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The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

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The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby Vaca Russ » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:19 pm

Is it really April?

Last Friday "Sport" and I spent the night above Bassi Falls.

bassi 024.JPG
Bassi Falls


bassi 030.JPG
Top of the Falls


bassi 047 (800x600).jpg
Top of Falls


We brought along my two little girls.

bassi 048 (800x600).jpg
My Two Girls


We had planned on getting away from the city lights to observe the meteor shower. But hey, it got way too cold so we crawled in the tent. :littledevil:

The next day we drove north to the big lake.

bassi 055 (800x528).jpg
Sign


We hiked all the way back to the end of the lake to check out the trail conditions.

bassi 063 (800x441).jpg
Lake


In most places the trail was pretty dry.

bassi 066 (800x600).jpg
Dry Trail


There was still a lot of snow around.

bassi 068 (800x356).jpg
Snowy Hills


The little girls had fun playing in the snow. ;)

bassi 074 (800x600).jpg
Snow Dogs


My Number One Girl had a great time too!

bassi 075 (800x600).jpg
Snow Girl


Thanks for reading my report.

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway



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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby maverick » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:06 pm

Hi Russ,

Thanks for taking the time to write up this TR, and give us a peak at the conditions
in that area. Cute dogs!
Don't get why we have over 100 views and no one has chimed in yet :confused: , we
all here at HST need to show folks we appreciate there effort and time posting TR's
otherwise some members will not do so in the future.
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: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby paula53 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:29 pm

Thanks for posting the information and pictures from this lovely hike. I plan to google information as to where this is. If it is close to me, I want to backpack to the lake.
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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby Tom_H » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:56 pm

Thanks for posting this. The pictures are beautiful.

paula53 wrote:...where this is....


Due west of Desolation, north of Hwy. 50:

http://www.discoverechosummit.com/place ... basin.html

http://comspark.com/eldorado/crystalbasin.shtml
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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby rlown » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:06 pm

Spent a lot of time of there when i was 18-22. Hunted, fished. An excellent stomping ground to learn things. Gooseberries, wild strawberries, other edibles.

Thanks for sharing, Russ.
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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:16 pm

Thanks for the early season report. It's amazing how early things are thawing out this year. I recall a super dry year (1988, I believe) when I was up there and it may have had even less snow, but this year is certainly an early thaw. If Loon is thawed, this means some favorite hike to fishing spots accessible from there are, too.
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: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:15 am

giantbrookie wrote:Thanks for the early season report. It's amazing how early things are thawing out this year. I recall a super dry year (1988, I believe) when I was up there and it may have had even less snow, but this year is certainly an early thaw. If Loon is thawed, this means some favorite hike to fishing spots accessible from there are, too.


Professor Brookie,

Check out my newest post in the fishing hole. Those lakes are indeed thawed and the fishing is great!

6 RBL.JPG


7 Trout.JPG


Thanks,

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby paula53 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:10 pm

Thank-you Tom. That is not very far away from me, at all. I would like to add it to my list for this summers hiking. It looks very doable to hike from Loon Lake to Craig Lake. Possibly a 6 or 7 day trip.
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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby FeetFirst » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:18 am

That lake is an awesome gateway to Desolation Wilderness. Unlike many of the east side trailheads, and associated zone quotas, you can always get space out of there. The trailhead parking area is huge and mostly shaded too. Good stuff, thanks for sharing! :nod:

Last year I did a quick overnight above Bassi Falls during the spring melt and really enjoyed it. The large polished granite area above the falls is really cool.
Image
I was concerned with all of the private property postings on your way up to the falls. I didn't see any more after the scramble to the top of the falls and beyond though. I actually checked with the FS Ranger beforehand and they really couldn't give me a definitive answer. They only said to follow the FS maps and any posted signs.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby Tom_H » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:32 pm

paula53 wrote:Thank-you Tom. That is not very far away from me, at all. I would like to add it to my list for this summers hiking. It looks very doable to hike from Loon Lake to Craig Lake. Possibly a 6 or 7 day trip.


You are most welcome! I presume that you mean Crag Lake? I usually misspell it too. I looked for a different Craig Lake and didn't find one. The reason I ask is because of some map inaccuracies. The PCT runs through the valley where the headwater of General Creek arise. To the east is a parallel valley with a string of lakes on Meeks Creek. Old USGS maps show an east-west trail connecting the General Creek Trail, near its terminus at the PCT, with the Meeks Creek Trail. This east-west trail is shown as terminating at Lake Genevieve (which is adjacent to Crag Lake). That east-west connector trail no longer exists. There are no markers for it. I have crossed Meeks creek just below Genevieve and looked around many times over the years and can find no remnants of a trail. Also, the trail is not shown on any newer maps. You might be able to XC through that section, but my guess is you'd be doing a lot of bushwhacking. Orienteering through forest is trickier than above the treeline and you'd likely be crawling over a lot of downed trees and fighting your way through a lot of brush. Your possibilities in going east from Loon Lake would be to depart the PCT down the General Creek Trail, or to turn off the PCT onto the Meeks Creek Trail near Phipps Peak. The string of lakes along Meeks Creek are beautiful. Best of luck in planning your trip! \:D/
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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby Oubliet » Wed May 01, 2013 12:40 am

Some friends and I drove up Sunday to check out whether the access roads to Wrights Lake and Echo Lake were clear of snow. There's still a few places with sufficient snow as to require a high-cearnce vehicle to cross on both roads. The last section of road leading to the Echo Lake chalet is pretty snow-covered, still.

Mormon-Emigrant was not open, yet.

On the plus side, th trail up to Horsetail Falls was completely snow-free. The weather was pretty warm this past weekend. I believe it got up into the high '80's.
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Re: The Crystal Basin Last Weekend

Postby Tom_H » Wed May 01, 2013 5:03 pm

Tom_H wrote:
paula53 wrote:Thank-you Tom. That is not very far away from me, at all. I would like to add it to my list for this summers hiking. It looks very doable to hike from Loon Lake to Craig Lake. Possibly a 6 or 7 day trip.


You are most welcome! I presume that you mean Crag Lake? I usually misspell it too. I looked for a different Craig Lake and didn't find one. The reason I ask is because of some map inaccuracies. The PCT runs through the valley where the headwaters of General Creek arise. To the east is a parallel valley with a string of lakes on Meeks Creek. Old USGS maps show an east-west trail connecting the General Creek Trail, near its terminus at the PCT, with the Meeks Creek Trail. This east-west trail is shown as terminating at Lake Genevieve (which is adjacent to Crag Lake). That east-west connector trail no longer exists. There are no markers for it. I have crossed Meeks creek just below Genevieve and looked around many times over the years and can find no remnants of a trail. Also, the trail is not shown on any newer maps. You might be able to XC through that section, but my guess is you'd be doing a lot of bushwhacking. Orienteering through forest is trickier than above the treeline and you'd likely be crawling over a lot of downed trees and fighting your way through a lot of brush. Your possibilities in going east from Loon Lake would be to depart the PCT down the General Creek Trail, or to turn off the PCT onto the Meeks Creek Trail near Phipps Peak. The string of lakes along Meeks Creek are beautiful. Best of luck in planning your trip! \:D/
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