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Mineral King Loop

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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby East Side Hiker » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:46 pm

Snow will be be a big problem this season everywhere. Look at your maps and consider a loop originating from Aspin Grove, up the Little Kern.



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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby Sierra Maclure » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:50 pm

I did this route in reverse in 2009. Awesome trip. No route finding problems; just one displaced camp-mate who ended up in Little 5 Lks Basin while the rest of us camped in Big 5. He was last seen fishing naked at the lower Big 5's. He's always been a bit independent. But, that's the Sierra Geezers. We found him the next afternoon napping in his tent. Great trip. Just do it. :thumbsup:
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby calipidder » Tue May 03, 2011 1:38 pm

I did the Timber Gap -> Cliff Creek -> Black Rock Pass -> Little 5/Big 5 Lakes -> Lost Canyon -> Columbine Lake -> Sawtooth Pass loop last summer as a warm up trip for a cross-country peak bagging trip. Similar enough to your route that I thought I'd point to my trip report and photos - some suggestions are in the report. Hope it helps. Great fishing...

Trip Report
Photos
GPS Data (track w/elevation profile and distances)
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby mkosel » Mon May 16, 2011 8:49 pm

thanks everyone for your replies. Everyone is talking about the same concern that I had, snow on the north side of Glacier pass. I think I will be doing a hike around the end of August but i'm not sure it wold be this one.... given the snow pack I may want to plan an alternate route just in case.

Ideally, I would like to do a 4 day loop that goes to the big five/little 5 laes area but would be open to something equally as beautiful. Does anyone have a good suggestion? (If possible I would like to avoid timber gap)

Here's an alternate loop that I found. it is a day longer than I wanted ...does anyone have a shortcut?

Day 1) Mineral King -->Sawtooth --> Columbine Lake (6.8 miles)
Day 2) Lost Canyon --> Big/little five laes -->big arroyo creek (11.6miles)
Day 3) High sierra trail --> Morraine Lake (8.1 miles)
Day 4) Funston creek--> Upper Funston Meadow -->Rattlesnake point --Forester Lake (16.5 miles)
Day 5) Franklin pass -->franklin laes -->mineral King (10.9 miles)

Thanks again!
Matt
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby Cross Country » Mon May 16, 2011 8:57 pm

I did that route and it was a great trip. Here is something I'm SURE of. It's a much much better route done in reverse. PM me if you want more info. Be sure to visit Long Lake.
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Long Lake 2.jpg
Mike & Gla Pass.jpg
B5.jpg
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed May 18, 2011 11:41 am

mkosel wrote:Here's an alternate loop that I found. it is a day longer than I wanted ...does anyone have a shortcut?
Day 1) Mineral King -->Sawtooth --> Columbine Lake (6.8 miles)
Day 2) Lost Canyon --> Big/little five lakes -->big arroyo creek (11.6miles)
Day 3) High sierra trail --> Moraine Lake (8.1 miles)
Day 4) Funston creek--> Upper Funston Meadow -->Rattlesnake point --Forester Lake (16.5 miles)
Day 5) Franklin pass -->franklin lakes -->mineral King (10.9 miles)


Well I do hope you find an alternative, because the above is pretty insane. Moraine Lake to Forester Lake in a day? Just from the base of Rattlesnake Creek to Forester Lake it is over 3750 feet of gain, not counting the additional ups and downs. If you were in top condition (like just coming off the JMT/PCT) I would say go for it! If not...
One thing to do to shorten it is to go down the Big Arroyo trail: sketchy at the top, good at the bottom, just remember to always stay on the north side of the creek no matter what the trail seems to be doing. It is a pleasant hike with some unexpected views. Where the trail leaves the creek to go uphill, the camping is ideal (make your own).
I don't know why you would want to avoid Timber Gap: Blackrock Pass? Most people can make it from the TH to Pinto Lake in a day to the good camps there. From there it is is just over the pass to Big/Little Five Lakes. Beyond there everything else should be fairly easy if you do not go out of your way to punish yourself.

EDIT: One other thing. That trail section that goes from Rattlesnake Creek to Big Arroyo, it may not be there any more. I tried to find it at the Big Arroyo junction but could not. But just because I could not find it does not mean it is not there. Just a heads up.
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BACBL51.jpg
The Big Arroyo creek before the trail heads uphill.
BACBL52.jpg
The view up the Big Arroyo canyon and trail.
Doyle W. Donehoo
Sierra Trails:
http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby maverick » Wed May 18, 2011 2:10 pm

Hi Mkosel

Here is a members request last year about this area, and then his TR with pic's that
hopefully help you in making your decision.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5310
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5439&p=34044#p34044
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby SweetSierra » Wed May 18, 2011 3:58 pm

Glacier Pass with snow on the north side is somewhat of a challenge at the very top, depending on your experience. There's an obvious short ramp that is the route over the pass from south to north. Everything else is a cliff. There is about 10 feet of Class 3 snow (which was very hairy for me at the time). From there, the gradient lessened and it is an easy plunge-step down.
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby sparky » Wed May 18, 2011 8:25 pm

When I was in this area, I went from little 5 to big 5 lakes via an easy pass. Once at the top, there was a nice view of big 5. From there I contoured around to a pass between big 5 and spring lake. The view of upper cliff creek is nice from there. Might be better from sawtooth or blackrock though. The descent to spring was steep, fairly solid, and extremely scenic. Short section of exposed but easy class 3 at the top but I may not have taken the best way down. This is just from memory so Pm me if you are interested in doing this instead of blackrock, and I can get out maps, get more specific with pictures and whatnot.

I very much enjoyed this section and recommend it, but it is strenuous
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby Sierra Maclure » Wed May 18, 2011 10:09 pm

Isn't that called Pant's Pass?
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby sparky » Wed May 18, 2011 11:09 pm

No, that pass leads from 9 lakes to kern kaweah drainage. In peaks passes trails It is called cyclamen lake pass, hands and knees pass, or bunny ear s pass. but didn't realize that when I posted.....so it is the same pass as referred to by a poster above, only instead connecting big5 with spring lake. I have seen this route described on the internet, probably better than I can remember. I remember it was easy, enjoyable, but strenuous.

I originally wanted to make it to cyclamen and columbine, but it looked to be out of my comfort zone for quite a ways.

Beautiful area though and unique!
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
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Re: Mineral King Loop

Postby Sierra Maclure » Thu May 19, 2011 9:13 am

Hands & Knees!!! That's it. When I was sitting down there at Spring looking up at that pass I envisioned going up or coming down on hands and knees (or the seat of my pants, which is where I got confused.) We came over Black Rock and then out via Glacier. No problem in 2009. BTW, we had gear-eating deer at Spring Lk. Apparently, they like to munch on anything that has salt from your sweat on it - hiking pole handles, backpacks, sboots, you name it. One of our party was chasing them off all night. Me - I slept thru it all. Beautiful spot, though. :thumbsup:
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