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The least visited lake.

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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:21 pm

Great question, one that makes me think very hard with my maps at hand. Its hard to imagine any lakes below 11,000' in N.P.s or wilderness areas that haven't been visited. Seeing no sign of use doesn't mean no ones been there of course. I'm thinking somewhere in the Sequoia N.F, or north of I-80, off Hwy 88 or 108, between two deep forks of a major river, but I don't know. Anyone with a map and a desire to seek a remote place could find a lake far away from a trail. Many lakes below 11,000 in remote areas may be hard to access due to vegetation

Very interesting and thought provoking question. As someone before said, I rarely go low these days (if I can help it), but still, much of my use is 9,500' and above. When I worked in the Sequoia and Toiyabe, most of the land was far below 11,000', but all of the lakes were over-used.



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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:15 pm

I was going through all the posts in this thread (which I hadn't before), and I was struck by three posts - the one with the picture of the white arrowhead, and the photos by Rogue and SSSdave. Really excellent work.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby lambertiana » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:19 pm

A lake that may qualify, and that I hope to visit next summer (two, actually): The pair of lakes a little above 10,800' at the eastern end of the Sawtooth-Needham ridgeline east of Mineral King. The Tom Harrison maps show them as one odd-shaped lake, but the 7.5 topo shows them as two distinct lakes, one nearly round, one long and thin.

I bet the views are great there - a nice headwall to the west, and an unobstructed view down Soda Creek, across the lower end of Big Arroyo, across Chagoopa and Moraine Lake, with the Kern and the Whitney group on the background.

Anyone been there?
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:06 pm

I am still in the mountains so I cannot post an over head photo of the lake I mean but one that strikes me as really remote where only a couple might have ever been is beyond those larger lakes West of Observation Peak if you look further SW of that flank of the mountain there is a small lake that is shaped a bit odd with two small islands. I'd like to see anyone that has ever gone to that one for sure.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby cgundersen » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:07 pm

obscure.jpg
off the grid lakes

lambertiana:
I'm guessing that for the relative dearth of activity at Amphitheater Lake (the one out of Mineral King) that those upper lakes see little action. I was close a few years back, but did not get to them.
Rogue,
Yep, it's those lakes (see attached map) that Mav thought were very seldom visited, esp., the one in the lower left of the attachment, but I'm guessing you could camp most of the summer at any of those lakes and have very few visitors.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:57 pm

While looking for more remote lakes to visit the one on Ragged Spur came up and I had wondered if anyone mentioned it here. I'm not sure if that lake could be reached from the Enchanted Gorge or if you would need to climb up near Scylla as I was told the Ragged Spur itself is easy to hike across and then drop down to it. If I get out next year I may try to reach that spot.

As for these other lakes I have of course been out to some of those lakes West of Observation Peak. For the interest of the thread here are the 3:

Lowest:

Image

Middle:

Image

Upper:

Image

You have to walk about 100 yards up the hill from the middle lake (Island Bird) to see this view:

Image

This is the lake up from Cartridge Creek that may have never been visited:

Image

If I do get back out next year going back to this area and doing some more peaks and visiting that lake will certainly be on the list.

It can also be noted that I ran into a man who is a doctor in Mammoth (Jonathan - penny for your thoughts?) Who traversed from near Reinstein Pass staying on the Eastern side of the ridge line above Goddard Creek. He visited all the lakes along there before crossing Blue Canyon Pass and making his was to Tunemah. He then dropped down from Tunemah lake to the lakes East of it and was planning to drop into Goddard Creek from there. I do not know what became of him but the idea sounded crazy to me when you look at the strange cliff bands that line that descent. Despite the fact that we know people visit these lakes the one directly North of Tunemah Peak however as noted in this thread probably has seen much less visitation.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby lambertiana » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:35 pm

I made it to the lakes at the east end of the Needham ridgeline that I mentioned last year, and found absolutely no evidence of human presence. No footprints, no sign. I doubt they get visited often.


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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby hurricaniac » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:19 pm

this one is is 1 mile N. of Southfork Pass on S. Fork Big Pine Ck. drainage at 11,000 ft. It has a stunted forest of foxtail pines and no footprints or fish. The snowfield in the photo is "permanent" ice (or glacial remnant).
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:52 pm

I believe that a "TARN" is more rightly defined as a glacier scooped pond (and the important distinction) with no inlet and no outlet stream. Many mapped lakes actually have inlets and outlets that do not show up on maps (in my experience). Back in places like Michigan in relatively flat terrain there are ice-age remnant ponds that are true tarns.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby John Dittli » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:01 am

In the last 10-20,000 years of human exploration and last 30 years of helicopter assisted scientific study, I doubt there is a lake in the Sierra that hasn't been visited.

These three popped into my head as far as "little visited". Of these three, I would guess the one on the middle fork of Goodale Creek to be the "closest to road" but least visited.
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby John Dittli » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:17 am

While we didn't actually "visit" the lake north of Tunemah, we did ski over it!
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Re: The least visited lake.

Postby Pato » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:40 am

Ooh I like this game! I'd love to visit all these lakes someday - except maybe that one at 10,500 above cartridge creek...that looks like a pain!

How about lake 10,960+ SE of Marion Peak. Anyone been there? Looks like it may have a stellar view of the Muro Blanco and Arrow Peak. Not sure the best route to get there...
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