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TR: Hoover Wilderness 6/15-6/17

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TR: Hoover Wilderness 6/15-6/17

Postby mediauras » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:59 pm

This was a great trip! How's that for an opener? :)

We got to the Twin Lakes TH around 1 or so Saturday afternoon, our Oakdale breakfast eats still sitting large in our stomachs. After worming thru the weirdness of the campground-resort area we settled in on the trail. After a few easy meadow miles we made it to the use trail turn off for Little Slide Canyon. Its a fairly worn, but non-maintained trail, carved in by climbers making their way to the huge granite slab they call the Incredible Hulk. We hooked a left, crossed Robinson Creek and started making our way up. It, not surprisingly, was a good climb.

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The Incredible Hulk is the big solid piece of granite jutting out in the upper left of the photo.

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Talus, o beautiful talus.

After a ways up we got into more talus and random snow fields. With the snow, we actually kept losing the trail, which in the maze of the canyon (which seemed tricky at parts but now seems pretty clear), had us going here and there without much success at times. Finally we found our way, got some directions from some climbers and popped out into the final stretch out of the canyon. A Bridgeport ranger had described the area to me as a "little Himalayas", and that seems apt. An amazing gray-scape of talus, patches of snow, looming canyon walls and tiny yet beautiful little ecosystems mixed into the nooks and crannies. It was in one of these spots we found a little sandy spot to pitch a couple of tents and call it a night. We had wanted to reach the lakes out the top of the canyonbut were happy to camp under the looming Hulk. It was cold and quiet up there, no mosquitoes. Woke up to some climbers making their approach ready for a full day of climbing. You have to see it up close, but man those folks are just crazy. Awesomely crazy.

Next day we scrambled out of the canyon and made our way past Maltby Lake and Ice lake. Both nice, but not offering many options for camping. Then we hit the absolutely stunning meadow up there. That's the place we should have camped and will camp next time we're up there. Could've gotten there in an afternoon no problem if the route had been clearer. Wide open spaces filled with a lot of beautiful snow melt streams and sweet grasses, with a view toward Sawtooth Ridge. This small place of wonder was the highlight of the trip.

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We drank straight from the source, water that just a short time earlier was snow. Man, tasty, could use some now.

We continued down the meadow until we hit the trail and then worked our way over Mule Pass. It was slow going as there was still a decent amount of snow and we kept losing the trail. We completely passed the point where you turn to go up and over the pass continuing on until we reached a dead end in trying to get over. Offered a great view of Sawtooth Ridge though.

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Finally over Mule Pass tho we descended to find a beautiful little unnamed lake where we had some food. Absolutely amazing up there. We eventually worked our way to Peeler Lake that day, enjoying the hike and downhill slides thru various snow fields, but progressively missing the upper elevation landscapes as we essentially made our way down. Setting up camp though at Peeler, a young 6-point buck wandered in and actually hung out for a while. Not at all spooked by us. Even lay down and took a nap behind a bush about 20 yards from us. Next day we hiked out -- for the most part an 8 or 9 mile descent. If only it could always be that easy! Nice hike though, lots of different greenery and wildflowers to focus on. Getting back to the Twin Lakes resort we were greeted with shouts and general confusion as some blue hair with a couple of small dogs was rattling about with a stick trying to scare off a small black bear cub. A crowd was growing, and the poor bear looked hungry and out of sorts, trying to figure out where to go and what to do. I hope it made it back to safety.

Good times. My first trip to Hoover but its now a new favorite, likely going back there next week. Thanks to those in this thread who helped me put the trip together (esp Wandering Daisy!). [http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9391]



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mediauras
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Re: TR: Hoover Wilderness 6/15-6/17

Postby jessegooddog » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:38 am

Twin Lakes can really attract a crowd that doesn't belong in the mountains. More than once I have seen kids and their parents feeding the deer, and been essentially told to mind my own business. The most trash I have ever seen on a trail, from huge watermelon rinds to a diaper, and the dayhikers that did carry water left their little plastic bottles wherever they ran out. I would like to think that this only happens on the 4th of July weekend.....
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Re: TR: Hoover Wilderness 6/15-6/17

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:31 am

Great TR and pictures to a beautiful area. Prefer Little Slide Canyon route to the
boring Barney trailed route any day!
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: Hoover Wilderness 6/15-6/17

Postby mediauras » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:47 am

Yeah, Twin Lakes is something else. It was a real bummer entering that place first off after a few days out. But, its a good reminder of why you went out in the first place.

At the beginning and end of our trip we ran into the ranger on patrol for the area. Both times he was carrying a shovel. On our way out I asked him why he patrolled with a shovel. Said it was his most versatile tool -- can use it to put out small fires if need be, dismantle rings, cut limbs or whatever (he sharpens on edge), dig out a trail, etc. He said most of all though he uses it to bury human waste. ... Come on people!
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Re: TR: Hoover Wilderness 6/15-6/17

Postby mshields » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:58 pm

Nice trail report; heading up there in a couple weeks. TR just kicked up the excitement level a notch!

Thanks Again
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