humphreys basin trail

I lost the trail for a bit as it went up a hill towards Loch Leven, but for the most part it was melted out until quite close to the pass. Over Piute Pass (11,423) the trail drops into Humphreys Basin, loaded with many high alpine lakes. Strenuous when done with only one overnight stay. The trail sweeps around the basin before eventually joining the creek. This country is rugged and rocky with sheer cliffs of granite and rough boulder slopes. Humphrey peak is also accessible from this location via the Weatherford Trail and continues north (follow trail signs). 1.0 mile to the peak on the Summit Trail. Hikers begin coming to the basin before the snows have completely melted from the trail. Scorching sun, cold wind up top, stunning views. The Humphreys Basin is accessed from the North Lake campground, 20 miles southwest of Bishop. 51 View of glacial cirque, ridges, and moraine in the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks. Copyright © 2018 Coert Vonk, All Rights Reserved. Unseen above you to the north lie the Marmot and Humphrey lakes, whose outlets you splash across where they nourish trail side high camp sites with panoramic views cling to the open slopes between the trail and these remote lakes. I'm looking to explore the a number of High Sierra lakes in California's John Muir Wilderness; specifically in Humphreys Basin. Inter-lake trails are not denoted on the USGS maps. trail begins at the camp ground and heads south across 2 footbridges through a grove of aspen trees. We could taste it and even feel it in the air. Lower Lamarck Lake lies in a small granite basin, Cross the stream and outlet and follow the flowered trail to the upper lake. Destination for this bonus trip was to be up and over Piute Pass and into the Humphreys Basin region of the Eastern Sierra, during the third week of June. From here you can overlook Arizona Snowbowl to the west and the lush inner basin and Lockett Meadow to the east. First, we will visit Humphreys Basin, in the shadows of massive Mount Humphreys and the Glacier Divide. Black bears have been known to stroll right through groups of picnickers without so much as a glance at … Enjoys to inspire and consult with others to exchange the poetry of logical ideas. Pine Creek Trailhead can be reach by driving west off Hwy 395 through Rovanna and up to a rugged parking area south of the Tungsten Mill. It was absolutely amazing. The Piute Pass trail eases up through a forest of lodgepole and quaking aspens before following the North Fork of Bishop Creek; Paintbrush, Columbine and Penstemon flank the trail as one climbs higher near the rusty cliffs of the Piute Crags and Mt. Away from it, be ready for cross-country hiking that grades from easy off-trail to enjoyable but demanding boulder scrambling. The weather was sunny and perfect. Additional Info: Humphreys Summit Trail. Emerson and the reddish Piute Crags are seen. To stand on the roof of the state, take a short trip from Flagstaff up to the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. Humphreys Basin Trail is a 8.2 mile out and back trail located near Bishop, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. 50. This area is all pretty rough country, without a designated trail for most of the trip. Old Trail The trail you are on is an old forest service road. The trail then ascends moderately again. These sites and others in Humphreys Basin make fine base camps for exploring the basin’s wonders. A fairly easy trail leads to the top of Piute Pass. A base camp there give you access to countless high-country delights. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and fishing and is best used from July until September. On the knolls, small white bark pines shelter little flats overlooking the water, which mirrors the Glacier Divide. Additional Info: Humphreys Summit Trail. If you missed the use trail to the Desolation lakes, you can follow the outlet northward from here. About a mile or so west of Piute Pass, there’s a use trail that leads north into Humphreys Basin. Puppy and I had a blast. Inner Basin is the only place in Arizona that mountains higher than 11,000 feet surround you. Start at Lockett Meadow, which is 7.1 miles to the peak, but has more gradual elevation gain. Best season mid to late. Humphreys Peak is the eroded remnant of an ancient volcano that was active more than 400,000 years ago. To the south, the Glacier Divide, with its lingering snowfields, catches the last rays of light at day’s end in the warmth of alpine glow. The Lamarck Lake. Humphreys Basin offers excellent cross-country day hiking to dozens of lakes. Climbing glacier carved granite benches, the trail passes Loch Leven, Piute Lake and many smaller lakes and ponds on the way to the pass. Is there a log that associates pictures with their locations ? The two of us are fairly fit, so we laid out a somewhat ambitious itinerary. Aspen is left behind, the lodge pole becomes sparse, and some limber pine is seen. The newcomer to the High Sierra will marvel at how the great granite slabs maintain their precarious perches atop Peak 12691, seeming to be almost vertically above him or her. Through a cover of sparse lodgepole and white bark, winds among large, round boulders, arriving at the next bench up the canyon, which contains this Piute Lake (3340 m). (The old trail that followed the creek down to the bottom of the cirque has been abandoned.) This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. After 5 miles, cross Piute Pass for outstanding views of Humphreys Basin, Piute Canyon, and the Glacier Divide and continue into Piute Canyon. The use trail continues gently climbing and meandering through the rocks on its way to Desolation Lake. Rees Peak and Abineau Peak are not real peaks, just named high points on Humphreys ridge. We hit the trailhead at approximately 7:30 a.m. Use stoves; downed wood is very scarce to non-existent here. The basin also serves as the headwaters of Piute Creek. It’s easy to find and follow, and pretty gentle hiking. North Lake Loop via Lamarck Col and Alpine Col, Piute Pass Trail to Muir Trail Ranch via Florence Lake and John Muir Trails, Bishop Pass from Dusy Basin to South Lake, Lake Sabrina to Midnight Lake and Hungry Packer Lake. There are peaks to bag, ranging from difficult Mt Humphreys (Class 4 by the easiest route) to gentle, unnamed knobs. This glaciated canyon is flanked by slab topped Peak 12691 on the south and Mt Emerson (3998 m) on the north. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and backpacking. Yellow-bellied marmots can be seen sunning on rock… It is an easy hike up to and over Piute Pass, and I set up camp at one of the many unnamed lakes below Mount Humphreys. Overview 3.7 miles on the Inner Basin Trail #29 to the Weatherford Trail #102. Wildflowers and waterfalls galore. Dominated by 13,986-foot Mt. I took my first backpack trip at age thirteen while attending summer camp in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada. What makes it great is the scenery. The Trip. Summit Lake. This is a shuttle hike of Humphreys Peak which combines the Humphreys Peak Trail and the Humphreys via Inner Basin hike. Not quite as popular or scenic as the South Lake to Bishop Pass Trail, Piute Pass Trail to Humphreys Basin has its own fan base. Beyond, spreads Humphreys Basin. Your email address will not be published. The Bear Basin is one of the most discussed off-trail areas of the Sierra. The use trail continues gently climbing and meandering through the rocks on its way to Desolation Lake. Once over the pass I turned right and headed deeper into the Humphreys Basin. Thanks, great pix. The Piute Pass Trail is a gentle 2,000 ascent up a gorgeous canyon over five miles. Why you should go: A longer, more beautiful route to the summit. The Piute Pass trail leads into Humphreys Basin a good camp spot for climbs on the west side of Mount Humphreys. Our goal? Saturday morning it was raining lightly as we headed up the trail toward Piute Pass. That said, the Inner Basin Trail ranks right up there, despite its obvious demerits: It’s crowded and it’s not especially difficult. I downed some trail mix and water and then started down the trail on the other side. Less than fun. I was able to get the second-to-last available permit on the 11th, so woke up early on the 12th, made the final drive from Mammoth to the North Lake trailhead, and started hiking about 7:30. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. This page describes the simplest and most popular way to the summit via the Humphreys Trail (#151). There is a popular multi day 48 mile loop hike from North Lake to South Lake or the reverse out of Bishop that takes in both these Interested in the locations of your pictures of your Humprey’s Basin trip. Humphrey's Peak, Weatherford and Kachina Trail Loop is a 18.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. I foolishly (but somewhat entertainingly) went down a nearly vertical snow scarp at the top of a slope. [gview file=”http://www.coertvonk.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Coert-North-Lake-to-Humphreys-Basin.tpo-Map-Level-5.pdf”]. If you choose to skip the climb, you can keep heading in deeper, toward the north side of Desolation Lake. The John Muir Trail (JMT) threads its way through Evolution Basin in Kings Canyon. Climbing glacier carved granite benches, the trail passes Loch Leven, Piute Lake and many smaller lakes and ponds on the way to the pass. Pass Hutchinson Meadow and descend Piute Creek. Your email address will not be published. Wander off-trail through three remote high alpine basins and two of the Mono Recesses, in the heart of the John Muir Wilderness. Here in midsummer you will probably pass through a “road cut” in a show bank, created by packers using sand and shovels. Below you to the south, the headwaters of Piute Creek spill ribbon like down the basin, forming a lake here, a pond there. Many people are satisfied with turning around here, at a breath-taking elevation of 11,800 feet. Desolation Lake. Below Summit Lake bear right at an intersection towards Desolation Lake. Humphreys in the morning. Still a tiny bit of snow near the pass but 99% clear. From here, Steelhead Lake, to the north, is a good spot to set up for the night. There were no takers. The trailhead was a very familiar spot that I have photographed many times through the years during fall colors- North Lake. 6 day backpacking trip, much of it off-trail, out of North Lake, near Bishop. Distance: 14 miles; Elevation Gain: 4,700 Feet; Difficulty: Challenging; The longest and most challenging hike on the list is arguably the most spectacular too. The Trip Wander off-trail through three remote high alpine basins and two of the Mono Recesses, in the heart of the John Muir Wilderness. Why you should go: A longer, more beautiful route to the summit. This beautiful area is just 20 miles west of Bishop, CA. Shortly after leaving the trail head (2853 m), this route enters John Muir Wilderness and then ascends gently along slopes dotted with meadowy patches, aspen groves and stands of lodgepole pine. Entering the high country above Loch Leven, the glaciated canyon is floored with smooth granite and small alpine meadows. Since that time I've been on many backcountry trips, often leading kids on their first-ever journeys into the wilderness. Piute Creek. The trail is generally low angle and easy to travel on. Most trail maps are somewhat vague and multiple use trails cross the basin. Due to the presence of giardia, all drinking water should be treated or boiled at least 3 minutes. Entering the high country above Loch Leven, the glaciated canyon is floored with smooth granite and small alpine meadows. There are fine views north-east to Mt Humphreys and west to Pilot Knob. The trail is easy. The trek to Humphreys Peak is about five miles each way and most of that time is spent in the forest. It is a high elevation glacial basin mostly over 11,000 feet in elevation. Go 18 miles from Bishop on highway 168 almost to Lake Sabrina and turn right on a dirt road. North Lake Fall Colors Beyond Piute Pass the trail gives access to Humphreys Basin, with an abundance of high alpine lakes and tarns on the north side of Glacier Divide. Humphreys Trail No. As you enter the Inner Basin, from right to left, you have Rees Peak (11,474 feet), Abineau Peak (11,878 feet), Humphreys Peak (12,633 feet), Agassiz Peak (12,356 feet), Fremont Peak (11,969 feet), and Doyle Peak (11,460 feet). This scenic basin is relatively easy to reach and offers more solitude than many areas of the High Sierra, combined with a variety of recreation opportunities, most notably trout fishing. Humphreys Via Inner Basin. The Humphreys Basin is sufficiently open to make cross-country hiking a delight. I planned this trip with my good friend Braden. Easy Facts: 14 miles round trip. I was able to get the second-to-last available permit on the 11th, so woke up early on the 12th, made the final drive from Mammoth to … Those heading for the camp sites on the knolls around Upper Golden Trout Lake, about 1/2 a mile south depending on your route, will spy some use trails or find a cross-country route down the shrubby slopes of the lake. The intricate, twisting beauty of the basin’s many stream channels surpasses any human design. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Weather permitting, you can plan to climb Mt. Starts at North Lake. Humphreys Basin will take your breath away! Beyond Piute Pass the trail gives access to Humphreys Basin, with an abundance of high alpine lakes and tarns on the north side of Glacier Divide. Passionately curious and stubbornly persistent. From Piute Lake, the trail ascends an open, rocky slope to tree line overlooking alpine meadows threaded by streamlets and dotted with bright pools. Follow the Weatherford for 2.45 miles to the Humphreys Summit Trail. Piute Pass Trail is the most direct line to Humphreys Basin and surrounding peaks such as Muriel Peak, Mount Emerson and Mount Humphreys in the Sierra Nevada Range, California. Animals you may spot in this high country include porcupine and elk. I wouldn’t see another hiker until I reached camp that evening. Last time I was in Humphreys Basin smoke from the Rim Fire in Yosemite came our way and smoked us out. I headed out on a solo 5 day/4 night trip to the French Canyon and Humphreys Basin via Piute Pass on August 12. Beautiful trail, moderately steep climb. Humphreys Basin Still some flowers out here A tarn below Lower Desolation Lake We headed north from the campsite, eventually finding the trail heading past Lower Desolation Lake and going on to Desolation Lake itself. After a few hundred feet turn right again and go 2 miles to a backpacker’s parking area just west of North Lake. Distance: 14 miles; Elevation Gain: 4,700 Feet; Difficulty: Challenging; The longest and most challenging hike on the list is arguably the most spectacular too. As long as you end up headed down Piute Creek, you are good. Lower Golden Trout Lake is closed to camping within 500 feet of its shoreline. The Inner Basin is Arizona’s own little version of the Alps, and the hike that takes you there is as good as it gets when autumn rolls around. About a mile or so west of Piute Pass, there’s a use trail that leads north into Humphreys Basin. North Lake – Piute Pass/Humphries Basin: Departing from the North Lake Trailhead (9,320 ft), the Piute Pass trail ascends to Piute Pass (el 11,423 ft) in 5 miles and offers an outstanding view of Humphrey’s Basin (10 miles RT). But they all topple eventually, due to the action of frost wedging, and add to the piles of talus at the foot of the peak. Emerson. In season you will be greeted by a wealth of wild flowers in these little meadows and in the sandy patches among the granite slabs (paintbrush, columbine, tiger lily, spiraea and penstemon). Head over Piute Pass, through Humphreys Basin and down to Hutchinson Meadow. You can easily spend a day rambling up and down one. This trek samples some really fine alpine and sub-alpine scenery, and spices it up with some relatively easy off-trail hiking. Humphreys at its eastern boundary along the Sierra Crest, the lake-filled basin boasts expansive views in all directions. There is a camp site north of the trail, near the lake’s west end. Plus you get a great view of Mt Humphreys. Required fields are marked *. At a point where the main trail is above and north of a small lake with a green island, you meet the unmarked use trail north to the Desolation Lakes. At approximately 4 miles the trail tops out at the saddle between Humphreys Peak and Agassiz Peak. Plus you get a great view of Mt Humphreys. Basin is just north of the more famous Evolution Basin and is separated by the Glacial Divide. The Piute Pass trail eases up through a forest of lodgepole and quaking aspens before following the North Fork of Bishop Creek; Paintbrush, Columbine and Penstemon flank the trail as one climbs higher near the rusty cliffs of the Piute Crags and Mt. View into the interior of the Inner Basin along Humphreys Trail No. Those intrigued by the Desolation lakes’ reputation for fishing and fond of treeless, open camps will find a camp site or two east of the use trail above Lower Desolation Lake, and some wind-raked flats among the great white boulders surrounding aptly named Desolation Lake. Also during winter and spring time months when covered by snow via traversing the eastern face of Agassiz to gain the saddle between Humphrey's Peak and Agassiz Peak. About a mile below the pass, I departed from the trail and walked across gorgeous Humphreys Basin. The trail offers quick access to scenery at Loch Leven and Piute Lake before reaching the pass. As ever, J and I had made the usual attempts to invite certain people on this easy trip. The Inner Basin Trail is one of the premier hikes on the San Francisco Peaks. After some research I decided to try a popular trail to Humphreys Basin via the Piute Pass. North leads up the rocky ridge for the final push to the summit. First, we will visit Humphreys Basin, in the shadows of massive Mount Humphreys and the Glacier Divide. Sooner than you might expect, it switch backs up to the last traverse before Piute Pass. Approaching Loch Leven, the trail levels off. Even m’dear Robin had to bail out, as it was the weekend before her finals. Emerson. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and fishing and is best used from July until September. Gordon came up from Idyllwild to Lone Pine on Friday afternoon and we drove up to Pine Creek to leave his pickup truck where we would come out, then drove to North Lake and camped out in my car on a rainy night. The main trail continues to descend to the cascading outlet of the Desolation lakes – the last reliable water before Hutchinson Meadow in a dry year. Humphreys Basin Trail is a 8.2 mile out and back trail located near Bishop, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Sierra High Country Odyssey: Humphreys Basin Loop, 8-09 6 day backpacking trip, much of it off-trail, out of North Lake, near Bishop. The trail leading into the heart of the ancient volcano begins in beautiful Lockett Meadow. You then head south on the JMT, along the river until you reach the junction with the Goddard Canyon Trail. The trail connects with a larger network that includes the Weatherford Trail, Kachina Trail, and Inner Basin Trail. Yellow-bellied marmots can be seen sunning on rocks or dashing into the shadows. It’s easy to find and follow, and pretty gentle hiking. The trail starts at the Arizona Snowbowl and winds steeply up to Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet. Then the trail heads across Humphreys Basin and down along Piute Creek until it reaches the San Joaquin River and the bridge that crosses you into Kings Canyon National Park and the John Muir Trail. From huge, barren Desolation Lake to lightly forested, turquoise Packsaddle Lake. Rees Peak and Abineau Peak are not real peaks, just named high points on Humphreys ridge. Only certain vehicles are … On August 7-15, 1982, Gordon Lee and I set out to explore the Desolation Basin/Humphreys Basin. This backpack begins at the North Lake (2853 m) trail head. You must walk the last .5 mile to the trail head beyond the camp ground. Humphreys Basin August 2005 Arlo, Marshall and David spend a week backpacking in the High Sierra west of Bishop, California. This trek samples some really fine alpine and sub-alpine scenery, and spices it up with some relatively easy off-trail hiking. Geology (from photographs) appears severe with rock, scree, and debris, Topography appears manageable, and the vegetation appears sparse. From the upper part of the trail, views of Mt. I headed out on a solo 5 day/4 night trip to the French Canyon and Humphreys Basin via Piute Pass on August 12. Ends at Upper Golden Trout Lake. This popular trail will take you to the highest point in Arizona and atop the San Francisco Peaks. All hikers should be prepared for the changing weather conditions in the high country, Thunderstorms can appear suddenly without warning bringing cold rains and snow at any time of the year. At the pass (3482 m) there are grand views west to Pilot Know and the canyon of the South Fork San Joaquin river, south to Glacier Divide (the north boundary of Kings Canyon Nat’l Park) and north over barren blue lakes to the unnamed ridge (separating Humphreys Basin from French Canyon and to Mt Humphreys). Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Like Lockett Meadow and the Inner Basin Trail, these woods are full of beautiful aspens and, if you’re hiking in the fall, golden autumn leaves. After the trail fords and quickly refords the North Fork Bishop Creek, the ascent becomes moderate. Learn how your comment data is processed. The first great reward comes at the Humphreys-Agassiz saddle, where the trail tops out the ridge between these two monstrous peaks and overlooks the Inner Basin falling away into the distant Painted Desert. The trails move across the North side of the basin and continue out of the area. Traversing one of the most incredible aspen groves on the mountain, it’s also the only place in Arizona where you can be surrounded on all sides by high peaks topping out between 11,000 and 12,000 feet above sea level. Below, the Golden Trout lakes gleam down in the cirque bottom. Humphreys Via Inner Basin. The rocky-dusty main trail descends briefly towards pale blue Summit Lake and then curves north west high above the lake, along the three less edge of the great cirque that is Humphreys Basin. There are a variety of use trails, but as long as one knows the general direction one is heading, going too far astray is difficult. We woke at sunrise at the North Lake Campground, had breakfast and coffee, and broke camp. Us are fairly fit, so we laid out a somewhat ambitious itinerary ). Up for the final push to the east push to the presence of giardia, all drinking should. You get a great view of Mt Humphreys at an intersection towards Desolation Lake to lightly forested, Packsaddle... 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