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Trail to Baxter Pass...

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Trail to Baxter Pass...

Postby Trailtrekker06 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:49 pm

How bad is it? Anywhere to camp on the way up? Was thinking of Baxter Pass to South Lake - I want to get a section of the JMT I mostly haven't been on. Wanted to take Baxter Pass trail up because I haven't come in or out that way yet. Thanks in advance!



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Postby rightstar76 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:56 pm

Last week I ran into someone who was going eastbound over Baxter Pass. He said he had left a car at the trailhead and then had a friend drive him to Onion Valley where he started his trip. He told me he had run into the ranger and asked him what he knew about the pass. According to him, he said that he had learned from the ranger that the trail from Baxter Lake to the pass isn't maintained and easy to lose. However, the trail in the Inyo NF is maintained on a minimal basis because it is used by zoologists to monitor bighorn sheep. Since I didn't talk to the ranger about this myself, I have no way of knowing whether or not it's true.
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Postby Baffman » Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:16 am

I went over it several years ago. There were a few bad spots where the trail was washed out and some areas where it was just plain grown over. I remember I left the trail and boulder hopped a bit to avoid the wet 7 foot tall brush. It was thunderstorm season. I remeber losing the trail for a while at about the 9 mile up area. The trail abruptly turns to the north, but it looks like it just continues straight ahead. Just pay attention (like I wasn't) and you'll be fine. All in all it wasn't too terrible. I camped about 8 miles from the trailhead. I think it was called Summit Meadow. It's just a small campsite alongside the trail with water running nearby. Given a choice, I'd rather climb Taboose or Sawmill Pass, but I'd go over Baxter again if someone asked me to go.

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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Fri Aug 18, 2006 8:34 am

Thanks folks. I am toying with the idea of going up that and then heading up the JMT and out at South Lake. Probably around the 30th or 31st to 5th or so.
Gotta get- on the way out for another BP. Wahooooooo!
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Baxter Pass

Postby langenbacher » Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:42 am

I went out Baxter Pass from Rae Lakes 30 years ago and loved it (all the bad memories, if any, are gone now). I went up the trail to about 3200-3300 meters to camp before doing Black mountain, in 2003. Plenty of room to camp there. I don't think there was any place to camp before summit meadow. Big stream to cross at the bottom, but hopefully that won't be a problem this late. I agree that Sawmill pass was nicer (after the first 3 miles).
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Postby cgundersen » Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:02 pm

Hi Trailtrekker,
Two good things about Baxter is that it appears to be hugely unpopular (in that the two times I've been on it I saw not another soul, besides my wife who was the one paying most attention to where the trail was or was not going), and secondly, it's the only place where I've seen Bighorn sheep. The latter reason alone is enough to justify the considerable effort, because in my book, the scenery is surpassed by all the other tall east side climbs (Shepherds, Junction,Sawmill, Taboose). Besides summit meadow, there are also spots to camp not long after the second creek crossing (though you'll undoubtedly get further than this if you start in the morning; however, if you're driving and heading in, it'd be a reasonable spot to stop). That said, on my last visit, there were healthy nettles growing along the trail just past the second creek crossing on the way in, and on the way out 8 days later it took some caution to avoid getting stung by 8ft tall plants....but I hike in shorts, so I needed to be cautious. Otherwise, the trail tends to be pretty obvious through most of the climb, and even if you lose it for a bit, the terrain forces you back to the trail in pretty short order.
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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:52 pm

Thanks CG- I am still trying to work with the logistics of getting some sort of shuttle worked out- don't know whether I can go or not at this point. Regardless, thanks for the info. I will get there eventually!!!
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