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Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby riverwalker » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:33 am

BTW-Fishing was okay. I was wishing I had my fly rod, but just brought a little packable spinner. All fish were C&R. There were plenty of fish in certain locations we just had a tough time coaxing them onto the end of our lines.

George Lake was still half frozen and there was a good amount of snow on the way up to the lake when we went. Some of our boys had never seen snow before, so there were a lot of firsts on this trip.



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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:31 am

You Sir, are a brave man! You just started probably half on a lifetime of backpacking, and others on a lifetime of fishing.. Very nicely done.

Russ
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby riverwalker » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:31 pm

Thanks Russ. I hope we gave some of them the bug. It is amazing how out of touch the kids are these days. These boys spent much of their time talking about video games and their experiences while playing them. I heard very few stories that dealt with reality. I should have overheard stories about egging houses, blowing stuff up, riding their bikes or skateboards off of insane heights or even girls. But it was just their virtual realities. I feel like an old man....The kids these days.
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby DriveFly44 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:29 pm

Riverwalker, we were camped a bit above you and passed through on our way out - I was with my buddy and my pooch. I have to hand it to you with all those kids. Although, I can relate because I teach high school ;) Kids are a bit different these days. Glad you were able to expose them to the outdoors.


ladd
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby Troutdog 59 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:25 pm

Glad you and the Troop had a good time River and hats off to folks like you who put things like this together and take kids backpacking :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby Mtnsummit » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:08 pm

Thought I would add my two cents about our trip as well. Hiked in July 14th, came out July 17th with my two boys. They are now 21 and 17. They both went on their first backpack trip at age 6 for the oldest and age 5 for the 17 year old. So yes, expose them early to this type of adventure for hopefully life long enjoyment of getting into the outdoors. They always ask each year "Dad when are we going on a backpack trip" - makes me a very proud and happy Dad. And nice to leave electronics at home.

Our original destination was to camp at George Lake. Stayed at Tamarack Lodge night before hike - great place to stay, not very expensive.There are patches of snow from the Potter Pass trailhead on the way to Potter Pass at first, otherwise the trail is clear of fallen trees. No problem on river/creek crossings. Look at trees for markers if you feel like you are gettting off trail. Once to Potter Pass, great views. No snow at Potter Pass. We then descended down to a meadow, which is covered in 6 inches of water in most parts. We should have veered left of the meadow to stay on track but ended up going to the right of the meadow. But we eventually did hook back onto the main trail leading to lower twin/upper twin lakes. Pretty easy hike compared to what we normally do on the East side of the Sierra's. I was amazed at the forrest, the green and overall health of the forrest. New seedlings and young tree's all over as well as huge old growth trees. We did not stay or fish as lower lake, just passed on the way up to Upper Twin. We got to Upper Twin and headed towards George, however, after passing Upper Twin, the snow started to be less patchy and more of a blanket. We lost the trail. comtinued on for a bit, and not being sure exactly where George was (trees make it more difficult to get a compass bearing), we decided to descend back a bit to Upper Twin. I am glad we did. We found a great campsite, and the lake if just gorgeous with a rock island in the middle. Bear canisters are not required, but we had them. Ranger did check out permit. He explained he had come up from the North - a lot of trees had fallen on the trail he came up. Fires are allowed. A nice bonus. To my amazement, there were no Mesquitos to deal with. Sure we each had a couple of bites, probably when fishing. But no bug juice or bug net needed. Temps were lows of probably 40 or so, highs probably mid 60's.

Fishing was fantastic at Upper Twin. Porbably hauled in 55+ fish. Catch and release except 4 for appetizer (all rainbows except one brook)Small.We all use fly rods. Used mainly sinking tip line, with various wet flies. But we did catch also on dry flies and floating line. Lake full but snow and ice free.

George Lake - we decided to do a day hike off trail scramble to George. A lot of fun and rock scrambling. Lake is free of ice. Some small amount of snow lingers on some of the shoreline. Fishing was lousy. Son caught only one rainbow, but it was much larger than those we caught at Upper Twin.

Saw hikers going up shute to peak I believe West of George - cornice of snow still protects that pass. But you can scramble around rock to bypass it. Those hikers were lucky that cornice did not break off on the snow shute they were going up - otherwise they would have been swept down that shute to some major problems.

Great trip overall. Glad we choose it - had orignial permits for Ten Lakes Basin in Yosemite, but thanks to this forum, decided to early in the season with snow for that trip.

John
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby windknot » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:04 pm

Thanks for the reports, Mtnsummit and riverwalker. Especially glad to see you introducing kids to the wonderful world of backpacking and fishing. :)
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby riverwalker » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:28 pm

Great trip report Mtnsummit. I had plans of a report like that but the boys wore me out:)

I was amazed at how few skeeters there were. I was expecting them to be thick. I usually hike with my ultralight but since I was base camping took my "heavy" tent. The first evening we had a few but after that almost nothing.
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby new2bckpcking » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:50 am

Hi! My boyfriend, myself and another couple will be backpacking to Twin Lakes tomorrow morning and coming out Sunday. This is my boyfriend and I's second trip and the other couples first. We were originally going to hike out of the Potter Pass trailhead but are now thinking of leaving out of Sample Meadow instead because it looks to be less steep (although it's longer). Any suggestions?
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:10 am

new2bckpcking wrote:....We were originally going to hike out of the Potter Pass trailhead but are now thinking of leaving out of Sample Meadow instead because it looks to be less steep (although it's longer). Any suggestions?


Both routes are quite nice and relatively straight forward and simple. Starting from Sample is pleasnat (nice meadow and views) and indeed has less gradient, but as you note is a bit longer. Elevation gains are about the same, ~ 800 feet, because while you start lower at Sample (~7,800') and dont cross the Pass, you are about 400' higher (~8,200') when you start from the Potter Pass trail. You do have to ford Kaiser Creek to come from the Sample side, which Im guessing will be flowing pretty good with all the snow this year, but Kaiser is typically an easy ford even early. Either choice will be fun. If you have two cars, you could go in one way, and out the other. Bring lots of skeeter repellant, because while they werent out a few weeks ago when I was up there, with all the melting snow it wont be long.
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......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby new2bckpcking » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:52 am

Great, thanks! What about going in on the California Hiking and Riding trail and merging with the Potter Pass trail? Have you done that one? Is it harder/easier, better/worse?
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Re: Upper Twin Lake-Kaiser Wilderness

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:15 am

I'm not familiar with the CR&H trail n2bp as Ive only gone in to the Kaiser Wilderness on the two trails you queried as well as two other dayhikes, one from Kaiser Pass to Idaho lake and the other from FS road 7S81 to Long Lake. If you are referring to the cutoff trail that starts a couple of miles west (downhill) on Hwy 168 and then joins the Potter Pass trail near the Pass, then I would say that route would be fine as well, but you are adding on about 400' of elevation gain to your trek. Seems like either of the other two would be simpler.
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......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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