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FLorence lake questions

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FLorence lake questions

Postby balzaccom » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:05 am

Has anyone hike up above Florence Lake yet this year? Just wondering where the snow levels are....and what the river crossings are like.

We've never hiked out of this trailhead, and are looking for a 5-6 day trip over the extended 4th of July weekend.
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby oldranger » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:11 am

Paul,

First issue is when will Kaiser Pass Road open! Still a lot of snow!

Mike
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby gary c. » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:38 am

This was posted Tuesday on VVR's facebook page.

Vermilion Valley Resort
Latest on Road: Forest Service to inspect road Thursday, we may be open this weekend, anyway we are open to people who hike, ski, or ATV in.... Fishing from this past weekends quad trip was excellent. Crappy weather equals good fishing, remember that in July & August. See you all soon.
Jim Clement
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby gary c. » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:31 pm

Just posted a little while ago:

Vermilion Valley Resort
The ROAD is OPEN! Come on up and see us!
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby Troutdog 59 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:35 pm

Balzac,

I havent hiked out of Florence this season (Kaiser just opened last Friday), but I have in seasons past. The main stream crossings along the trail from Florence east to the JMT/KCNP should be fine as they are on bridges (Piute Creek and the two crossings of the San Joaquin between Piute Creek and the turn off to Evolution Valley). However, crossing the San Joaquin at Upper Blaney Meadows (or anywhere else for that matter) to reach the Hot Springs/warm lake on the south side of the river near the Muir Trail Ranch would be difficult at the least if not down right dangerous. I have been there in July of an average snow year and choose not to cross due to the high water. Not saying it couldnt have been done, as others had and had even strung a rope across the river as a guide. I just wasnt comfortable with the crossing and decided against it. There might be a better ford on the Muir Trail Ranch property, but never having been a guest there I cant say if there is or not.

Smaller creeks like Senger and Sally Keyes Creeks along the way will be high and more difficult than usual, but they shouldnt be impassable, just a little wetter than during dryer years. I will admit I dont know about the 1st crossing of the San Joaquin right above Florence as I have never hiked that part of the trail. All of my hikes out of Florence began at the eastern side of the lake as I took the ferry across the lake so I missed that crossing, but I beleive there is a bridge there as well. I would normally say the ferry will be running by July 4th, but this is not the typical year.

It looks like I may be in the general Florence Lake area just about a week earlier than you (6/24 - 6/28). If so I will post a conditions report.
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:48 pm

Years ago I missed the ferry on the way back from a trip so hiked the trail on the south side of the lake. It was late season - I had to wade but do not recall it difficult. But that was in Sept. I would take the ferry to be sure you do not get stranded. The south side trail also goes over a buttress and has a surprising amount of ups and downs. There is a footbridge over the San Joaquin. The wading is a bit farther west on an unnamed stream. It could be swampy between the creeks.

The year I did this trip the day before I took the ferry across, a woman had slipped on a rock near the bridge over Piute Creek and drown. I was particularly careful getting water!
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:10 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:Years ago I missed the ferry on the way back from a trip so hiked the trail on the south side of the lake. It was late season - I had to wade but do not recall it difficult. But that was in Sept. I would take the ferry to be sure you do not get stranded. The south side trail also goes over a buttress and has a surprising amount of ups and downs. There is a footbridge over the San Joaquin. The wading is a bit farther west on an unnamed stream. It could be swampy between the creeks.

The year I did this trip the day before I took the ferry across, a woman had slipped on a rock near the bridge over Piute Creek and drown. I was particularly careful getting water!

I think Boulder Creek is the stream you're thinking of; it's a little ways west of the bridge over the South Fork. I've waded it a few times, but you're right--it could be pretty difficult early season this year. It has a pretty sizable watershed (from Mt. Shinn to Dutch Oven Meadow), so on a warm day you're gonna see a lot of water funneled through there. (Or it could just turn that whole lowland into a swamp. Either way, best avoided.)

Anyway, balzaccom, you should be fine as long as you stay low--e.g., Piute or Goddard Canyon. No bridge over Evolution Creek; I wouldn't even try crossing it this time this year.
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby kanklekiller » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:02 pm

Whooo-saw! A small group of us, at least two, probably four, maybe 5 will be heading up to Florence, with the hope of finding enough ground to walk on to make our way to Dutch/Hidden lakes on friday. Assuming i return alive, as I'm very sensitive to the cold, I will post an update for ya.
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:49 am

Hey Kankle! Please do post a TR for that trip. That is one of a couple hikes in the general area that my brother and I are considering for the following week (6/24). I would love to know what kind of conditions you find.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
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R. Trower
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby ERIC » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:27 am

I'll be in the MTR vicinity next weekend (via Florence).
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Re: FLorence lake questions

Postby kanklekiller » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:18 am

I'm back from my adventuare, and lets say that 25lbs I recently lost sure helped. I reached Dutch lack from the trailhead in 2.5 hours, Hidden took another 1/2 hour. The group I was with were rabbits, I was the turtle (5'7" 223lbs is a slow animal).
I got scarred, as ussual on Keiser Pass becaue the snow banks near the peak were still pretty tall. The patchy snow started soon after Huntington. When we left the trail head at Florence, there was no relevant snow to speak of. I reacha place I call "Coffin Rock" but referred to on this trip as "rest rock" to psych my fellow packers into stopping for a minute. I think its around 8800' elevation. From that point on there was a lot of snow. It was passable, but occasional sink ins reach waiste deep. At Dutch and hidden the main campsites were still under the snow, but if you looked you could find a place to pitch a tent near enough to the lake. The ground was pretty wet.
If you have any questions feel free to email bijou55@sbcglobal.net
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