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Question on IVA Bell Loop

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Question on IVA Bell Loop

Postby Bud » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:49 am

Hi I am planning to do the Iva Bell loop. I was thinking of taking my 7 year old girl as well. I am concern with crossing the rivers because of this year massive snowfall. I am taking the JMT straight to Duck Lake. Then stop by Purple Lake and take the Fish Creek trail to the hot spring then back to Red Meadow. Does anyone know if it is safe to cross the various rivers going this way? Also should I go this way or do the opposite by going to the hot spring first then take JMT going back. Thanks very much.

Kannon



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Re: Question on IVA Bell Loop

Postby HillBob » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:17 pm

You will have to cross Fish Creek at some point. In late season (Sept., Oct.) this should be no problem, but in July-August with this year's snowpack it could be a challenge, especially for a seven year old. Second Crossing, as shown on the map, is a broad, shallow crossing with some current over rocky/gravelly footing. An easier crossing, at least for taller people, is at Minnow Creek, just at the bottom of the trail coming down from Purple Lake. Fish Creek meanders through meadow here, so the crossing is through deeper and slower moving water over sandy footing. After crossing the creek, the trail climbs a bit to meet the Sharktooth Trail, which follows a bench above Cascade Valley and descends switchbacks to the hot springs. (The hot springs, BTW, is a clothing-optional kinda place.)
You could reasonably start this loop from either the Rainbow Falls trailhead (you'll have to take the shuttle bus from Minaret Summit unless you have a campground space in the Devils Postpile area) or from Lake Mary/Horseshoe Lake. I would do it in a clockwise direction, but that's no big deal.
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