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Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby slade » Sat May 14, 2011 4:15 pm

oldranger

The 2008 Stock Users Guide to Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness lists Grasshopper Meadow on page 18: 2 acres at 7700 feet "on a bench above Roaring River ... the area ... bounded by drift fences just above, and a mile downstream in the ranger station area." That would appear to put the upper drift fence and ford across Roaring River, that you suggest, at about the "R" in "River" on the 7.5' Sphinx Lakes map. Is that about right? Thank you.

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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat May 14, 2011 6:57 pm

The "use trail" down Cloud Canyon is an off again, on again thing, easily missed and can get quite brushy down low. Consider it more of an off-trail route. I came over from Lion Lake, instead of Cooper Mine Pass, and traversed the southwest side up high before dropping down. The drop down to the canyon floor was not that easy. It is hard to see the right route from the top - I headed down too early and got into some cliffs of dubious rock quality. Quite a bit of talus up high too. I camped in the middle of Cloud Canyon and it was wonderful. I've done Deadman too- equally wonderful scenery. Cloud Canyon is more rugged. Deadman is more "lush" and green, hence, more mosquitoes early season. You are going to have a beautiful route either way. I think the time it takes will also be similar - shorter but slower off-trail travel via Cloud Canyon and longer but faster and easier via Deadman. Either way, you should camp in the middle of one of the canyons. Camping on the Roaring Fork is not scenic at all. If forced to choose one, I would go with Deadman, because you can still see a lot of Cloud Canyon from Big Wet Meadow.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby oldranger » Sun May 15, 2011 6:42 am

WD/Slade

The key from coppermine is not to drop down too steeply and target the upper portions of the foxtail stand. A couple of zigzags as you work your way down should locate the trail very easily if you don't pick up the trail before the foxtails. The trail is very clear through the foxtails. Again, once down to the floor of the canyon don't spend time trying to follow the trail. I found that once to the foxtail stand my walking speed was just as fast as trail speed if I wasn't concerned about following the old mining trail.

Slade, I don't have a 7.5 map right now to reference. But the Grasshopper drift fence is about 1 to 1. 5 miles above the ranger station. The ford is about 1/4 mile below. Near Grasshopper meadow. If you take the shortcut I described after finding a safe place to ford just walk away from the river and you will soon intersect the trail. More precisely hike NE.

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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby slade » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:17 am

Is there a use trail from Deadman Canyon up the outlet stream to Big Bird Lake, or what is the best route from Deadman to Big Bird? Is this class 2 or better? How about the continuing hike up to Lake 10435?
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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby oldranger » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:35 pm

There is a use trail and stock have used it in the last couple of years, but I never took my stock up it. To find the trail cross Copper creek at the lower end of Upper Ranger meadow (in or near the campsites located there. Go toward the w. wall then work your way s. and you should see the trail. If you see the guy playing a guitar carved in a large lodgepole pine then you know you are on the route. The route I preferred though was to go straight up the slabs from the campsites crossing the outlet creek fairly low. The creek actually meets Copper Creek some yards down the cascade below the campsites. Late in the season when it was safe to cross I would go down below the outlet creek before starting up to Big Bird.

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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby slade » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:23 pm

Very good, oldranger. As usual, your description is quite thorough. Now, how about the continuing hike on up to Lake 10435? Is it class 2? Thank you.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby oldranger » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:05 pm

Slade

I assume that you are talking about the larger of the two lakes directly w. of Big Bird. I can't remember what the creek area between the lakes is like. Since there was not supposed to be any fish I never went there myself but hiked above it several times hiking between big bird and the table lands. I know there must be an easy class 2 route if you go toward the nw corner of Big Bird and look for a steep grassy chute heading diagonally up from Big Bird. Once at the top you should be able to work your way down to the lake as the ridge between Big Bird and the lake does not drop down that steeply.
Anyhow I found the lake basin to the nw of Big Bird much more interesting and camped at the lowest lake a couple of times.

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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby slade » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:42 am

Many thanks, oldranger.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby Zoltan » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:43 am

I visited this area in 2009, from Pear Lake over Tablelands down to Big Bird. From there, as I recall, it was a fairly simple descent to Deadman Canyon. Here is a shot from later in the trip, in the upper reaches of Cloud Canyon looking north toward Whaleback, near Lion Lake Pass - may help with your question about getting to Colby. We were ascending Cloud Canyon and there was a lot of snow (June) but it was not difficult.
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Re: Elizabeth Pass to Cloud Canyon

Postby slade » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:19 am

Gracias, Zoltan.
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