TR: Kennedy Meadow/Dorothy Lake/Leavitt Meadow, 8/27-9/3/16

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jimmeans
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TR: Kennedy Meadow/Dorothy Lake/Leavitt Meadow, 8/27-9/3/16

Post by jimmeans » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:34 pm

This is the second year now that I've gone on a group trip with Roger, an old high school friend who originally introduced me to backpacking. In 2015 we backpacked in Idaho which was the first backpacking trip for me outside of California. This year we were hiking in California, but this time there were 8 participants which was another first for me. We all met up in Bridgeport the night before starting the trip, and the packs were checked and double-checked.

Day 1
We started at the Kennedy Meadow trailhead just west of Sonora Pass off of highway 108. Following the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River we hiked into the Emigrant Wilderness. We hiked past Relief Reservoir and then followed Summit Creek towards the east. We stopped and camped on the first night just past the point where the creek that drains Lewis Lake meets Summit Creek. On that first day I immediately saw the impact of having 8 in our group: it's hard to find a campsite big enough. Sometime early during this day I inadvertently put my camera into a black and white mode, so my photos are different. For this trip we carried the fixings for a steak dinner which enjoyed immensely on the first night out.
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Re: TR: Kennedy Meadow to Dorothy Lake to Leavitt Meadow, Au

Post by jimmeans » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:39 pm

Day 2
On day 2 we continued east along Summit Creek towards Brown Bear Pass. The geology in this area is very interesting. North of us was the volcanic rock from recent volcanic activity, and on the south was the granitic rock that I'm more familiar with in the Sierra. After crossing Brown Bear Pass we hiked to Emigrant Meadow Lake. This lake is pretty shallow and was formed by building a crude low dam. The lake is very swampy as you get near the shoreline. We were able to find a campsite in a boulder hill just to the northeast of the lake, and we found a good water source in the creek coming down from High Emigrant Lake.
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Re: TR: Kennedy Meadow to Dorothy Lake to Leavitt Meadow, Au

Post by jimmeans » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:46 pm

Day 3
On day 3 we continued east towards Grizzly Peak. The trails in this region follow a lot of old mining roads, so they are relatively easy to follow. As we approached Grizzly Peak there are several small lakes or tarns that could make decent campsites. After reaching the foot of Grizzly Peak we continued through the Summit Meadow area, and then after a short steep climb we reached Bond Pass and entered Yosemite National Park. From there it was a short downhill to Dorothy Lake. We were hoping to camp at the west end of the lake, but we found this area occupied by a large horse-supported group. We continued along the north shore and found a very nice spot near the east end of the lake on a bluff overlooking the lake. We proceeded to setup our campsite where we planned to stay for 3 nights.
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Re: TR: Kennedy Meadow to Dorothy Lake to Leavitt Meadow, Au

Post by jimmeans » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:49 pm

Day 4
This was the first of two layover days. We had a fish fry planned for the evening, and the plan was that we would wait until late afternoon before we started keeping the fish that we would cook. The idea was that we wanted the freshest fish possible. We waited until 4PM before those designated to fish went to work, and it got pretty breezy. People had been catching and releasing fish for a day and a half, and now suddenly we couldn't catch any when we planned to eat them!! Finally somebody caught one, and then I caught two on consecutive casts. The jinx had been broken, and we ended up with plenty of fish for everybody.
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Re: TR: Kennedy Meadow to Dorothy Lake to Leavitt Meadow, Au

Post by jimmeans » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:55 pm

Day 5
Second layover day. Today several of us went on a short day hike to the cirque beneath Forsyth Peak.
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Re: TR: Kennedy Meadow to Dorothy Lake to Leavitt Meadow, Au

Post by jimmeans » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:00 pm

Day 6
On day 6 we hiked over Dorothy Lake Pass entering the Hoover Wilderness and followed the PCT for a short distance. We eventually branched off of the PCT and went to Cinko Lake where we camped.
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Re: TR: Kennedy Meadow to Dorothy Lake to Leavitt Meadow, Au

Post by jimmeans » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:05 pm

Day 7
Another moving day. Our plan was to hike down the West Fork of the West Walker River and then divert to Fremont Lake and camp there. We reached Fremont Lake by lunch time, and since we weren't really satisfied with the camp spots there we decided to hike further to shorten tomorrow's hike. We eventually camped just off the trail below Hidden Lake.
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Day 8
Last day. Hiked the rest of the way to the Leavitt Meadow trailhead.
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Re: TR:Kennedy Meadow/Dorothy Lake/Leavitt Meadow, 8/27-9/3/

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:38 pm

Next time you go over Brown Bear Pass, take a side-trip to Lost Lake. It is crawling with fish! Nice route. I have done all of it as parts of other routes. I particularly liked all the girl-named lakes like Stella Etc. Wow, it looks really dry. Hopefully this winter will green things up again.

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Re: TR:Kennedy Meadow/Dorothy Lake/Leavitt Meadow, 8/27-9/3/

Post by balzaccom » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:29 pm

Looks like you had a great trip!

Like Daisy, I love those girl-named lakes. It would be easy to spend quite a few days poking around there...
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Re: TR:Kennedy Meadow/Dorothy Lake/Leavitt Meadow, 8/27-9/3/

Post by oldranger » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:35 am

What a great, and different route! I hate the tension created when I "have" to catch fish for dinner like you had to at Dorthy Lake. Usually decide it is time for fish dinner when I catch a couple of suitable fish after 3 in the afternoon and try to make sure that I have alternative options if I don't catch fish.
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