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Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

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Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby ematlis » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:03 am

Hello-

I am contemplating a hike through Evolution basin starting from the North Lake Trailhead and ending up at the South Lake Trailhead, and I am thinking of how to arrange for transportation between the two. There have been many posts about hitching a ride, etc, a few posts indicating it's walkable, but I have not seen any mention of biking it. Is there any reason I couldn't just bring a bike along on the car, pre-park the car at the South Lake Trailhead, and then bike back to the North Lake? It's supposedly only 10 miles.

On the other hand, any suggestions as to the path if I decided to just walk the entire loop? Do I take the road between the trail heads, or can I hike in the back country from the South Lake back to North?

Thanks,
Eric



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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby jfelectron » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:34 am

I don't see why not, though I def bring a mountain bike and not a road bike. I've been thinking a abou using a bike for self-shuttles along 395. I think this might be the year I try it. What sounds like more fun than riding along the furnace of 395 for 50 or 60 miles after hiking for two weeks :) ? The buses are great, but often you lose a day using them.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby schmalz » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:43 am

You can hike on a trail from South Lake to Lake Sabrina, but I believe you have to hike/hitch along the road from Sabrina to North Lake.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby jfelectron » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:50 am

Bikes on the roads are legal though, so the OP's plan would work just fine. Just not on wilderness trails.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:52 am

Hi Eric,

Welcome to HST!
I do not see any reason why you could not ride your bike besides theft possibly being
an issue. Are you going to stash you pack until you get back. Riding after a long hike
will have already taxed you quads and core muscles which will be needed for the ride.
In regards to the hiking back to North Lake you will have to start hiking down the road
to the Tyee Lakes Trailhead where you would have to hike 9.9 miles to the head of
Sabrina Lake where you would walk to the the 168/North Lake Junction and hike back
to your car.
Depending on the time of day finding a ride from Sabrina to North Lake or catching
someone on the way to North Lake is very possibility, but so is getting a ride from
South Lake to North Lake.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby ematlis » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:18 pm

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Just to elaborate further. I would (hopefully) be going with a brother. If we were to take the biking option, we would do it in the start of the hike, when we are fresh. So I think the sequence might be: Drive to North Lake, leave our gear (locking it up with the bike chain to a tree or in a bear food box?, or just leave it with my brother), drive and park at South Lake, take the bike back down South Lake road to the junction with 168, bike up 168 to North Lake road onto North Lake, where we would lock the bike. Would it be stolen during the week?

If we wanted instead to just hike the whole way, would it take an additional two days to hike or just the one?

Thanks.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:32 pm

It depends how fast of a hiker you and your brother are, and how early of a start
you can get.
It's about 2 1/2 -3 miles to the Tyee Lakes Trailhead from South Lake and than another
11 miles to the Sabrina Campground totaling up to be around 14 miles. If that is too
long of a day than stay at Tyee, George or Little George Lakes.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby ematlis » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:49 pm

Hmm- 14 miles is a bit rough after a week's hike. The last time I did 14 miles in a day was when I hiked up Mauna Loa with a different brother. It was 44 miles total, 2 days up, 2 days down. The 14 miles was the last day and I was very foot sore by the end! And it was all down hill and we were not carrying as much.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby kpeter » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:35 pm

With regard to the biking option, I think that is a great idea. The road from South lake past the Tyee Lakes trailhead and up to Sabrina is paved and would be mostly downhill. The road from Sabrina up to North Lake is gravel, sometimes rough depending on when they last graded it, and steep, but even if you walked your bike up that section it would take no more than an hour. You definitely don't want a road bike on that section.

I did hike from South lake to North Lake via Tyee Lakes and George lake. I drove to South Lake by noon, got to the uppermost Tyee Lake by 5:00 and camped there. I was coming from sea level and am a slow hiker. Next day I hiked from Tyee Lakes past George to Sabrina, up to North Lake, and then up to Piute Lake.

While walking, the road segment from South Lake to Tyee Lakes trailhead was about 45 minutes. The road segment from Sabrina to North Lake was about an hour. One option I thought about and dismissed was just walking the roads the whole way.

The bike option would thus save you a full day. It just depends on whether you think Tyee Lakes and Table Mountain is worth an extra day.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby dave54 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:12 am

I've stashed a bike before and it works well. You can still pedal well after a long hike.

Stash the bike well off road and out of sight, where no one is likely to see it or wander across it. Lock it to a tree, and throw a camo tarp over it. You can buy several yards of camo cloth at Walmart.
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Re: Biking from South Lake trail head to North Lake

Postby Hobbes » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:39 am

I'm a fan of hitching. If you're at a major trail head, like S or N lake, there is always traffic coming/going, whether backpackers, fishers, day hikers, etc. The trick is to:
(a) hitch at the beginning of the trip, when you're all clean & fresh. (Just make sure you don't look like some scary character.)
(b) ask for rides amongst parked vehicles. Putting a thumb out against moving traffic is much harder.

In your situation, I would simply drive to S Lake, hang out around the area, watch & see who's doing what, then walk-up & approach someone about a ride. If you're friendly, it's pretty hard for someone to say 'no' when you're standing right there.

Even better, once you got near the junction of 168, offer them $40 or so to take you up to Sabrina or maybe even N lake. You'd be surprised how a little bit of cash motivates many people, especially since *they're almost already there*. No matter how you cut it, you'll never have to spend as much as a shuttle. They have significant insurance requirements, which is why their fees are relatively high.
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