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Duck Pass/Fish Creek options for early August

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Duck Pass/Fish Creek options for early August

Postby tim » Sat May 22, 2010 8:14 am

Given the amount of snow, I'm pretty glad I chose Rancheria Falls for my trip in June. However, I'm starting to get a bit concerned about my planned Duck Pass to Fish Creek to Reds Meadow trip at the end of July (Jul 31 - Aug 4, 5 days, 4 nights). I'll be taking my 9 yr old twins so am just trying to think of backup options if there is still a lot of snow and/or snowmelt. They really wanted to go to Iva Bell Hot Springs, which is why we chose that route (and I'd like to still visit there if possible).

So can anyone offer advice on what to expect on Duck Pass (according to the guidebooks it is slow to melt out even in a normal season)? Are the switchbacks difficult/dangerous under any remnants of snow or is it just a plod? What about the depth of Fish Creek? We were planning to go down to Cascade Valley from Purple Lake and then down the valley and across the river at Second Crossing. Is crossing Fish Creek at the bottom of the switchbacks down from Purple Lake easier (then going up the other side to the Minnow Creek trail)? Or would we need to go all the way round to Virginia Lake and Tully Hole to find the bridge and then go up to Minnow Creek that way (a lot longer route!)? Alternatively is there another loop you would suggest out of Reds Meadow that still visits the hot springs?



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Re: Duck Pass/Fish Creek options for early August

Postby Cross Country » Sun May 23, 2010 1:43 pm

If you go to Cascade Valley I think you should plan of having fun fishing and other things.
This is Mike 8 or 9 yeas old.
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Re: Duck Pass/Fish Creek options for early August

Postby hwy395lvrz » Tue May 25, 2010 4:59 pm

The Rock Creek Pack Station can probably help you with info on that trail.I think they take that same route to get to Olive and Peter Pande lakes.I looked into that route 2 years ago,wound up going to Tully Hole and up to the Lake of the Lone Indian and onto Olive Lake by way of Minnow Creek.
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Re: Duck Pass/Fish Creek options for early August

Postby Cross Country » Tue May 25, 2010 7:05 pm

Lake of the Lone Indian is a beautiful place. When leaving there to go to Cascade Valley don't take the trail. Take the x-country short cut like Mike (and I) did.
As I recall Lone Ind has hard to catch big fish. I might be confusing this with another lake. It might have nothing more that small fish. Oh well. I do remember Wilber had pretty big fish. I didn't think Wilber was particularly scenic. The problem for me with big fish is you either get almost no action, or you can't fish very long because you catch all you can eat really fast (few fish). My favorites are 12 inch fish that I have to work a little to catch (but not fish too long for each one).
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Re: Duck Pass/Fish Creek options for early August

Postby tim » Fri May 28, 2010 1:41 pm

That waterslide looks really cool - how far up Fish Creek is it?

Also, does anyone have photos of the Duck Pass switchbacks? I'd really like to know what the angle of the slope is and how much of a dropoff there is? Has anyone walked up there in the spring on snow before?

Looking at the 8 feet of snow at Minaret Vista (http://www.nps.gov/depo/planyourvisit/hours.htm) I'm assuming the NE facing slopes will take a long while to melt out.
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Re: Duck Pass/Fish Creek options for early August

Postby paul » Fri May 28, 2010 6:09 pm

I doubt you'll have any problem on Duck Pass. The slopes aren't that steep, and the trail will be well trodden by then even if there is still snow on it - like a trench.
Fish creek - I've only crossed it on the Muir trail, there's a big 'ol bridge there so you can be sure that will go and be safe. That is the long way to Iva Bell, but Purple and Virginia are sure nice spots to see on the way!
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