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Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

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Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:55 pm

We are planning a trip in the Golden Trout Wilderness and southeastern part of Sequoia NP, starting next weekend. A day in the middle is a hike from Rocky Basin Lakes to Soldier Lakes or the Miter Basin depending on conditions. Option #1 is taking the trail back down to Big Whitney Meadow and over Siberian Pass. But more intriguing is going by way of Boreal Plateau and Siberian Outpost. I haven't found a description of this route.

From the topo maps and Google Earth, this looks doable. The route off the map would be to swing southwest toward Johnson Lake, then north onto the plateau, traverse the ridge above Rocky Basin, then drop into Siberian Outpost. But I am looking for advice on the feasibility and route finding.

Does anyone have experience with this route?

We are experienced backpackers, and we don't think it's a real trip unless we do some serious cross-country travel. :rolleyes: Our big bugaboos, though, are deep stream crossings and long snow crossings.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!



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Re: Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

Postby cgundersen » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:42 pm

Hi ManOf...,
Relying on 20 year old memories, I recall the ridge (following the gentlest contours to the northeast) behind the largest of the Rocky Basin Lakes being very easy. Once up there, you get expansive views to the West including the Big Arroyo and the Kaweahs. But, I do recall that our early season (June) crossing of Siberian outpost being very mushy. This year there may still be patches of snow. That being the case, and because the terrain is pretty forgiving, you could almost run the ridge back till you hit trail. And, given creek flows, I'd recommend continuing back via the main trail to Soldier Lakes, so you cross Rock Creek as close to the lakes as possible.
cg
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Re: Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:58 pm

cg,

Many thanks! On Google Earth the route you described looked quite doable. But I sure didn't want to rely on a computer manipulated satellite image to make a decision.
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Re: Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

Postby Mike M. » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:45 pm

Never, ever rely on Google Earth maps -- they do not provide a usable perspective!

If it looks doable on your 7.5 or 15 minute U.S. Geological Survey topo map, use your best judgement and go for it.

Mike
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Re: Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

Postby SweetSierra » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:02 pm

We did this trip a few years ago and it's not difficult at all. As was said above, you hike the ridge above the lakes all the way around the lakes to a point where the ridge obviously ends (facing a northeasterly direction) and slopes what appears at first to be fairly steep down to the couple of small lakes that you see on the map.. But it's not that steep and consists of easy walking over mostly smooth granite. We had a choice of going straight down or across and down. We found across and down to be easiest because you end up at a nice niche that leads to an easy gully down whereas straight down follows the creek into some brush. It looked a little trickier. It took only about 20 minutes or so to drop and we took our time. The walk through the perimeter of the meadows was beautiful. We passed the Siberian Pass trail and climbed cross-country up to the PCT, not far south of where the Siberian Pass trail intersects the PCT. We were going to Cottonwood Pass, though. I loved this hike and have wanted to go back to the small lakes we passed. I think you'd be guaranteed solitude there. By the way, I'm intrigued by Forgotten Canyon northwest of the Boreal Plateau. Has anyone ever been there?
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Re: Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:09 pm

SweetSierra,

Thanks! Did you get to the ridge by climbing due north onto the face of the basin or did you swing to the southwest to more gently (according to the map) climb onto Boreal Plateau? It sounds like the latter.
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Re: Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

Postby SweetSierra » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:54 am

It was the latter. If you take the horse trail to the lakes, go past that southern-most lake and climb up from there. It's mostly a sand climb.
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Re: Trip Advice: Rocky Basin to Soldier Lakes BWO Boreal Platea

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:33 am

Thanks! This is the one section of our trip I'm most anticipating. I just hope it's not too smokey from the Lion fire.
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