Post Peak and Red Peak Passes | High Sierra Topix  

Post Peak and Red Peak Passes

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Post Peak and Red Peak Passes

Postby oleander » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:50 pm

Hi,

I'd like to experience Post Peak Pass and Red Peak Pass.

How might you organize a visit to this area if your priorities are...
1. High alpine/lake scenery (lower-altitude and forest approaches not as interesting)
2. Trailhead MUST be friendly to low-/average-clearance vehicle (I have questions about accessibility of trailheads on Beasore Road)

No fishing, serious photography, etc.

Normally do a lot of off-trail and am comfortable on Class 2/easy Class 3, but for this trip I envision keeping things MOSTLY on-trail. Maybe some easy wandering over to Harriet Lake, Ottaway Lakes, etc.

One way or another, most likely would end up doing the 4-passes loop: Post Peak, Red Peak, Merced, Fernandez. But I don't want to limit the imagination here, either.

Looks like my most obvious trailhead options are Chiquito, Jackass Lakes, Norris, Fernandez, Clover Meadow, Granite Creek - all on Beasore Road. (Have not yet researched vehicle-clearance issue for any of those.) It has been a very long time since I've been back there! The Yosemite entries (Mono Meadow, Glacier Point, Happy Isles, Rafferty Creek) all look like somewhat of a slog.

If I start at Chiquito: Might go to Chain Lakes and then x-country from there straight to Fernandez Pass. How's that passage?

Thank you,
Elizabeth



User avatar
oleander
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:15 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Post Peak and Red Peak Passes

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:36 pm

I've done Quartz Mountain (higher alternative to Chiquito), Fernandez, Clover Meadow, and Granite Creek trailheads in my Honda Fit. All of them require careful driving; Fernandez was the one I was least happy with. Never say never and all that, but I'm not inclined to do Fernandez again without higher clearance.

The Chain Lakes to Breeze Lake route is eminently doable. There are some steep areas on the Breeze Lake side that you want to try to avoid, but otherwise it's not too bad.

Red Devil Lake is definitely worth a detour--less than 1/2 mile off the trail, and a gorgeous lake. Highly recommended.
User avatar
TehipiteTom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:42 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Post Peak and Red Peak Passes

Postby oleander » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:48 pm

Oh! Quartz Mountain trailhead! How did I miss that?

The only place I've been in the area (besides Roper) is the Lillian Lake cluster of lakes, probably from Norris trailhead. I remember we found that landscape a little boring. We like it High and Alpine. Hence the desire to (probably) start up as high as we can and/or as close to the loop as we can.

Are Slab Lakes/Frying Pan Lake a worthy diversion? Which lakes are the most scenic diversions given limited time? (I have mentioned Ottaway & Harriett; Red Devil has been suggested too.)

Completely contradicting what I said earlier about avoiding difficult x-country, now I am looking at Edna Lake thinking it is probably a super-interesting landscape. It sure looked that way viewed from across the valley (Blue Lakes Pass).

- Elizabeth
User avatar
oleander
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:15 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Post Peak and Red Peak Passes

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:44 am

oleander wrote:Oh! Quartz Mountain trailhead! How did I miss that?

The only place I've been in the area (besides Roper) is the Lillian Lake cluster of lakes, probably from Norris trailhead. I remember we found that landscape a little boring. We like it High and Alpine. Hence the desire to (probably) start up as high as we can and/or as close to the loop as we can.Are Slab Lakes/Frying Pan Lake a worthy diversion? Which lakes are the most scenic diversions given limited time? (I have mentioned Ottaway & Harriett; Red Devil has been suggested too.)
Completely contradicting what I said earlier about avoiding difficult x-country, now I am looking at Edna Lake thinking it is probably a super-interesting landscape. It sure looked that way viewed from across the valley (Blue Lakes Pass).
- Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth, now if you find the subalpine Lillian et al. sort of scenery boring (and fishing is NOT a priority), then I guess the optimal route for you minimizes time in such territory, which would mean the shortest possible route through the lower and middle elevation stuff. Slab/Frying Pan/Walton/Post Lakes are certainly much more alpine scenery with massive granite slabs and granite talus dropping into deep blue lakes. Here's a suggestion: Go out of the Fernandez trailhead and take the Walton trail (Fernadez trail gains then loses elevation back to intersection of Walton, Norris kickoff to Fernandez starts higher then loses the elevation). From near Blue Point you can you have several options, depending on how far you want to go on day 1: If you want to head directly to the Slab Lakes on day 1, you can either take the remnants of the old Post Creek trail (essentially off trail) and continue off trail to the Slab Lakes or Rutherford Lake (if you don't want to go as far) or take the Fernandez trail to Rutherford Lake (more alpine than lakes such as Lillian etc.,but not as alpine as the Slab Lakes) and decide whether you want to go further (off trail around the corner to Slab Lakes).

From the Slab Lakes (or, more precisely, from Walton Lake, the highest of this group) you have to options to go off trail to Edna Lake, which I suspect you will find the most beautiful alpine lake of this region. You can go through the gap in the S ridge of Triple Divide Pk then through the Triple Divide-Merced Pk gap thence down to Edna. This is the way my wife and I went on a very long dayhike from Rutherford. That route is class 2 and main difficulty is steep talus on the north side of the Triple Divide-Merced Pk gap (this was steep snow when we did it but will be talus this fall, of course). The other route would be to go over a shoulder/gap at 10800-10880 on the ESE ridge of Triple Divide Pk contour around at about 10900 or so until above the ridge that bounds Edna on its NE side, then descend this ridge to the lake.

Once at Edna, I think you can play out a number of options depending on what you see and want to do. If you slide east to the Harriets you can get back to Fernandez trailhead using either the Post Pass trail or the Isberg Pass route. If you do the latter you'd then cutoff back to Fernandez by turning off a Joe Crane Lake and following Timber Creek (old trail "Timber Creek trail" shown on some maps--may be hard to follow, though, so consider it cross country) back to meet the Walton/Fernandez trails near Blue Point.
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
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSNbot Media [Bot] and 9 guests