Leavitt Meadows in the Hoover Wilderness to Kennedy Meadows in the Emigrant Wilderness
Leavitt Meadows -> Fremont Lake -> Cinko Lake -> Relief Reservoir -> Kennedy Meadows
September 14 to 17, 2012
Some of the soccer dads have been trying to do an annual hiking trip. I think this is the fourth year in a row now. The trip is meant to be laid-back and low-key. Last year we dragged the kids along with us but they're all off at college now so it was just the dads.
Jon, Greg, Peter and I started out from Leavitt Meadows mid-morning on Friday. Jon and I dropped a car at Kennedy Meadows on the way so we could hike through while the other guys would return to Leavitt Meadows a day earlier than us.
Leavitt Meadows is on the Eastern side of Sonora Pass. Shortly after starting out we entered the Hoover Wilderness. Our route had us following the West Walker River with our ultimate destination for the day being Fremont Lake. We arrived at Fremont in mid-afternoon, set up camp and began some serious hanging out. Peter caught a trout for an appetizer. A group of college kids arrived at the other side of the lake and had a rowdy swim. But they quieted down in no time and there was no one else at the the lake.
Inspired by a thread here I had an excellent fry pan pizza for dinner. Dehydrated pizza sauce, dehydrated olives and fresh pepperoni and mozzarella on naan bread. Outstanding but too heavy to pack on a "real" trip.
In the morning we set out for Cinko Lake. Somehow we missed our exit sign for the most direct route to Fremont and ended up farther west along the West Fork of the West Walker River. Too much talking on the trail, probably. We had originally intended to pass Chain of Lakes and the Long Lakes but this worked out as a fine alternate.
We shortly arrived in a large flat meadow. The river is really sort of like an estuary through this area with many ponds cut-off from the main river's flow. The fish in these ponds seem to be biding their time hoping for rain. They've almost made it, another month or so should do the trick. The landscape was VERY dry with many small creeks completely dried up.
We eventually climbed up alongside the main branch of the West Fork where good-size trout taunted me at every hole. They just didn't want what I was selling. We had a long lunch on rocks in the river studying what erosion can do to granite. Amazing.
After that it was a short jaunt up to Cinko, a very pretty lake on the approach to Emigrant Pass. We were at this lake by ourselves. In fact, once we passed the college kids in the morning we didn't see anyone all day. A decent sized trout managed to snap the end off my Tenkara rod. I had a spare - at home. That's the second time that's happened, I must be doing something wrong.
In the morning Peter and Greg returned to Leavitt Meadows while Jon and I set out for Kennedy Meadows by way of Emigrant Pass. The highlight of the trip for both of us was the bear we saw sprinting across the edge of the large meadow on the shoulder of Emigrant Pass. Once we got over Emigrant (really the shoulder of Emigrant) and Brown Bear Pass we started to run in to more people on the long walk down to Relief Reservoir. Hunters, mostly. We crashed at Relief and then headed out in the morning.
A very dry meadow near the West Fork of the West Walker River.
Me, technically on the PCT.
Looking back toward Cinko Lake from the shoulder of Emigrant Pass. The bear ran across the edge of this meadow.
Looking south from the top of Brown Bear Pass.