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Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

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Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

Postby murph » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:40 am

Hoping to reach Mammoth Lakes from yosemite via yarts bus July 9 to 15 and am troubled by the huge snow factor this year. We are coming from Australia and Chilean ash cloud permitting we need some advice on staying around Yosemite or aiming for Mammoth as well. I have read that the Crystal Crag hike from Lake Mary is a short but inspiring day hike. Would the trail be easily navigated come early July?



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Re: Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

Postby Pulpit » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:47 am

I would recommend taking the shuttle from Mammoth Mountain down to Agnew Meadows and doing a day hike up to the Shadow Lake environs. You may encounter sparse snow cover, but I wouldn't expect it to be too bad. It is a beautiful area up around Shadow Lake and there are some nice vistas of the Minarets, Ritter and Banner Peaks to be had.
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Re: Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

Postby Flux » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:51 am

If you are doing dayhikes in the Mammoth area, then yes, Shadow lake is most excellent. Don't forget a jaunt up Coldwater Canyon and possibly on to Duck pass. You should be able to access the Crest from the Crystal Lake trail. You always have the postpile and rainbow falls as well. Plenty of hikes and even with snow, they will be packed out and good to go. The snow will just add to the beauty, it's the Sierra, it dumps feet, not inches.
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Re: Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

Postby murph » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:15 pm

Thank you Pulpit and Flux for your helpful and quick advice - i really appreciate it.
Great to hear that the JMT or river trail may be an option from around July 9th. Initially we got excited about backpacking to either Garnet Lake or Thousand Island Lake but felt it may be a bit beyond our current capacities and then with the big snow dump we assumed it would be even more beyond us so we thought better stick to trails closer to downtown mammoth. Flux, it sounds like the crystal crag trail and crest may be managable. My partner is concerned that the trail may be to slushy, what do you think? Pulpit, just wondering on the little skeeters and how they might be behaving around July 9 to 15?

Once again thankyou for your valuable suggestions, take care, Murph
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Re: Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

Postby Pulpit » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:03 am

I backpacked with my brother up around Garnet, Shadow, Ediza and 1000 Island Lakes last year during the very end of June. No mosquitos during the day and a few around dusk. You are going about two weeks later and there is a heavier snow-pack so I would guess you will encounter very similar conditions.

There was some snow coverage on the trails, especially above Shadow, but nothing too crazy, especially on the north facing slopes. Up by Garnet, Ediza and 1000 Islands the lakes were still about 75% frozen, Shadow had thawed. You might posthole a little but, especially off trail.

Here are a couple of pictures so that you can see what those conditions were like:
Attachments
Picture 471.jpg
Ediza Lake
Picture 477.jpg
Shadow Lake with my brother fishing
Picture 425.jpg
Garnet Lake
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Re: Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

Postby mammoth80 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:00 am

I plan on doing a very similar trip as Pulpit did this coming July 8-12, so I am also very interested in gauging what the conditions might be like. Thanks, Pulpit, for the pictures. Quite a difference between Shadow Lake vs. Garnet and Ediza. What a difference a few hundred feet makes. Were you able to camp on bare ground? Would you be able to above 9500'?

I suspect conditions will be very similar to last June, maybe even more snow. My only hope is that the lakes will have melted a bit more as fishing is my main objective. Is there any logical reason to assume that the lakes will ice out faster even if the snow remains deeper in some places?

I'll be watching carefully for trip reports and conditions in the coming weeks. Hopefully this warm week coming up will really get things going. I didn't plan on ice fishing in July :(
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Re: Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

Postby Pulpit » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:36 am

Yes, we were able to camp on dry ground, we went upstream from Shadow Lake, a ways up Shadow Creek, to the other side of the creek from the JMT where BC camping is legal. If conditions are similar to our visit last year, you might be able to find bare ground if you search around enough, especially in exposed areas.

I would keep an eye out for trip reports from others as your trip gets closer as all of what I am saying is obviously conjecture.

My brother and I are heading up on a BP out of the Postpile in late August (Anona/Gertrude Lakes environs, special thanks to Doyle D for posting such a great report in his online magazine). We had considered doing late June like last year, and luckily after juggling our various work and home schedules, late August worked out better. I don't think we would have made it up there next week and would have had to do a Plan B.

***BTW - I would imagine Shadow Lake will definitely be thawed (there were just little patches of scattered snow there last year). The fishing there was excellent, we pulled a few huge rainbows out of there.
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Re: Mammoth lakes area recommended hikes July 9 to 15

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:41 pm

There's hiking starting out by Convict Lake (oldest rock in the Sierra), which is only a few miles south of Mammoth. I don't know what the fishing is like then. I'll be snowboarding in Mammoth on July 4th, and can take pix from the top. I probably won't get pix of the lakes unless I hike the San Joaquin ridge, which is a possibility if my knee still hurts. There's also Rock Creek/Mosquito Flats which is south of Mammoth also.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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