Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point | High Sierra Topix  

Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point

Postby Sierra Maclure » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:02 pm

I'm leading a group up to the numbered lakes up Big Pine Creek Trail and the map has a number of trails out of the Glacier Lodge Road's End area. I'm looking for recommendations for a Starting Point and which trail for ease, not speed. Suggestions? Thanks.



User avatar
Sierra Maclure
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Bay Area
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point

Postby RichardK » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:51 pm

The USGS topo map of the Glacier Lodge area is not accurate in its depiction of the trailhead. It shows a dirt road for an old car campground that was washed out years ago. The paved road from Big Pine ends at a day use parking area next to Glacier Lodge. Ignore the paking lot about 3/4 mile lower down the road signed "Hiker Parking". That is actually overnight parking for backpackers and has its own trail leading to the North Fork lakes. From the day use parking area, walk around the gate past some summer cabins and over a wooden bridge. You will reach a signed trail junction for the North and South Forks of Big Pine Creek. To reach the numbered lakes, take the North Fork branch. You will switchback through a forest and reach a T junction with the old roadbed. There is a sign across the road pointing to the trail you just came up labeled "TRAIL". Turn right, cross another wooden bridge, and then turn left. You will travel up the valley and switchback uphill to a 4 way junction. Turn left to head to the lakes. Straight uphill leads to Baker Lake and the right hand path returns to the overnight parking lot. In a couple of miles, you reach the outlet creek from Black Lake where there is another junction. To the left, you head to First, Second, and Third Lakes. To the right, you head to Black and Fourth Lakes. These trails join up at Fourth Lake. If you plan to visit the upper lakes, take a map. The topo map is fine once you are away from the trailhead. Tom Harrison maps (www.tomharrisonmaps.com) sells a nice map of the area for 10 dollars. The scenery is stunning. Enjoy!
User avatar
RichardK
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:23 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point

Postby Sierra Maclure » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:13 pm

Oops. Thanks for the great description but I am backpacking up there. Does that mean I park in that lot 3/4 of a mile below and hike up that other trail on the north slope? or should I drop everyone off with their packs at the trailhead you describe and walk back up and join them? Thanks.
User avatar
Sierra Maclure
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Bay Area
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point

Postby RichardK » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:42 pm

Yes, since you are backpacking, use the lower parking lot. I have not been on the trail from there, but it parallels the trail from the road end. It passes through the same valley, but up on the valley wall. You should be able to look down and see the lower trail on the valley floor. I have looked up from below and seen backpackers on the upper trail. They all meet at the 4 way junction. If your trip schedule allows, visit Sam Mack Meadow. It is an incredible beauty spot. There are a few campsites there. The ambitious could continue on to the Palisade Glacier
User avatar
RichardK
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:23 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point

Postby Sierra Maclure » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:55 pm

Thank you so much. Looking forward to the trip. :)
User avatar
Sierra Maclure
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Bay Area
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point

Postby gary c. » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:03 pm

When we hike up there we pulled a trailer to haul the packs so everyone could ride together in one car. There wasn't any parking at the lot without disconectting the trailer. The folks at the store have a charge to park lot that worked out great for us and I don't remember it costing too much either. I doubt that our car was any safer parked there but it also made be feel better for some reason.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
User avatar
gary c.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 999
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:56 pm
Location: Lancaster, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Big Pine Creek Trail Starting Point

Postby JoeBlackwood » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:36 pm

I was on that trail July 31 - Aug 2nd, we parked our cars next to the glacier lodge store for five dollars. The ladies at the store were really nice to us. trails were in great condition, it's a really beautiful spot with great campsite options. Have fun.
User avatar
JoeBlackwood
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:00 pm
Location: Mission Viejo
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], RobS, SNOOOOW, starankle hiker, Yahoo [Bot] and 7 guests