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Hutchings Creek

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Hutchings Creek

Postby juscro » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:27 pm

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Hello, I have read this site many times over the years and have posted just a couple of items. Just wanted to share a great trip I took to Hutchings Creek. Basically I left TM and hike through Vogelsang into the Lewis creek and up along the balcony path over the merced river drainage. Scrambled over some lovely talus up into the Hutchings creek area beneath Lyell and Maclure. The area reminded me of the Bear lakes area. Lots of lovely green swales connecting small lakes together. We originally were going to head to the headwaters - lyell fork of the merced but ended up staying for a couple of days. I'm going to try and insert some pictures. Anyways, just trying to contribute to this cool community.
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby SweetSierra » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:45 pm

Thanks for the beautiful photos and trip report! That last photo will be me in July but in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in Colorado (and the Sierra in August).
Last edited by SweetSierra on Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:14 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:52 am

One of my favorite areas. I was hoping it would stay a "secret"! I do not suppose you could tell us where the fish came from?
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby cgundersen » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:29 am

juscro,
I'll second Daisy's comments and keep the posts coming for those of us stuck in the city; Hutchings is a phenomenal and low-impact area. Are these photos indicative of the current snow situation? I realize that these are mostly south-facing ridges, but it's still very meager. How were the bugs/flowers? I've hit gorgeous blooms of paintbrush in the Hutchings basin (esp., at the base of Sluggo pass). Still early?
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby John Dittli » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:39 am

x3.... ssshhhh!!! :) Is this last year?
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby juscro » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:28 pm

Hello. This was last year. Fishing was on the way - I think Lewis creek. Little guys still hanging on in a natnl park but beautiful. Perhaps I should state that this an area whose trailhead is rampant with tourists who gobble up the permits and then whose access is across a vast field of loose talus :)

This site is so friggin comprehensive that to try and contribute something that may (or may not be) new I guess by default it is in the "not well known" category. Hard to know what to do...
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby cgundersen » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:38 pm

juscro,
For granite, trout, wildflower, clean air, marmot and solitude aficionados, you'll find gobs of zealots contributing to this forum........the good news is that once you get back in the mountains you can leave (just about) everyone behind..........not easy, but certainly worth trying.
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby John Dittli » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:44 pm

juscro wrote:an area whose trailhead is rampant with tourists who gobble up the permits


Came in Rafferty creek did ya??? :D

I think it's fine to post old TR's here, I just was pretty sure there would still be snow there now.
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby tomoverstreet » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:56 am

I'm looking to visit that area this summer. Is this approximately the route the you took? If so, how challenging is the ridge (that crosses at about 12,200 ft)?

Thanks

Tom
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:26 pm

Hi Tom,

Welcome to HST!
Did you read the OP's route? Your purposed route is totally off and you will run into
cliffs above that small lake at the base of the ridge.
The OP took the Merced High Route till they reached Hutchings Creek which they
then followed up to the creek which emanates from the lakes basin beneath Lyell
and Maclure and then followed that up into the basin. Beautiful place.
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:41 pm

I've been in Hutchings twice, once as a side trip while doing the SHR and the other as a trip to both Hutchings and the upper Lyell Fork lakes. I used Slugo Pass to go between the two basins. Made for a nice trip. You can go in from Tuolumne or from the Valley or from a number of trailheads south of Yosemite. One way to beat the permit issue is to go in from Glacier Point. I am amazed that people would not consider the Yosemite backcountry just because of the crowded trailheads. I have never had a problem getting a permit and the crowds thin out quickly.

I do not think there are any "secret" areas in the Sierra that you are obligated to "keep quiet" about. Anyone who can read a map can see that the upper lakes of Hutchings Creek would be a splendid area to visit. I have mentioned Hutchins Creek in two of my trip reports.
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Re: Hutchings Creek

Postby cgundersen » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:43 pm

Hi Tom,
Basically, I agree with Mav that your projected path is not what was in the original report, but it does follow some of the route my wife & I took in a fabulous high "loop" around Lyell (a TR was posted several years ago). Anyway, we worked our way up into the basin south of Simmons peak to the pothole lake at the upper reaches of that basin. From there, we traversed the ridge just west of peak 12488. It's a substantial climb, but mostly the rock is solid and I've hit much worse angles in many other off trail ascents. In other words, the reality was better than it looks on topo maps. The south side of that ridge is no problem. If you're confident of your off trail capabilities and route-finding, it's a great area: as Daisy pointed out, you'll have few neighbors and you'll see very few signs of folks having been there. If you can stretch your trip around into the basin of the Lyell Fork of the Merced (via Sluggo Pass), there's even more magic to be found.
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