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TR Lillian Lake Loop

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TR Lillian Lake Loop

Postby sheperd80 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:36 am

Short version: Easy trail, great scenery, good fishing, lots of options for camping and fishing. But lots of skeeters and lots of people. Thumbs up!

Long Version: This was a great overnight trip. The area is beautiful, accessible, and has plenty to see and do. The trail was fairly easy for the amount of elevation gained because its well maintained. My only complaint is the amount of people we encountered, but thats to be expected in an area like this.

We chose to go clockwise from Fernandez Trailhead toward Vanderburg and im glad we did. This lower section of the loop has a series of steep climbs divided by some flat sections. The upper section is more gradual and scenic. We wanted to do the whole loop, so we decided tough steep climb in, gradual descent out. I think it was the right choice.

Me in a nice meadow not far from the trailhead.
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Day one we went to Vanderburg. Fishing was great. We caught 6 keepers in under an hour and several smalls. Most were rainbows over 12" and for some reason i never took pics of them! I wanted to continue on the trail but my companions were exhausted so we set up at Vanderburg.
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By about 1pm fish were losing interest so 3 of us decided to take a quick walk up to Lady Lake. As soon as you get above Vanderburg the scenery suddenly changes to a lush green grove.
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Lady Lake is fairly small but beautiful. It rests in a bowl of towering granite that left me feeling like a tiny ant on a rock.
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Phone pics just dont do the scenery any justice at all! I'll invest in a decent camera soon.

Day 2 we headed for Lillian. The entire trip I had been pleading to go to Chittenden. Every hiker we passed and a forest service guy told us it was a beautiful lake but my team was just not up for it so im going back solo some day.

Lillian is also a beautiful lake. But it had been heavily fished fourth of july weeknd so we had no luck. We hung out awhile and had lunch before heading back home.
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The upper section of the loop provides lots of open views of the surrounding mountains. It was a fast easy walk out with great scenery, the perfect way to finish a trip!

Heres a bizarre rock formation jutting out the side of a small peak.
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Doing this TR makes me realize I need to get a real camera and take a lot more pics! Dont let my boring shots dissuade you from hiking this trail. Anyone in decent shape could easily do the loop and see a few lakes in a day hike, but an overnighter gives you ample time to fish and relax.

There are also several trails leading higher up to another series of lakes that make this area well worh a return trip. You could easily spend a week up there if you wanted to.

Side note: I used the android app 'Trimble Outdoor Navigator' and found it suprisingly useful. With my phone in airplane mode and gps on the battery lasted 2 days! Unfortunately I didnt turn on the tracking feature until day 2 but it did a great job marking our path. Im gonna buy the pay version and track my next trip so I can give it a full review but id say try it out!




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sheperd80
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Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop

Postby BakoGal » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:00 pm

One of my favorite places to take new backpackers! If you go back to Chittenden Lake, there's a really easy cross country route you can take to Shirley Lake and then over to Lillian....just to change it up a little.

Last year I bought a newer camera after viewing some excellent photos here; now I just worry about breaking or drowning it.

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:52 pm

Thanks Sheperd80 for getting back to HST and sharing your TR and kool pictures. :thumbsup:
Photos of the trout would have been great, next time. :)
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: TR Lillian Lake Loop

Postby balzaccom » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:34 pm

Nice report. Glad to know you got up there, and did some fishing!
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop

Postby bman » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:35 pm

Thanks for the great TR, your pics are great. I'm heading up there this weekend. What were the fish interested in?
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Re: TR Lillian Lake Loop

Postby sheperd80 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:25 pm

bman wrote:Thanks for the great TR, your pics are great. I'm heading up there this weekend. What were the fish interested in?


We all caught a few with Rooster Tails (they seem to love pink and bright orange) and my trusty old Acme Kastmaster grabbed one as well.

I bet meal worms would also do well but we didnt bring any this time. Good luck!

Thanks for the comments everyone.

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