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?'s about Hilton Lakes, Pioneer Basin and Wilderness Permits

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?'s about Hilton Lakes, Pioneer Basin and Wilderness Permits

Postby TK » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:10 pm

Hey Folks-new to this board, looks like you guys know the Sierra Backcountry really well. I have only backpacked once, which was down to the Forks of the Kern River, so the trail was all down hill. I am looking to get back into and had a few questions about these areas. According to my map, it is about 6 miles from the Mosquito Flats trailhead to the fourth Recess Lake over Mono Pass. I also know from experience (I once did a day hike there) that it is around four or five miles to the Hilton Lakes Basin going from Rock Creek Lake, with very little elevation gain. For a kind of a beginning backpacker, which hike would be better? I would love to get over to Fourth Recess and head toward Mono Creek, but would probably only go for three or four nights, so I'm thinking Hilton might be better? I would love to fly fish some of those backcountry lakes, and especially enjoy creek fishing. And one more thing-what is the procedure for obtaining wilderness permits? Do I need to contact the forest service in Bishop? Are there certain quotas for certain trails, and how far in advance to you need to get them? Sorry for all the questions, any answers would be greatly appreciated.
Terry



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Postby SSSdave » Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:19 pm

Yeah go to the easier shorter Hilton Lakes. Trail to Fourth Recess Lake is longer than it looks. With all the switchbacks it is actually about 8 miles. Search on Inyo National Forest, go to the fed site then read all the wilderness info.
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Postby ridgeline » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:45 am

http://www.rockcreeklake.com/forum/index.php

A good link to some fishin fools.

You can also ride a mule to Hilton lakes
http://www.mcgeecreekpackstation.com/prices.htm
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Postby burtonfm » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:40 am

I've done the hike over Mono pass to Fourth Recess Lake. It's a great hike that is a bit longer than 6 miles, probably more like 7. If you're in good shape and aren't prone to altitude sickness, then it's a moderate hike.

Keep in mind Mono Pass has a lot of snow right now, and will likely be snowy through most of July. I was there last year on Aug 5th, and the pass had quite a bit of snow still lingering, and it looked like Summit Lake had only thawed the week before.

There's some good fishing for brookies in Trails Lake which as about 2 miles after Mono Pass.

--Bruce
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Postby copeg » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:58 am

Welcome to HST TK. I'll second the other's advice that Hilton Lakes would be the shorter, easier hike of the two. Both have great scenery. Not that there is a lack of areas to explore around Hilton Lakes, but you have a lot more options for dayhiking and fishing near 4th recess - such as Pioneer Basin, Mono Creek, and Second Recess.
As for permits, you can obtain a permit in Bishop. There is a quota for most trails, and a certain percentage of that quota is filled by reservations, where the rest is first-come first-serve. You can find a lot of the information about permits here
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Postby Matilda » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:14 pm

As a hiker and angler, you might want to head to the upper Hilton Lakes--allegedly awesome fishing (I'm a swimmer, not a fisher myself), and not as heavily used by Rock Creek Pack Station.
If you like loop trips and don't mind a little heat, it's kinda fun to exit via the Hilton Creek trailhead in Crowley Lake.
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Folks, I want to send along a huge

Postby TK » Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:47 pm

thanks for all of your responses. Due to a possible work schedule change it looks like a backpacking trip may not be feasible for me this summer, but I certainly will keep all this info. first and foremost in my mind for future reference. Thanks again folks!
Terry
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Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:02 pm

I'd also second the recommendations for the Hiltons based on your distance criteria. Also, given that fishing is your target note that the two closest and lowest lakes (lowest Hilton, plus Davis) have the biggest fish of the group by far. Davis, in fact, has large fish of three species (brookies, rainbows, and browns). The lowest of the Hiltons is the most crowded of the bunch, whereas if you go higher or go to Davis the number of people drops off.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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