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TR: Bear Dam–Vee Lake–Lake Italy_Edison Reservoir Loop (2008

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TR: Bear Dam–Vee Lake–Lake Italy_Edison Reservoir Loop (2008

Postby nsmeier » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:21 pm

Better late than never!

Bear Dam–Vee Lake–Lake Italy–Edison Reservoir Loop (sort of).

Plan
Day 1: Bear Dam Trail Head to campsite along Bear Creek: 5 miles, 7,100' to 8,100'
Day 2: Bear Creek to Vee Lake: 10 miles, 8,100' to 11,200'
Day 3: Vee Lake to Lake Italy: 4 miles, climb of about 1,000' and then drop about same.
Day 4: Lake Italy to Lower Mills Lake: 6 miles: climb from 11,200' to about 12,300' then drop to about 10,900.
Day 5: Lower Mills to Quail Meadows: 15 miles, drop of over 3,000' from 10,900 to 7,600
Day 6: Quail Meadow to Bear Creek: 12 miles (up to 10,000 then drop to 7,100.) (we did not do day 6).

Hike:
Day 1:
Bear Creek trailhead: The trailhead for this hike is on the way to Lake Edison, at a dirt road for the Bear Creek Diversion Dam (with 4 wheel truck could possibly drive to the dam).
We got to the trailhead about mid day, and hiked in about 5 miles along Bear Creek, a easy steady climb of 1,000' from 7,100' to 8,100'. We found a beautiful spot, though the mosquitoes were pretty bad.

Day 2
Hike up the rest of the way to meet the PCT and headed south on it. The mosquitoes were horrendous on the leg up to the PCT. Then we headed east on the East Fork trial to the Seven Gable Lakes, though the trail petered out somewhere along the way. We stayed to the west of the first lake, though we might have been better off crossing the outlet and going to the east of it, as getting around the western side of the lake was tricky. As we approached Stubb Lake we headed east and then north to ascend to Vee Lake with some boulder hopping. We camped at the western tip of Vee Lake. It was a long hard day but it was lovely spot and reasonable hiking all the way.

Day 3
From Vee Lake we headed NNE staying to the south east of Little Bear and Big Beak Lakes, up to Black Bear Lake, then North up past the east side of White Bear Lake to the pass. Thus far the hiking was fairly easy. From there we headed into the bowl of the inlet to Jumbo Lake skirting the eastern slop of it to find the unmarked trail that leads from Italy Pass to Lake Italy, staying well above Jumble Lake. This is a little less pleasant as it is scree and sandy n the bowl until you find the trail. We camped just east of the inlet to Lake Italy at some rock outcropping, in this barren landscape. It can get fairly windy at Lake Italy (which however is good for mosquito control).

Day 4
Getting around lake Italy can be a little tricky depending on the snow conditions—we had some snow slopes to cross. While the topo shows a trail heading west out of Lake Italy, there really isn't one, or at most it is a use trail. Anyway, we headed east around the tip of the outlet, and then all the way around the northern side as well as along Toe Lake and then heading north up the drainage to Gabbot pass. We took a little side trip to get to the top of Mt. Gabb, but ran out of time (and nerves), before getting there. We then headed down to Upper Mills Creek Lake, staying to the east of the lakes, and finding a sketchy use trail as we got down to Lower Mills Creek Lake. We got in late, nearing sunset, though part of that was due to our detour to scale Mt. Gabb. We camped at the northern end near the outlet where there are several good camping spots.

Day 5
We took a rest day at Lower Mills, a lovely spot with trees and places to day hike as well as good fishing.

Day 6
The beginning drops you steeply down Mills Creek, with a sometimes use trail to follow until you finally find an actual trail. We found a beautiful falls to shower under on the way down. That took us to Mono Creek Trail where we headed west to the Edison Reservoir. We should have waited for the ferry but instead hiked it—not worth it! We had originally panned on taking the PCT back to the Bear Creek Trail (instead of exiting at Edison), but decided we just wanted to get out instead of spending an extra day in woodsy mosquito hiking. We lucked out when we finally got to the road at about 5pm and 15 miles of hiking, and got a ride in a pickup back to our car. We took advantage of the hot springs on the way out.

Link to more pictures from trip: http://flic.kr/s/aHsiXAmVeg
Attachments
Falls.jpg
Falls on way down Mills Creek
FishingMills.jpg
Fishing at Lower Mills Creek
pass.jpg
I think this is the Gabbot Pass
2008 Trip Title.jpg



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Re: TR: Bear Dam–Vee Lake–Lake Italy_Edison Reservoir Loop (2008

Postby Mike M. » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:30 pm

Nice photos! What month in 2008 was this?

Mike
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Re: TR: Bear Dam–Vee Lake–Lake Italy–Edison Reservoir Loop (2008

Postby nsmeier » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:38 am

The trip was from 7/8 to 7/13
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Re: TR: Bear Dam–Vee Lake–Lake Italy_Edison Reservoir Loop (2008

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:03 pm

Nsmeier wrote:
Better late than never!


Got that right! Thanks for post it, pretty pictures, and a fun route.
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