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Favorite East Slope day hikes south of Bishop?

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Re: Favorite East Slope day hikes south of Bishop?

Postby SPeacock » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:10 am

You mentioned Shepherd Pass trail but have you done it as a late Spring day trip? My favorite early Spring day hike. As soon as the snow is off the ridge, you should get to at least Mahogany. Trail is dry until about that point for those looking on. High melt run off is what you plan for. Lots of water pour off of the very high vertical ridge on the south. The remnants of a head wall water fall just before the big switch back that skirts it would be roaring. Anvil would be a goal.

From Horseshoe Meadows to Cottonwood Lakes (out of Lone Pine), if you are fit and get an early start, you might have enough time to have a late lunch on OLD Army Pass. It is a bit shorter and 300' lower in elevation than is NEW Army Pass. Although the trail has been abandon, it is the preferred route by many. It is a bit of an adventure to keep track of the trail, but it gets better once you get away from the lake.

http://www.summitpost.org/route-up-old-army-pass/7987

Kearsarge Peak starts in an abandoned over flow parking lot that is a bit east down the road from the main lot in Onion Valley - well before you get to the first switch back. It has been closed off with large rocks. The 'trail head' is up from that parking lot. You'll eventually find an abandoned miners trace up the chute. Read up on some of the history on Onion Valley and surrounds before you go - especially about Kearsarge Mine. This is another early start day. Great view of K Pass from the top.

Out of Whitney Portal to Meyson Lake and up as far as you might have the energy toward Mt LeConte on the south. Its about a 1000m to the lake from near the Portal. Might check on permit requirements if any for day hiking.

On South Lake road from Parchers Resort is a trail leading up to Green Lake. Just east a bit from Green and looking at a map you will see the obvious line up to Thunder n' Lightning and Cloud Ripper.

In the same general area, from Big Pine Lake Seven, XC to the saddle just north of Jigsaw Pass between Gendarme and Picture Puzzle.



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Re: Favorite East Slope day hikes south of Bishop?

Postby acvdmlac » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:27 pm

KathyW wrote:That 1,500-2,500' gain is a limiting factor. If you're willing to do more gain, your options will grow.


I'm able to do more but less sure about my partner...but for 3rd week in May, I think snow level may be the limiting factor since we are not equipped to climb through any substantial snowfields. But this has been such a warm dry spring...thanks everyone for the ideas, the Big Pine drainage sounds like it offers lots of rewarding options!
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Re: Favorite East Slope day hikes south of Bishop?

Postby SPeacock » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Ahh 3rd week in May. Some of the roads to the trail heads may not be open yet - not because of snow so much as rocks and debris.

Usually by Father's Day (later June) there is snow covering the trails above 11,000'. Most of the trail heads are above 9,800' except for the ones that start near the valley bottom (e.g., Taboose, Shepherd). But then the roads can be a morass of mud too.

One of most pleasant trips was Bishop Pass end of May. Snow from Long Lake on up was great walking.

Go for it, enjoy what you can see and let us know the trail conditions. Everybody is interested in the early reports. Especially the condition of passes.
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Re: Favorite East Slope day hikes south of Bishop?

Postby hurricaniac » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:08 am

I second/third So. Fork Big Pine Creek. Magnificent views of Mid. Pal, Mt. Sill. And if you have the wind, go on up to Brainerd and Finger lakes. They are stunning.

Beware the stream crossing 2 mi. from Glacier Lodge. There is no bridge and it is fast, dangerous, cold water coming off those glaciers.

Another choice is Summit Lake up the No. Fork Big Pine Ck. 4000' gain, but you'll get the best views of the Palisade crest in a lovely alpine setting.
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