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Mott Lake?

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Mott Lake?

Postby dvgainer » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:14 am

Hey. I was looking for a lake to use as a basecamp for a 3/4 day tripc to introduce my girlfriend to backpacking. I'm visiting family in SLO, so the westside trailheads would be easier for me to get to. Mott Lake seemed like a good spot in terms of being pretty close to the trailhead at Lake Edison, being close to some other lakes that look pretty simple to get to cross-country, and I'm guessing not being super-crowded.

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on that area as a destination, or what some alternatives would be. Basically, I'm looking for shortish loops or lakes/basins that are pretty close to the trailheald. A couple years ago I made it up to Lake Reflection from Cedar Grove which was really fantastic, but I was looking for something a little less strenous.

Thanks in advance,

david



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Re: Mott Lake?

Postby hikerduane » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:04 pm

Well, some of the trail getting there is easy, some is a good climb. I have been by Mott Lake twice now, west bound and east bound. Not a great lake to look at, I lost some of the trail two years ago headed up to Bighorn, the time I was west bound from Rosy Finch, the creek coming down was a perfect example of what I think the Sierra creeks and streams should look like, however going upstream, I missed the good part or the creek changed big time since my last visit. Dave would be the better one to fill you in, he hasn't posted for quite a bit now though. You might consider heading up Mono Creek instead, maybe camping in a spot or two along the creek and dayhiking to Grinnell Lakes or even the Pioneer Basin. The Recesses might be more then you want to introduce to your g/f. The only time I have been down Mono Creek, I had read that it was pretty popular, but when Pooch and I visited not many people along the creek. I think the Graveyard Lakes limit your easy access to other lakes, not bad there, excellent views of all the named peaks to the SE from the upper Graveyard Lake. The last quarter mile out of Graveyard Meadow to the lakes is tough. A lot of beautiful country within a couple days hike out of Edison, I only access the area from the east side. What time of the summer are you going? Snow may be an issue if going too early.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Mott Lake?

Postby freestone » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:27 pm

I picked this spot as a destination several years ago. Its a long uphill climb from Mono Creek on the JMT to the Mott lake trail junction. We got there on day two and all the good sites were taken up by packers and their guests so we headed up to Rosie Finch Lake and had it to ourselves.
More to the point, Mott Lake seems to be a popular pack train destination and Duane's advise on the Mono Creek alternative is sound. I would also consider Bear Creek trail. The constant view of Seven Gables would make that selection worthwhile also.
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Re: Mott Lake?

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:35 pm

Well considered choice for a 4 day basecamp trip at the edge of many offtrail possibilities including a number of photogenic possibilities. Good because on a 4-day basecamping trip , one needs to reach the destination base in a single day leaving two days for day trips. Also good because when introducing someone to backpacking, better to be conservative with mileage and vertical or else you run the chance of souring them on further trips. The lake receives far less visitors than Silver Pass because it is a dead end trail wise. I would recommend camping along the southwest shore for afternoon scenery. The east shore presents a fine view west southwest at dawn.
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Re: Mott Lake?

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:59 pm

I think it's a pretty nice lake. Does get a fair amount of use, though.
Image

I agree with Dave that it would make a good basecamp. Plenty to see in the vicinity, including Bighorn Lake:
Image

I'd also recommend a side trip to Blue Jay Lakes, which are lovely. I don't seem to have a picture of them, but this nearby tarn gives you an idea:
Image

If you take the ferry (and if the lake is reasonably full) you can get to Mott Lake in one day; that involves 2,000' of climbing, so it's not a walk in the park.
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Re: Mott Lake?

Postby Take-a-Hike » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:49 am

We did Mott Lake as our first BP trip ever, and we were/are over 50. It was over July 4 weekend about 5 years ago, a heavy snow year. The only bad part about the ferry is that it puts you on the trail a little late in the day. (It departs VVR at 9:00am) That and the fact that everything was new to us...including the pools in the N Fork Mono Creek along the JMT, which we had to partake in, and the fact that as mentioned above, it is a 2K foot climb, it took us and day and a few hours to get there. (Getting down in one day for the 4:30pm ferry going back was a piece of cake though). My wife was recovering from a partially torn ACL that winter, it was her first time carrying a back pack so that by the time we hit the Mott Lake trail off the JMT and made that little grunt of a hill, she stopped and gasped..that was it! Find me a place cause I ain't taking another step today. We did have a few late season snow banks/drifts to circumnavigate then the whole east side of the lakeside all the way up the mountain was covered in snow. There were snow/ice chunks floating in the lake, but air temps were wonderful, water in pools was conducive to dipping, and sun was strong enough to burn the sensitive skin not normally privvy to exposure outdoors. :) :eek:
Later that summer, in August we did the Graveyard Lakes/Peter Panda Lake loop and we absolutely LOVED PPL. From Upper Graveyard there's an easy X country pass over to lake 10120 and the trail down to PPL. My wife did that w/pack and all on a wet, drizzly slippery day, so if you wanted to make a day hike there from Graveyard area it would be a snap.
In our opinion the only problem with the Silver Divide area is then trying to find an equal some where else in the Sierras. We do plan on returning some day if health/time permits.
Perry
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Re: Mott Lake?

Postby hikerduane » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:26 pm

Olive Lake is one of the prettiest lakes I have ever been to. For a loop trip, some xc travel is needed but not that hard to move from or to Peter Pande, unless you do some back tracking on the trail. I was at Olive and studied the terrain to get to Peter Pande by traversing around some, then hitting the outlet from Peter Pande high up. The only problem after that was crossing the outlet.

The year Pooch and I were at Graveyards Lakes, the morning we left there and headed to Mono Creek area, we xced down from Graveyard Meadow to save some miles getting to Edison. Ouch! The brush was so high and thick, I took his pack off and carried it the last quarter mile or whatever down to Lake Edison. While working our way down, I was eyeing the lake and a little pennisula sticking out into the lake, thinging, that's where we are going for a swim. Aw! The water felt so good. We were air drying as the ferry went by.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Mott Lake?

Postby dvgainer » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:17 pm

Thanks for all of the pics and info. the pioneer basin area looks awfully nice as well - I'm sure I can't really go wrong.

david
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