Yosemite's Northern Section - Above Hetch Hetchy

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DoyleWDonehoo
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Post by DoyleWDonehoo » Tue May 01, 2007 5:28 pm

maverick wrote: You mentioned in another thread that you train in the Santa Cruz Mt area, where abouts?
Flora is very pretty as is the small lake a little to the west of it a little higher up.
S.Cruz Mtns: Mostly at Lexington Res, Kennedy TH, Sandborn Park, Rancho Sanantonio and Castle Rock. I know some trails not used much. I go about every other day, like today.

Flora: Yup, I walked up that granite slope up to that small lake, took some pictures too. Waitaminute, there is a small tarn up one side of Edith (south), some NE and a small one towards Kibbie direction. I have pictures of all of them. Nice area.


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maverick
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Post by maverick » Tue May 01, 2007 6:55 pm

Sandborn Park, Rancho Sanantonio and Castle Rock I have visited
especially Castle Rock, which I used every year to do the Skyline to
the Sea trail as a very long day hike that started at 5am and finished
at around 7pm.

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Post by Aviprk » Tue May 01, 2007 7:28 pm

It's interesting how I also thought about branigan lakes. Wasn't able to find much info on the internet and the guidebook I have says the way to the branigan lakes is either between Andrews Peak and Andrews lake or from the north leaving the trail and heading down to upper branigan lake. How is the cross country to the lakes? I might opt that over Otter lake since you guys say otter is not so pretty :crybaby:

By the way this site has some nice pictures from the x-c lakes in the area.
http://photos.onetreedesign.com/content.php?cid=53 including lower otter lake which made me think about the Otter lakes area.

Would you say Otter lakes or Branigan lakes is the better choice?

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Post by giantbrookie » Tue May 01, 2007 8:30 pm

TehipiteTom wrote:
I would get to Edith Lake and the downstream lakes (fishermen love it) not from Eleanor Lake, but from Laurel Lake north where it is easy cross-country.
Went to Edith with a buddy who fishes, and he got a 14" and a 13". Very tasty. No wonder fishermen love it. ;) The Laurel approach is the best, but I wouldn't describe some the cross-country in Kendrick as 'easy'. Some of it is straightforward slab-walking--nice stuff--but there are also some pretty brutal stretches of, for example, manzanita-covered talus. (Just ponder that for a moment.) It's well worth it, but keep in mind there will be thrashing. kendrick_tr.htm[/url].
Flora Lake is the real jewel with one of the best camps in the Sierra. There is a few trick ways to getting into Many Island Lakes, one of my favorite early season destinations (once the stubborn snow on Kibbie Ridge is gone). With a good topo, doing the Flora loop is very nice. There is some trail left above Flora (going towards Kibbie), but don't be fooled by that tree laying the length of the trail when the trail takes a sudden right.
Thanks for the info! Much appreciated. :)
Actually, for direct approach to Edith(Edyth as incorrectly spelled on most maps), the easiest approach is via the gap in the Frog-Kendrick divide that is SSE of Edith (7680+). The second easiest way is from Laurel, crossing the divide but then staying fairly high on a bench above Kendrick Creek (a bit below 6800) until SSW of the lake downstream of Edith, then friction walking down slabs to the unnamed lake. This avoids most of the bushwhacking. I once went to Edith from Cherry Lake and it was heinous (this route followed the north side of Kendrick Creek---brush was simply amazing). On my last Edith visit we went via Laurel to the lake below Edith thence up the canyon to Edith. We then exited via the gap to Frog Creek and went to Bearup before heading back to HH. This was a very nice 4 day loop and we did it in early May 1992 in part to get tuned up to go bag Mt. Shasta. Speaking of fishing it is worth noting (if one cares about fishing) that many of the major lakes of the area are fishless: the fishless list includes Flora, Many Island, Boundary, Little Bear, Spotted Fawn, Inferno, among others. The remote trailless lakes of the area that have fish, such as Edith and the unnamed lake downstream of it have lots of nice rainbows that run to a good 17". So does Bearup (wouldn't put this in the same "remote" category as Edith). On the other hand, the fish are just as big in the lakes closer to the trailhead such as Laurel (perhaps the biggest fish of them all?), Vernon, and Kibbie. I agree that the Flora loop is nice off trail hiking, if one doesn't mind the lack of fish.
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Post by DoyleWDonehoo » Tue May 01, 2007 8:45 pm

I might opt that over Otter lake since you guys say otter is not so pretty
Well, the link of yours:
http://photos.onetreedesign.com/content.php?cid=53
...Has a fairly typical picture of Otter Lakes. That is pretty much what it looks like, maybe a bit better at the larger lake. Like I said, Haystack is the reason. If you plan on climbing Haystack (an easy hike from Otter), it is the better choice.

To get to Branigan, I would take the trail out of Tiltill Valley, go around Mt. Gibson, and follow the ridge above Vernon Lake to the southwestern Branigan Lakes: from there the rest of the way is obvious and easy.

Thanks for the link. Nice pictures of Bearup Lake, Peninsula Lake, Inferno Lake etc.
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Post by maverick » Wed May 02, 2007 12:17 pm

Go see which ever one you want to see. After putting in a few
thousand miles you start to get picky about which areas you like
or have a prefrence for(favorite or least favorite).
What matters is that you get the experience of being able to
enjoy the backcountry. Youll hopefully get lots of opps to explore
other lakes in the area on future trips.
Dont put pressure on yourself listening to our options.
Going out is about exploring and soaking in the beauty that nature has
givin us and preserving it for the future generations.

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Post by maverick » Wed May 02, 2007 12:56 pm

Hey Doyle

Nice trip report of the Minarets. Ashley is my favorite in the southern
stretch! I went over Beck Lakes Pass and followed Iron Creek to
Iron Lake which is also quite beautiful with the glacier situated on the
southern end of the lake and Iron Mountain with its evening glow in the
lake makes it a real gem!

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Post by will_jrob » Wed May 02, 2007 1:44 pm

I was up the trail as far as Rancheria Creek on 05/01. There seems to be plenty of water coming down from the high regions , Falls and Rancheria creeks. There was also quite a bit of poison oak along this stretch, but no mosquitos. The climb above Rancheria Falls to Tiltill ridge looks unattractive, through a previous burn that has killed just about any shade on that slope. Advise that you'll have plenty of high angle sun for much of the first day. Good luck and enjoy.
[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/treeliner/481780297[/img]
[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/treeliner/482811581[/img]
[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/treeliner/487397848[/img]
Last edited by will_jrob on Sun May 06, 2007 6:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by DoyleWDonehoo » Wed May 02, 2007 5:54 pm

will_jrob wrote:The climb above Rancheria Falls to Tiltill ridge looks unattractive, through a previous burn that has killed just about any shade on that slope.
A year or so back I was doing a solo hike up Rancheria Mountain to Pleasant Valley (very overgrown in places and hot!), and on my way out I stayed at Rancheria Falls in my favorite camp site there, and the Ranger came up that day. He told me that burn there was arson, that some crazy guy left a note and was trying to start a major forest fire and burn everything he could. I forgot the reasons: he was crazy.
That slope up to the Tiltill ridge was exposed as it was...moreso now. Further along the ridge it is shady. I hope that did not burn.

Rancheria is one of the places I check where I crap and come back to see what trace I can find after a year or so. I know exact spots. I couldn't find anything every time I checked. Just an aside. :moon: :whistle:
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Post by giantbrookie » Wed May 02, 2007 8:41 pm

DoyleWDonehoo wrote:
will_jrob wrote:The climb above Rancheria Falls to Tiltill ridge looks unattractive, through a previous burn that has killed just about any shade on that slope.
He told me that burn there was arson, that some crazy guy left a note and was trying to start a major forest fire and burn everything he could. I forgot the reasons: he was crazy.
Actually the full story is crazier still. The crime scene apparently resulted in the shut down of that trail long after the fire was put out--I had a hike cancelled because of this and had to death march in the snow up to Laurel. The excuse was that there was the danger of rockfall from erosion, but this was a smokescreen. I suspect they closed the area off because they still may have been looking for various pieces of evidence.--The fellow who set the fire killed himself there, apparently after waving off others with his gun. He was a notorious murder suspect from the Bay Area. He had vanished after he was suspected of killing his family. If was some time later that apparently decided to go out in in a very flamboyant fashion.
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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