[pct-l] Off the beaten path

Jonathan Blees Jblees at energy.state.ca.us
Fri Apr 10 11:26:48 CDT 2009

Hello Giggles,

Gary, Reinhold, and Another Hiker (sorry, missed the name) have given excellent suggestions. (To save space while conserving the thread I have edited their posts.)  Here are a few more (sorry again that I don't have maps in front of me, so descriptions are a little sketchy).


* a few miles S of Forrester Pass, take a side trail to Lake South America, continue west and south along the base of the Great Western Divide, and loop back to the PCT.  10-15 miles of spectacular beauty; one of the best days of hiking I've ever had.

* a few miles N of Mather Pass, you can cross-country from the S end of the Palisades Lakes into Palisades Basin and thence into Dusy Basin (see Steve Roper's book The High Route).  You can climb Aggasiz (as Gary suggested) and then reverse his suggestion by heading down to Le Conte Ranger Station. Wild & exciting, and roughly 10 extra miles & a day more than staying on the PCT would take. 

* if you take Gary's advice and  
head up Piute Canyon from the San Jaoquin River, turning NW shortly before Piute Pass and heading into Humphrey's Basin (good advice!), you can return to the PCT by heading SW on the trail through French Canyon (which will make almost a loop), or you can continue your adventuring by continuing N and W, partly on trail and partly off, over Italy Pass, then W back to the PCT roughly 5 - 10 miles S of Lake Edison & Vermillion Valley Resort.  (Or, even more adventurous, go from Lake Italy over Gabbott Pass, then down Mono Creek to Lake Edison.) (See Roper's book for most of this.)  This bypasses Muir Trail Ranch, so you couldn't pick up a resupply there, and it bypasses Selden Pass and the lovely Marie Lakes; it would also add roughly two days of hiking. But Humphreys and Italy Basins are fabulous and IMO worth the loss of staying on the PCT. 

*  whether you take the JMT or the PCT N from Devils Postpile, be sure to take the use trail that circles past Cecile, Iceberg, and Ediza Lakes and puts you face-to-face with the Minarets. 

* go NE from Tuolemne Mdws past Gaylor Lakes and into Saddlebag Basin. Lots of fun alternatives here. 

* second most important piece of advice:  HYOH.

* most important:  have a great time!

Date: Thu, 9 Apr. 2009 19:31:41 +0000
From: <gwschenk at socal.rr.com>

Around the Whitney area . . . the High Sierra Trail over to the The Big Arroyo.

. . . a use trail south up Vidette Creek to the lakes. . . .  one of the best climbs in the Sierra is on Deerhorn Mountain.

. . . Bubbs Creek to Junction Meadow and then up the trail to East Lake.

>From Rae Lakes, you could take the trail west to Sixty Lakes Basin. Mt. Cotter is an easy climb . . . 

At the LeConte Ranger Station, you could climb up into Dusy Basin. Then from Bishop Pass climb Mt. Agassiz . . .
In Evolution Valley, you could cross country to Darwin Bench . . . 

At the Piute Pass Trail junction, you could head into Humphreys Basin . . . a side trail to Seven Gables . . . 

At Devil's Postpile . . .  check out Rainbow Falls.

In Yosemite, Cloud's Rest is a must see.


Date: Thu, 09 Apr 2009 12:49:50 -0700
From: Reinhold Metzger <reinholdmetzger at cox.net>
. . .  bagging Mt. Whitney,
14,494 and Mt. Langley, 14,027 just south of Whitney and west of Rock Creek.

The Sixty Lake Basin just east of Rae Lakes . . . 

. . . Banner, 12,936 and Ritter, 13143 and the Minarets towering over Garnet & Thousand Island . . . 

. . .  consider camping at Rae, Garnet, and Thousand Island Lakes . . . 
JMT Reinhold

Another hiker wrote:

Bag the highest peaks in the three ranges in SoCal- the three saints . . . San Jacinto . . . 
San Gorgonio . . . San Antonio (Mt Baldy) . . . 

--- On Wed, 4/8/09, Nia Schmald <nschmald1 at yahoo.com wrote:
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 10:27 PM

I have this fantasy that I'll have so much energy and time this summer that I can take my time on the hike.  I'd like to see some areas on the wider pct corridor.  What are some favorite spots within a day hike or 
overnighter off of the pct?


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