TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

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TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby kpeter » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:15 pm

I will start this TR today and then attempt to add to the thread with some photos later. Perhaps someone can direct me to a thread with instructions on posting photos.

Trailhead: The road to Shingle Springs is completely clear of snow. It has not been graded yet this year and there were half a dozen extremely rutted/washed out sections which gave me pause. Nonetheless, I got my ordinary passenger car to the trailhead by driving slowly and strategically.

Approach to Kibbie Lake: The trail to Kibbie has not had a trail crew over it yet this season. There are a sprinkling of deadfalls across the trail. At one point the trail was obliterated for a couple of hundred feet by deadfall and water. Nevertheless, it was not particularly difficult to refind the trail.

Kibbie outlet: I'm sure that seasoned Kibbie visitors know that the best route to the west side of the lake is not directly up the outlet, which is where a newbie like me was headed when the main trail reached the crossing of the outlet below the lake. Going relatively high up onto the granite slabs on the west of the lake allows you to bypass the brush that lies near the shore. It also seemed to me that the granite was less fractured higher up and further from the lake than closer down, allowing for much easier walking.

Camping on the west side: I camped about halfway along the lake on the west side with nice views of the cliffs to the north. On a dayhike I found a splendid campsite a few hundred yards up the NW inlet stream, with great views of the lake, cliffs, and cascades. I wished I had camped there!

Conditions: There were a few scattered patches of snow in the deep shade, but nothing substantial anywhere around the lake. Similarly, a small number of mosquitoes but they were not biting. It was very hot on June 22 and was almost too warm for comfortably sleeping that night. The NW inlet stream I saw was roaring and I would not have wanted to try crossing it at the locations I encountered it. I never contemplated crossing the outlet and did not investigate. Fish were rising from 7:00 pm in the evening and also at dawn at 5:30 am. The ferns stems were 1-2 feet high but not yet unfurled. Few wildflowers were out.

My impressions: The hike in was extremely hot, and the approach was mostly through the Kibbie burn area. I know that fire is a natural part of the ecosystem, but that does not mean I relish walking through burns. Sadly (for me) the heat may have contributed to a nasty heel blister that cut my trip short.

Kibbie Lake itself I found quite lovely. Lakes with mixed granite/cliffs and some forest are always among my favorites, and Kibbie has a lot of charm. I particularly enjoyed some of the streams in the area, sliding and cascading over granite on their way to the lake. While the burn did reach Kibbie in one patch (mid West side) it did not really mar the beauty of the lake in my opinion.

My plans were to dayhike out of Kibbie and to see which other lakes and ridges I could explore from there. My heel blister resisted all my best interventions, though, and make going uphill an unattractive option for me! So back down the trailhead. I'll be back to try again another time.



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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:45 pm

Thanks Kpeter for posting the TR, looking forward to the pictures, and also to see
how much difference there is from earlier post of the lake.
Sorry to hear about the heal blister cutting your trip short, but like you said there
will be another time to explore it.
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby kpeter » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:10 pm

Here are a few photos from my Kibbie overnight last week. Not my best photography, but it might bring back some memories for others and give other newcomers an idea of the place.
Attachments
IMGP1899.jpg
A sidestream
IMGP1896.jpg
Erratics at the shoreline.
IMGP1893.jpg
Distinctive triangular cliff jutting out from the E shore.
IMGP1885.jpg
Campsite on the W shore.
IMGP1879.jpg
High on the granite to the W of Kibbie.
IMGP1874.jpg
Inlet above the NW shore.
IMGP1868.jpg
Springtime growth.
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby iHartMK » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:27 pm

Thanks for posting this! My best buddy/backpacking partner has been wanting us to do this trip for a while. It's kind of a long drive from Visalia... and it seems over-used. But after seeing your pictures, its very beautiful!

How far is it from Fresno to the trailhead? How many miles in to the lake?
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby kpeter » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:37 pm

The lake is only 4 miles in from the Shingle Springs trailhead. If you avoid Shingle Springs because of the poor road quality you can hike a bit further and start down the road more.

Permits are picked up at the Groveland Ranger station, which is not actually in the town of Groveland but a few miles further east down highway 120. Call them at 8am the day before you want to go to line up your reservations--they don't do reservations more than a day in advance for Kibbie. From the 120 turn off it is a slow 24 miles from highway 120 to Cherry Lake and then a few very slow miles across the dam and up a dirt road to the Shingle Springs trailhead. About an hour from Groveland to the trailhead.
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:35 pm

What Kpeter said. I met him on the trail on my way out (as he was on his way in) on that long exposed stretch of trail just above Shingle Springs. It was hot the entire time I was there. Even the mornings were only sorta-cool.

I hope nobody minds if I bump this and add a few comments.
For anybody going to Kibbie Lake: When you and the trail get to the sign near the ford of Kibbie Creek, the trail disappears into the bushes behind the sign, so don't be fooled. Once the trail emerges from the bushes and goes up some tight rocky switchbacks, it will level out on solid granite. If you look to you left you will see a shallow open book: if you go up higher through that you will emerge on the solid granite on a natural easy to walk route next to the edge of a granite plateau. Walk along that till you come to a place that has all around views. Now, you can follow the cliffs and granite to the lake inlet, or you can head north and a bit NNE to the north end of the Lake. Kibbie Lake is guarded by cliffs which features some brushy little paths through the cliffs that are not really easy to find. If you enter from the North end, the going is much easier.
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GDEdgeJune2011sm.jpg
Along the edge of the granite plateau I wrote about above.
KibbieLake2011sm.jpg
Kibbie Lake in its granite glory just before Kpeter got there.
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:48 am

Very, very beautiful photos. The lakes, the snow plant... Incredible and beautiful. Thank you.
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:51 am

As I re-reviewed your photos, it didn't seem that the "flows" were "that" high. What is your opinion of the run-off in this area?
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:55 am

The Kibbie Creek drainage is not that big (flow is bound to fluctuate), and when I was there the ford seemed manageable, but I would only would have done it if I had to. There is still (deep) sections and one had an obvious camp on the other side, but I do not know how swift the water was at the deepest parts. Kibbie Creek is probably already subsiding.
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YoKibCreekXA2011.jpg
A calm area before the rapids on Kibbie Creek near the official ford.
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Re: TR: Kibbie Lake overnight June 22-23

Postby kpeter » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:21 pm

It has now been more than a week since I was there, and at the time, the lake was about 12" below its high water mark. The peak runoff in the Kibbie basin is now well past. I would guess it has now moved on to peak mosquito conditions.
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