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Spanish Lake TR, June 2013

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Spanish Lake TR, June 2013

Postby sheperd80 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:43 pm

Some friends and I took a day hike to Spanish Lake in the John Muir Wilderness south east of Wishon Reservoir, via the Crown Valley Trailhead. It was a great trip. Im new to this but I'll provide what info I can.

Grades are based on my opinion and experience, nothing more ;-)


Distance: Roughly 5 miles each way

Elevation Gain: Around 1800 ft (hard to tell by map)

Difficulty: Moderate; lots of slow gains, a few steep ones, a few easy crossings, no climbing, no major passes, elusive trail in some places but plenty of topography for navigating

Scenery: B

Fishing: B

Other People: Zero! It was a busy weekend at Wishon but we didnt see a soul past that.

More to come...

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Last edited by sheperd80 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:07 pm, edited 7 times in total.



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Postby sheperd80 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:44 pm

Wishon Reservoir is shown for reference.

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We left Fresno at 3am and hit the trail by about 5:30. Weather was perfect. The first half of the hike was easy enough. No severe climbing, typical foresty sierra scenery. After that the trail became this thing we crossed once in awhile on our way there.

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We saw a massive tree* (edit) I wish I took a pic with the guys right next to it for scale.

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At some point we missed a fork in the trail that we later discovered takes you across the top of a small ridge over looking this piece of private property. Instead we trudged right through the private meadow which was basically a swamp with a few ancient huts built on it. My Merrell WPs got their first chance to prove themselves and they were up to the challenge thankfully :-)

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After some more scrambling around the ridge, we found our way to Spanish Lake at about 8am where we were greeted by a gathering of every mosquito in the known universe. The DEET and Picardin both failed so we got a fire up quickly which always works pretty well.

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Fishing was decent. I always try to fish on hikes but im no pro. Between 6 of us we caught our limits and then some with ease. We ate a few, took home about a dozen, and threw back what we could. Rooster Tails amd Gold Spinners were hitting along with Pink Power Bait. We stopped baiting afer awhile though so we could throw em back.

Average was about 10 to 14 inches, which for me is good enough. I love fishing but its always secondary to me on these trips as im not really an avid fisheman. Im happy to get anything on a hike like this.

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We left the lake around 2pm and decided to try and stay on trail this time. Im glad we did it that way. Walking through a massive glade then passing over it on the way back was cool.

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Heres the buildings at the far corner of the property.

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More to come...

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Last edited by sheperd80 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Spanish Lake TR, June 2013

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:36 pm

Nice - thanks for the skeeter report. A lot of people don't even know about those trails, and many head for more scenic, less forested areas by default. It does take a long time to hike out to high country from Wishon. I've wondered about the fishing out in those lakes for that reason...

(Your cedar is a sugar pine, btw.)
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Re: Spanish Lake TR, June 2013

Postby lambertiana » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:20 pm

Nice looking fish, now I'm hungry.

That massive "cedar" appears to be a jeffrey pine.
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Re: Spanish Lake TR, June 2013

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:15 am

Thanks Sheperd80 for the TR and the 411 on the fishing in that lake. :thumbsup:
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: Spanish Lake TR, June 2013

Postby bsd » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:32 am

I went backpacking to this lake with couple friends two years ago, in mid-July. We ran into some hikers who advised us to go back because the skeeters were so overwhelming it ruined their weekend and were hiking back early. After a while, the trail started to disappear, replaced by mud and grass. Needless to say we gave up and just car camped. Bummer after months of planning. Probably better to visit this lake early in the year, or better yet Aug/Sept?
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Re: Spanish Lake TR, June 2013

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:31 pm

bsd wrote:I went backpacking to this lake with couple friends two years ago, in mid-July. We ran into some hikers who advised us to go back because the skeeters were so overwhelming it ruined their weekend and were hiking back early. After a while, the trail started to disappear, replaced by mud and grass. Needless to say we gave up and just car camped. Bummer after months of planning. Probably better to visit this lake early in the year, or better yet Aug/Sept?

Those lakes are nice in the fall. I went there in late October 1995 on a dayhike. Although this was a low snowfall year and runoff wasn't bad in the early season, the early season runoff in many years is sufficient to block the hike to these lakes at the crossing of Rancheria Creek--this snuffed out my first attempt to reach these lakes.
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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