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TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

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TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby sheperd80 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:02 pm

Last weekend was supposed to be our family vacation to Universal Studios. The last-minute planning committee couldnt see eye to eye on a few things so we rescheduled it for next month. So I decided to use the day off for a solo overnighter.

I really enjoyed my last trip to Ansel Adams Wilderness so I thought id continue combing my way east which led me to Isberg Trail, target Joe Crane Lake. I figured it was a realistic goal for a short trip. I wasnt going to try and shoot for Isberg Lakes or Pass in one day. I wouldve had to skip the many other beautiful lakes along the way.

I got a really late start, didnt hit the trailhead until noon! And with all the doom and gloom from Oakhurstians and Bass Lakians about the fires, I almost didnt go. But when I get a trip in my sights, well...im sure you all can relate.

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Dont laught at my Avg Speed! I left the app on the entire trip so I think it may have averaged in some fishing, campsite meandering, etc.

Seeing 10 cars at the TH was a little disheartening but I thought with so many junctions on the trail I might get lucky....wrong!
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A fairly easy trail leads to The Niche, a nice gentle pass. I enjoyed this part of the trail. It was the first real climb and the first real scenery.
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Just past the Niche approaching Cora Lakes.
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Granite Creek, my first water stop.
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Lovin the Sawyer Squeeze!
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ID anyone? I think its an edible rumex of some sort (dock or sorrell?). Im pretty clueless on the subject and trying to learn.
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How about this one?
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Stopped at the center Cora Lake for lunch and fishing.
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Got a few throwbacks and a keeper, about 9". Packed him up and took him along for dinner.
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I almost stayed at Cora. It was already 3pm by the time I was done goofin around. Weather was lookin iffy but I decided to carry on anyway.
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From this point on the trail was lush and beautiful.
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Knockblock Meadow with views of the Yosemite/Sierra Divide in the background I think...
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So many wildflowers lined this section of trail.
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Not what you want to see heading down from you're intended campsite...
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The last 2 miles to Joe Crane were relentless, but that first sighting through the trees is always so rewarding!
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The Mule train had dropped off a loud obnoxious group of guys. I camped opposite them but could still hear them laughing and talking as loud as possible until shortly after dark....sigh.



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Last edited by sheperd80 on Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:01 am, edited 14 times in total.



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Postby sheperd80 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:18 pm

I slept great that night. I got a new air mattress (rei stratus) which helped a lot but that Koppen tent is going back to dicks. Its too short and i prefer a freestanding option.


Had coffee and breakfast and hit the trail by about 730. When i reached the junction i decided i wanted to see more of this trail. So I stashed my pack off trail a ways, grabbed my pole and whatever I could stuff in my pockets and headed up towards Sadler and Mcclure.
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Despite the considerable elevation gain, hiking packless up to Sadler was great. It made me think that the ultralighters may be on to something.

After a few miles of beautiful trail I reached the suprisingly large Sadler Lake. It was breathtaking.
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I decided to continue on to Mcclure then fish on the way back. I lost the trail for a bit but it was easy enough following the stream up.
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Mcclure was much smaller but still interesting. A lone hiker sat at the end of the peninsula reading a book.
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I decided to let her be even though she was at what looked like the best fishing spot on the lake. Every cast into the shallow waters yielded a fish. Most under 8" but i got a few legals. Eventually I was reeling in as fast as I could to avoid the little ones.
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Back down to Sadler. I fished the inlet for a minute then briefly along the shallow edge of the lake.
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Like McClure, the far side of Sadler looked much deeper and id bet it was full of bigger browns and rainbows. But the shallows where I fished were full of hungry, energetic little fish. I c&r'd a few and decided to get going back down the trail.
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I made it back to the junction in about 25 minutes, practically running down the steep trail. It was fun and certainly fast but I payed for it later in my knees, feet and ankles.

I powered through the rest of the return hike, stopping only briefly at Cora for lunch.

All in all it was a great hike, and my first true solo overnighter. I feel like I kind of rushed through a trail that is worthy of atleast 2 nights if not more. Ill probably go back some day and do some real fishing instead of quick pass-through fishing, and hit isberg lakes and maybe go over the pass.

This is one of the prettiest trails ive seen as far as greenery, granite, and wildflowers. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasnt been. The climbs to each lake are short and strenuous but thats pretty typical. The trail is clear and well marked. I came home with only one mosquito bite!!! There were very few at the lakes and picaridin kept them at bay. The swampy parts of the trail were where I ran into quite a few. Flies however were everywhere. One of my many gripes about pack trails!





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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:28 am

McClure Lake was dammed at one time - still a dammed lake to some degree. When I was there a few years back, later season, it was really low and a big disappointment. The "shoreline" was nothing but swaths of mud. Sounds like it had more water when you visited.
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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:52 am

Nice report. When we camped at Sadler two years ago, there was a large campsite for horse packers...but it was empty, happily.

And I agree---that trail from Cora Lakes up the canyon is just beautiful. We stopped for lunch and I pulled two nice trout out of a pool in the creek in five minutes.
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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:51 am

Congratulations on you first solo overnighter! Thanks for the TR and pretty pictures. :thumbsup:
I unfortuntely to have experinced some obnoxitous individuals while passing by Cora
Lakes several years back, they were taking a bath with soap in the lake, even had
suds all over their horses, yelling at the top of their lungs. :(
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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:04 am

Excellent report. Surprised at how lush it still is in some areas.

I think that first mystery plant is Pine Drops (Pterospora andromedea).
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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby d.a.sklansky » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:19 am

Great trip report! How bad was the smoke? (Aside from some haziness, did you even notice it?) We have a trip planned out of Florence Lake starting this weekend, and we're trying to decide whether to relocate further south.
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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:32 am

Hi D. A. Sklansky,

Welcome to HST! Please read this thread: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=9715#p72842
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby sheperd80 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:14 pm

d.a.sklansky wrote:Great trip report! How bad was the smoke? (Aside from some haziness, did you even notice it?) We have a trip planned out of Florence Lake starting this weekend, and we're trying to decide whether to relocate further south.


Where I was the smoke wasnt bad at all, just a distant haze. Florence may be another story.

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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby sheperd80 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:16 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:Excellent report. Surprised at how lush it still is in some areas.

I think that first mystery plant is Pine Drops (Pterospora andromedea).


Yeah the pic in your link certainly looks right. Glad I didnt take a bite!

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Postby sheperd80 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:20 pm

Thanks for the comments everyone and thanks Balzacomm for the PM reply, unfortunately I didnt get to view your TR before my trip but thats what I get for PMing late the night before :-)

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Re: TR: Isberg Trail, 7/26 - 7/27

Postby sheperd80 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:25 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:McClure Lake was dammed at one time - still a dammed lake to some degree. When I was there a few years back, later season, it was really low and a big disappointment. The "shoreline" was nothing but swaths of mud. Sounds like it had more water when you visited.


Yeah WD it was pretty low and the dams still there. The far side had a decently deep pool but the rest was quite shallow unfortunately. It was definitely not the highlight of the trip, especially after seeing Sadler. I could probably skip it if I went back.

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