Forum Index » Post-Trip Reports » Bench Lake via Taboose Pass, Kings Canyon NP, California: A tough climb to a magical and remote Sierra lake


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Larry Sullivan
(150mph) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
Bench Lake via Taboose Pass, Kings Canyon NP, California: A tough climb to a magical and remote Sierra lake on 07/08/2012 02:24:25 MDT Print View

Here are some pix from my 3 day hike over Taboose Pass to Bench Lake in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada of Central California last Fall. More photos and a trip report on my site PlanetRambler.com

1
The trail follows the greenery snaking up the mountain, which hides Taboose Creek rushing down from perennial snowfields high above.

2
Looking back east at the high walls towering over the plateau at the end of treeline.

3
Bench Lake lies high on a shelf above the intersection of two deep valleys. Towering above is 12,958 ft. Arrow Peak.

4
The next morning brings another brilliant Sierra day for the last few miles to Bench Lake. Taboose Pass from the West.

5
Arrow Peak from an inlet on the east shore of Bench Lake.

6
North across the deep valley to Cartridge Pass, entrance to the remote Lakes Basin region. Cartridge Pass was the original route of the John Muir Trail before construction of the Golden Staircase portion north of Mather Pass.

7
The final morning, I explored the south side of Bench Lake. It's a tangle of gorgeous inlets and peninsulas which offer little flat ground on which to camp.

8
In this view east, you can see how the high layered walls of Taboose Pass appear deceptively impassible from below.

9
Clouds swirl in and purple shadows quickly fill the Owens Valley.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Bench Lake via Taboose Pass, Kings Canyon NP, California: A tough climb to a magical and remote Sierra lake on 07/08/2012 10:57:01 MDT Print View

Larry, great pics and thank you for sharing. My crew were driving down 395 yesterday and there was a HUGE plume of smoke along the area where Taboose is. I sure hope they got that extinguished as that is a great area!
BTW, 395 was closed in both directions for an long periods of time as the CDF were fighting smaller lightening strike fires along the highway. Everyone was concerned with being stuck and not noticing what was happening above them in the hills....

Sorry for the hijack. Again, fantastic pics!

Edited by kennyhel77 on 07/08/2012 10:57:36 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
taboose. on 07/08/2012 11:00:32 MDT Print View

Going over Taboose has been on my list for a very long time. Great to see a nice trip report and amazing pictures of the area.

Thanks!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Bench Lake via Taboose Pass, Kings Canyon NP, California: A tough climb to a magical and remote Sierra lake on 07/12/2012 19:21:22 MDT Print View

"Here are some pix from my 3 day hike over Taboose Pass to Bench Lake in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada of Central California last Fall."

Excellent pics, Larry. Thanks for posting. That sure is a beautiful area.