possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

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grampy
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Re: possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

Post by grampy » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:52 pm

Two weeks ago I’d have said mid-July. Now, I’d guess mid August; for the bugs as well as the snow. I have other trip options, so I could save this one for next year if doing so makes sense.








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Re: possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

Post by grampy » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:04 pm

Taking everyone’s suggestions into account (thanks, all !!), I have a loop of about 54 miles - including side detours to lakes - plotted out, to be done in (nominally) 6 days. My permit request will be for an entry date (Twin Lakes Trail entry) of Aug 13 or so. Start from Lodgepole and over Silliman Pass; camp at Lost Lake, Roaring River station, upper Ranger Meadow (day hike to Big Bird Lake), Tamarack Lake (via Elizabeth Pass), Nine Mile Creek (or maybe Buck Creek), then exit. An exit at Crescent Meadow looks easier (less elev. gain/loss on final day), but I’d consider finishing at Wolverton, if the scenery over Panther Gap seems worth the effort.

One final question; does the “EXIT” trail (High Sierra Trail versus Alta Trail, or whatever) that I list on my permit application have ANY effect on my odds of getting a permit ? Most jurisdictions consider this “information only”, but I’m not sure if SEKI office differs on this point. Sorry if this is a dumb question.

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Re: possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

Post by zacjust32 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:02 pm

Here's a couple loops I've done in the area:
Deadman-Cloud Canyon 8/14-19/17
Deadman Canyon Loop 6/27-29/18
SierraHiker.com also has some good info in this area.
Hiker, adventurer, fabricator, tinkerer, theologian, and occasional student. http://www.zacjust.blogspot.com

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Re: possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:08 pm

Your exit matters less than your entry. You could say Wolverton and if you don't feel like climbing that $^#&@ hill (it's exposed, and by day 5-6 we were pretty done, and it was a hot afternoon) from the HST you can hike to Crescent Meadow and catch the shuttle to Wolverton if it's still running.

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Re: possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

Post by sambieni » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:54 am

I did this 2 years ago with a buddy; we did the seemingly standard routing. It was amazing. Sadly, life overtook me and failed to do my full trail report here. Oops. But this link was basically how we planned everything. Really helpful. https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/37691/

Our route was morning drive from LA up to SEKI. Started out:
Day 1: Lodgepole -> Twin Lakes Trail over Silliman Pass with night at Ranger Lake. We wanted to stay Lost Lake, but after 5 hour drive and hte hike and 30 minutes of losing trail for being stupid, we just wanted to crash before nightfall. But do have sense, Lost Lake is nicer spot than here. I would recommend night sleep beforehand in SEKI; we simply did not have the time to do so. Our first day was tiring. Twin Lakes - go right on by. Gorgeous place, but WAY overcamped; lots of toilet paper floating around, etc. Sad. Once over Silliman, you have much more solitude. ~10 miles

Day 2: Ranger Lake -> Roaring River ~14 miles via Sugarloaf Valley, etc. It was actually quite a bit prettier than anticipated. It definitely can be dusty for a stretch and may run hot/dry depending; we lucked out on our day. But it was not as big of a bore as we expected. Maybe just the excitement knowing what was around hte bend? Still, its more of a dutiful hike to paradise in a sense.
Roaring River is a cool camp spot. Really just lovely.

Day 3: Deadman Canyon ~7-8 miles. We hiked as far was we could go up the canyon to the edge before we really needed to climb up the pass. This day of hiking is truly unreal. Great flat spots with water beside you for camping. One of top 5 places I have ever camped honestly. Just gorgeous.

Day 4: Elizabeth Pass -> Bearpaw Meadow. ~11 miles or so. Get early start to climb hte wall up the Pass. Its tough, but you'll manage. Just a climb, slow and steady. Views spectacular all around once you make it. Bearpaw, meh. Not at all an ideal campspot unless you like annoying HST'ers, flies, overflowing latrines, walking and possibly sleeping on 30 degree angle. Regardless welcome respite after long tiring day. Don't stay here unless you really must. We were warned by folks on this site, but chose to ignore the advice. They were right! We tried to make the pass to go overland to Moose Lake and missed cutoff somehow; we went too low. We tried to regain it, but after an hour of hiking, realized we just were too far past and burning too much energy on an exposed pass to keep trying. Its a tiring day regardless. If you go this route, hike a mile or two past Bearpaw for more private nicer patches where you can camp along the trail out.

Day 5: HST to Wolverton, shuttle back to Lodgepole. ~8 miles or so. Simple, easy straight shot out.

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Re: possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

Post by grampy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:49 pm

Thanks, zacjust, AlmostThere, and sambieni - info & links are super helpful! Looks like I have all the info I need; just need to push my email “send button” at 12:01 AM on March 1st.

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Re: possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

Post by oleander » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:55 pm

I did this loop clockwise several years ago. Lodgepole - Silliman Pass - Sugarloaf area - Roaring River - Deadman - Elizabeth Pass - cutoff to Bearpaw - High Sierra Trail - cutoff to Wolverton - one-mile trail from Wolverton down to Lodgepole. If I remember correctly it was maybe 54 miles, with no diversions.

Definitely do it clockwise...Go uphill through Deadman.

However, to be honest I found the first 30 miles of this loop to be a downright slog (with the exception of the 3-4 miles over the Silliman area). Waiting for the scenery to happen. I couldn't stand the Sugarloaf area, it was possibly the least scenic part of Kings Canyon NP I'd ever been to. When you get to Deadman the scenery is suddenly outstanding.

Can you take a few more days? You could do a truly outstanding loop: Start at either Crescent Meadow or Wolverton. East on the HST to Bearpaw, Hamilton Lake, Kaweah Gap, Chagoopa Plateau, up the Kern. Leave the HST and go over Colby Pass. Down to Roaring River. Up through Deadman, over Elizabeth Pass, and back to where you left your car. Then, yes, carry some extra food so you can fit in a layover day somewhere like Big Bird or Tamarack Lake. :)

- Oleander

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Re: possible “loop” trips through Deadman Canyon

Post by grampy » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:16 pm

Oleander - I would LOVE to do the longer route you are suggesting; however my longest trips to date have been 7 days (with friends) or 3 days (solo). I feel I need to see how I do “mentally” on a 6 day solo trip before committing to a 9-10 (?) day one ... OR find a group that can go with me for that long. But I’m definitely adding it to my list of “future” trips. Thanks!

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