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Pine Creek trail

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Pine Creek trail

Postby millertime » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:17 pm

I'm departing on a 5 day 4 night hike from the Pine Creek trail head (up through Italy pass into the bear lakes basin and surrounding areas in a loop) and while I know to expect a difficult trip up, what I'm wondering is what the trail head is like. Mainly, would we be able to camp there somewhere for the night to acclimate? We are driving up from Roseville which is 300ft above sea level and a 6 hour drive so we arent starting the hike the same day.

Thanks for any info!



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Re: Pine Creek trail

Postby rayfound » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:35 pm

There's FS or BLM campgrounds just down the road from the trailhead. Just find a spot and spend the night. Trailhead is at the pack station, so I doubt you want to camp there!
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Re: Pine Creek trail

Postby millertime » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:46 pm

Ok thanks for the info, good to know. Actually just realized we are taking my buddy's truck so we could just sleep in the back, but we'll see...
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Re: Pine Creek trail

Postby quentinc » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:32 pm

Last time I was there (which was, blissfully, quite some time ago), plenty of people slept in the area by the trailhead. The pack station is a little ways up, so not an issue. I have to say, though, that this is my least favorite entry trail in the Sierra (especially coming down).
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Re: Pine Creek trail

Postby millertime » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:00 pm

I haven't been on it but from what I see its a pretty crappy entry point and I know I'm not going to be enjoying the first and last day of the trip. I just couldn't find a better way to hit Granite Park, Italy Pass, the Bear Lakes Basin AND French Canyon... Could have started from Piute pass to do it but that would add another day or two...
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Re: Pine Creek trail

Postby mokelumnekid » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:30 am

I just returned from doing that trip and I think the Pine Ck. trail gets a bad rap. The tread is sandy but firm, the grade easy, the lakes picturesque, the geology more interesting than normal. I don't mind the old mine, as a geologist I'm used to that. The water-bars are not as bad as giantbrookie remembers them. The pass itself has a nice vibe. Like all east side TH's getting an early start is a good idea. Compared to say Taboose, it is a piece of cake.

I think the biggest rap on this route is that it doesn't really take you anywhere, except perhaps access to Granite Park and Merriam Lk. It ends at beleaguered, beaten-down Hutchinson Meadow, a place I try to avoid.
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Re: Pine Creek trail

Postby cmon4day » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:41 pm

millertime wrote:p. I just couldn't find a better way to hit Granite Park, Italy Pass, the Bear Lakes Basin AND French Canyon


Miller, Did you look at going in from the west? Going in through Bear Diversion and up Bear Cr. is not a bad way in. Also, from Roseville, maybe not as far a drive. I was there a couple of years ago and did two trips. One out of Florence and we basically circumnavigated Seven Gables and the other one out of Thomas Edison where we circumnavigated the Mono Divide. We reached the areas you mentioned except Granite Park.
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