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Info on Bench Lake/Twin Island Lakes

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Info on Bench Lake/Twin Island Lakes

Postby copeg » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:44 am

Late request for info I know, but I was thinking of heading up to Twin Island Lake then on into Bench Canyon in the Ansel Adams Wilderness for an extended weekend tommorow night. Seems hard to find much info at all about this area and a western approach. Hope to leave from the Granite Creek TH. Looks doable to make it in a day to Twin Islands Lake, but it also looks like it isn't commonly travelled territory and I'm worried about the condition of the trail. Any insight on the trail, fishing, must sees is much appreciated. :nod:



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Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:36 pm

Bench Canyon:
Image

More photos from the area here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomhilton/sets/72157600045475139/

It's a great area, very dramatic and less heavily trafficked than the east side. The Ritter Range is just as imposing from the west.

It will be very dry going in--I don't recall the exact stream config, but I wouldn't count on any guaranteed water until you get to the North Fork San Joaquin. I came back from Bench Canyon via Long Canyon in mid-to-late August of a dryish year, and once we were past Long Creek the streams were all pretty much dry.
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Postby maverick » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:55 pm

I went there in June (Ansel Adams Trip Report).
It was very dry back then, the trail is easy to follow to Twin Island
Lake and can be reached if you take off early enough from Granite Creek.
You can pick up your permit at the Ranger Station at Clover Meadow.
The road is a little rough(dirt) but I did it with my Civic.
Keep an eye out for the flowers on the Hemlock Trail(Shooting Stars).
There is a good campsite at the mouth of Bench Canyon where the
North Fork meets up with 2 other streams above Stevenson Meadow.
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Postby copeg » Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:25 pm

Thanks to you both. I knew a few people had done this trip recently. I didn't really think about the water situation, or the lackthereof - it is giving me second thoughts, not sure if I want to lug that much water with me - but I think thats my lazy side speaking ;) . Thanks again
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Postby maverick » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:06 pm

The Nork Fork will be fine, but the trail to Hemlock Crossing will be
dry, but its only several miles so you wont have to carry to much
extra water, though in June on some mornings it was 105F at 9:30
in the morning!
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Postby copeg » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:16 pm

maverick wrote: though in June on some mornings it was 105F at 9:30
in the morning!
My thoughts exactly #-o
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Postby maverick » Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:21 pm

It will still be better than these smoky skies we have in the bay area
from the fires in Henry Coe right now, though today is better.
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Postby cgundersen » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:54 pm

Hi Trailblazer,
Since it was your posting on the Kaweah basin earlier this summer that prompted me to try to pick out my favorite lakes, I'll be curious to hear how you like the Twins and Blue Lake at this time of year. When my wife & I were through that area in early July (just after Maverick) Blue Lake was already almost semi-warm. I can only guess that it may be balmy by now (even as the nights cool down). Still, for the incredible views of the Minarets/Ritter range, it may be worth waiting till the smoke subsides. Hope you can do it!
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Postby copeg » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:04 pm

Well I bailed on this itinerary and veared a tiny bit south to the Silver Divide for various reasons. Glad I did - from my view north yesterday from near Silver Pass Ritter and Banner got completely hammered by thunderstorms, so much so they were not discernible for several hours from mid-afternoon till after sundown. And then this morning the smoke seemed to blow into that area as you eluded to cgunderson.

Thanks for the info on this area anyways everyone. It still will be usefull when I do head up there - I keep thinking this might be better done as an early season trip, or during peak wildflower time :nod:
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Postby quentinc » Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:38 pm

cgundersen wrote:Hi Trailblazer,
Since it was your posting on the Kaweah basin earlier this summer that prompted me to try to pick out my favorite lakes, I'll be curious to hear how you like the Twins and Blue Lake at this time of year. When my wife & I were through that area in early July (just after Maverick) Blue Lake was already almost semi-warm. I can only guess that it may be balmy by now (even as the nights cool down). Still, for the incredible views of the Minarets/Ritter range, it may be worth waiting till the smoke subsides. Hope you can do it!
cgundersen


I just got back from those areas. They were fantastic! After I get pictures up I'll post a trip report. Thanks to you, Maverick and others for getting me intrigued enough to visit.
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Postby maverick » Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:37 pm

Your welcome Q. I appreciate your words.
Speaking for myself, I enjoy getting people interested in areas
that they may have or havent considered because of its remoteness
or just havent been there yet.
If my trip reports or photos get people to explore these beautiful
mountains of ours, than Im doing my part in promoting them, though
they do the bulk of it themself quite well without my help.
By the way Im looking forward to your trip report.
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