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August Trip Options

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August Trip Options

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue May 05, 2009 8:26 am

Got my two July trips all planned (up to the Trinity Alps at the beginning of the month; Clark Range toward the end), but I'm reserving time for a 4-day trip in mid-August and haven't quite settled on where to go. Current options:

* Mineral King: Up the Franklin Pass trail to upper Rattlesnake Creek; continue on trail past Little Claire Lake, descending partway into Soda Creek canyon, before cutting off-trail to Lake 10,559; over to Amphitheatre Lake; over the divide to Crystal Lake and out.
* Tablelands: Over Silliman Pass to Ranger Lake; up Crowley Canyon to Tablelands then down to the lakes at the head of Box Canyon; over to the lakes at the head of West Fork Ferguson Creek; then a long day out to Lodgepole.
* Mount Hoffmann: May Lake trailhead over the shoulder of Hoffmann to the lake right below the peak; maybe a lake or two northwest of there; Wegner Lake; and out.

Any thoughts on any (or all) of these? Any other great ideas?



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Re: August Trip Options

Postby trav867 » Tue May 05, 2009 9:51 am

I haven't done Mt. Hoffmann, but in the past few years I have done trips to Mineral King and the Tablelands. I followed a similar route last july in the Tablelands out of Lodgepole and had a great time. I went Lodgepole- Pear Lake- Moose Lake- across to Crowley Cyn, down crowley cyn to beville lake where I picked up the trail over Siliman pass to Twin Lakes then back to lodgepole. The pics are here if you're interested: http://www.slide.com/r/dre2mZeq5z-9G9XpIQd9ZL9zvoRRwwjp

I'd say Tablelands over Mineral King because of the opportunity to just wander around off trail, and because I really don't like that marathon drive to MK!

Also, now that I think about it, it might be a little hairy descending into box canyon from the tablelands. There is an unbelievable granite spire at the head of the canyon, but I think it's a very sharp drop off from the ridge. Sorry I can't remember more clearly!
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue May 05, 2009 10:38 am

Sounds great. I'd love to see those pics--unfortunately, all I get there is a big black rectangle. :(

Box Canyon looks doable on the topo and in Google Earth--looks like there are gentler slopes west of the big headwall. I have a friend who's leading a Sierra Club trip there in July, so I can see how he fares.
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby trav867 » Tue May 05, 2009 11:05 am

ahhh exactly the reason I'm in the process of switching over to flickr! Anyway, try here: http://www.slide.com/s/9CfY4DKt3j9_x29QmK22vJSA1ek9ZbCT
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby maverick » Tue May 05, 2009 11:39 am

Hi TT

Your Tablelands trip is doable and the lakes of Box and Ferguson are great to visit
with all the solitude in the world it would be my pick of the 3 trips also.
After visiting Ferguson Lakes you said a long way back to Lodgepole, by the way of
Table Meadows and Pear Lake I assume.
Following Ferguson to the Sugarloaf Trail is slow going with lots of deadfall
and the skeetrz are crazy.
This was Old Ranger's territory, maybe once he finishes his Pinot, strawberries & cream
he will chime in to.
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue May 05, 2009 11:54 am

trav867 wrote:ahhh exactly the reason I'm in the process of switching over to flickr! Anyway, try here: http://www.slide.com/s/9CfY4DKt3j9_x29QmK22vJSA1ek9ZbCT

Very nice! You've definitely whetted my appetite for this one...

Maverick, thanks for the info. Yeah, I would be heading back via Pear Lake--something like 11 miles by my count, some of it X-C, so a long day (by my standards) but not impossible. I might also consider extending it to 5 days and camp in the Tablelands the last night.
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby maverick » Tue May 05, 2009 12:24 pm

If you do that then spend a night at Moose Lake which has great views, and is a
pretty alpine lake.
The x-country travel is easy in Tablelands, some people without x-country
experience get disoriented, but if you can read a topo, or find a particular
land feature to orient yourself by then there will be no problems.
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby giantbrookie » Tue May 05, 2009 8:29 pm

I'd put in my vote for the Mineral King option, but that's only because I haven't done that one and have planned to do something along those lines someday. In fact if I had four days this anytime this summer (I don't) a modified Mineral King option would probably make my top 5 choices. Tablelands may be tops in terms of just fun and open off trail. You can get to the offtrail fun sooner in you go out of Wolverton instead of Lodgepole and there are a lot of entertaining options.
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: August Trip Options

Postby oldranger » Tue May 05, 2009 11:07 pm

Maverick
Tonight it was blueberries and whipped cream, ha!

Tom
They are all good options. As for Silliman/Tablelands you can drop into any of the canyons from the Tablelands. You can go up or down any of them easily, though the bottom of West fork of Ferguson is kind of jackstrawed from downed trees from the fires in the late 70's. However, there is a neat way to avoid the worst of it and to see some interesting terrain. Of course if you do your proposed route this will not be an issue. Note that the Sugarloaf/Roaring river drainage was not a Park until 1940. Until then grazing was permitted by the Forest Service. Even after that permittees were allowed to run cattle until the permittee died. The last permittee died after the summer of 1985. She was 97! What all this means is that there are remnants of trails, some quite useable (especially the Fergusons) all through the area. At the head of Crowley Canyon near the Tablelands, if you know what you are looking for, you can see constructed switchbacks. I once saw an old map that had that area labeled "James Pass" but I know nothing about the origin of the trail or the name. Also I would not go down to go up Crowley Canyon. From Beville contour around to Crescent Lake, then head to the Tablelands before dropping into the lakes at the head of Box Canyon. There will be one obvious route from Box to West Fork Ferguson that you will spot as you drop into the Box Canyon lakes. It tops the ridge roughly halfway between the two Upper Ferguson Lakes. Enjoy

Finally, If this is the area you choose to visit and you have permit issues out of Wolverton or Lodgepole consider starting out at the sunset meadow trailhead.

Good Hiking

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed May 06, 2009 8:49 am

Thanks, Mike! Great info--very helpful.

Finally, If this is the area you choose to visit and you have permit issues out of Wolverton or Lodgepole consider starting out at the sunset meadow trailhead.

Really, the ideal way to do this trip would be to start at Sunset Meadow trailhead and end up at Wolverton, and have a car shuttle all arranged. Is there a good way to make this a loop starting at Sunset Meadow? I'm a looper, and I always try to avoid out-and-back routes. ;)

GB, the Mineral King trip was high on my list because I haven't been there since 1990, and I've never done any backpacking out of MK. (True for all three of these trips--part of why I selected them.)

You can get to the offtrail fun sooner in you go out of Wolverton instead of Lodgepole and there are a lot of entertaining options.

Well, I'm coming back to Wolverton, and...see above re not backtracking. ;) But thinking about it, I suppose I could do it as a loop--up to Table Meadow via Pear Lake, say, over to Box Canyon, Ferguson Lakes, and back via Moose Lake and Alta Meadow.
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby trav867 » Wed May 06, 2009 9:51 am

Thats one of the cool things about Wolverton- I've hiked out of there for a few different trips and each time enjoyed the fact that there is only 100 yards of backtracking if you do a loop.
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Re: August Trip Options

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed May 06, 2009 9:56 am

Speaking of permits...how difficult is it to get a permit for Wolverton or Lodgepole? If I hike in on a Thursday, is there likely to be any problem getting a walk-up permit the day before?
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