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The least visited lake.

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The least visited lake.

Postby Cross Country » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:30 pm

Where is the least visited lake below 11,000 feet (no tarns). Some people don't like barren looking places (above 11K), but almost everyone knows several to many places that they like below 11K. This isn't about which elevation you think is best. This is about which lake is the least visited.

The winner will be the lake(s) that no one claims to have visited (preferably camped at), not one seen from a distance.

I nominate the lake north of Windy Ridge, close to Horseshoe Lakes, out of Kings Canyon, up the Copper Creek trail. If I'm not mistaken no one writing on HST claims to have been there.

When someone nominates a lake I would hope that if someone else has been there that they make an entry to that effect. That should help us perspectively.
Last edited by Cross Country on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby SSSdave » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:10 pm

I can guess you were expecting others to post about timberline country lakes like those up in high ridgeline basins. But guess what?

You wrote no tarns, but not ponds. A tarn is a higher elevation type of pond. There are a fair number of no name ponds down in mid forest elevations in fir forests where snow fall is heavy and some are in locations no one would have any reason to bother visiting. Usually they are rather shallow and boring. Some are the size of small lakes. Glaciated granite mixed forest areas like Emigrant Basin have hundreds. A few well visited ones are behind Pothole Dome. If one inspects topo maps you will find some that are not likely to ever be visited because they are well away from trails and would be unpleasant to bother reaching. Here are 3 southwest of Swamp Lake:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.93025,-119.82874&z=14&t=T

And not many miles away these two bodies of waters west of Richardson Peak are true no name lakes:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=38.08171,-119.70471&z=15&t=T

Years ago a few adventurous fishermen would have checked them out but today given the fact they are likely barren of fish, even fishermen would not have reason to go way out of the way to reach that basin. Actually for the non fishermen photographer or naturalists, it would be an excellent choice.

Actually I have been to many such places because that is what I have been doing for 4 deacdes. Going places others ignore. Some I'd just as soon keep my lips closed about. Giantbrookie has a similar interest and likely has seen a few probably only we two have found.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:16 pm

Cross Country wrote:I nominate the lake north of Windy Ridge, close to Horseshoe Lakes, out of Kings Canyon, up the Copper Creek trail. If I'm not mistaken no one writing on HST claims to have been there.

I have a feeling someone has written about that one, but I'm not sure. It is awfully close to the High Route, so...

Couple random nominations: Laurel Creek basin (southeast of Mineral King), and Lake 10463 just inside the KCNP boundary at the northern tip of the LeConte Divide, are pretty remote & obscure. But given how well-traveled the people here are, I sure wouldn't bet against someone having been to both of those.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:58 pm

Below 11,000, not a "tarn" which I take to mean not a little pond, and a lake that I have camped at, elimitates many of my remote locations. Here is what is left:

Lake at 10,600 (the upper of a set of lakes) 1 mi. NE of Finger Peak, in the Goddard Creek drainage
Lake 9797 just a few miles farther down the Goddard Creek drainage
Ladder Lake
Big Moccasin Lake
Lost Lakes SW of Koip Crest
Penninusla Lake 2 mi SE of Huckleberry Lake

The 11,000 foot limitation has cut out everything in Ionian Basin, most of the lakes in the upper Kern River, Keweah Basin lakes, Lakes on the upper part of George Creek (lake below Vacation Pass). I have day hiked to even less used lakes, but did not camp there.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby ndwoods » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:26 pm

I've not been to that lake, but have been to the tarn on Windy Ridge!:)

Ok, you didn't claim it has to be in the Sierra....how about Lake of the Island in the Marble Mountains? If you've been there...I am sure there was noone else there. I am also sure you are a glutten for punishment! It was beautiful tho...:)
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Cross Country » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:50 pm

So far, there have been some of good responses. I've been to the 3 lakes SW of Swamp and lake 10600 NE of Finger Peak, and 9797 and Ladder Lake and Big Moccasin and Peninsula.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby mokelumnekid » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:13 pm

One criteria might be bodies of water that are self sustaining- have water year round regardless of size? In any event I know of some that I won't call out, but that are freakishly easy to get to but not on the way to anywhere, no trail access anywhere near by, but easy cross country walking between Hwy. 88 and say, the Stanislaus drainage. What makes that weird is that much of it is cow country- but in the glaciated areas with no forage, sizable nooks and crannies exist with small lakes (not just melt ponds) that are very difficult to see unless you stumble into them.

I only bring this area up as it is usually off the radar screen of HST folks (sometimes for good reason). Other than that I'm not much of a lake person as I don't fish, and they tend to be buggy.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:03 pm

Here are a few:
The lakes of Red Spur (no fish, but what a remote and beautiful place)
"George L." (DFG name, unnamed on maps) (on E side of Vacation Pass, George Creek drainage): haven't been there but have wanted to
Basin downstream of Tunemah (multiple gorgeous lakes), but I'd imagine the next sub-basin to the south is even less frequently visited (didn't go there)
That big island-studded lake NW of the Dumbbell Lakes (probably my favorite fishless lake)
Hester L., N of Ladder L. (never been there)
The "Emerald Staircase" (downstream of Little Bear L., Yosemite). Multiple lakes and one really nice one. Easier to reach than Edyth, but even less visited.
Lost Lake, Bucks Lake Wilderness (Feather River country)
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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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:51 am

I have camped at George Lake, but it does not qualify because it is above 11,000 feet. Get rid of that requirement and I could add a dozen more lakes! I have camped at Tunemah and hiked the lower lakes, but did not camp at them. I vote that we get rid of the 11,000-foot requirement!

There are many reasons for a lake not to be visited; no fish, unnamed, difficult to get to or inconsequential and ugly. I have found Google Maps a useful tool to avoid the inconsquential and ugly.

I doubt there are any lakes that are totally undiscovered. There ARE several small lakes that I have come across that are not shown on the map. For example, the bench between Red Pass and the Middle Fork of Kings had many lakes on it when I was there two years ago. None are on the map.

The most interesting lake I ever camped at is in the Wind Rivers. It is an unnamed LARGE lake that sits at the top of the Grasshopper Glacier. In the 1990's it sprung a huge leak, melted through the glacier and flash flooded, and emptied the lake! On Google Maps, I see that it has refilled. I hope to check it out this summer.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby SSSdave » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:59 pm

Cross Country wrote:So far, there have been some of good responses. I've been to the 3 lakes SW of Swamp ...


Hmmm you are undoubtedly referring to the 3 ponds just west of Swamp Lake. A fair number of people have been there so that is no big deal.

No what I was referring to is 1) the big swampy pond at 5240+ about 2000 feet south of point 5788 (south of Swamp Lake) and 2) the inverted U shaped swampy pond at elevation 3960+ feet 1.7 miles south on the wall of the canyon. Note there are actually two other ponds higher up on those canyon wall benches on the old 15 minute topo that just show as marshy areas on the 7.5m. No doubt a few people have been to the pond at 5240+ because that is just a modest meander off from the North Mountain Lookout trail but I'd bet the pond at 3960+ has never been visited because there would be no reason to unless one was looking for mountain lions.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby SSSdave » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:35 pm

Those posting ought to provide topo map links, else it will often be difficult to understand where one is talking about given terse descriptions.

Here are three no names on one map area:

In the Rancheria Creek drainage of Yosemite, a no name lake WL 7029, no name lake WL 7417 a mile northeast, and one mile north north west of the latter the lake at 7040+. 7029 may be a never visited body of water as it is obviously most remote.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.99407,-119.62867&z=15&t=T

The no name lake at 10480+ in the basin north below point 11163. The lake Tom mentioned is just over the ridge northeast. Reaching the lake with climbing down class 3 steeps would require access by climbing up from far below at the South Fork of the San Joaquin River on the non-trail side of the river usually too big to cross even late season.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.19889,-118.83898&z=15&t=T

These 3 no name lakes in the basin south of point 11151 and lake at 10440+ just south:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.01109,-118.55810&z=15&t=T
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby maverick » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:33 pm

The lakes west of the Observation Peak Lakes Basin, the one that contains the
3 decent size lakes, and all under 11,000 ft are all remote enough, but then
there is one more lake that is on the other side of the ridge with a pass over it
which leads down to this lake at 10500 ft that sits on a bench way above Cartridge
Creek.
No one has visited this lake because of the climb, no fish, and the extremely
remote location.
It is a very steep 3000 foot climb from Cartridge Creek, the time involved hiking
from the Observation Basin area or from hiking up the creek from the Middle Fork
Kings to the basin containing the 3 lakes, from where one would continue over
the pass to the lake makes it off the map for even the most adventurous.
My belief is that this may actually be one of the most remote lakes in the Sierra.

Anyone can say they have visited any certain area, but show "your" photo of
it, otherwise blah, blah, blah. How else can there be a winner? No photo, no
proof of visitation.
I have visited a lot of these places mention above in previous posts, but since most
of these were visited during my film days, and all of my negatives were discarded
accidentally several years ago during a move, there is no evidence which I can present
of me actually being there, so I won't bother.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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