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Anyone done it?
“I'm thinking about doing this loop in September.
Anyone done it? Deets? Chanks.”
“no, I don't believe in Evolution Valley...
looks cool though - good luck if you end up going”
“I'm going to come out of it a higher being.”
“actually, I'm going on a trip with my uncle in the general area at the beginning of August, and Evolution Valley was one of the places that came up - still not sure exactly where we're headed. I'll confess that I haven't spent a lot of time in the Sierras, but if we end up going there or near there, I'll report back”
“Cool. It really does seem like an excellent loop trail. I've done most of the other sort of popular loop trails (cottonwood, rae lakes) so this would be something neeeeewwww...”
“I'm doing Evolution Valley 7/29 thru 8/3, hope to post some pics. Did 55 mile section from Cottonwood Lakes to Onion Valley. Beautiful area, had to get used to the elevation tho.”
“To do a loop in the E valley, where do you start and where do you finish? When I hiked thru there it was while doing the JMT, and it is a beautiful place. I hope you give yourselves adequate time to enjoy it.”
“Awesome, Eagle! I'll await your report. Just need to make a decision so I can get permits lined up. It's probably a go since it really does sound great.
Bob, you can go in a couple of different places, but I think the general entrance is North Lake and head east up through Paiute Pass. The exit is South Lake. You have to arrange for a shuttle or have two cars since there is, apparently, some distance between the two trailheads.”
“North Lake to South Lake is a classic loop. Figure a dozen or so miles between trailheads; most of the time can thumb a lift.
If starting at North Lake there is a campground at the trailhead. If it is full you can almost always find a sympathetic soul that will share a sliver of their campsite with you.
If time allows make the side trip from where the Piute Pass trail intersects the JMT down to the Blaney Meadows hot springs; enjoy the soak.
Evolution Valley is a most holy place, you'll be tempted to walk it barefoot. So beautiful. And camping at Evolution or Sapphire Lake is a must.
When you finally reach the first lake in Dusy Basin I suggest walking off trail to the northwest to the head of the lake or somewhere along the 2nd lake to camp. If you want to camp higher, then when aside the upper lakes head south 1/2 mile to a large lake. Either way, upper or lower lakes, if you get 1/2 mile from the Bishop Pass trail it'll feel as if you have all Dusy Basin to yourself.
Be prepared for a great trek!”
I've done most of that loop twice.
IMHO start at South Lk. it's much better to drop down from Dusy to Leconte than going up.
My 1st time we went from South Lk. to Florence Lk. "I walked across the Sierra!"
The 2nd time we exited over Lanark Col. That was one tough cross country.
Pretty amazing territory.”
“I've done S Lake to N Lake, managed a ride to my pickup, had to hike from N Lake to below Aspen before I got a ride, started too early that morn I guess, no one out driving. Some do the Lamark Col before hitting Piute Pass, which is WEST of North L. Tight parking at S Lake TH, get there early.”
“This has been on my list for awhile. I found this route while doing my research.
This looks like a great loop, but requires a short cross country off trail segment to connect the 2 trails.
It's a good alternate to the North/South lake route.
“All most excellent information, folks. I am thinking this hike is the one to do. Thank ye much!!”
“Great info! Thanks our trip starts at Florence Lake and we coming out at Bishop.”
“I wanna go!
I didn't request enough vacation this summer.”
“OK, so I am sorta torn on which hike to do. Starting at South Lake, cut it out at Lamarck Col or take it all the way around to Paiute. Looks like we shave a day or so off (preferable) if we do it out at Lamarck.
Any opinions? If we did Lamarck, could we do the hike in five days or is that unrealistic?
Final question: Which, in your opinion, is more picturesque: Hutchinson Meadow/Paiute Pass side or the Lamarck Col exit?
last edited: 7/06/09 10:24:07 AM”
“You won't miss much after you leave the Park, headed towards Hutchinson Meadow,or vice versa, some scenery. You will miss the mosquitoes at Hutchinson though. Going counter clock wise out of North Lake, a good climb getting to Evolution Meadow area.”
“Thanks duane. Since I last posted, I think I've settled on the Lamarck Col cut through to South Lake, but now I am trying to decide which side is a harder climb? Out of Dusy Basin and up Bishop Pass or cross-country out of Lamarck Col? My instinct tell me the Lamarck Col will be the harder hike but I am not certain.”
“If you can handle the first day of bping, you have it made. Going either way, you have lakes you can stay at the first night if you choose, before going over the top. I have been up and down at both ends, have yet to do the Lamarck Col though. David, (CABackpacker) can give you a better description I'm sure. Get an early start to beat the heat. Parking at South Lake is very limited and a couple of the bear boxes are broken or were last year. Watch or listen for rock slides going over Bishop Pass. Can't go wrong on most of the spots. Big Pete Meadow I would pass up unless you camp where the trail crosses a small creek, horse packers use it a lot, Little Pete is small, but has a few spots at both ends, close to the trail though.”
“Awesome. Thanks Duane. Yeah, a little more of a description of the Lamarck cut through would be most excellent.”
“This baby is signed, sealed and delivered! Good thing, too, since all of the reservations were about booked (they actually had to borrow from the next day to accomodate us, tho there are always leaves some spaces for walk-up, but several in our group are flying from across the country...). South Lake to North Lake via Lamarck Col cross-country -- 12K foot col to go up and over. This is gonna be a blast!!
Thanks again for all of the info, folks!”
“You and/or they will love the pretty lakes going up towards Bishop Pass. You will be wishing you had a weekend, just to explore all of those lakes. I was over Bishop, Thunderbolt and other passes last year on my mostly xc for the first four days, week long trip. Hit Amphitheater Lake and another lake way off trail on my route.”
“Awesome. We are coming down Bishop and will likely bail over the pass on the same day and check out some of those lakes in Dusy Basin.”
“Here's some info on fire near Bishop
last edited: 7/21/09 2:30:39 AM”
“Thanks for the heads up, eagleJ. My buddy heard about this yesterday when he called the Inyo NF rangers about bear can rental (only at White Mtn. Rangers Station, BTW).
Looks like they have it under control and that the burn is to the NE of Evolution (whew).”
“Did not see any smoke over the weekend or Monday. I had a special invite to visit in the Muir Trail Ranch area and we did a bp trip to Three Island, Marie, Sallie Keys lakes, then back down to visit the hot springs and home cooked food in the Blaney Mdw area. Florence Lake was down a couple feet from when we went in on Friday AM.”
“Hopefully everything will settle down by next week. I,m flying out there the 28th, to start hiking on the 29th.”
“I think you have to pay extra for a trail permit that defers lightening strikes.”
“We got rained on Friday afternoon, headed up to the switchbacks towards Sallie Keys, although we did not stay at Sallie Keys. The folks who stayed back down at Blaney Meadows said they saw some smoke on the mountain north of the meadows Sunday.
When I came thru Yosemite on Friday morning early, they were letting one small fire burn. Only some smoke from it, but burned along the road for aways. Coming back thru on Monday afternoon, no smoke from that fire. Nothing on the news about any fires.
Mosquitos were very pesky, may be better in a few weeks.”
“I was on the JMT in Yosemite Wed-Fri and luckily didn't see anything.”
“Our permit is starting at Pine Creek currently, going to try to switch to Piute Pass after we arrive. Any info on Pine Creek Pass trail, I've heard it's steep.”
“Pine Creek isn't steep, switchbacks up to the first lake. Not a real scenic trail, but if you take in the geology, you might grow to like it. Over the pass is so-so if headed to French Canyon, then the view opens up down the canyon, worth it. Watch out for the mosquitoes at Hutchinson Meadow. North Lake (Piute Pass) is steeper. Pine Creek trail at least uses easier switchbacks, but you still gotta make the elevation. You will slowly get to see the tungsten mine that operates periodically.”
“Thanks for the info hikerduane! I'm looking forward to getting out there, I'm sure it be great which ever route we get.”
“Anyone know what avg. night temps are this time of year?”
“Probably 40s, but be prepared for 30s. We got down to freezing on the JMT on July 14 at around 10,000 ft. elevation.”
“Hey all, got back from the Sierras Tues. ended up doing the South Lake to North Lake Loop. Thanks for the weather info Phil, I took my down jacket and got some good use out of it. I believe it got into the 20's in Humpherys Basin the last night. Here is a link to pictures. http://picasaweb.google.com/Bradleyx4/EvolutionValleyTrip?authkey=Gv1sRgCI2yv”
“OK. Glad it was a good trip! Couldn't find the South Lake to North Lake gallery.”
“EagleJ, you are correct. I was up in Humphreys Basin (and the general nearby area) last week and it was down to 21 at Paris Lake Thursday night... I'm guessing it was even colder - 21 is what the thermometer said the next morning when I finally braved the cold and got out of my (frost-covered) bag. Let me tell you, it was a very long night watching that moon creep across the sky”
“Alright! I'll take at look at those pics tonight. Our planned route is South Lake, down to the valley, up to Evolution lake and then cutting up to Darwin Lakes and out of Lamarck Col. Gonna be fuuuun!!! He eagle, where did you camp the first night? Did you make it up over Bishop?
When I called the other day and talked with the shuttle service last Thursday, they said a snow advisory was in full effect and they were expecting 1' of snow in the high country. Did you guys see any of that?”
“we got a grand total of 5 snowflakes. The sky looked ready to dump on us for about 3 days straight, but it never did. Still, there's plenty of snow in the higher passes - you'll probably have some in Lamarck”
“We camped in Dusy the 1st night, we got a rain about a mile after Bishop Pass and found a camping spot.
Rangers had to Helicopter Evac some guy out of Lamarck, broke ankle so be careful in there.”
“thanks for the heads up, eagle.”
“I woke up to a helicopter one of the mornings - now I know why. Thanks!
I also ran into a group of people who'd come up some unnamed pass behind Honeymoon Lake (in Pine Creek Pass) - one of the guys had fallen in the pass and cracked a rib. He was still hiking though”
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