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Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass

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avatar Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
July 28, 2015 03:46PM
I had wondered about the permit for Secret Pass into Yosemite, because that permit is not on the Inyo website. Thanks to Z Old Dude for info about that permit. I picked up the permit at the Mono Basin Visitors Center. They let me pick up the walk-in permit before 11am the day before, because it was a non-quota trail head. The Ranger said that a lot of people can't find Secret Pass, but I knew it would be no problem, because I had a Chick-on is looking at you! map.

Going up the east side of the pass was pretty straight forward. Views of Twenty Lakes Basin kept improving while heading up the pass.



And views to the west.



I should have headed north on top of the ridge, to meet a trail that goes down the west side. I headed north west diagonally down a granite slope. This route worked out pretty well, and it just met with the trail a bit further down. The top half of the descent was fairly steep with some large step downs. The bottom half had loose gravel, but there was always enough rocks to keep you from sliding too much.

Upper McCabe Lake









The next day I headed to middle and lower McCabe Lakes.
This is a very shallow lake, and it is above the middle lake. I think that this one may dry up sometimes. The middle lake is down a slope that is behind this lake.



The lower lake is down slope to the west of the middle lake.



On the way back there are great views of Shepherd Crest.



Travel was through a fairly thick forest going to the lower lake. Has anyone gone down to McCabe Creek heading west from the bottom of Secret Pass? I wonder how the travel would be following McCabe Creek to the PCT.

Going back through Secret Pass, the footing was a bit easier going uphill. I went down the east side a bit of a different route. There were a couple of tricky spots, but no problem. It is a lot of fun going through this pass.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2015 03:49PM by yosemitejim.
Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
July 28, 2015 03:55PM
What is this secret pass?? lol

Looks like a fun adventure! Seems like no clouds so what were the temps like? I was at around 9000 feet during the week around nelson and it was decently warm but chilly at night.

-Kevin
avatar Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
July 28, 2015 04:00PM
It was about 70 degrees during the day, but it got into the 30's at night. There was ice on the tent in the morning.
avatar Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
July 28, 2015 08:22PM
Thanks for sharing! Wish I was there right now!
Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
July 29, 2015 01:31PM
Thanks for the report and the videos.
avatar Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
July 30, 2015 03:20PM
Here are a few more things from day hikes from last week.

Big Pine Second Falls






Big Pine Creek South Fork trail.



Headed up into Little Slide Canyon from the Barney Lake trail at Twin Lakes. I didn't head up the steep talus slope. I'll probably go down from the top of the canyon sometime, or come down Little Slide as part of a loop.



Barney Lake

avatar Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
August 27, 2015 06:58AM
Quote
yosemitejim
Has anyone gone down to McCabe Creek heading west from the bottom of Secret Pass? I wonder how the travel would be following McCabe Creek to the PCT.

It's beautiful... but you miss the Lakes...

We came up the creek... it was nice... but Spiller Creek is what you really want to explore imo.

Have fun!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
August 27, 2015 05:10PM
McCabe Lakes were great. I was thinking the creek would be faster to Miller Lake, but maybe it wouldn't save much time.
Re: Secrets of the Permit and the Pass
August 27, 2015 05:44PM
I don't think there is a significant difference in time or difficulty between blasting down the creek from Secret Lake Pass to the PCT vs. hitting the upper and lower McCabe Lakes then following the trail. The middle lake would require a bit of a detour. Both are fine routes and are worth doing--there are a few nice meadows along the creek with excellent views of Shepherd Crest.
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