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Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

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Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby maytag » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:38 pm

Has anyone been up through this area recently? I was told that the water situation is bleak; find that hard to believe??



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Re: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:51 pm

Hi Maytag,

Welcome to HST! There were some members up at Lillian a few weeks back
hopefully they will chime.
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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: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:43 pm

I was up at Lillian Lake this past Tuesday (8/7). By water situation I presume you mean running water? Outlet streams and the like are indeed dried up, so if you don't want to drink directly from the lake(s), be sure to bring a water filter. Other than that I don't think the dry winter nor the specific conditions right now should have much of an impact on your trip planning. By the way, if your no. 1 target is Lillian and vicinity, I believe you will find that Norris is the better trailhead. If you aim beyond Lillian on day 1 (ie Rutherford etc.) then the Fernandez trailhead makes more sense. I dayhiked to Lillian out of Norris Tuesday under utterly gorgeous conditions. The weather forecast was for rather hot (high 70's to low 80's) conditions at ca. 9000' but there was a consistent refreshing breeze. There were absolutely no mosquitoes and given that I attract mosquitoes from the next county, this constituted unusually nice conditions.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby markskor » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:50 pm

Indeed 5 of us were at Lillian early July...
We were spot packed in...dropped off at Rutherford - spent 2 days there first...then two days at Lillian...and 2 days at Vandeberg.

The best part of the Lillian lake visit was that when one member was off doing his "business", he discovered a hidden plastic storage bin full of 2 rafts -( 2 two-man rafts with a foot pump and a couple of folding chairs too)...obviously someone had used the mules to pack them in and had stashed them up there.

For two days we took turns sharing the bounty and fished out of the rafts...multiple Brookies and Rainbows 15 - 16 inches...packed all up neatly when done and returned from where they were found.
Water was fine...fishing was good.
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Re: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:06 pm

markskor wrote:Indeed 5 of us were at Lillian early July...
We were spot packed in...dropped off at Rutherford - spent 2 days there first...then two days at Lillian...and 2 days at Vandeberg.

The best part of the Lillian lake visit was that when one member was off doing his "business", he discovered a hidden plastic storage bin full of 2 rafts -( 2 two-man rafts with a foot pump and a couple of folding chairs too)...obviously someone had used the mules to pack them in and had stashed them up there.

For two days we took turns sharing the bounty and fished out of the rafts...multiple Brookies and Rainbows 15 - 16 inches...packed all up neatly when done and returned from where they were found.
Water was fine...fishing was good.

Funny you mention the rafts. With my somewhat poor distance vision, I arrived at the lake and saw this teenager sitting on this log next to some other logs that appeared to have at least one blue nylon stringer dangling in the lake. I confess to being shocked that this kid had scored some fish out of the shallow water of the outlet area (not the dry outlet itself but the cove of the lake that would normally feed the outlet)--the lake is truly in the midst of its midsummer slump as one would expect. While leaving the place I took a closer look and found that the stringers were not attached to fish but were actually holding a bunch of logs together as a makeshift raft.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby rlown » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:50 pm

In early/mid july the water was completely swimmable at Lillian. Most of us enjoyed an afternoon dip. Just trying to say it was warm then. That doesn't account for the 5 guys across the lake who would swim naked every afternoon. Two of them were impressive, er, swimmers. They did the whole length of the lake to the talus at least twice.

Rafts were nice. Chairs were even better.



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Re: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:02 pm

Markskor and Rlown,

My understanding was that the OP is inquiring about drinking water availability
because of the current drought conditions.
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: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby rlown » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:06 pm

True. I only got water out of the lakes and I filter. I did not filter at Rutherford a few times as the amount of UV seemed to be high. We were also one of the earliest pack trips up there. Given the lower lakes and the number of people/pack trains we saw, I would filter everywhere. Don't count on the streams.
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Re: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area

Postby maytag » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:42 pm

Thanks to all...Yes, I am refering to drinking water and I do always filter from lakes. When I called the ranger station he was a bit negative on the conditions around Lillian and beyond so I needed a second opinion. I will be traveling past Lillian so Fernandez seems like the trailhead for me - out for 3 nights/4 days; was thinking maybe Lady lake the first night or Lillian then on up for a bit of a loop. Leaving around the 24th of Aug. any recommendations are well recieved.
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Re: Fernandez Trailhead to Lillian Lakes area (water situation)

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:55 pm

To clarify the specific water conditions as above, what this means is that you will find no water between the trailhead and Vandeburg, so your hiking water supply will need to be sufficient to get you from the trailhead to the first lake. After that point, bodies of water are close enough together so that you'll won't hike far between place you can filter water out of.

Regarding Fernandez vs Norris for going beyond Lillian, what I meant was that if you are aiming beyond Lillian as a destination on day 1, then Fernandez is a good call (ie in past trips I went straight for Rutherford on day 1, and in the future may aim for Slab Lakes on day 1). However, if you are headed to Vandeburg on day 1 or Lillian on day 1, then Norris will save a bit of distance and elevation gain. If you plan bail from in deeper (say Rutherford/Slab etc.) on the last day of the trip, then Fernandez may be better if you want to blast directly to the car (w/o going by Lillian and Vandeburg), but if your last day of hiking is from the vicinity of Lillian or Vandeburg to the car, then, once again, Norris will shorten the hike a bit.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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