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Tablelands 4th of july cross country solo trip

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Tablelands 4th of july cross country solo trip

Postby trav867 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:42 am

Hi guys, I'm trying to plan my first cross country solo trip, and I'm looking at heading to the Tablelands from Lodgepole. I'm sure some of you have done this, so does anyone have ideas for a route? If not the Tablelands, anywhere else you can think of? I've got 4 days/3 nights, and am one of those people who enjoys covering a lot of miles. Thanks!



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Re: Tablelands 4th of july cross country solo trip

Postby copeg » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:40 am

Tablelands is a beautiful place. My trip there a few years ago was a tad too abbreviated as the short days (november) and a recent snowfall made travel hard across the 'table'.
If you like to travel a lot of miles, you might consider doing something of a loop, starting at Wolverton then past Pear Lake up through Table Meadows to the 'rim'. From there, you can drop down to Big Bird Lake and Deadman Canyon, then over Elizabeth Pass, either dropping down toward the high sierra trail, or heading west towards Moose Lake. The travel across Tablelands is easy, but since I never got the opportunity to explore the eastern pars I can't comment on the difficulty down toward Big Bird Lake or from Elizabeth toward Moose Lake (by topo it looks relatively easy), but this is a loop I hope to travel someday and find out.
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Re: Tablelands 4th of july cross country solo trip

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:30 am

The Tablelands are a very cool place. It is very easy to hike around up there as the terrain is gentle and you aren't dealing with big piles of talus or anything (sand and slab, mainly). As trailblazer notes that easiest access is via Wolverton and the Pear Lake trail. The drop down to Big Bird Lake (highly recommended is easy and goes pretty well simply following the easiest topography. Big Bird and the unnamed lakes above it are beautiful. It can be relied upon for protein supplements, too,given that it is overpopulated with small brook trout. I've been to the Tablelands twice, but not bailed via Elizabeth, but the loop suggested by Trailblazer should be seriously considered. The descent from Big Bird to the canyon looks easy on the topo, but there are some small drop offs and you have to improvise a bit (in two tries in 1979 and 2002 I still haven't found the optimal route). I haven't done Elizabeth Pass. In 2002 we descended from the Tableland past Big Bird to Deadman Cyn., descended the canyon a ways then climbed over Glacier Ridge (this included two camps, the second at Josephine Lake) before going up Cloud Canyon over Colby Pass, over Triple Divide Pass and Lion Lake Pass then out via Tamarack Lake. That route covers some exotic territory but it not practical for a 4 day trip; Trailblazer's suggested route is a much better choice for 4 days.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Tablelands 4th of july cross country solo trip

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:08 pm

Lets try this again my first post disappeared.
As TB and GB said Tablelands is quite pretty just be sure your prepared for the
skeeterz and be careful if lightning is around, its not the best place to be caught in
thunderstorm.
Pterodactyl Pass is easy and the route down to the trail is the same.
The pass to the west of Big Bird Lake is a class 2-3 and takes a little route
finding so I would not recommend this route as a first time x-country trip.
Moose Lake and Alta Peak are some of the highlights of the area.
There is a route to a lookout(perch) described in the book "High Sierra" by Phil Arnot
which is near Big Bird Lake and has a beautiful view of the sierra crest.
Other areas that offer fun x-country adventures is Crowely, Box and Ferguson
Canyons, but these routes are for more experienced hikers with x-country experience.
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Re: Tablelands 4th of july cross country solo trip

Postby trav867 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:49 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, I think Trailblazers trip is exactly what I'll do. One question- I'm unclear where Pterodactyl Pass is, as its not marked on the Tom Harrison or USGS maps I have. I'm pretty excited for the trip, thanks for all the help.
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Re: Tablelands 4th of july cross country solo trip

Postby oldranger » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:19 pm

If you want to visit Big Bird from the Tablelands head for the tarn right on top of the ridge w of the n end of Big Bird. From this tarn you can see a ridge heading easterly toward big bird. If you travel east on the s slope of the ridge you can work your way down to the N end of Big Bird. If you choose your route carefully it is easy class II (must be I did it a bunch of times). To get down to Deadman canyon from Big bird you have two option (duh) go s or n of the outlet. To the s near the outlet go slightly up to the SE. There is an old stock trail that comes up from the campsite at the lower end of Upper Ranger meadow.When you get almost to the bottom of the trail there is a large tree (I think a lodgepole) on the left of the trail as you go down. There is a carving of a guy playing a guitar on the tree! On the other side of the outlet start 50 or so yards N of the outlet and walk down slabs to just below the camp at the lower end of Upper Ranger Meadow. At this time of the year I probably would not cross copper creek on the slabs below the camp. Go up to the camp and find a shallow spot or narrow spot in the creek to cross. The saddle to the east of the lake due s of Big Bird is another easy spot to cross the divide between Deadman and the Tablelands.

Have a good trip!

mike
Mike

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Re: Tablelands 4th of july cross country solo trip

Postby trav867 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:59 pm

Thanks everyone for your input- I've been reading about the fires, can I assume that the tableland lies above the smoke, or will the air quality be bad there as well?
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