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Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report

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avatar Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 03, 2012 03:56PM
Hey all,

Did a trip to Ottoway Lake, over Red Peak Pass and looping back to Mono Meadow along the Merced River. Started on June 30 and returned on July 2. Taking only three days was probably a bit rushed but not too bad. Camped night 1 at Ottoway Lake and night 2 at Merced Lake. Snow was not a problem anywhere on the route but there was an AMAZING number of trees down a few miles before Washburn Lake. The trail is nonexistent in this area and I doubt it's even possible to clear all the trees. It took over 30 minutes to get through a section of trail that would normally take less than five. There were a few people camped at Ottoway but I didn't see a single person on the trail from Ottoway Lake to Merced Lake.

Here are some pictures.

https://picasaweb.google.com/117025886482845091325/RedPeak630127212?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCJShuajM0d6VgQE&feat=directlink

Chris
avatar Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 03, 2012 06:49PM
Awesome pics, but someone needs to tell Mike that e^{i pi} = -1. smileys with beer
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 04, 2012 11:12AM
Just got back from lower merced pass lake. We didn't even make it to Ottoway (orignal plan) due to all those down trees and a late start from mono meadow TH. Hadn't been out there before and the trail was difficult to follow at times because of all of the debris/ down trees which slowed us down even more. Mosquitos were vicious at dawn/dusk, bring deet. Seasonal streams are all dry as a bone at this point.

Your pics are awesome, wish we'd gotten up to ottoway to see it for ourselves...
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 05, 2012 08:58AM
Just got back from the exact same trip but took our time over 5 1/2 days June 28th through July 3rd - We must have passed eachother on July 1st at the Merced Lake HSC - We got there late afternoon on July 1st - you must have come in later and left before us the following morning - That is a super long haul from Ottoway to Merced, we never could have done it - You are a stud for sure - Took us 2 days but we are older and also relaxed a bit on the way - Had a great time fishing Washburn Lake - Loaded with pretty Browns - There were lots of downed trees going to Ottoway but the worst was after crossing the Merced the first time on the way to Washburn - That bridge had 30 yards of downed trees before it and 100 yards afterward, and now needs repairs - I was told that there are only 2 teams clearing trees right now when there are usually 6 - The mosquitoes were a bear above 8500 to about 10,000 feet - We only saw two people the day we hiked over Red Peak Pass and noone else until we got to Merced Lake - Awesome trip though - Had a great time

We also stopped on the trail at Upper/Lower Merced Pass lake but it was late and we couldn't find the lake - Lots of deer in that area though.

Hey!! - You found my father-in-laws T-Shirt - He lost it on the way down from Red Peak Pass - went back looking for it but couldn't find it.

When you got to Merced Lake, were you sleeping in the Backpackers site close to the Block Outhouse?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2012 11:00AM by SoCalCPA.
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 05, 2012 01:05PM
Adding me + wife to the people having done the exact trip last weekend. We took 6 days and started at Glacier Point on Friday. Camped along the Illiouette on the first night, ANd Ottoway the second night. We were at Ottoway on Saturday night just like the original poster.
Perhaps we saw each other, there were a couple of parties at the lake.
The devastation around the Merced River bridge was certainly a concern for us. We decided to ford the river downstream from the bridge to avoid some of the downed trees. Still it was tough going especially for my wife which is not a big backpacker. It was not readily apparent how long this would go on, but thankfully we got back on trail after climbing over countless of trees. We did not see anybody going the other way.
The night before, we camped at Tripe Peak fork which was mosquito infested and then at Merced Lake at the backpacker camp.
Last night we spent at Little Yosemite Valley. Never camped there before and never will again. What a zoo./ Got woekn up by screaming b ay in the middle of the night. WTF? Exited yesterday July 4th, my wife bailed put to Happy Isles and I wentt back up to the car at Glacier Pt.

H
avatar Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 05, 2012 05:21PM
Yep that was me by the outhouse. I left Merced at 7 in the morning. Was wondering about the shirt, at first I thought it was a patch of snow.

Next time I'll probaby take an extra day and to relax and do some fishing, like I said it was a little rushed in 3 days.

If anyone finds a trekking pole in the Merced downstream of Bunnell Point that would be mineeye rolling smiley

Chris
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 05, 2012 07:18PM
We were the site right next to yours on the other side of the big tree bordering your site - going toward the HSC

We almost took the site you were in but I talked my daughter and father in law out of it since I thought it was too close to the privy

I remember seeing you there though and I remember you were gone by the time we got up - We were taking our time

Sorry bro - Did not come across any trekking poles at Bunnell Point - But I would have taken a picture of it if I did smiling smiley
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 05, 2012 11:48PM
Your trekking pole may go well with my sock that made its way into the Merced this weekend.
avatar Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 07, 2012 11:59AM
A fellow who hiked with me last year lost one of his trekking poles in Virginia Creek and never found it. Those darned things do not float!

Next year I may do the Red Peak loop or some variation of it. One thing I'm curious about is the high level trail that goes along the east side of the Washburn Lake canyon. Everybody seems to take the lower trail that goes right by the lake but I've never heard any comments about the upper trail. Has anybody on this forum ever been on that trail and if so, what comments do you have regarding its desirability?
avatar Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 07, 2012 06:00PM
All trails are desirable, no?

From the high trail you can visit, more or less:
WL10005 (a gorgeous lake)
Isberg Pass
Post Peak Pass
Harriet Lake (1.5 miles -ish off trail... but easy xcountry)
Cony Crags (neat feature .5 off trail)
Lyell Fork (some great views of falls and pools)
If you camp nearly directly above Washburn you can get nice views of the Clark Range
and look down onto Washburn.

The lower trail is shorter distance and much easier.

Anyway, you can't go wrong really.
smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 08, 2012 12:16PM
Quote
chick-on
All trails are desirable, no?

From the high trail you can visit, more or less:
WL10005 (a gorgeous lake)
Isberg Pass
Post Peak Pass
Harriet Lake (1.5 miles -ish off trail... but easy xcountry)
Cony Crags (neat feature .5 off trail)
Lyell Fork (some great views of falls and pools)
If you camp nearly directly above Washburn you can get nice views of the Clark Range
and look down onto Washburn.

The lower trail is shorter distance and much easier.

Anyway, you can't go wrong really.
smiling smiley

The reason I'm asking about the upper trail is that I'm contemplating a modified Red peak loop that utilizes both the upper and lower trails while avoiding Illouette Canyon. Part of the return trip would be via the upper trail after spending a night near Isberg Lakes. Lyell Fork would likely be a targeted camping spot for me. I think the upper trail sees very limited usage simply due to logistics of the area and how hikers generally plan their trips. Just seems like it might be a little more interesting than the Illouette Canyon area from Mono Meadow to Merced Pass Lakes. I may be wrong about Illouette but I've not seen any photos of that portion that turned me on.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2012 12:21PM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 09, 2012 07:39AM
Quote
tomdisco
Just seems like it might be a little more interesting than the Illouette Canyon area from Mono Meadow to Merced Pass Lakes.
I may be wrong about Illouette but I've not seen any photos of that portion that turned me on.
Well... I guess you can see STARr King from the road... so...
The number of people that just did this loop should be saying something. I'll leave it to them...

(ok, I'll just say that the Illilouette Canyon gets a bad rap imho)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 09, 2012 10:43AM
The Loop with the Lower trail is about 48 miles, hence we picked it. The upper trail is considerably longer. Also it connects with the trail comimng from Voglesang which is that cobblestone like trail which killed my feet at some point.
I do agree though that the hike along Illiouette Creek is not the most exciting. Now with all those downed trees on the lower trail, the upper trail looks a lot more enticing

H
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 20, 2012 02:59PM
Here's a few shots of our trip - Sorry it took so long - Did this at the beginning of the month with daughter and father in law - and responding to a prior post by chick-on, there was enough in the Illouette drainage to interest me - Clark Fork was nice but the rest of the park dramatically overshadows this portion of the trip




Lower Ottoway Lake at Sunset





Moon over Merced Peak (At least I think its Merced)





Shot of Red Peak Pass (The U in the middle)





My daughter checking out the view on top of the pass





Red Devil Lake





Bridge a couple of miles before Washburn Lake that was blocked by down trees





Pretty Brook Trout caught at Washburn - Very good fishing at this lake





Washburn Lake looking north





Nevada Falls from the Panorama Trail





View from Panorama Point


5 1/2 days - we averaged a little less than 10 miles a day - taking our time - I would recommend this trip to anyone



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2013 09:07AM by SoCalCPA.
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 20, 2012 04:31PM
Thanks for the pictures. Last year near the end of July there was snow all the way from where your daughter is sitting at the top of the pass down to the edge of Red Devil. It's nice to be able to see what was under all that snow.
avatar Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 21, 2012 04:00PM
Thanks for all the photos. Did you have that brown trout for dinner?
.
Re: Ottoway Lake, Red Peak Pass, Triple Peak Fork Trip Report
July 23, 2012 10:25AM
Snow level is pretty low! - But there are pretty variations in rock color all the way down to Red Devil.

At Washburn, we released all we caught so no we did not cook up that brown. We did cook up the Rainbows at Lower Ottoway but it was a little difficult - Since we couldn't have a fire there, we boiled water on our stove with a lid on the pot and hoped the heat generated would cook the fish if we laid them ontop with foil - It did but it took a long time to cook and it was uneven.

It seemed like the way to fish any lake or stream was always a stimulator with a dropper but more often than naught, the fish would just go after the stimulator no matter how big it was
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