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Marble Mountains or Trinity Alps?

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Re: Marble Mountains or Trinity Alps?

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:08 pm

In comparing the areas I think the core of the Trinity Alps is the best part of the Klamath Mountains from an alpine ruggedness standpoint. That having been said, it seems that the main routes in the Trinity Alps are more crowded than in the Marble Mtns or the nearby and smaller Russian Wilderness. In addition, various destinations are easier to string together on a trip to the Marbles than to the Trinity Alps--part of this is the fact that the topographic relief is greater in the Trinity Alps, and part of it is where the trail systems are located. Cross country travel is certainly doable in the Klamaths, but things can get very brushy in many areas so that the degree of difficulty approaches that of NW Yosemite. The 2nd worst brush experience of my hiking days was getting to Hooligan Lake, one of the more remote off-trail destinations in the Marbles. On the other hand there are other off trail spots such as Maneaten Lake, Wooley Lake and the perched lakes above Deep Lake that do not really involve a lot of brush. In terms of scenery, although the Marbles are not as rugged as the Trinity Alps, the interesting topography and colors of the marble and other metamorphic rocks adds to the charm of the Marbles. In addition, the diversity of conifers is the best I've seen in any mountain region.

I think there are more fishing prospects (for larger fish) in the Marble Mtns. and Russian Wilderness than the Trinity Alps, although things may have changed since the early 90's since I last hiked and fished in the area (see below). One of the big problems with Klamath Mtn air drop policies in those days was that pretty much every lake I ever visited was overstocked--too many fish, so the sizes didn't tend to be that impressive. DFG folks I communicated with in those days told me that they assumed that there was no such thing as a self sustaining lake and thus air dropped every last one (how can a lake swarming with stunted skinny brookies be anything but self sustaining?). Eventually Judy and I became fed up with this and decided that it was not worth the extra driving time (then from the Bay Area) to get to places that didn't have near the lunker prospects as the Sierra. Thus my last hike in the Klamaths was a July 1993 trip (first trip was September 1976 to Big Blue L., Russian Wilderness) to the Marbles: a 4-day part off trail (and quite a bit of this over snow) trip that included Snyder Lake, Gold and Green Granite Lakes, the Cuddihy Lakes, Deadman, Pleasant, and Hooligan Lakes--none of those lakes had particularly big fish even though it was a fun trip. Even with the problem of overpopulated fisheries there were still some stand out lakes in all of the various Klamath wilderness areas. I am pretty curious to see how things have changed in light of new fisheries management practice (which I'm hoping has drastically reduced the stocking rate).
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: Marble Mountains or Trinity Alps?

Postby Ikan Mas » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:35 am

I think things have improved from a stocking vs size point of view in the Marbles. In 2008, I fished Campbell, Cliff, Summit and Lower Sky High with good results at each . We got into Deep too late for me to get a line out, although it looked like it had brookies in it. I caught browns and brooks at Campbell. The browns were running 12-13 inches. Bows at Cliff, Summit and Lower Sky High. Larger at Cliff and Lower Sky High. Didn't see any stunted fish at any of the lakes.
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Re: Marble Mountains or Trinity Alps?

Postby hikerduane » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:27 pm

I had read years ago the Marbles were the least used Wilderness in CA. On weekends they may be crowded as evidenced by some of the campsites. I've have a few days where I saw no one. The Sky High Lakes have camping for the most part a distance from water, so be prepared.
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Re: Marble Mountains or Trinity Alps?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:53 pm

I was surprised to learn that Marble Mountain Wilderness is the oldest California wilderness. We are really looking forward to this trip. If we get snow, OK. We have snowshoes and may just make this a snowshoe trip for late May or early June. The creek crossings may stump us, but we will give it a try. Thanks everyone for the great information and photos.
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Re: Marble Mountains or Trinity Alps?

Postby tterrall » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:15 pm

The Trinities have superior scenery compared to the Marbles and Russian Wilderness, but the best locations won't be accesible that time of year, especially with very high snow levels. I backpack in the Klamaths all the time, and actually prefer the Russian wilderness to the Marbles. Less people, and amazing spots. There are some good loops involving the PCT in the Russians if you are willing to do cross-country travel. Some places in the Marbles can get very crowded, especially the Sky High Lakes area. If you do go to the Marbles, be smart with food and campsite choices, as there are many bears and they seem fairly comfortable around people. We had one wander into camp to see what was for dinner a few years ago, made for an exciting night!
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Re: Marble Mountains or Trinity Alps?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:56 am

Exactly where is the Russian Wilderness?

I've done two trips in the Trinity, and the scenery is good but it seems to be a lot of 2-4 day "in-and-out" routes versus longer loops. We are aware of the snow situation. Walking over snow is not a snow-stopper for us, as long as we can find a small spot to camp on. River crossings are a more serious problem. We can also deay this trip until Fall if necessary. I would like to do at least one trip in the Marble Mountains, just because I have never been there.
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Re: Marble Mountains or Trinity Alps?

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:39 am

Russian Wilderness = Big Blue Lake, out of Music Creek Traihead, x-country scramble
starting from about 1/2 mile up the PCT to the lake.

Oh, and here is a site I found that has a several pages of older photo's which include lakes
in the Marbles, Russian, and Trinity area.
http://www.ancientforestnationalpark.or ... ains_4.php
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