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Novice hiking excursion to Inyo National Forest

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Novice hiking excursion to Inyo National Forest

Postby eazyrider » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:29 am

Hi everyone just signed up and am hoping to get some insight into a trip I want to plan. My back packing experience level is 2, prefer to do some class 1 trail hiking. My main interests are lakes,forest, big mountain scenery, and fishing. I want to plan a 3 day trip and want to do like a 10-15 mile round trip hike. Preferably a loop trip. I have been looking online and am interested in Twin lakes/Mammoth lakes area. I like the fact that there are so many lakes around to hike. Anyone have some information about that area want to go some time in September? I have some what of an idea of what to pack but let me know if you have anything that is a must for that area? Thanks any and all advice is appreciated.



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Re: Novice hiking excursion to Inyo National Forest

Postby maverick » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:40 am

Hi Eazyrider

Welcome to HST!
In the Twin Lakes area the Virgina Lakes area, and Green Lake would fall within
your 5-7 miles, one-way trip requirement.
Two place that top the list for recommendations for new backpackers is 20 Lakes
Basin out of Saddlebag Lake near Tioga Pass, and probably the top of the list would
be Little Lake Valley http://WildernessApertures.com/img/v24/p440845222-6.jpg
out of Rock Creek area.
LLV has numerous lakes, one prettier than the other, like Hidden Lakes
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/v20/p168665620-6.jpg , Chickenfoot
Lake, Gem Lakes and then there are the beautiful mountains lining the valley all
the way back to Morgan Pass.
You only have to hike a few miles (3-4 miles), almost level trail to reach some of
the lakes.
Also if you go towards the last week of Sept you may get a peak at some
wonderful fall colors (last year the fall colors at Rock Creek surprisingly were at
full blast by the end of Sept), and after Labor Day there are less people.
If your vacation time is flexible than just watch the weather forecast, and go
up the week of Indian Summer, which usually arrives the second or third week
of Sept, though this crazy year who knows what will happen.
No special equipment needed, just you enthusiasm, a fishing pole, if you fish, or
a camera, if you like to take photo's!
Last edited by maverick on Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added photo's
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Re: Novice hiking excursion to Inyo National Forest

Postby eazyrider » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:29 pm

Thanks for the info. I will have to check out some of the links you posted. Sounds really good. I dont have my heart set on labor day weekend but that seems to be when everyone else can get like a 3 day weekend off. I cant imagine how awesome fall is up there. I am definately going to take a fishing pole and try to catch some natives. I am going to have to do some training for this one cause Im on the central coast and there is no way Im going to be prepared for a hike at 8500 without some serious training. Thanks again and any more info you guys have let me know.
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Re: Novice hiking excursion to Inyo National Forest

Postby eazyrider » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:41 pm

Those pictures are amazing! thanks again for the post.
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Re: Novice hiking excursion to Inyo National Forest

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:03 am

As usual, Maverick is right on. 20 Lakes Basin and Rock Creek would have been my ideas. Rock Creek is particularly excellent. They are both crowded with people if that doesn't bother you, but Mammoth would be worse. There is one more place (maybe I missed it in Maverick's note), and that is the Cottonwood Lakes basin out of Horseshoe Meadow. Another idea is to go out of the June Lake area toward the John Muir Trail (JMT). Also, consider the Carson Pass area. Not so many lakes, but beautiful none-the-less.

The nice thing about the 20 Lakes Basin (Saddlebag Lake), Rock Creek (Mosquito Flat), and Cottonwood Lakes (Horseshoe Meadow) is that they all start at 10,000' +. September should be nice, particularly starting from Mosquito Flat. Camping out of Mosquito Flat, one can make somewhat easy day hikes to wondrous lakes (Gem Lakes, etc.) and Sierra Passes - Mono Pass (somewhat difficult) and Morgan Pass (easy), in just a few short miles with little elevation gains. Yet 20 Lakes Basin has the Conness Glacier, Tioga Crest, and Steelhead Lake. From the Cottonwood Lakes Basin, you can climb a 14,000' peak with not much difficulty.
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Re: Novice hiking excursion to Inyo National Forest

Postby MountainGlory » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:13 pm

Spending a night (two is even better) at one of the higher elevation campgrounds (or Rock Creek Lodge), will help you to acclimate to the high elevation. You'll love Little Lakes Valley, permits may be hard to come by Labor Day weekend though. As for fall foilage, Bishop Canyon was my favorite last year, you have your choice of hikes out of Sabrina, South Lake or North Lake canyons. You can't beat the views from the Tyee Lakes trail down the South Lake canyon (mid - October last year South Lake was "done", but Sabrina was spectacular). If you decide on Green Lakes, you might drive up the paved , road to Virginia Lakes, then cut across on the dirt road to Green Lakes for spectacular fall foilage, then hike up the Green Lakes trail or vice versa. Last year foilage was peak between Virginia and Green Lakes the end of September, first of October.
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Re: Novice hiking excursion to Inyo National Forest

Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:37 pm

What about McGee Creek?
Day 2 of a 4 day trip: http://snownymph.smugmug.com/Sierra-Nev ... 9551_kGvQc
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


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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