Gould or Dragon Pass. They do look a little sketchy to do right off the bat and I think I came up with a better idea. However, our plan still does include Kearsarge Pass, Glen Pass, Rae Col, 60 Lakes Col, Basin Notch, East Gardiner Pass, and Gardiner Pass. Gonna be a doozy, but still only 10k over 6 days/5 nights, surprisingly. The current plan is:

Day 1: Drive to trailhead and hike to Flower/Matlock Lake for camp to acclimate a bit. We're coming from 5k and hike at elevation a lot, so I'm hoping the acclimation process isn't too bad for us. Distance: 2.5-3 miles.

Day 2: Pretty big day. Hike from Flower/Matlock to camp at 60 Lakes Basin via Rae Col, bypassing Rae Lakes. This hike will go over 3 humps, Kearsarge Pass, Glen Pass, and Rae Col. I'm tired thinking about it. Distance: ~9-10 miles.

Day 3: Layover day! Gonna bust out the day packs and dayhike down 60 Lakes Basin, through Basin Notch and back up through Rae Lakes and back to camp on the regular trail. Or reverse. Distance: to be determined!

Day 4: Climb from 60 Lakes Basin over 60 Lakes Col to Gardiner Basin to find another camp. Explore! Might grab Mt. Cotter on the way. Distance: 3-5 miles between camps.

Day 5: Another pretty big day. From Gardiner Basin, go west over Gardiner Pass East, south over Gardiner Pass and then on to either Charlotte Lake or Kearsarge Lakes, depending on time and/or energy. Distance: ~6.5 to Charlotte Lake and 10 to Kearsarge Lakes.

Day 6: Hike out. Distance: ~9 from Charlotte Lake. ~5.5 from Kearsarge Lakes.

Let me know what you think of this plan! Yeah, it's gonna be tough with all the XC, but the days really aren't that huge. Our original plan was the North to South Lake loop which would have been ~60 miles in 6 days/5 nights. I'd argue this might be easier, although with a lot more XC.

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Re: Conflicting information on best way to get from Golden Trout Lakes to Dragon Lake. Gould or Dragon Pass?

Post by Gazelle » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:07 pm

the reason it is hard to figure golden trout lake over is it is not easy and very convoluted! even if you think you know where to go it is hard! going from flower to 60 lakes is more than you think I went from Th to below glen pass lakes in a day with alot of food then over rae col after a big day doing peaks...beside the point...Big day! the rest all good Dragon Lake is Very nice!
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein

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