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Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

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Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby scottg1178 » Tue May 03, 2011 1:11 pm

Hi Guys,

I just joined this site today. I'm pumped for the backcountry hiking and fishing to begin...can't wait. This site looks legit and I would like to monitor it for information throughout the season. My main question is:

Where is the best place to find information on Open trails (without snow) and to find out what lakes are no longer frozen? I understand that most of the trails and lakes over 10,000 are available starting July 1st...However I'd like to go earlier if the available.

Some of my favorite hikes are above South Lake and Lake Sabrina (Bishop). Last year I went in Mid June and half the hike was through snow. If possible i'd like to know when Long Lake, Treasure Lake, Chocalate Lakes....etc, are available to hike to.

I have been researching the the Golden Trout Wilderness and I would like to know when places like Cottonwood Lakes and Golden Trout Creek are available to hike to?

Obviously July is guarenteed but if someone hikes up there in Mid-June....i'd like to be the first to know! Should I look for this infomation on this site? if so what part of the site? Are there other sites with this information?

If you guys know any areas similar to the hikes/lakes I mentioned above that are usually open in Early to mid June please don't hesitate to post them.

Here is my Information:

What level of backpacking experience do you have?

Level 2- Some backpacking trips, using trails

What terrain are you comfortable?
- Class 1 terrain/trail hiking
- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country
- - River crossings


What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Forests
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography
- Fishing

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead? 2-3 days 1-2 nights

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers? 3-12 miles per day

Did you prefer a loop or out and back trip? Prefer Loops but not always neccesary

Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in? Eastern Sierra's: South Lake region, Lake Sabrina region. Golden Trout Wilderness: Horseshoe Meadow, Cottonwood Pass, Golden trout Creek.

Will you be hiking with a dog? No



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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby gary c. » Tue May 03, 2011 1:19 pm

Scott, welcome to the forum. Keep in mind that fishing season does not open in the Cottonwood Lakes area unit July 1st. Even then I would not bet on what access will be like with all the snow we have this year.
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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby scottg1178 » Tue May 03, 2011 1:40 pm

gary c. wrote:Scott, welcome to the forum. Keep in mind that fishing season does not open in the Cottonwood Lakes area unit July 1st. Even then I would not bet on what access will be like with all the snow we have this year.


Thanks Gary. Is that a regulation (for example the area is closed until July 1st).....or is July 1st historically the first time people go? I realize that this was huge year for snow compared to years past. I'm just praying this heat wave continues and mealts some of that snow pack.

Any suggestions on Hikes with good fishing in Late May early June? I realize Kern has some low elevation hikes available during this period...but they don't seem to appealing.

Any suggestions on this site....it looks good..but there is a ton of info, some outdated.
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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Welcome to HST. :)

scottg1178 wrote:Obviously July is guarenteed but if someone hikes up there in Mid-June....i'd like to be the first to know! Should I look for this infomation on this site? if so what part of the site? Are there other sites with this information?



I don't know that it's at all obvious what's guaranteed as it all depends on weather between now and then.

I'm planning stuff I absolutely want to do in late July - August, myself. Earlier than that, I either head for the coast or lower elevations, or intend to do things on the spot as they are reported to be clear - or as I feel adventurous enough to challenge myself for the possibility of snow.

I'm going to Hetch Hetchy in early June, and will be prepared for walking through water a lot or possibly crossing snow, or just turning around if necessary and cutting the trip short.
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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby maverick » Tue May 03, 2011 2:10 pm

Hi Scott

Welcome to HST!
As you probably know the snow levels are extremely high this year, so the area's you
could access in early June may not be till July, that is if things don't melt off faster
than usual, which is a possibility.
Check back here in the "Backpacking Section" for trip reports to get an idea of the snow
levels, water levels, and skeeter situations in the area's your interested.
Also check with the Inyo & Sequoia NF websites for condition updates, and as you get
closer to your trip give them a call, sometimes there website's are behind, and you can
get more up to date info from the ranger stations itself.
Check on Backpacker.com (forums-southwest), and Whitneyportalstore.com
(message board) for possible info.
Domeland, Golden Trout Wilderness, will be area's you could visit in June, beyond that
everything depends on the melt.
As of May 1 according to the Inyo NF site: Road to Sabrina Lake is open, but closed
to North Lake.
South Lake Road open till Parchers Lodge.
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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: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby scottg1178 » Tue May 03, 2011 3:06 pm

Thanks fellas for the information. I'll be up at Lake Sabrina and South Lake June 23rd-25th. I will try to post how the backcountry looks for hiking. Ice fishing at Lake Sabrina was succesfull this weekend.....not really my thing though. I'll attach Sabrina's website below...they update the site every Sunday night with the current conditions and fishing report. They have some good pictures of ice fishing on the frozen lake....click on "Fishing Report"

http://lakesabrinaboatlanding.com/

Scott
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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby maverick » Tue May 03, 2011 3:23 pm

Scott wrote "Thanks fellas for the information.", and ladies for AlmostThere.
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: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby gary c. » Tue May 03, 2011 4:07 pm

Scott, the Cottonwood Lakes area has special regulations and does not open until July 1st. When it does open you are only allowed to keep fish from lake #5 and I think it has a 2 fish limit(not sure about the limit?). Always check the DFG book before you go to a new area because there seems to be more and more special regulations.
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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby kpeter » Tue May 03, 2011 10:31 pm

Cottonwood Lakes are around 11,000 feet--so the melt will not come early. Cottonwood Pass had 26" of water content on May 1 which is very wet for that far south in the Sierra. It is likely that Cottonwood will open up somewhat later than usual this year, but since I have only been there in mid August I don't know when "usual" is for Cottonwood.

South lake trailhead is pretty high--not quite 10,000. I can't imagine hiking very far in beyond South Lake without walking across a lot of snow much before July. Bishop Pass, for example, will probably finish its melt sometime between 25 June and 19 July--based on past history in years similar to this one.
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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby scottg1178 » Wed May 04, 2011 8:22 am

Thanks Kpeter. I did the hike to Long Lake last year around June 12th, which is 2 miles from South Lake. About 35% of the hike was through snow but it was managable. About 90% of the lake was frozen with thin ice but we found a great hole (about the size of a basketball court), and caught a great looking brown. Everything past Long Lake was snowed in (Big time). I'm headed to South Lake June 23rd and crossing my fingers that Long Lake will be available. I will try to post how it looks.
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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby East Side Hiker » Wed May 04, 2011 9:01 am

The snow will be the obsticle this year - snow on top of last year's snow. There will be dangerous snow and rock situations, especially if you go cross country. The main trails will be OK since so many people follow them and the trail will be worn in. Go over major rivers or passes early in he day (know that sometimes it's impossible, but planning ahead and stopping to smell the roses will help).
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Re: Snow Level Information: Cottonwood Lakes/Long Lake etc..

Postby GunnyJC » Thu May 12, 2011 6:52 am

I'm very interested in this thread as well. I am planning on taking my brother & two nephews (ages 16 & 18) up into the Soldier Lakes/Miter Basin area during July 2 - 8th. They have no alpine experience whatsoever, but being from Minnesota, they are used to colder weather & snow. I was hoping to get them on top of a couple of easier peaks in that area (Mt. Pickering, Mt. Newcomb, Mt. Chamberlin, Mt. Langley, etc), but not sure how feasible that will be since they won't have crampons or ice axes. Guess I will be following this and other similar threads to what the conditions will be. Any info that you guys will have on New Army Pass, Cottonwood Pass & Miter Basin in the coming weeks will be much appreciated!

Sorry for hitching a ride on your thread, but I didn't want to clutter up the list with with another thread that was so similar to this one.
Semper Fi!
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