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Bay Area Backcountry Buddies Message Board › John Muir wilderness on 6/29 - 7/7

John Muir wilderness on 6/29 - 7/7

A former member
Post #: 19
I am going for a week-long (9 days) trip to Red Mountain basin of John Muir wilderness. The idea is to make a loop of 4-5 hikes of 2-3-4 hours each, interleaved with layover days for fishing/exploration. Overall schedule is relaxed, but some hikes will be off trail, moderate to strenuous. Anyone interested to join, please post here and/or e-mail me directly.
A former member
Post #: 832
That's a really long time to spend in a small lakes basin.

I recommend - if you are ok with class 2-ish cross country passes - heading up from Big Shot over Lucifer's Pass into Bench, which has some awesome fishing for rainbows. Also don't neglect a visit to the lake above Hell for Sure Lake - you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Climbing Hell for Sure Pass just to look over into Kings Canyon would be a nice view - you can see Mt Goddard and Goddard Canyon. Great 360 of the area too.

A former member
Post #: 20
Thanks for the inormation, Lori. The lake above Hell - do you mean Arctic Lake?

Maybe, my definition of a "basin" was too loose: there are scores of lakes between several major peaks, even a month won't be enough to check them all. As I recall, forest in some valleys around Kings is so deep that the pack hinders between the trees, I don't expect moving too fast.
A former member
Post #: 833
There are lake basins separated by peaks and ridges - Red Mountain is one, Bench Valley another, and Blackcap Basin yet another. Blackcap is IMO the more alpine scenic of the three. Bench is nice subalpine terrain until you get down to around Guest Lake where the trail vanishes in blown down trees briefly. From Guest you can take the class 2 pass to Blackcap instead of hiking many miles around by trail. Staying on trails means long descents to the river, and then climbing back up 1 - 2000 feet in elevation to get back into the next lake basin.

Once you are in the lake basins the trees open up and hiking is less like bush whacking. We traveled lake to lake in Red Mountain across open granite and then through open forested slopes.

Arctic Lake some time in the past was planted with goldens. Hell for Sure had mostly brook trout as so many of the other lower lakes did.

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