Kennedy Meadows Trailhead to Ridge Lake
6/6/10 to 6/8/10
I have been eying a trip to the series of lakes that sit below Granite Dome for over a year and I took advantage of the weekend to get there. I camped at the Kennedy Meadows Trailhead and set off early in the morning heading south and Saucer Meadow, where I departed from the trail shortly after.
The storm clouds were brewing in the east but the skies were clear to the west. Fortunately the lighting held off until I made it over the pass. I took shelter in a patch of trees, cooked some dinner and waited for the storm to pass.
After the storm passed I went out to see what lakes I could find. Ridge Lake was less than a half mile from the pass and it looked like a good place to set up camp.
The mosquitoes were fierce and were out for blood all night. I experienced mild condensation from the sleeping on the grass.
I fished a bit but only saw fingerlings, most of which were not even big enough to take my fly.
I attempted to do a loop back to the trailhead by traveling on a another cross-country route shown on my map that goes down to Lower Relief Valley. On the way down I passed Iceland Lake.
The cross-country trail shown on the map follows a stream out of Iceland Lake but the stream turns into a waterfall because it is so steep. I was within a couple hundred feet of the valley but I reached a point where I could not see a way down safely.
I was frustrated but I knew I had climb back up to Ridge Lake where I started and see if I could go out the same pass I came in. I missed the pass by a few hundred yards and ended up at Sardella and Lewis Lakes.
Although the scenery was nice, I was not happy about my navigating, it was getting late in the afternoon, storm clouds were building and I was tired. I backtracked again and found the correct way up to the pass, down the mountain and finally made it to the trail. I felt great to be back on the trail but I still had about 5 miles to get back to the trailhead. The rain and lightening started instantly and continued all the way back to the car. It was a rough few miles. My pants and boxers got wet and chaffed with every step, I had a mean blister on my toe that was becoming painful with every step and the rain was turning the horse $hit on the trail into soup. I was thankful to reach the car and conclude a great trip. I looked forward to making it back some time in the future.