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Silver Divide

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Silver Divide

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:52 am

I am planning a 1-wk trip to the Silver Divide for next summer. I have been to the Big Chief Lake area and on the PCT from Vermillion to Duck Lake. I have not been to Peter Pande lakes, Bettlebug Lake (Long Canyon), Graveyard Lakes, Devils Punchbowl or Margaret Lakes. Since I cannot squeeze all these into one trip, which of these areas is the most scenic with fishing opportunities?

I have 2 tentative entry plans- 1) from Lake Thomas Edison and 2) from Lake Mary (Duck Lake Trail) and come out Devils Postpile and take shuttle bus back to car - or simply return via Duck Lake. The one-way out to Reds Meadow is about 10 miles longer than Edison Lake loop. I have driven to Edison Lake so know its problems. Getting to Mammoth Lakes is much easier. I have never been to the lower reaches of Fish Creek. Is the fishing or scenery worth the extra miles?

Any information is appreciated. THanks



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Re: Silver Divide

Postby texan » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:45 am

Devils Punchbowl has good fishing and the last is scenic too!

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Re: Silver Divide

Postby maverick » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:05 pm

Devil's Punchbowl is really nice, but the Peter Pande - Olive Lake circuit over the ridge
from Graveyard, is probably one of the best scenery wise in the Silver Divide, and others
who do fish have reported good fishing in these lakes, plus it does offer more solitude
than your alternate trip which is quite pretty too.
Do one in the summer, and the other in the fall, or the following year.
There are a couple of TR's available here which can help you with your decision easier.
Doyle has a good TR on his site at http://www.sierra-trails.com
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby Cross Country » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:30 pm

The best fishing in the area is Wilber May. You need to use bait for this lake. Nightcrawlers are best.
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:53 pm

Thanks for the information! We are "subsistance" fishermen, so as long as there are fish to put in the frying pan, we are happy, even if they are small fish. The Peter Pande area does look nice on the map. Is there an off-trail route from Margaret Lakes to Anne Lk (Peter Pande area)? Or an off-trail route from Peter Pande to Graveyard Lakes? We can do class 2+ passes - we are both climbers but prefer not to take a rope.
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby maverick » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:32 pm

Here you go Wandering Daisy:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5447
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:07 pm

Thanks for the link to the trip report. I did a search for "Sliver Divide" and did not come up with this report - I guess I should have been more specific.
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:32 am

maverick wrote:There are a couple of TR's available here which can help you with your decision easier. Doyle has a good TR on his site at http://www.sierra-trails.com


Thanks Mav. There has been some changes for the location of Sierra-Trails since my move to Comcast Biz. One problem was changing the domain. Meanwhile Sierra-Trails is here:

http://www.doylewdonehoo.com/sierratrails.html

And the Silver Divide story is here:

http://www.doylewdonehoo.com/sliver/stcoverv1n11.htm

The Silver Divide trip was a really great one, and certainly no death-march. Lots of bang for your time-buck. Most people I saw was around Silver Pass. There was nobody that I could see at Olive Lake and I had Peter Panda Lake to myself. That area is a must-see.
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Mottl.jpg
And don't forget about Mott Lake.
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Sierra Trails:
http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby maverick » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:04 pm

Thanks Doyle for the update on your site info, I had sent you a pm in this
regard, but now I have the answer.
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:55 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I have driven to Edison Lake so know its problems. Getting to Mammoth Lakes is much easier. I have never been to the lower reaches of Fish Creek. Is the fishing or scenery worth the extra miles?

My impression of Fish Creek is that people go there for the fishing. Miles of beauty and the headwaters are exceptional.
As for the drive to Vermilion, there are few drives as scenic (or thrilling), and the rewards are many. If you get to Vermilion, there is endless camping (one of my favorite car-camps is halfway between the hot springs and Vermilion and almost nobody goes there), decent food (have some pie), a good bar and dining area and opportunity to hang out with PCTers, JMTers, packers, fisherpeople and more and swap stories around the fire. For even better food and a hot mineral soak, there are the hot springs down below. You can shower at either the hot springs or Vermilion. That whole area is a great place to be, explore and hang out. Great place to day-hike too. Last time I was there I day-hiked to Crater Lake. It's a drive to get there, but worth it.
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Crater Lake
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http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby tim » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:43 pm

We did the Duck Lake to Reds Meadow loop last summer:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5344

I would highly recommend a night at Iva Bell hot springs, and its a lot more practical to exit from there to Reds Meadow than anywhere else (it would be a longish day but not too bad - 12 miles, ~1400 ft of ascent). Pika Lake (on the way in over Duck Pass) is also really nice. Though we didn't fish, there were plenty to be seen in Fish Creek when we camped there the second night (after coming down to the valley from Purple Lake).
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Re: Silver Divide

Postby fishmonger » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:23 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote: I have never been to the lower reaches of Fish Creek. Is the fishing or scenery worth the extra miles?


since 1989, one year after doing my first proper Muir Trail, I've always walked into Fish Valley and out via Grassy Lake to get to either Silver Pass or Goodale Pass to head south. One of my favorite alternates to the JMT, and even after the Rainbow fire still worth it (heading south, you get through the burn zone very quickly).

Goodale Pass to Graveyard Meadow is no much fun, but the area around Graveyard Meadow is great. The entire area from south of Rainbow Falls all the way to VVR if you take Goodale Pass is very much your own country. We didn't see a single person between Fish Valley bridge and Silver Pass in 2009 and 2010. IVa Bell Hot Springs is a reason many take this route - I actually never stopped there.

Photos from that section are here - click on July 15 and July 16 in the left hand menu (20100715)
http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT2010/

and from 2009 here - click on July 6 (0706) in the meny for Reds to Fish Valley and 0707 for the section that took us over to Silver Pass and beyond.

http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT2009/

and for more photos from 1990, before the Rainbow fire - open Day 3 and 4 on the menu)

http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT1990/
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