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Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

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Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby ryboards » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:09 pm

Hi all,

Our group of 6 will head up to the East Side later this summer and hike from the Virginia Lakes TH to the Green Creek TH. We are all level 2-3, stream crossers, possibly with a dog, and are in good shape. We like to fish, day hike, not talk to a lot of other folks, and shoot photos.
I have a main question:

I thought I saw on HST or somewhere else, that hiking from Virgina to Green or Green to Virginia is better. Any suggestions? I want to say one route was mainly uphill(Green to Virginia) but I just want to make sure I am not setting us up for an uphill climb, when it could have been slightly easier on the knees of some of the broken down members to hike downhill.

Thanks for the info!
The mountains are calling and I must go.

~John Muir



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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby oldranger » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:01 pm

ryboards

Rather than trusting someone else's judgement why not look at a topog map and figure it out for yourself? It is pretty simple and the answer will be obvious. Check out this link to get to a map:


Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby bluefintu » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:57 pm

Hi ryboards,

Going up from Virginia Lakes you start way higher in the elevation, compared to Green Lake trailhead. Cooney Lake has small brookies, I'm not sure about Summit Lake, East Lake was ok when I went a couple years ago, Green Lake was very croweded and fishing was slow for us. It's still very beautiful back country and if you can share it with others, great job.
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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby ryboards » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:01 am

LOL @ Mike! Thanks chief. I truly appreciate your help.

@bluefin Thanks for the info mate!
The mountains are calling and I must go.

~John Muir
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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby Pietro257 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:38 am

I've been on this loop two or three times (last time in 2010). Although Virginia Lakes is higher, I thought hiking out of the Green Creek trailhead was easier because the trail is shadier. Hiking out of Virginia Lakes, you go over what amounts to a pass before you get to Summit Lake, and for the last mile till you get to the top of the pass, you're in full sunlight with no shade.

Have you considered expanding your trip a little and going over Virginia Pass? Starting at the Green Creek trailhead, you go to Green Lake, go around the north side of Green Lake, and pick up a well-marked cross-country trail to the Par Value mine (well worth seeing) and on to the top of Virginia Pass. From there, you get a great view into Virginia Canyon. You're above the timberline here so route-finding is very easy. There is a beautiful little lake south of Virginia Peak called Return Lake where you can camp. From there you can contour around the southeast side of Camaica Peak to the Summit Lake trail, hit the trail, and take it to Summit Lake (or, if you're not keen on cross-country hiking, you can take the trail south into Virginia Canyon and pick up the trail that goes from Virginia Canyon to Summit Lake).

Or you could go the other direction from Summit Lake on around to Virginia Pass. This is easy cross-country hiking and worth doing. You're route looks something like this:

Feel free to contact me in the Inbox if you want more details.
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Hike02.JPG
Proposed route -- Google Maps
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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby paul » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:30 pm

Pietro has it right, You definitely want to get over to Return Lake. Very nice. Virginia Lakes trailhead = plenty of people. Return Lake = plenty of solitude. If you have time, a wander up to soldier lake from Return, and to the point on the ridge overlooking Spiller Lake, is not to be missed.
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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby ryboards » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:19 am

Pietro- Thanks for the quality info. I passed it along to the group and got rave reviews so far, citing you as a source of course. lol.
The mountains are calling and I must go.

~John Muir
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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby no2haven » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:14 am

Keep in mind that if you go over VA pass or Summit Pass you're in Yosemite NP, which doesn't allow dogs in the backcountry.

I was in this area last summer - from Virginia Lakes you go up and over an (unnamed?) pass on your way to Summit Lake. The top portion of this is all broken rock with no shade. Overall, though, its not very steep and the views over the crest are great. Summit lake has a bunch of nice camping spots, but I wouldn't expect privacy in the area; its popular and has two high-quota trailheads leading to it. The head of Virginia canyon is very scenic and open. Return Lake has some nice camping (though tons of bugs when I was there), and the basin above towards Stanton Peak has some nice small meadows and tarns nestled amid the scree. Gorgeous area; Virginia Peak is a showstopper.
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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby ryboards » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:50 am

We made the trip the first weekend of October. Six of us came together again for the 13th consecutive year of outdoor adventures. Temperatures were perfect as was the weather. The hike was not bad for 60+lbs. We always plan our hikes in May and it was awesome to see the fall colors in the Sierras. We also had never been that high in elevation and all did very well over the summit. The Brookies were amazing! They loved the gold kastmasters, nothing else.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in with suggestions-going up from Green Creek would have made for a long 4 days. Ill get my pics loaded soon enough.
The mountains are calling and I must go.

~John Muir
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Re: Horseshoe Hike-Virginia to Green or Green to Virginia?

Postby EastSideClimb » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:59 am

Glad you had a great time. I've done variations of both directions, but the Virgninia Lakes TH is one of my favorites. I was up there the last weekend of Sept doing some truck camping around Sonora Pass and Green Creek. We fished Virginia, Blue, Cooney, Green, Creen Creek and caught 2 very small brookies combined. We were also using gold and silver Kasties in lakes (fly in creek). So when you say the Brookies were incredible, I'd like to know (for my sanity) where you had success. My guess is Summit. I've knocked em dead there before. Sweet trip!
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