Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes | High Sierra Topix  

Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

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

Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby roxyk » Sun May 20, 2012 7:47 pm

Hi, doing a wknd trip to the Bishop area over Memorial Day and looking for advice on the best day hikes, and/or a 1.5 day+1night hike (not sure if we can get last-minute permits though). Planning on seeing the Bristlecone Pines on Saturday and staying at the Grandview campground Sat night, then a day hike somewhere in INF or JMW Sunday plus half-day on Monday.
Thoughts?? Suggestions?
Thanks!



User avatar
roxyk
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 6:44 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby mhulkman » Sun May 20, 2012 8:24 pm

There are always permits available for walk ups. You can get them the day of or 1 day in advance. However, they are VERY limited and being Mem day wkend you would need to be there before the ranger station/visitor center opened on Friday to have a chance at getting a permit for Saturday. The day hikes Im going to mention would also work for overnighters if you happen to secure a permit.
From Lake sabrina the 6mi RT hike to Blue Lake is hard to beat, especially if you start very early. Then you will be assured of amazing refelections of Mt. Thompson on the lake.
At North Lake there is the TH to lower n upper Lamarck Lakes, 6mi rt. Another one from North Lake is the Piute Pass trail to Lock Leven Lake, 5mi rt. Its a steep hike but the views of the valley are awesome!

At South Lake you can do the 6.5 mi rt Ruwau n Chocolate Lakes loop, passing several beautiful high country lakes. There is some ver good fishing for small brook trout as well if you are into that. You really cant go wrong with any of these hikes.
User avatar
mhulkman
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:20 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby roxyk » Sun May 20, 2012 9:20 pm

awesome, thanks hulkman. Sabrina to Blue Lake had been on my radar screen, although I would love to be more ambitious than 6mi RT. Any info on the trail conditions? I'm also thinking of camping at Grandview campgrd but I have no idea how low the temp is going to get at night...
User avatar
roxyk
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 6:44 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby tim » Sun May 20, 2012 10:43 pm

I would have thought a Sunday night permit would be OK because most people will want 2 nights so will go in on Saturday. You could get it on Saturday morning on the way to the White Mountains. Just be aware that the forecast for Fri/Sat looks pretty cold right now.
User avatar
tim
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:36 pm
Location: Bay Area
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby gary c. » Sun May 20, 2012 11:13 pm

roxyk wrote:awesome, thanks hulkman. Sabrina to Blue Lake had been on my radar screen, although I would love to be more ambitious than 6mi RT. Any info on the trail conditions? .

I was camped in Four Jefferey CG last weekend and a guy camped next to us hiked up to Blue Lake. He said that he had to turn around because of snow on the trail shortly before reaching the lake. He said that it wasn't so much because of the snow but more because his small dog couldn't handle it.
"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: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby SSSdave » Mon May 21, 2012 8:42 pm

Same story every year about Memorial Day. People ask for backpacking and hiking advice and others tell them about one of their favorite mid summer areas. Except it is MAY. Recall two decades ago standing in line for a backcountry permit at Tuolumne Meadows as we were doing a trip down the river to Le Conte Falls. The whole Crystal Range on the drive in on SR120 was a snowy ice box, little grass on Tuolumne Meadows was green with the river overflowing onto much of the meadow, and someone in the group in front of us asked the ranger something about how much snow was at Cathedral Lakes. :lol:

You ought to look at this thread I posted in The Campfire.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7664

If you look at the reference image on my link, you will see Table Mountain. On both sides are dark fingers. The one on the right is the South Lake and the headwaters area of the South Fork of Bishop Creek with crest areas very much snowy and the one on the left the Sabrina area. Then look at the same location on my satellite capture on Sunday that is displayed on the post. Notice how there is less snow atop Table Mountain than on the reference but still much snow near any crest areas like Bishop Pass. That is why Gary noted that person saw snow before reaching Blue Lake. I'd stay away from any of those high areas until June unless one is well south of Whitney like the Cottonwood Basin.

There are a number of nice lower elevation places in Owens Valley to visit where you have fine views looking up at the big peaks.

For instance drive out on the Buttermilk Road and out past the Peabody bouldering area till you are below Basin Mountain and Mount Tom. Nice places to camp down there where it ought to be greening up nicely about now and lots of little streams coming down. Want to climb something, climb Grouse Mountain. Day hiking up to Lower Horton Lake is likely free of all snow as the trail is on a sunny slope. Not the high country experience, but hey, taint summer yet either.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.30710,-118.60329&z=15&t=T
Another idea would be to drive south of Big Pine and off US395 take the Tinemaha Road south then take the Divsion Creek Road west up the bajada to the end. Then spend some time exploring where the lava meets the foot of the Sierra. Don't need any permit and will likely be alone and able to camp anywhere along the small creek.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.93864,-118.31340&z=15&t=T
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby roxyk » Mon May 21, 2012 9:39 pm

@SSSDave,
thanks for the helpful info and suggestions. One frustration I have encountered in planning this trip is accessing up-to-date conditions and reports. I like to be prepared because I want to have plans A, B & C in place ahead of time.
It is disappointing to hear that the Sabrina basin may not be accessible. I did call the WMRS today and the ranger said the trail was open to Blue Lake with patchy snow beyond that. So I feel that even though I have tried hard to have due diligence, I'm just unsure on whether to bail on that plan or not. I had hope reading the boards that said everything seems to be 1 mo ahead of schedule. But from what you're saying and that previous post above, it appears that is not the case. Bottom line is I don't want to put myself in any kind of predicament. My main goal is to see the Bristlecone Pine grove, camp at Grandview, and then check in with the Ranger to get the DL on whether we should do the o/n into Sabrina basin or not. But now I don't know whether I should trust the Ranger's guidance or not!
Even if we can hike to Blue Lake it'll be a win. Looks like Plan B will be Grouse Mountain :) Although from this http://www.summitpost.org/grouse-mountain/523785 it looks like the trail isn't that clearly marked and there is a creek crossing (wise at this time of year...)?
User avatar
roxyk
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 6:44 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby gary c. » Mon May 21, 2012 10:55 pm

roxyk, I would take most things you are told over the phone with a grain of salt. I have called FS offices from Big Pine to Bridgeport over the last 2 weeks and the information has run from completely obsurd to just what I expected to hear. I know that the FS folks give the best info they can but it seems that the person assigned to babysit the phones may not be the most knowledgable. Last week I had asked about the road to Saddlebag Lake and was told that yes the road was open to the lake (and iced out), snow was ckearing in the basin but the lakes were still iced. Today I was told that Saddlebag Lake is almost empty because of dam maintenance, and the road is still closed, also that a couple guys hiked up there Saturday but came back out because they didn't want to camp in all the snow. I had simular contradictions for both South Lake canyon and the Sabrina Basin. When you ad in this weekends weather forcasts and threats of freezing tempertures and possibl snow, listening to SSSdave would be good advise.
"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: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby jessegooddog » Tue May 22, 2012 2:18 am

Kersarge Pass out of Onion Valley is mostly snow free; friends took their large puppy to Mattlock over the weekend and passed hikers with a smaller dog who had been to the pass.
User avatar
jessegooddog
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:39 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 22, 2012 9:36 am

Early season is when I hike in the White Mountains because it is the only time with reliable water sources. I believe there are some trails near the Bristlecone Pine area. It may be too early to get up to the end of the road to hike to White Mountain, but if the road is clear, the hike to White Mountian is interesting if you like rugged hikes (although you hike a road it is can be cold and windy). You get good views towards the Sierra. A night aclimating at Grandview CG is a good start. Usually I go over to the east side and hike from there, such as the trail up to to Perry Aiken Flat. Not sure if this interests you. There is little information on the White Mountians so you have to go with a good sense of exploration. The White Mountains are a bit gnarly - very poor trails and VERY steep, but really have that feel of wild and remote.

As for the Sierra, have you ever hiked into the Stone House? It is a few miles from the Tuttle Creek trailhead. It is quite interesting and scenic. From the Stone House it is a gnarly off trail route up either drainage.

What about up to First, Second, Thrid Lake, etc from Glacier Lodge TH. This is really scenic and the trail is on a south facing slope so should be snow free. You should be able to get to Second Lake and day hike from there, probably with snowy patches.

And if you have never done it, Owens Gorge is interesting. There is a fair trail down it now. This is a popular year-round rock climbing area and supposedly is now stocked with fish.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2607
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby roxyk » Tue May 22, 2012 12:45 pm

Hi @FishPole, totally get your point re: the Rangers and I'm sure they are feeling the state budget pinch as well.
@Wandering Daisy, thanks for the suggestions. Not sure about the Stone House as I want to stick to well-marked trails (relative newbie). The Big Pine Lakes looks interesting, perhaps this would be a candidate for a second day hike since it seems unlikely we will be able to hike in & overnight anywhere due to snowpack.
http://www.americansouthwest.net/califo ... index.html

thanks for the tips everyone!
User avatar
roxyk
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 6:44 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Inyo/JMW top-rated hikes

Postby scottg1178 » Tue May 22, 2012 9:41 pm

30% chance of snow in the Sabrina and South lake basin on Friday afternoon....40% chance snow Friday night. Slight chance of rain/snow on Saturday. That is the forecast for Aspendell this weekend which is about a quarter mile from the Sabrina trailhead. The conditions up there can change at any moment and they are there only predicting a half inch so I wouldn't stop you from your trip....but something to monitor none the less.

Scott
User avatar
scottg1178
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 10:28 am
Location: Glendora, Ca
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests