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Laurel Lake Weekend Backpack

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avatar Laurel Lake Weekend Backpack
June 13, 2016 06:16PM
I hiked to Laurel Lake this past weekend...the weather was generally cloudy due to the incoming upper low, but I only had sprinkles Saturday night and Sunday morning. There were nearby thunderstorms when I got back to Hetch Hetchy, and while driving away on Evergreen Road there was heavy rain and hail.

The flowers were very nice on the entire climb to the ridge-top pond, at the pond and beyond there were very few flowers.

Frog Creek was running full but not flooding. Wapama Falls looked pretty full and the rangers had warning signs out at the dam. From the switchbacks it looked like Rancheria Falls was going pretty well. The reservoir is full, and some water is passing through the spillway on the south side of the dam.

The mosquitoes were fairly bad.

I had a trailside rattlesnake rattle at me on the switchbacks, and saw two bears on the trail a little below the top of the switchbacks.

Edit (forgot swimming): The lake temperature was good for swimming. I was expecting to not like the bottom as the lake is lower elevation and the bottom isn't sand or rock, but in fact the bottom is fairly solid with very little squishy-stuff. Deeper water is some distance from shore but not too bad. All in all, it was a nice swim.

Pictures...

Bear on switchbacks:


Laurel Lake:


Beehive Meadow:


Lupine:


Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and Rancheria Falls:


Wapama Falls:




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2016 06:31PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Laurel Lake Weekend Backpack
June 14, 2016 07:14AM
Thank you Tom for posting.

Wish you many more nice trips this year.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Laurel Lake Weekend Backpack
June 14, 2016 07:47AM
Looks like a good time. I like the bear photo, how he's just sauntering in your direction. Which one of you yielded the right of way?
avatar Re: Laurel Lake Weekend Backpack
June 14, 2016 07:53AM
The bear finally gave the right-of-way...

There were actually two bears, by the time this picture was taken the one in back had already scrambled into the manzanita. This one kept walking towads me, didn't make any threatening gestures or anything, just walking. I stopped and, after taking the picture, started banging my poles over my head, the bear paid no attention. Finally he reached a nice wide clearing through the manzanita and left the trail.
avatar Re: Laurel Lake Weekend Backpack
June 21, 2016 04:49PM
Quote
ttilley
started banging my poles over my head, the bear paid no attention.

Throwing things (rocks, sticks, etc.) works a lot better.
Re: Laurel Lake Weekend Backpack
June 21, 2016 05:04PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
ttilley
started banging my poles over my head, the bear paid no attention.

Throwing things (rocks, sticks, etc.) works a lot better.

I yell at them too.

And stomp towards them as well (I do read situation to figure out how far to take it). Mono Creek (2014 JMT) bear was making rounds. I was yelling. No effect. I stomped towards it while yelling and chucking rocks towards it. He turned and shot away. And a minute later I could hear another group yelling at it. But he never came back to our site.

Later I heard he hassled a group for about 30 minutes because they were not aggressive about yelling and such.

I won't mess with a mama tho!
Re: Laurel Lake Weekend Backpack
June 14, 2016 08:37AM
Great pictures.

Seems to me like the top of the switchbacks above HH to Beehive is the most reliable place to see bears. I've never gone there an not seen any. Best video I have was taken in that area, just following behind a big cinnamon browsing and foraging along the trail for almost half an hour.

Interesting bit of learning/perspective: watching that bear swat at the "rotten stumps" to tear them apart for grubs and stuff made them look like they were made of wet cardboard. After the bear departed I went down to examine the "rotten stumps" and nearly busted a toe when I gave it a kick...
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