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CA Eastern Sierra Route Needed
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Luymes Ted

Locale: So Cal.
CA Eastern Sierra Route Needed on 05/03/2010 20:54:58 MDT Print View

Great to have a UL forum for scouts!

Last year I lead a group of 10 scouts on a 4-day, 42 miler. It took lots of gear checking, but I made sure nobody's pack wieght at the TH exceeded 25 lbs -- most were well under. We hiked 10+ mile days easily.

This year I need to plan a 7-day trip in the Eastern Sierra. There are so many options. I'm too late to get permits for some of them.

Anybody got ideas?


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: CA Eastern Sierra Route Needed on 05/03/2010 21:00:03 MDT Print View

"Anybody got ideas"

Go in over Paiute Pass, down to the JMT, south on the JMT through Evolution Valley and on over Muir Pass. Exit via Dusy Basin and Bishop Pass.

There should be no problem obtaining a permit for Paiute Pass this early in the season. Bear canisters required in Dusy Basin/Bishop Pass area.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: CA Eastern Sierra Route Needed on 05/03/2010 21:11:14 MDT Print View

North Lake to South Lake is a nice loop, although I don't think you quite need a full seven days to do it (it's been a while; I don't recall the mileages), but if you added a side trip or two or a "zero day," it'd be a good loop.


Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: CA Eastern Sierra Route Needed on 05/03/2010 21:12:29 MDT Print View


Tom posted while I was composing my post. Same hike I believe. Here's a map link:,-118.62865&z=11&t=T&marker0=37.22671%2C-118.62788%2Cunnamed&marker1=37.23139%2C-118.65385%2Cunnamed&marker2=37.23873%2C-118.68427%2Cunnamed&marker3=37.25131%2C-118.71161%2Cunnamed&marker4=37.25756%2C-118.75414%2Cunnamed&marker5=37.26698%2C-118.78066%2Cunnamed&marker6=37.24399%2C-118.82315%2Cunnamed&marker7=37.22513%2C-118.83319%2Cunnamed&marker8=37.19478%2C-118.79371%2Cunnamed&marker9=37.18849%2C-118.74375%2Cunnamed&marker10=37.15300%2C-118.69569%2Cunnamed&marker11=37.11215%2C-118.67037%2Cunnamed&marker12=37.12358%2C-118.64453%2Cunnamed&marker13=37.09359%2C-118.59424%2Cunnamed&marker14=37.09496%2C-118.55733%2Cunnamed&marker15=37.11488%2C-118.54506%2Cunnamed&marker16=37.13062%2C-118.55132%2Cunnamed&marker17=37.15231%2C-118.55853%2Cunnamed&marker18=37.17071%2C-118.56471%2Cunnamed


Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
trip ideas on 05/04/2010 10:58:43 MDT Print View

1. South Lake to Sawmill Pass:

Sat to Saddlerock Lake
Sun over Bishop Pass to Dusy Basin, climb Mt. Agassiz
Mon to Palisade Basin, over xc pass climb North Palisade
Tues to Palisade Lake, over xc pass climb Sucker Peak (Jepson)
Wed over Mather pass, climb Split Pk
Thurs to Twin lakes
Fri to Woods Lake climb Cedric Wright, Coliseum
Sat over Sawmill pass to Sawmill Meadow
Sun to cars and home.

2. Cottonwood pack station to Symmes Creek

Sat: depart Cottonwood roadhead and proceed up Cottonwood Creek past Golden Trout Camp to South Fork Lakes area for camp (5 miles).

Sun: Ascend basin to New Army Pass for commanding view of Kern Basin and Trench as well as the Owens alley and Sierra Crest. Descent into Rock Creek basin past Rock Creek Lake, down the canyon to the9600 ft elevation for camp (9.5 miles).

Mon: Ascend the north side of the canyon, cross Guyot Creek to the saddle below Mt. Guyot. Hike to Crabtree Meadow and up the creek to Crabtree lakes for camp (9 miles). Layover day here.

Wed: hike back down Crabtree Creek to the meadow and join John Muir Trail. Proceeding North to Wallace Creek and climb Wallace Creek valley to timberline campsite (9 miles) . Have layover day.

Fri: return to John Muir Trail and hike to Wright Creek hike up the creek to timberline for camp (6 miles).

Sat: cross country over the ridge dividing Wright and Tyndall Creeks until we meet the Shepard Pass Trail. Then proceed over Shepard Pass and descend to Anvil Camp (5 miles.

Sun: Descend the eastern Sierra escarpment to the Symmes Creek roadhead. (7 miles) .

3. Toulumne Meadows to Devils Postpile

S Hike from Toulumne mdw to Rafferty creek
S Rafferty Creek to below Lyell Creek
M Lyell Creek, over Donahue and Island Pass, to Thousand island Lake
T Layover Day
W Thousand Island Lake to below Lake Ediza
T layover day
F lake Ediza to Trinity Lakes
S to Devils Postpile, get food drop, hike 2 miles out of DP

4. Devils Postpile to Lake Sabrina
S to Purple Lake
M over Silver Pass, to Quail Meadow
T to Lake Marie
W over Selmer Pass to Evolution Valley
T over #&%!$ for Brains Pass, to Midnight Lake
F to Lake Sabrina,

5. South Lake to Onion Valley

S start at South Lake, hike to Saddlerock Lake
S To Barrett lakes
M layover, climbed Polomonium, Sill
T to Palisade Lake
W over Mather Pass to Lake Marjorie
T over Pinchot Pass to Rae lakes
F To Onion Valley, over Glen, Kearsarge

6. Onion Valley to Mt. Whitney, Whitney Portals

S to Flower Lake
S over Kearsearge Pass to Bubbs Creek
M over Forester Pss to Wright lakes
T Layover
W another layover for Group A, to Wallace lakes for Group B
T To Hitchcock lake for Group A, layover at Wallace for Group B
F over Trail Crest to the Portal, to summit of Whitney
S out to trail head Group A, down to Whitney Portal Group B

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: CA Eastern Sierra Route Needed on 05/04/2010 18:11:17 MDT Print View

"I don't think you quite need a full seven days to do it"

I'd agree, Jim. I was keying off OP's mention of 10 mile days and thinking of opportunities for a couple of layover days for exploring. Two very nice ones that come to mind are Darwin Canyon and McGee Lakes, which are not far off the JMT, wasy hiking, and well worth exploring. One could even explore McGee Lakes Basin from a camp at Sapphire Lake. Then there is Humphreys Basin, although that comes early in the trip. Lots of possibilities, these are just a few.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: CA Eastern Sierra Route Needed on 05/04/2010 18:15:08 MDT Print View

"Last year I lead a group of 10 scouts on a 4-day, 42 miler"

I forgot to ask: How old are your guys?

Luymes Ted

Locale: So Cal.
My cup runeth over! on 05/04/2010 21:21:15 MDT Print View

Thanks, everyone! I can't wait to do one of these. Our boys are 12-16. Most are experience Sierra backpackers, but we'll have a couple newbies who are untested as yet. We'll be doing some shake-down hikes with full packs.


Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Another Eastern Sierra Loop on 05/05/2010 12:08:45 MDT Print View

Another Eastern Sierra Loop that I've been considering for myself is one out of Rock Creek. It would leave Rock Creek, head up over Mono Pass, go west towards Lake Edison, join the PCT/JMT and follow the PCT/JMT south to the trail that heads east to Lake Italy and Italy Pass, and then down to the Pine Creek roadhead. From the Pine Creek road head, you'd head north to Morgan Pass, and then drop down to your cars at the Rock Creek roadhead. See the map link below.

Caveat: I've done some sections of this trip, but I have not done this loop. In particular, I am not familiar with the area around the Pine Creek roadhead. I'm not sure if there would be any restrictions in that area or not due to apparent mining activities. My dad did this loop some years ago, so I believe it's doable, but you'd definitely want some more 411.

This route is definitely harder than the North Lake to South Lake route I outlined earlier. My Tom Harrison map shows the trail over Mono pass (a tough pass) as no longer being maintained. I've been over some of those unmaintained trails elsewhere before, and usually they're no problem, but something to bear in mind.


Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: CA Eastern Sierra Route Needed on 05/05/2010 12:14:05 MDT Print View

Tom listed my favorite suggestion. I would add a day at Darwin and another at Dusy exploring off trail. There are some other ineteresting off-trail exploring that can be done in Humphrey's Basin.