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Iron Lake (near the Minarets)

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Iron Lake (near the Minarets)

Postby oleander » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:02 am

Iron Lake looks enticing on the map, and by the few photos I can find on the Internet.

What's the most interesting way to get there?

There is a saddle between Ashley Lake and Iron Lake that looks possibly doable based on the topo, but I didn't see information on that in Secor's book.

Anyone tried to counter north from Iron Lake to Shellenberger Lake, without dropping all the way back down to the trail?

Is the official trail to Iron Lake from the west pretty scenic? I usually prefer eastside entries, but the west entry would save me some driving.

- Elizabeth



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Re: Iron Lake (near the Minarets)

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:43 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

The saddle looks doable from both sides, nothing over class 2.
Here is Ashely Lake, Iron Lakes big sister:
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s3/v ... 4417-6.jpg
If you like cross country the route up Iron Creek is a lot more fun than the trail
which goes all the way around, and depending on the season, can be very dry
with long distances of no water availability, and quite boring, unless the flowers
are blooming.
Going up Iron Creek has some small fun pools available for swimming on the way
up in its lower section, also some unique views of the Minarets as you get higher up.
Good route finding ability is necessary to avoid the cliffs or drop offs in sections.
The most difficult part was finding a good route up near falls, but once pass that
it was okay. The bush does get thick in sections, but nothing really bad as long you
seek out the path of least resistance.
As you get higher up, about 9400 ft, head south to hook up with the trail at 10240ft
which leads to the smaller Iron Lake.
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s9/v ... 6779-6.jpg
Yes, you can head up the other branch of Iron Creek to the 9600 ft level, and head
west up to the ridge above Shellenbarger Lake:
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s3/v ... 6336-6.jpg
Descend the outlet stream down to Dike Creek which will put you to the trail near
Hemlock Crossing.
Again route finding is important, this is how it looks as Dike Creek crosses the trail
down near Hemlock Crossing.
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s3/v ... 6177-6.jpg
As you can see from this photo one cannot descend right by the creek, also you get
peak of what the terrain is like in the background above the waterfall in the photo.
Iron Lake is quite beautiful, and doesn't get much usage because of its remoteness,
which is a good thing, at least it did not several years ago on my visit.
Hopefully this is still the case.
http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s8/v ... 6488-6.jpg
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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Re: Iron Lake (near the Minarets)

Postby oleander » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:55 pm

That ridge photo looking north is really amazing. Makes you want to do a traverse north, for sure.

Camping spots at Iron Lake? Looks a little steep...

- Elizabeth
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Re: Iron Lake (near the Minarets)

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:18 pm

Elizabeth wrote:
Camping spots at Iron Lake?


Yes, there are spots on the western side of the lake.
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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Re: Iron Lake (near the Minarets)

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:13 pm

maverick wrote:Yes, there are spots on the western side of the lake.


Nice pictures maverick. Ashely Lake is one of my favorite lakes in the Sierra.
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Re: Iron Lake (near the Minarets)

Postby maverick » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:04 pm

DWD wrote:
Nice pictures maverick. Ashely Lake is one of my favorite lakes in the Sierra.


Thanks. Mine too, and luckily it seems to be under the radar for most, and since it is a
short cross country jaunt to get to, it's enough to keep the crowds away.
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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