Horse Creek Pass

Member descriptions, photos, and map locations of Cross Country Passes in the High Sierra. This forum is for information only - discussions should be kept in the appropriate categories.
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SNOOOOW
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Horse Creek Pass

Post by SNOOOOW » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:10 am

General Overview: Horse Creek Pass is used to cross from/to Twin Lakes out of Bridgeport into/out of Spiller Creek and Northern Yosemite.

Class/Difficulty: People call this pass Class 2 but when I came over it in July 2016 it is a full on trail from start to finish starting at Twin Lakes, basically a walk up.

Location: HST Map The northern part of the pass is the Hoover Wilderness and the Southern is Yosemite NP.

Elevation: Roughly 10,705'

Route Description: From the parking lot at the end of Twin Lakes road park in the South end of the lot which is located at the SW corner of Twin Lakes. There is a trailhead there for Horse Creek but you need to walk south a bit from the parking lot to get to it. I have read reports of people having trouble finding the trail but I think all those issues were a pre dawn start in the dark. Once on the trail it is very easy to follow until maybe 2/3 of the way up and you get into a rocky area but route finding shouldn't be an issue with common sense (keep heading south and up). I only took the trail to the pass as I was heading up to Matterhorn so I am not sure what/if any trail exists heading further south into Yosemite NP.

Photos: This is the only photo that I have from that day that helps any. Unfortunately I had to be to work later that day and I was hurrying to summit Matterhorn and get out of there.
Horse Creek.jpg
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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Horse Creek Pass

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:42 am

The north side of the pass holds snow late into the season and is in shadows for a long time in the morning. When I did this pass early August 2010, I had to wait until the sun softened the snow before I could go over.

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SNOOOOW
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Re: Horse Creek Pass

Post by SNOOOOW » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:56 am

When I went in July 2016 I encountered no snow, a very uneventful day.
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c9h13no3
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Re: Horse Creek Pass

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:55 am

I've done this pass twice, and the crux is really the route finding going up/down Horse Creek. There are a multitude of cairns & use trails going up to the pass, to call the trail braided is an understatement. In general you want to stay close to the creek, and cross the creek to the less steep side as needed. You'll lose the trail in the talus, but in general just look around and talus hop your way back towards the next braid of the trail. The trail can get steep & eroded enough to slow down your progress if you're descending. I have hated going down this thing both times.

The south side of the pass is some of the most pleasant cross country hiking you'll ever do, as long as you don't turn west to try and climb the SE slope of Matterhorn Peak (that climb sucks).

I did the pass in June of 2018 (a medium-low snow year) and September of 2019, a high snow year. Both times without crampons or axe, walking over a bit of low angle snow.

HCP.jpg
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