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Edison Ferry closing?

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Edison Ferry closing?

Postby schmalz » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:17 pm

Anyone heard anything about this? A thread on BPL indicates that its about to close or already has.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... d_id=92909



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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby copeg » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:45 pm

When I picked up my permit this past Saturday, the ranger said the ferry wasn't running due to lack of water - the number quoted to me was that Edison is at 20%. Ferry at Florence was running.
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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby schmalz » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:02 pm

Thanks for the info Greg. Looks like I won't be returning to the west side this year. More Mammoth in my future.
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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:19 pm

This is interesting indeed and something I'll need to think about in terms of trip planning in future dry years. Until a recent change-of-plans I was planning an Edison-Florence shuttle trip whose day 1 was very much dependent on having the little help from the Edison ferry. This makes me feel better about having cancelled that trip.
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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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby schmalz » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:27 pm

That is exactly what the trip I had planned in about a week entailed. Oh well.

Fortunately access via the east side is not that different and offers some nice stuff to make up for what I'd be missing.
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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby schmalz » Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:41 pm

I was also reading that there was a 2 mile walk in the lakebed on the eastern shore of the lake while it was running, so maybe a bullet dodged anyways. Sounds terrible.
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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:07 pm

schmalz wrote:I was also reading that there was a 2 mile walk in the lakebed on the eastern shore of the lake while it was running, so maybe a bullet dodged anyways. Sounds terrible.

Yes, that too is food for thought, both regarding the cancellation of planned trips this year or future ones because it appears there is a tricky balance here for those who might plan an ambitious day 1 out of Edison. I had planned to camp right at Upper Mills Lake on day 1, for example. That would be beyond my tolerance for a day 1 hike without the shuttle and near the limits with 2 miles of extra hiking in the muck. The problem is that if the water is high enough for the ferry to take you all the way to the end, this would be early season in after a pretty good snowfall year. This would mean that Mono Creek would be flowing pretty good which would make for a difficult crossing (if it is even feasible). I may need to revise my 2015 plan by eliminating Upper Mills and Bear Basin from my route and executing a Bear Creek Diversion Dam-Florence shuttle instead.
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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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby ERIC » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:43 am

FWIW, VVR's Twitter account is pretty good about posting current ferry conditions for Edison.
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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:47 am

giantbrookie wrote:The problem is that if the water is high enough for the ferry to take you all the way to the end, this would be early season in after a pretty good snowfall year. This would mean that Mono Creek would be flowing pretty good which would make for a difficult crossing (if it is even feasible).


I wouldn't completely abandon that itinerary GB, but we need a couple good water years for Edison to catch up. In my experience in the past good water years, the Edison ferry was able to take us all the way to the backside boat landing in mid August. Edison's current problems were compounded by it being drawn down in early 2012 to refill Shaver Lake. The thought was it would refill (especially following the wet winter of 2011), but we haven't had anywhere near an average water year since 2011.
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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby gary c. » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:43 pm

VVR posted this to their facebook page tonight.


Vermilion Valley Resort

19 mins · .


Oh, and YES THE WATER TAXI IS RUNNING!!!! Mornings only - leaving the resort at 8 am, 9 am, and 10 am. Please spread the word and thanks!
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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby intrek38 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:16 pm

I'll second that the ferry was running, at least on 7/8 & 7/9th. A lot of the PCT & JMT'ers using the VVR for resupply as well as entertainment, are being directed over Good Dale Pass as well as up or down the Bear Diversion trail. I took Good Dale Pass just cause I never took that route before. I would probably choose Silver Pass with the few extra miles next time cause Good Dale provided to many false summits for me anyways... I also chose the pass over the Graveyard Lakes to get back to Reds Meadow.. Either way, plenty of choices for this awesome area, ferry or not... Enjoy
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Re: Edison Ferry closing?

Postby fishhunter » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:30 pm

We just returned from VVR and took the ferry outbound on 8/8/14 only (had planned roundtrip, will explain shortly). Due to low water levels, the ferry trip starts with a 5 minute van ride down to the water's edge (ramps are high and dry). VVR has several small skiffs tied up on the shoreline. They can seat 3-4 per trip.
EdisonFerry.JPG
Edison Lake Ferry
EdisonFerry.JPG (35.73 KiB) Viewed 309 times


Drop off point is about 1 mile short of usual (so saves ~4 miles of hiking). To be precise, (37.39085,-118.95551).

The hike across the dry lakebed to the trail is on packed sand, no problem really. Cost is $12 one-way / $20 round-trip.

Edison Dry Lake.JPG
Dry lakebed
Edison Dry Lake.JPG (26.85 KiB) Viewed 310 times


The driver indicated that the Edison water levels were dropping 12-18" per day. However, the drop off point is in the area they quarried material for the dam, so it is deep with a steep bank. You have to pass through a narrow channel to get to it, but he indicated that they have to keep the water level sufficiently high to fill the channel in order to ensure that oxygenated water reaches the lower lake. So chances are even with lower water levels the ferry service should still be possible. We had rain/hail every day out so there was even a little natural replenishment!

Word of caution for those wanting round trip. VVR clearly was more interested in outbound service (on their scheduled times - 8, 9, 10. We provided our planned returned time prior to leaving and watched them write it on the calendar. We also informed the skiff driver. But on our return...no show. We debated whether we should have tipped the driver when he dropped us off (we had planned to tip generously on our return)...maybe so. In any event after waiting a while we then proceeded to walk the remaining 4 miles of shoreline to get back to Vermillion campground. :-({|=

So if you are planning on return trip, make sure you clearly communicate it...suggest giving them a note or something. They did have a sign at the other end of the lake that you could call them (using AT&T phone)...but we didn't take cell phone and in any case I believe their phone goes straight to recorded message saying their phone is currently out of operation.

It's a beautiful trail and the lake and stream levels appeared normal, so get out there, even if the ferry isn't running!
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