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East Lake and Lake Reflection

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East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby TimmyV » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:00 pm

A buddy and I are doing Rae Lakes in late July (assuming Glen Pass is clear enough by then), and we are looking to add a few shorter side trips to try to get away from the crowds. We really want to head up to East Lake and Lake Reflection, but I have a few questions.

First, my trail book says nothing about the final couple of miles from East to Lake Reflection being unmaintained, but it is not on the official NPS map (the trail just ends at East Lake). We are both experienced backpackers, but I am not big on leaving the trail behind. How easily navigable is that stretch?

Second, I read on another thread here that in early July the crossing of Bubbs Creek at the East Lake trailhead is risky, if not flat-out dangerous. Is that normally a problem in late July as well, or has the flow calmed down enough to make it manageable?

We know that regardless of what we're able to do that it's going to be a great trip, but we want to maximize our opportunities. Thanks for any advice.



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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:00 pm

Hi TimmyV

Welcome to HST!
There used to be a light use trail on the east side of the creek.
LR is beautiful, and if you are lucky it will not be windy, and you will experience
the true beauty of the lake.
Bubbs can be difficult to cross, and it will be a judgment call when you get there.
If you head down creek there are areas where the water is shallower, and crossing
may be possible.
Try to cross as early as possible by staying at Junction Meadow area the night before.
While at Rae make sure you visit 60 Lakes Basin, which is worth the effort, but be
prepared for the skeetrz because they will be out in force no matter which of these
place you visit!
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby lambertiana » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:14 pm

I was there in 2005, and the use trail to Lake Reflection is easy to follow for most of the way. And where it fades out, it is easy to find a route.

Depending on the snowpack and the rate of spring melt, crossing Bubbs Creek in late July could be interesting. I was there during the first week of August (it was a high snowpack year) and the crossing was mid-thigh depth and moving fast.

The fishing at East Lake is decent, the main body of Lake Reflection is good, and the small outlet area of Lake Reflection is really hot. At least it was then, using mostly gold-colored lures.
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby Cross Country » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:47 pm

Dragon Lake is a very nice and easy to reach place. It's very scenic and you can have fish for dinner. Vidett Lake is off trail but easy to reach. I went there with my 10 year old.
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby Trailguru » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:25 pm

Lake Reflection is absolutely amazing but it does seem very windy as it did when I was there. On the recent Backpacker magazine a photo shoot was taken of two brothers with one of them doing a backflip towards the lake. Must have been quite warm and NOT windy for them to be on their shorts and jumping on the water.

http://www.backpacker.com/january-2011- ... position=4
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby Mike M. » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:54 pm

Timmy, if you are looking for solitude, East Lake and Lake Reflection might not be the best destinations. Lots of day hikers and fishermen venture up there, provided Bubbs Creek isn't too high. However, the lakes above Lake Reflection, towards Longley Pass, are gorgeous and lightly trafficked.

Mike
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:22 pm

Mike wrote "Timmy, if you are looking for solitude, East Lake and Lake Reflection might
not be the best destinations. Lots of day hikers and fishermen venture up there, provided
Bubbs Creek isn't too high", I guess I have been lucky because the last 2 times I visited
LR and EL, I only saw 2 people at EL.
By the way EL-LR-Longley Pass-Cinder Col-Sphinx Col-Sphinx Lakes-Bubbs Creek-
Roads End makes for beautiful trip especially with a trip up Mt.Brewer.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby lambertiana » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:13 pm

East Lake may not offer the solitude of places like Lake Basin or Tehipite Valley, but it is nowhere near as crowded as the JMT. In 2005 I spent three days there, camping at the outlet. When we got there, two guys were camping at the opposite end of the lake. Two days later, they left, and later that day three people came in and camped at the opposite end of the lake. The day we went to Lake Reflection, we had it all to ourselves.
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby TimmyV » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:45 pm

Thanks for all the great feedback. I'm also glad to hear that about Dragon Lake because we are looking at potentially spending the second night there.
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby Sierra Maclure » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:40 pm

How about 60 Lakes Basin? Gorgeous.
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Re: East Lake and Lake Reflection

Postby kpeter » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:57 pm

The trail from East Lake to Lake Reflection is fairly easy to find and lies east of East creek. I recall one section that involved some fairly simple bouldering.

I camped west of the creek just downstream from the small lake at Reflection's outlet. The whole outlet end is quite beautiful with views across the lake to Mt. Jordan. Also of note are many dayhikes from Reflection--for example up past the Ericson crags toward Harrison Pass.

I found East Lake rather overcamped and nondescript, but Reflection was gorgeous. I think I was there in August and waded Bubbs Creek with Crocs at Junction Meadow. It was a choice of knee high and very swift or thigh high and slow. Crossing East Creek was simpler--I recall a fairly spectacular bridge between Junction Meadow and East Lake.
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