Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar
valeofoakland
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:11 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: Oakland, CA

Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

Post by valeofoakland » Thu May 31, 2018 10:42 am

After having to bail on GCT trip from White Wolf (due to bridge damage), I got permits to enter Yosemite from Lukens Lake on June 30, exiting at Lembert Dome on July 4. I'll be with a couple of athletic, but beginner, backpackers, hence the 5 hiking days to do ~30 trail miles.

I'd love your tips on great places to camp along the route, particularly before the climb up to Ten Lakes Pass. I know that route through Ten Lakes can be warm and buggy and we'll be prepped for that. Are there good campsites at Halfmoon Meadow before the climb up? How about the area around Tuolumne Peak?

Thanks for suggestions!
Last edited by valeofoakland on Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.








User avatar
wildhiker
Topix Expert
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:44 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Re: Route/Camp Suggestions for Lukens Lake TH to Glen Aulin

Post by wildhiker » Thu May 31, 2018 6:30 pm

I did the trail up to Ten Lakes basin in 2016. You could camp at Halfmoon Meadow. Try leaving the trail as you spot the meadow and heading to the eastern end, where the stream should be flowing. Some flatter ground there in the forest near the meadow.

-Phil

User avatar
valeofoakland
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:11 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Route/Camp Suggestions for Lukens Lake TH to Glen Aulin

Post by valeofoakland » Thu May 31, 2018 7:07 pm

wildhiker wrote:I did the trail up to Ten Lakes basin in 2016. You could camp at Halfmoon Meadow. Try leaving the trail as you spot the meadow and heading to the eastern end, where the stream should be flowing. Some flatter ground there in the forest near the meadow.

-Phil
Thanks Phil!

User avatar
valeofoakland
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:11 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: Oakland, CA

Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

Post by valeofoakland » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:03 pm

Seeking some additional feedback about taking my 4 friends on this hike from Lukens Lake, having secured an entry permit for June 30: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/nnuyDL6TpjoytyZ5WaQ9yYQr

I'm a level 3/4 backpacker, but my friends are more like 1/2. I'm beginning to feel like the hike above may be too much for the less experienced hikers; particularly the stretch from Ten Lakes over Tuolumne Peak. I'm really interested in showing off our high Sierra to my New Englander friends ("Big Mountain scenery"). For anyone who's hiked this stretch, what do you think?

Here's our group profile:

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 1 terrain/trail hiking
- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country


What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Big Mountain scenery


How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead? 5/5

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers? 6-10; layover possible

Have you hiked at elevation before? Any prior issues with Altitude Sickness? We'll plan to acclimate in Tuolumne Meadows on June 29

Do you have a route logistics preference: loop, out and back, point to point (which may require 2 vehicles or hitchhiking)? We'll have 2 cars; open to all

Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in (Yosemite, SEKI, western sierra start or eastern start ect.)? Yosemite High Country, possibly Eastern Sierra


Thanks in advance. The HST community's input is so valuable!
Daniel

User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 10571
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

Post by maverick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:11 pm

As of June 13th, the following conditions are report for that area by Yosemite NPS:
Muddy conditions in Half Moon Meadow. Snow should be expected above 9500' in the Ten Lakes region, especially in the Lakes basin and Tuolumne Peak areas.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

User avatar
valeofoakland
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:11 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

Post by valeofoakland » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:45 pm

maverick wrote:As of June 13th, the following conditions are report for that area by Yosemite NPS:
Muddy conditions in Half Moon Meadow. Snow should be expected above 9500' in the Ten Lakes region, especially in the Lakes basin and Tuolumne Peak areas.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm
Thanks Maverick! I hadn't yet seen this update. We'll keep our eyes out for the next one and prep accordingly.

User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Docent
Posts: 4522
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:24 pm

Your proposed trip is hardly what I would call "big mountains". The Tuolumne area is known for horrible mosquitoes this time of year.

Here are some other suggestions:

Definitely "big mountains" can be seen at Cottonwood Lakes. Even though higher altitude, that part of the Sierra is drier and snow is already mostly gone and has less bugs. Depending on where you are driving from, it can be a long drive. Do you specifically want to stay on the northern Sierra?

Another big mountain area, easy access, and one of the most scenic in the Sierra are the Minarets. I just read a PCT'ers report last night that Island Pass is mostly snow-free now. To go in from Mammoth Lakes (Agnew trailhead) the Minarets Road should be open; if not you can still get in via Rush Creek (Silver Lake trailhead) without much snow. There will be mosquitoes.

Another really nice trip is into Hamilton Lake, from Lodgepole in SEKI, with a day-hike up to Keweah Gap. Only snow near the Gap. The trail is snow free to Precipice Lake now.

User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 10571
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

Post by maverick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:51 pm

To go in from Mammoth Lakes (Agnew trailhead) the Minarets Road should be open;
Opened on 6/15 at 5 pm.
Your proposed trip is hardly what I would call "big mountains". The Tuolumne area is known for horrible mosquitoes this time of year.
Agree on both of these assessments. Forget Minarets, just checked, no permits available, except for 2 slots on the 30th, on the River Trail, 1 slot of Fern Lake Trail, none on Rush, Shadow, High, Minaret, or Beck Lakes Trails.
Same for Cottonwood Lakes.
You can still try for the "Walk-In" permits for either of these location.

Inyo NF:
Walk in permits must be requested in person at the visitor centers. During the quota season (May 1 to November 1) walk in permits cannot be issued more than one day before the entry date. Permits are issued for same day entry or for next day entry; you must enter on the date stated.
• Walk-in permits are subject to space available* at the time the permit request is processed.
• Person requesting the permit will be listed as the group leader. Leader must be a person going on the trip and must be in person at the visitor center.
• Group leader can request a permit for the whole group; all members of the group do not need to be present.
• Leader responsibility includes the terms in Permit Policy
• Walk in permit cannot be held by phone or web.
• No night box service for walk in permits.
• Walk in permit is free.
*The amount of space available for walk-in permits may vary. For all trails except Mt Whitney, 40% of the quota space is saved for walk-in permit requests. In addition, space from any reservations that did not fully book, cancelations, group size reductions, and reservations that are not confirmed or picked up (No Show) will be made available for walk-in requests. Some specific trails are identified as non-quota and are only limited by maximum group size

During the quota season
The following permits can be issued starting at 8:00 am:

Walk-in permits for same day entry.
Reserved permits for same day entry, or up to 2 days before entry date.
Non-quota permits for same day, or up to 2 days before entry date.

The following permits can be issued starting at 11:00 am:

Walk-in permits for next day entry.
No show for same day entry.
Trips using Trail Crest exit to end at Whitney Portal are issued based on entry date.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

User avatar
wildhiker
Topix Expert
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:44 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Re: Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

Post by wildhiker » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:07 pm

Big mountains depends on your point of view.

I think your planned route has plenty of variety as an introduction to the Sierra. The Ten Lakes are pretty (I think the higher ones are nicer and accessible by use trails). I recall some nice views of Mt Conness and other big mountains on the Sierra crest from the ridge in the middle of the Ten Lakes Basin (heading out to Grand Mountain) on my trip in 2016. Also plenty of views of open ridges and slopes of granite! They don't see that in New England - too many trees. And your trip also includes the Waterwheel Falls area which is quite interesting.

Also, if our high Sierra is too much for your New Englanders and you can't hike as far as planned, you can always cut off the last section once you get down the east side of Tuolumne Peak by heading south down Murphy Creek (can camp at Polly Dome Lakes) to Tenaya Lake, where you can catch the shuttle back to Tuolumne Meadows, where one of your cars is presumably parked.

-Phil

User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1886
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Alternate Route Suggestions: Lukens Lake; Yosemite

Post by balzaccom » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:14 am

Absolutely correct, Phil. The.view from that ridge of Conness is a stuuner!
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jimcastleberry, kaberg1214 and 4 guests