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Re: Piute Pass, Feather Pass, Bear Lakes Basin, Selden Pass Loop

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avatar Piute Pass, Feather Pass, Bear Lakes Basin, Selden Pass Loop
August 12, 2012 11:15PM
Last week I did a six-night trip starting at North Lake, going over Piute Pass and down to Hutchinson Meadow, then up to Lake Merriam. From there, up past Lake La Salle and over Feather Pass into the Bear Lakes Basin. I went past Bear Paw, Ursa (camped there), Big Bear, Little Bear, Vee, then down into Seven Gables Valley and out to the PCT. From there I took the trail to Lou Beverly Lake where I spent the night, then went cross-country to the south end of Marie Lake, following the lake shore back to the PCT. I hiked over Selden Pass, camping at Sallie Keyes (very nice lakes, plenty of people but it didn't seem too crowded, lots of nice areas to camp). I descended down to the South Fork San Joaquin, then up Piute Canyon and back out over Piute Pass.

Trail crews have been extremely busy there, all blowdowns except one along the trail portions of the hike have been cleared. There were at least 100 blowdowns, some quite large, at the beginning of the steep climb up to Loch Levin, there were also a fair number of blowdowns at the north end of the narrow part of Piute Canyon, all cleared. The one blowdown remaining, on the PCT between the Seven Gables and Lou Beverly trails, has a very short well-defined use trail around it already.

The weather seemed hit-and-miss...thunderstorms Tuesday evening and again Saturday when I left, sprinkles Wednesday, some other days there were some fairly dark clouds following certain ridge lines.


Here's some of them...the first two are of Merriam Lake:

Next two are of Lake La Salle:

Ursa Lake (I think I may have to change my 'home' in the profile settings from Vee to Ursa...):

Big Bear:

Lou Beverly. This lake is extremely shallow and reedy, though there are a few spots where rocks reach the water, and the water in the lake is clear and nice for camp use, there's probably plenty of flow from the lakes above through Lou Beverly.

Here's Marie Lake seen from one of the peaklets on the north side, looking towards Selden:

Finally, Sallie Keyes:

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2012 07:12AM by ttilley.
Re: Piute Pass, Feather Pass, Bear Lakes Basin, Selden Pass Loop
August 20, 2012 01:45AM

Your trip seems very nice,

could you advise me ? we come from France and look for a two or three day trip at the end of august (next week....)

thanks for helping
avatar Re: Piute Pass, Feather Pass, Bear Lakes Basin, Selden Pass Loop
August 20, 2012 02:41PM
Tom, thanks for the trip report and the photos, including the link to the additional photos!

The loop you did is something I would like to do hopefully in 2013 or 2014, schedule permitting. Good to hear that the Forest Service has cleared most of the blowdown in the area. How many other backpackers did you see on your trip? (I presume that mosquitos were a non-issue this year, though no guarantee for future years.)
avatar Re: Piute Pass, Feather Pass, Bear Lakes Basin, Selden Pass Loop
August 20, 2012 05:58PM
I saw one other party at Merriam Lake. In the Bear Lakes Basin it seemed like each lake had a party, I had Ursa, someone else had Black Bear, another Big Bear, another Bear Paw, another Vee...I think I was the only person to cross Feather Pass that day, the party at Merriam was going the opposite way and I didn't encounter anyone crossing. I know at least two parties intended to cross Feather towards Merriam the next day.

The crowds started when I got back to the PCT, but by heading over to Lou Beverly I had a lake to myself. Quite a few people around Sallie Keyes, but as I said there's lots of good camping areas so people could spread out decently.

Mosquitoes were generally under control, though there was one morning I resorted to DEET.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2012 05:59PM by ttilley.
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