Trip Advice: Royce Lakes / First Eastern Sierra Trip!

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
Post Reply
User avatar
mbehlen
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:58 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker
Contact:

Trip Advice: Royce Lakes / First Eastern Sierra Trip!

Post by mbehlen » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:45 pm

Hi HST! You have helped me plan my first ever trip, my first multi-day trip, and multiple solo trips. And now I have backpacked a couple of hundred miles! Thank you for all of your help!

I wanted to ask your advice/opinion on my first eastern sierra trip. I have a permit for Pine Creek TH next week for Thursday August 7th to Sunday (and I plan on arriving Wednesday night and hike early Thursday to Sunday Afternoon). This will be three night/four day adventure.

My problem is the only reason I picked this trailhead is because I am an avid photographer and keep seeing amazing pictures from Royce Lakes and Humphrys Basin and beyond. I wanted to ask if you would help me with some lollipop loops from this trail head with a focus on capturing lakes/mountains in wonderful golden light and early sunrise photography. I am looking to do 10-13 miles a day for a total of 50 miles or so. I am comfortable off trail and have few experiences with light snow travel.

The Stats/Info:
What level of backpacking experience do you have?
Level 3- Numerous backpacking trips, some x-country travel

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 1 terrain/trail hiking
- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country
-River crossings

What is your main interest(s)?
- Lakes
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography

Thank you for your suggestions! I wouldn't normally be so vague but I don't have a lot of time to plan between the day job and family. Thank you for all your help!








User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Trip Advice: Royce Lakes / First Eastern Sierra Trip!

Post by Harlen » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:37 pm

Hi mbehlen,

With all of those miles you're willing to do, and your off-trail experience, I'd say check out the various loops you can do in and out of the Bear Basin area. If you want to include Royce Lakes, you can do a circle from Italy Pass to Jumble Pass down into the amazing Bear Basin, and then exit via "BeaRoyce Pass." This will drop you right down to the highest of the Royce Lakes. Pretty nice trip. Here's a view of BeaRoyce, which I found to be not nearly as hard as it looked from a distance: (check it out in the "Backcountry Passes" section of HST's Resources.)

gemini trip 138.jpg
Halfway up the west side the pass.


gemini trip 143.jpg
Looking down the east side of BeaRoyce.
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
sturdyoak2012
Topix Novice
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:38 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Re: Trip Advice: Royce Lakes / First Eastern Sierra Trip!

Post by sturdyoak2012 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:12 pm

Yes, agree with Harlen!

Humphrey's basin is a good option too, and it's very manageable to tack on Royce Lakes afterwards. Here's an interesting figure-8 route: https://caltopo.com/m/PPQ6

I hiked up to Royce Lakes just last week (my trip report is in another post), and this route that I linked was actually our original plan. (Btw, I would probably revise that route to not go through French and Piute Canyons, and instead just go over Puppet Pass and come back the same way. It would lose some of the loop "aesthetic" but saves lots of less-interesting miles. Those extra miles could be spent exploring more of Humphrey's Basin, the Puppet Lake/French Lake area, or even going into Bear Lakes Basin via Merriam Lake and Feather Pass.)

User avatar
mbehlen
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:58 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker
Contact:

Re: Trip Advice: Royce Lakes / First Eastern Sierra Trip!

Post by mbehlen » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:51 pm

Thank you for the advice! Here is my rough idea so far! Let me know if you have input, I sure would appreciate it! I am open to suggestions and REALLY appreciate you responding to help me!

Plan #1:

Day 1: TH to Desolation Lake via Puppet Pass 12 Miles

Day 2: Explore Humphrys Basin and do some XC (8-12 miles)
-Suggestions for this? Things to see, where to camp?

Day 3: Head back over Puppet Pass to Royce Lakes
Camp: West of Treasure

Day 4: Back to Car via Royce Pass (check out granite park on the way out).

User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Trip Advice: Royce Lakes / First Eastern Sierra Trip!

Post by Harlen » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:07 pm

mbehlen writes:
Day 1: TH to Desolation Lake via Puppet Pass 12 Miles

Day 2: Explore Humphrys Basin and do some XC (8-12 miles)
-Suggestions for this? Things to see,...
For "things to see." in the area around Desolation Lk., I recently learned from a local biologist that there is a healthy badger population on the shores of that big lake! I believe he said it was on the south-facing side of the lake, but I am not sure. Look for big holes-- ~ 10" diameter, with a large fans of sediment piled up outside the burrows. Or if your more of a photographer, scenery guy, I loved the views, with reflections if lucky, of Mt Humphreys from Humphreys Lake. The standard route climb of Hump. is airy and thrilling.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], MountainMinstrel, RSC and 13 guests