TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

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jeremiahkim
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TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

Post by jeremiahkim » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:39 pm

After targeting Humphreys Basin for an early thaw I was checking the conditions up until last week. A call to the White Mountain Ranger Station gave me some good info as the Eastern Sierra Interagency Center only had a report from mid-June.

Drove up from Southern California on Wednesday night, spent the night in Lone Pine, picked up our permits and hit the trail. The plan was to get up to Summit Lake on the first night and let the conditions dictate where to go.

Day One: Piute Pass > Summit Lake

Hit the trail around noon and began to work our way up to the Pass. Stopped for a bit of fishing at Loch Leven and Piute Lake before making the pass just as the sun was setting over the ridge. About a 100 feet of snow at the east side of the Pass.
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Mosquitos: Pretty manageable. Mostly a nuance and did not get eaten alive.

Day Two: Summit Lake > Muriel > Lower Golden Trout > Desolation Lake

Packed up camp and tried my luck at Muriel. Beautiful spot but the fish just weren’t cooperating. Worked my way around the lake with a few different flies but only the occasional rise. Packed up and made our way down to the chain connecting the Goldens and enjoyed some nice small brookie action.
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Arrived at Desolation around mid-afternoon to set up camp.

Mosquitos: Large and plentiful.
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Day Three: Desolation Lake > Humphreys Lakes > Piute Lake

Fished Desolation in the morning before packing up and heading over the ridge to Humphreys Lakes. Hit the highest point of our trip and toured the many bowls of melted out snow. Weather was amazing and made for a really enjoyable morning. Arrived at Humphreys Lakes to fish around a few hours. Struck by the deep crimson bellies that many of the brookies were sporting.
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Made our way back toward the Pass via Cony Lake and the outlet chain out of Humphreys Lake. Made it back over the pass to Piute Lake for the last night.
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Mosquitos: N/A at Humphreys Lakes. Worst of the trip at Piute Lake. Plentiful and eager for a meal.

Day Four: Piute Lake > San Diego

Debated an early morning shot up to Emerson, which I now regret not doing, but packed up rather early to head down the mountain. Stopped at Burger Barn for lunch for our customary post-hike burger.

Many thanks to all who have contributed toward 2018 conditions reports as well as historical data for analogous years. Had a wonderful trip and would not have been possible without the help of this community.
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jfr
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Re: TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

Post by jfr » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:17 pm

Thanks for the great TR! Beautiful photos, BTW. Quite a difference from last year at this same time, when the snow was continuous from Loch Leven on up and all the lakes in Humphrey's Basin were frozen. I sure wish that we had these conditions, as it was very tough hiking over all those deep suncups. It looks like it was a joy to hike.
Trip Reports and PhotoJournal: http://hikingtales.com/

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oldhikerQ
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Re: TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

Post by oldhikerQ » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:15 am

Thanks for the great trip report and photos.
Hoping to convince the gang to make our week long trip through Humphreys Basin next summer.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

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bob adams
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Re: TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

Post by bob adams » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:37 am

Nice TR and photos. My first trip to the Sierras was the Humphreys Basin. Hooked!

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jeremiahkim
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Re: TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

Post by jeremiahkim » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:47 am

jfr wrote:Quite a difference from last year at this same time, when the snow was continuous from Loch Leven on up and all the lakes in Humphrey's Basin were frozen.
I remember seeing that TR and steeling myself for some tough miles. Though I certainly wouldn't have traded in the amazing conditions we got, there was a part of me that was a little sad to see the basin cleared out this early.

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Re: TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

Post by rightstar76 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:32 am

Comparing your pictures with jfr's from last year, it seems like we're entering a drought. It's only the beginning of July and the landscape in your pictures looks like August. I can only imagine what it will be like by Labor Day.

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Re: TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

Post by SSSdave » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:44 am

Our week long Humphreys Basin trip begins in 4 weeks. Conditions in your images late June look much like mid August last year. By time our trip starts, conditions will be much greener with lots of wildflowers and generally more pleasant drier landscapes. With that greenery will be more active terrestrial bugs and thus more surface trout feeding.

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Re: TR: Humphreys Basin, June 28-July 1

Post by KevinDo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:45 pm

Beautiful photos! Looks like it was a blast! Thanks for sharing!

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