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Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?

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avatar Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 10, 2015 12:02PM
Hi all, nice quick one this...

Is it possible to hike cross country from Young Lakes, to the top of Cold Canyon/Virginia Canyon?

I've got a Wilderness Permit for the 8th August, to Young Lakes, via Glen Aulin. It's not what I originally wanted, but at this point, I'll pretty much take what I can get, lol.

My original plan was to go up Cold Canyon from Glen Aulin, but if a slight detour is needed, then so be it :-)

Many thanks.

Steve
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 10, 2015 02:17PM
Quote
TechieSteve
Hi all, nice quick one this...

Is it possible to hike cross country from Young Lakes, to the top of Cold Canyon/Virginia Canyon?

I've got a Wilderness Permit for the 8th August, to Young Lakes, via Glen Aulin. It's not what I originally wanted, but at this point, I'll pretty much take what I can get, lol.

My original plan was to go up Cold Canyon from Glen Aulin, but if a slight detour is needed, then so be it :-)

Many thanks.

Steve

Steve,
The easiest thing to do is enter from Saddlebag Lake just outside Tioga Pass on highway 120. Take the trail to the Steelhead/Cascade Lake area and cross country over to Upper McCabe Lake. Then work down to Lower McCabe lake and pick up the trail in Virginia Canyon and go north to Virginia Pass and/or Summit Lake.

There is no quota on that trailhead and you get the permit at the T.M. wilderness center. Chick-on (Dale) and I did this trip a few years ago and it's a beauty. Dale has GPS tracks I'm sure.

This route is very close to what you wanted in the first place and gets you away from the crowds. Parking at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead is good. There is a water taxi you might want to use on the way back. Avoids hiking back along the lake. Costs about $10.00.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 13, 2015 10:53AM
I was wondering about permit for entering Saddlebag. Thanks for the info.
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 13, 2015 11:26AM
You don't need an Inyo Wilderness Permit for entering Saddlebag?
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm

If your starting trailhead is outside Yosemite National Park, get your permit from the land agency that manages that trailhead. Common examples:
Saddlebag Lake: Inyo National Forest
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 13, 2015 12:45PM
Your reference is definite but so is this: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recreation/recarea/?recid=20652&actid=50 Hmmm...

I'll try to call the wilderness office to clear this up. Chick-on may already know the answer.


Update: I called Inyo and they confirmed that you can get a permit from the T.M. station and can go into the park with it but that since there are no quotas going into Saddlebag you can't make a reservation.
The Yosemite permit info telephone line is not answered again until 1PM. I'll try calling there too.

Update Deux: Yosemite office confirms that T.M. can issue a permit for the Saddlebag Lake trailhead that will allow for travel into Yosemite from Saddlebag. Even if not the trip to the Inyo office isn't that far away. Since there is no quota it makes sense to issue from T.M. as it eliminates the drive to Mono if you are coming from the west.



Old Dude



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2015 01:25PM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 13, 2015 02:22PM
Thanks for researching this Mike. Sounds like they conveniently let you pick up the Inyo permit at the TM station. I had wondered about that for awhile. Thanks for clearing it up.
Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 10, 2015 02:18PM
I'll be doing this same route just a couple days before you - I think our entry date is the 6th of August. I've gone from Young Lake to Roosevelt, then headed over 'don't be a smart pass' between North Peak and Sheep Peak, dropping into McCabe Lakes on a different trip. This time around, I'm going to do the same route to Roosevelt, then circumnavigate around Sheep Peak towards Lower McCabe and hop onto the trail there until I join with the PCT.

Here is a link to a really rough version of where I think I'll be going: Here.

Looking forward to further responses, and ideas for your route--It will help me out too!
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 10, 2015 08:38PM
A..h that's good country where you are going...and very doable. Like Torero says, you can take "Don't be a Smart Pass" between Upper McCabe Lake and Roosevelt Lake if you want. Class 2. Other options...Roper's Sierra High Route heads up from the trail in Virginia Canyon up to Soldier Lake, and a nice loop can be done by going from Soldier north to Return Lake and back to the trail at the head of Virginia Canyon.

Mike's route is also a good one. If you decide to do that I might snag your abandoned permit smiling smiley
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 13, 2015 12:49PM
Thanks for the input guys.

The pass at the North End of Roosevelt lake, is that "don't be a smart pass"? Why the name? Sounds ominous!

That route looks like quite hard work. The contours are close together, especially on the other side of the pass.

I like the idea of going around, to the west and then upto Mcgabe lake. or heading cross country to pickup the PCT.

Steve
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 13, 2015 01:28PM
This is what I've got so far.
http://caltopo.com/m/3247

Really, I would like to shave a day off of that. The first day is annoyingly short, and I wish I was able to push on to Miller Lake really.

What does everyone think? Doable?
I'm in great shape, move pretty quick, and have no problem hiking for 10 hours. I've done a few 16 hour days before.

Steve
Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 13, 2015 03:41PM
I remember the climb from Roosevelt to the pass being quite a bit of work--and needing to take lots of breaks. The descent to Upper McCabe, as I recall, had an area of snow pack, and a steep decline on loose dirt. It wasn't tricky, but it wasn't easy either. The guy I was with said that it was a bit sketchy for him. But it was his first backpacking trip, and first time to Yosemite.

I think if you get onto the trail early enough you should be able to make it to Roosevelt for your first night. I may push for lower McCabe. Miller would be a stretch for me--though I don't know the actual mileage or loss/gain.

If you find it is annoyingly short, why not go more?
avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 13, 2015 05:56PM
I would still consider "Don't be a Smart Pass". Roper describes I as follows: Class 2, Loose talus, interspersed with patches of snow, leads up the north slope of this pass. The south side is easy"

So if you feel it when you are at Roosevelt, go for it. If not, go around. And the north side...probably not so much snow this year, so loose talus going down. Upper McCabe is a nice spot.

Yeah, Miller is probably a stretch, especially for a first day. But see how it goes...if you are feeling strong, then sure. Otherwise you have Roosevelt. And you still have some good daylite, and the rest of your loop looks really cool, and you might pick up some time somewhere along the line. Then again, those are some pretty cool places to just hang out and enjoy the scenery as well. Don't be in too much of a hurry!
Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 14, 2015 06:38AM
Not the best photos, but may be able to give you a better idea of the area:

A couple photos of 'Don't Be a Smart Pass' from Roosevelt's far end looking:







Looking back down at Roosevelt from pass:




Looking down at Upper McCabe from Pass:

avatar Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 14, 2015 11:20AM
Thanks for the pictures, they are really helpful.

The climb up looks like hard work, and the way down looks quite sketchy. Easy stuff, but on my own, with a "day 1" pack, it's probably not worth the risk. It really reminds me of when I scrambled up Gibbs from Summit Lake, and then picked my was down the other side. It was exhausting, and took up lots of time and energy, and the snowfield on the Dana side was a little sketchy, and took an age to get through.

I think I will most likely go around.

In response to the question about doing more mileage on day one, I've already written on my permit application that I will be overnighting at Young Lakes on my first night. I'd love to push on further, and with an early start, with the sunrise, think I have a real chance of making it to Miller Lake. I've done 22km in a day before with a full pack, and that included the aforementioned scramble up and down Gibbs, and I didn't start till about 7am. It would certainly help to shave that day off my hike.

Steve
Re: Young Lakes to Virinia Canyon possible?
July 14, 2015 02:34PM
I was always under the impression that you were only required to spend your first night at certain camping spots on particular trails--Young Lakes not being one of them (only restriction is 4 trail miles from Tuolumne, I believe). As for what you've told them your tentative plan is, I think you can always change that when you pick up your permit. My plans, first night included, change 90% of the time. Only thing I ensure to do is take my designated trail and head in that general direction.

I wouldn't let you telling them you intend to spend your first night at Young Lakes hold you back from continuing on that day.
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