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Taboose Pass

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Taboose Pass

Postby robert h » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:40 pm

I'm heading up to Taboose Pass next weekend and have a few questions. Approx how long is the unpaved section from 395 to trailhead and how rough is it? Is the extra ground clearance of SUV advised or or is a car OK. I would prefer to drive my car but could borrow my wife's SUV.

Is water readily available on the trail to the pass? I've read that it was so filter as you go to reduce weight. A friend said it wasn't, at least on the first half, and recommended packing plenty. Any Recommendations?

Thanks!



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Re: Taboose Pass

Postby mokelumnekid » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:57 pm

I have seen cars at the trailhead but I haven't been up there this year. It is dusty and has some bumps. I have a regular Toyota Tacoma light-duty PU and that has no problems, esp going slow.

The trail starts out moving away from the creek and climbs up on the glacial moraine staying above the creek in much of the early going. There are spots where I suppose one could scramble down to the creek, but it is lined with dense alders in the lower sections and it wouldn't be super-easy. But you hit the crossing soon enough and can tank-up there, and after that there are other creek crossings all the way to the pass. So you don't need a HUGE amount of water.

But as importantly, and I can't stress this enough, get a VERY early start. I usually sleep next to my car at the trailhead, and get up well before dawn and start hiking with a head-lamp. The sun can be brutal, and we are usually hiking by 5:00 AM. This means a top-out before lunch, and then you can make it to say Bench Lake or the lower JMT junction in a day easily.
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Re: Taboose Pass

Postby lostcoyote » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:24 am

mokelumnekid wrote:The sun can be brutal, and we are usually hiking by 5:00 AM. This means a top-out before lunch, and then you can make it to say Bench Lake or the lower JMT junction in a day easily.



certainly not me!
(i weigh 290 - uggggg)
:drinkers:
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Re: Taboose Pass

Postby freestone » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:49 am

I got to the trail head in my Toyota Echo last year. The area is a bit of a maze with dirt roads, but if you follow the signs and take it slow, you will be ok. Plan on the better part of an hour from 395 to the trailhead. There is no water for the first 3 miles or so. Once you turn the corner, and enter the canyon, water is no problem, except for getting to it because of the the thickets surrounding the creek. Camping is not plentiful on the eastern side however, but there is a small area a couple of miles below the pass that is reasonably close to water.
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Re: Taboose Pass

Postby Tom » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:56 pm

In the past few years I have driven to the Taboose TH in my '96 Honda Civic. No problems (with the road).
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Re: Taboose Pass

Postby cgundersen » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:18 pm

Hi Robert,
I won't be adding much substantive, but it probably would be easier in a SUV than a car. The best analogy to the ride is going over a washboard; for 45min to an hour, depending on how you take it. And, although most folks have not complained too bitterly, the trail itself is largely strewn with rock beginning about 3 miles in. This makes for an uneven surface that becomes more noticeable several hours into the trek. I don't recall the surface being like this on my first Taboose trip (25 years ago), so this is a "recent improvement". But, dang, it sure is sweet when you reach the top! And, yes, you'll be OK on water. Every spring that could flow was flowing when I was out a week ago and there are several good springs on the Taboose trail in addition to the creek.
cg
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Re: Taboose Pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:05 pm

I once thought I could hitch from the Taboose Pass trailhead on a one-way trip from South Lake. I left the lakes below Striped Mountain. I waited at the trailhead for an hour (good water at the trailhead), then after contemplating camping, noticed hordes of ants, so at 5PM I started to walk to the highway (carrying two 2-L Platypus water containers, one in each arm), not quite making it, just plopped down in the sagebrush at dark about 1 mile short of the campground. Since I did not plan on walking the road, I did not have a map that covered the area. I could see the semi-trucks on the highway and it just did not look that far. Was I wrong! Not one car came up that road for my entire walk. I do not recommend walking the road!

An early start up that trail is the key. I thought there was plenty of water en route, and also fair camping, if you do not mind small spots and are creative. If you can keep your pack weight light and start at 5AM, you should be able to get up to at least the upper lakes on the east side, where there is good camping. I really saw little need to carry lots of water - I just drank directly from the streams all the way up.
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Re: Taboose Pass

Postby robert h » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:42 pm

Thanks for the info everyone!

Wandering Daisy, I enjoyed your DW trip report with your border collie. We have a 4yo male and we're taking him to Middle Velma and Fontanilis in late July. Didn't know about lash requirement. Wasn't like that last time we were there.

I'm going to try hitching a ride down from Onion Valley in Aug but not countinng on that at Taboose TH. Based on permits it doesn't look like we'll have much company.
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Re: Taboose Pass

Postby cloudlesssky » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:01 pm

Here's a link to a TR from earlier this spring.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9177

Took about 45 min to drive the unpaved section (1 way) in my pseudo SUV (Acura MDX). The issue with the road is there are lots of exposed 3-6" rocks that you have to drive slowly over. You could probably make it in a typical sedan, but if you have access to an SUV I'd take it.

Good driving directions are available at: http://climber.org/driving/TaboosePass.html

Taboose creek passes right next to the trail head so water is readily accessible there. There is also water easily accessible at one of a few creek crossings along the way. The first is a few miles in and it will be hot/unshaded and the climb is steep during those first miles so plan accordingly.
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