5 day route from Florence Lake - June 30th | High Sierra Topix  

5 day route from Florence Lake - June 30th

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5 day route from Florence Lake - June 30th

Postby James B. » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:37 am

What level of backpacking experience do you have?
Level 3- Numerous backpacking trips, some x-country travel (lots of trips, VERY limited x-country travel)

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country

What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Big Mountain scenery

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead? 5 days, 4 nights
How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers? 15 per day on trail, 8-10 per day x-country, would capable of doing more if needed for a couple of longer days
Did you prefer a loop or out and back trip? Semi-loop preferred but either is okay
Will you be hiking with a dog? NO

Looking to head out of Florence Lake (I'll be at Huntington Lake car camping the prior couple of days anyway, so as long as I'm up there I'd like to do some backpacking June 30th-July 4th) and explore the Bear Lakes basin. Thinking of going up French Canyon, then either up into Bear Lakes Basin around Merriam Lake or over Italy Pass. Then either come down Hilgard to meet the JMT or come back down to French Canyon. Just want a reasonably easy to follow route (with no major snow/ice beyond what I can do safely with trekking poles) with intermediate map and compass skills, and being novice to Sierra x-country hiking. Bear Lakes Basin is a high priority, but I'm willing to adjust based on conditions or other suggestions, etc. I'm fine with high elevation and lots of climbing, just want to be safe. Thanks!



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Re: 5 day route from Florence Lake - June 30th

Postby maverick » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:28 am

Hi James,

Welcome to HST!
Have you checked out the numerous TR's to this area using the search feature at the top
of the backpacking section? What route were you intending to use for you approach
to Italy Pass? Meriam Lake is pretty but you have to go over Feather Pass just to get
to the Vee Lakes area and White Bear Pass to get to Hilgard Creek.
Use the HST map to map out your route: http://www.highsierratopix.com/high-sierra-map/map.php
There is a lot of beta on these passes available here on HST, your 4 night schedule is
a little tight. If you have any further question on a particular route or area after
doing some reasearch please ask.
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: 5 day route from Florence Lake - June 30th

Postby James B. » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:41 am

Hi Maverick, thanks for the info and glad to be here! I'll do some research via the search function. My original thought was to go from Florence Lake up French Canyon, over Pine Creek Pass and then take the Italy Pass trail through Granite Park, over Italy Pass to Lake Italy, and then directly down the Hilgard Branch to meet the JMT and back to Florence. Based on my research this route should be easy enough to follow (the snow level July 1st was going to be my main question there).

In the course of researching, the Bear Lakes Basin started to stick out to me, so I'm really trying to find an "easy" way to make that the primary destination of the trip, as I'm not set on either the Italy Pass trail or Hilgard Branch. Really just want to take the most scenic, while still relatively easy without big early season snow issues, route in that area since I'll be around Florence Lake anyway. I'd be perfectly happy taking the easiest route from Florence Lake to Bear Lakes Basin, exploring for a bit, then back out the same way to keep it simple if those familiar with the area would recommend that.

Thanks!
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Re: 5 day route from Florence Lake - June 30th

Postby The hermit » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:51 pm

You may want to skip florence. I dont have a map in front of me right now but i think bear creek trail is much more direct. You could do an out and back.
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