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Second idea for a loop walk.

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Second idea for a loop walk.

Postby ltm01 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:25 pm

My second idea for a loop walk is outlined below.
I have been reading trip reports. The first three days are pretty clear in my mind and I have read reports of people going to Little Five Lakes and over Black Rock Pass. I would like information on camping at Little Five Lakes, Pinto Lake and Redwood Meadow. Are there formal or designated camp sites, bear boxes etc? The trail on the map I have been looking at on the net appears to go past Pinto Lake, do people camp there at the lake after coming over Black Rock Pass?

Lodgepole to Buck Ck.
Hamilton Lake (2500m) or Precipice Lake (3048m).
Big Arroyo Junction (2895m). This would be quite a short day if coming from Precipice Lake?
Little Five Lakes (3185m)
Pinto Lake (2590m) via Black Rock Pass (3350m)
Redwood Meadow (1828m)
Bearpaw Meadow (2290m)
Lodgepole

Thank you.



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Re: Second idea for a loop walk.

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:29 pm

Day 3 short day is fine. Stash your pack and do some hiking to the upper lakes in Nine Lakes Basin before dropping to Big Arroyo. The off-trail hiking is quite easy. Are you a fisherman? There are fish in the Nine Lakes. Another good side-trip is a climb of Stewart Peak. Easy and great views. The route starts right on Keweah Gap. - Class 2-3, a couple of hours.

Morning is the best time for photographs of Valhalla while you are climbing up from Hamilton Lake to Precipice Lake. Evenings are best for photography at Hamilton Lake. Thus, camping at Hamilton Lake, although crowded, does offer the best lighting both ends of the day for photography. Having some time at Hamilton Lake is not a bad thing.

You may get to Little Five Lakes early enough to take a day-hike to Big Five Lakes. I think it is worth the effort. There was a forest fire in the Five Lakes area last year. You may want to try to look up information on the internet and see what area was burned. I think it may have been down in the Arroyo and not at the lakes. But I am not sure of this.

I have gone from Big Five Lakes to Mineral King via Columbine Lake. It is a good route but transportation is a problem to get back to Crescent Meadow and they do not run a shuttle bus from Mineral King. Sorry, but have no information for the last half of your trip.

By the way, why are you limited to going out of Lodgepole? There are some fairly reasonable car rentals that would allow you to consider a lot more trailheads. Most of the trailheads can be reached with a little passenger car - one of those cheap rental cars. If you do not want to deal with LA traffic (probably not the easiest for international travelers), take a bus to Fresno or Visalia and rent a car there. Or just fly into Fresno and rent from there. Other option if you want to go into the east side, is to fly into Reno and rent a car from there. There also is public transportation from Reno to Mammoth Lakes and Bishop. There are more 8-day trail loop hike options to do if you can get to Bishop.
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Re: Second idea for a loop walk.

Postby ltm01 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:21 am

Thanks Daisey, those sound like good leads for side trips on that short day. I believe Lodgepole is where I can get permit, bear canister, see the big sequoia (something I have always wanted to do) and begin acclimatising all in one go. I am intending to get the bus there from Visalia and walk to the nearby big trees. I'll spend the night there at 2000m acclimatising, I live at 50m altitude. Others have mentioned car rental, however, I would only need one for a short drive at the beginning and end of the walk, it would spend 8-10 days parked. I need to go back to Lodgepole as I need to return the bear canister.
I have not finalised my flights yet so I can look into the other options, however flying to Fresno means quite long waits at LA going home, I get back to Sydney or Melb and still have to fly another 800-1200km. The bus from LA to Visalia looks quite appealing in contrast. I can get all my food supplies there and get organised pausing to get over jet lag also. Nevertheless appreciate any suggestions.
Thank you again.
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