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Coyote Pass?

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Coyote Pass?

Postby Nozmo King » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:25 am

Anybody been over it in the last couple of years? We hiked part of the trail leading to it last year & found the chapparral to be pretty thick & thorny in spots. There was a big fire in the Golden Trout Wilderness in 2006 that impacted part of it. Anyway, we're thinking of taking it to the Kern in September as an alternative to some of the other passes in Mineral King & wondered if any one has hiked it recently.



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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby Nozmo King » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:24 pm

We went to Mineral King & talked to the ranger about our proposed route over Coyote Pass. He advised against it, saying somebody tried it earlier in the year & had to turn back. The person lost the trail because of heavy chaparral, a washed-out trail, rocks, etc. So, we opted to get to the Kern via Sawtooth Pass, Lost Canyon, Big Arroyo, & then a hop over to Rattlesnake & into the Canyon.

Sawtooth Pass from the west side is brutal. I'm surprised the Park Service doesn't build a better trail with some decent switchbacks.

Regardless, we had a great trip. Mineral King is awesome.
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:22 pm

When I was a ranger n the Golden Trout Wilderness, before Mineral King was transferred into the Park, I frequently went over Coyote Pass as part of my patrol route. I used to love that Pass. But I haven't been there since 1979. I'm a little surprised that it'd be overgrown, but then since the early 80's, when Regan was President, and money was diverted from the USFS and NPS (and the trail crews started getting dismantled), I guess I'm not that surprised.
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby gary c. » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:55 pm

NK, even though it's too late for your trip I sent you a PM. A friend of mine made the trek this fall.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:42 pm

jdunne wrote:When I was a ranger n the Golden Trout Wilderness, before Mineral King was transferred into the Park, I frequently went over Coyote Pass as part of my patrol route. I used to love that Pass. But I haven't been there since 1979.


I have had a few near-misses of going to Coyote Lake (and pass), but never made it up there. That area was part of Jenkins patrol. There are numerous hunter and hiker trails going up there I have heard-read about. And sheep were herded from the lake to the Kern River below. I was wondering which route you commonly took, and which direction you thought was the best, which had the best trail.
The usual way I got to that area was from the Lloyd Meadows TH, and I stayed many times at the excellent Trout Meadows camp and RS, usually in May. I also stayed a few times at Kern Lakes and the southern Kern R. RS (the buildings across the river are interesting).
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KernRandL.jpg
Overlooking one of the Kern Lakes towards Chagoopa and the upper Kern River canyon.
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby Cross Country » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:28 pm

Just West of the pass is a very interesting camp site. It has a creek running through it although it is very close to the pass. This creek and camp site is closer to a pass than any other I've encountered. It is quite flat, large and beautiful. I spent two nights there (not to in a row). The lake closest to this place is hard to reach. The shortest route crosses some steep scree.
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby East Side Hiker » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:35 pm

Jim was in the upper Little Kern, I was at Trout Mdws. I was the one who had to go and find his parents to report the tragedy. It took me a couple days to find them because they had deviated off of their trial permit itinerary.

Its been so long and I've been an East-sider since then. I just remember that I had a loop that started toward or from Gray Mdw, would somehow go up over Coyote Pass, down to the Kern Canyon RS, and then come home south back to Trout Mdw.

I used to take visitors to Coyote Lakes as an unique look-see at the Kern.
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:42 pm

jdunne wrote:Jim was in the upper Little Kern, I was at Trout Mdws. I was the one who had to go and find his parents to report the tragedy.

For those who do not know, Jim Jinkins was the Backcountry Ranger for the Little Kern River valley below Farewell Gap, and was the co-author of the two books of Exploring the Southern Sierra, still be best guide to the Southern Sierra. Jim was struck by a car and killed while walking along a road.

jdunne wrote:I just remember that I had a loop that started toward or from Gray Mdw, would somehow go up over Coyote Pass, down to the Kern Canyon RS, and then come home south back to Trout Mdw.

From Grey meadow there was what I am guessing is the main trail, the Deep Creek trail. There are use trails (or were) up Willow and Lion creeks. Then there is the approach from the west over Coyote Pass. Perhaps you used one (or more) of those?

I am attaching some pictures for fond memories. :nod:

Next year I am going to do a loop out of Mineral King over Farewell Gap up to Silver Lake and over the pass to Little Claire Lake. Be nice to go to Coyote Lakes too. Hopefully I will be able to fine someone who wants to go. :confused:
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KernRa14.jpg
The Kern River NP Ranger Station.
KernTroutRS.jpg
The Trout Meadows RS.
KernTroutCamp.jpg
My campsite near the Trout Meadows RS.
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby East Side Hiker » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:13 pm

The picture of the Trout Mdw cabin does bring back memories. I can't believe I lived there for a summer. You posted a great picture of it. When I was there, we didn't have good cameras like you do today, and by now my photos must be all weirdly colored.

It looks unchanged. Wow.

I remember having to chase down all the motorcycles trying to bust through, as the wilderness was new and previously to that, motorcycles were allowed up to the Kern Canyon Ranger Station. I picked up bags of oil cans and related garbage. There were also many "secret" fishing spots along the river where you culd get to it (i.e. Hells Hole) where the old timers had left decades of their junk behind, half buried.

I also remember it was hotter than heck, but very beautiful stringer mdws and ancient Indian sites.
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby maverick » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:22 pm

Jdunne wrote "motorcycles were allowed up to the Kern Canyon Ranger Station", now
that is something I would like to see a picture of.
Did they use the trails to get up there or was there a dirt road to the station back then?
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby East Side Hiker » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:34 pm

The motorcycles used the trail. As did many horses and hikers.

There was also this very old timer - I think his name was John Brown or something like that. He had a private inholding across from the Kern Canyon Ranger Station and he would complain about the motorcycles.
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Re: Coyote Pass?

Postby maverick » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:49 pm

I met the Kern Canyon Ranger several years ago up in Upper Funston Meadow, he
was older guy, and quite a character.
He was telling stories about taking general's, and other dignitaries into the park
and how military jets would fly up the canyon, which they were not supposed
to, and how pissed off they were, and how they were yelling, and chewing out
folks on the phone back at the home bases of the jets.
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