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20 Lakes Basin/Fantail, Shell Lakes Question

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20 Lakes Basin/Fantail, Shell Lakes Question

Postby jessegooddog » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:24 pm

Today I hiked to Shell and Fantail Lakes and was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful trail that follows the cascading creek all the way and at the amount of wildflowers blooming, even in dry areas beside the trail. Not carpets like last year, but huge amounts, I thought, for such a dry year. In many areas I could look right in front of me and see over a dozen species. There was a skinny waterfall still coming from the high mountain to the west? north? of Shell Lake. After passing a large group with a naturalist, I had the trail and lakes to myself for 3 hours - in July, on one of the easiest trails in the sierra. My new favorite dayhiking trail!

My question - had I continued past Fantail Lake, would the trail take me to 20 Lakes Basin? Or is it a fairly simple class 2 cross country for me and my dog? I am not much good at interpreting topos, I need a picture or written directions. Has anyone done this hike between the 2 areas??



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Re: 20 Lakes Basin/Fantail, Shell Lakes Question

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:41 pm

The trail ends at the southern end of Fantail Lake. You could follow the SHT to
Spuller Lake and on towards Green Treble Lake (this area is very pretty) the route
beyond is a little involved which includes some class 2 sections. Would recommend
you descend the creek from GTL and pick up the trail on the northern side of the creek
leading down to to Lee Vining Creek from where you can head towards Saddlebag
Lake where you can pick up the trail and head towards 20 Lakes Basin if you have
the time and energy. The LVC descent is bushy in spots if a remember correctly.
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: 20 Lakes Basin/Fantail, Shell Lakes Question

Postby jessegooddog » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:27 pm

Thank you so much, Maverick. I finally located a map online with a good overview and see that 20 Lakes Basin is not at all a direct route. But the hike to Spuller looks within my abilities. I hope to take my first ever solo backpack trip (and first pack trip in 30 years) next month; this may just be my choice. Degenerating/arthritic neck discs give me migraines, I need a fairly easy hike.
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