2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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Ghoulwe
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by Ghoulwe » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:58 pm

I hiked the 50-mile Deadman Canyon Loop in SEKI July 27-30. Lodgepole - Silliman Pass - Sugarloaf Valley - Roaring River - Deadman Canyon - Elizabeth Pass - Bearpaw Meadow - Crescent Meadow. Water levels have come down, all stream crossings except Deadman Canyon were fairly mellow. Silliman Creek is an easy log hop, Sugarloaf Creek, Ferguson Creek had mid-calf water. The first crossing of Deadman Creek coming from Roaring River (just uphill from the grave) was swift. Use caution. The next at Ranger Meadow was knee-deep and not as swift. The last, above the water cascade, was a very unnerving rock hop. There was snow the last 200 vertical feet to Elizabeth Pass. Crampons not needed. No snow on the south side of the pass.








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Ghoulwe
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by Ghoulwe » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:14 pm

Water crossing in Deadman Canyon
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rlown
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by rlown » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:25 pm

looks cold.. Welcome to the HST!

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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by kpeter » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:21 pm

Streams out of Mineral King August 1-August 7

Aug 1 Franklin Creek has two fords on the trail to Franklin Lake. The first can be done relatively easily by rock hopping. The second I waded and it was calf deep. Some might find a way to rock hop, but I didn't bother to look very hard.

Aug 3 Soda Creek below the switchbacks coming down from Little Claire Lake was just under knee deep, swift and extremely cold, but not challenging.

Aug 3 Lost Creek at the eastern end of Lost Canyon Creek canyon (about 9200) was very cold, knee deep, and swift.

Aug 3 Outlet of the lower Big Five Lakes was crossable on logs as usual. I chose to wade anyway--in still, knee deep and temperate water across the shallows before the logs.

Aug 4 Outlet of the southern Little Five Lakes was easily crossable on stones and logs.

Aug 4 Outlet of the northern Little Five Lakes was calf deep and unchallenging.

Aug 5 Big Arroyo near the historic cabin is divided into two halves--keep your water shoes on. Knee deep, swift.

Aug 5 Big Arroyo where the HST crosses it is in one push. Swift, forceful, but not more than knee deep. This is one where you will substantially benefit from poles and water shoes, although I saw a young couple make it across barefoot and without poles. A fall here would mean you and your gear would get wet, but probably nothing more serious since there are no deep pools or cascades in the immediate vicinity.

Aug 6 Middle Fork of the Kaweah River at the Hamilton Lake outlet. The usual crossing point at the outlet is messed up with many unstable, small logs. Most people were avoiding them. There are two better alternatives. 1) A couple of hundred feet downstream, where the outlet is swampy and relatively still, there is a huge log. It is also the best access point to the bearbox at the lake. If you are trying to cross on the HST and come to the messy outlet, backtrack a couple of hundred feed and head down to the swamp to find the big log. Cross the log and head for the bearbox. From there climb out of the woods onto the granite slab and pick up the HST. 2) My choice--after seeing two deer take this route. About 300 feet below the outlet there is a very easy ford, calf to knee deep. After taking it, head for the bear box as above.

Aug 6 Middle Fork Kaweah Crossing above the waterfall at 7600 feet. A little nerve racking knowing the outcome of a catastrophic mistake, but actually a very simple knee deep crossing. Just hug the upstream side.

Aug 6 Middle Fork Kaweah Crossing below Little Bearpaw at about 6200 feet. Very challenging. The actual trail access is obscured by flotsam from winter floods, so it was not even clear where the ford was "supposed" to be. After scouting through the brush (from the north bank) I eventually found a spot. Previous trail reports had warned that the crossing was on logs and rocks and would be "difficult in early season." What logs may have existed are gone or have been pushed to the side--none that I found spanned the river. At the crossing I chose, which was about 20' upstream from where the northern trail dead-ended at the brush pile, it was possible to get out onto a sandbar to start a long diagonal crossing. At this point the river was spread out sufficiently that most of the crossing was knee deep, but there was no way to avoid about a 4 foot channel which was thigh deep, very swift and forceful. I relied heavily on both poles and had to repeatedly reposition each foot until I could wedge them into crevices in the rocks for stability. Very slow and painstaking--I was in the water for long while, which fortunately was not terribly cold. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

Aug 6 Eagle Scout Creek. Another crossing above a waterfall. Calf keep and pleasant, but be sure to stick to the upstream side.

Aug 6 Granite Creek has a massive bridge.

Aug 7 Cliff Creek at the Timber Gap intersection. Easy crossing. Wonderful rock formations spread this good sized, swift flow out over a wide area. One channel was kneed deep but most of it was ankle to calf deep. Not all that cold.

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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by kevingong » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:52 am

Tuesday (August 8th) - descended from Purple Lake down to Fish Creek, intending to cross via Cascade Valley Cutoff Trail. Though not raging, the creek looked to be at least 5-6 feet deep in the center. I didn't even attempt to cross. It's possible there was a better spot to cross nearby, but hordes of mosquitoes prevented me from spending a lot of time looking.

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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:53 pm

See mosquito report for my route and dates. In general water levels really down. No difficult crossing on the entire trip.

Tyndall Creek- easy- mid-calf deep.

Only waded one other creek- on x-c route from Casper Lake to the Kern River Trail that goes to Lake South America.

Can hop rocks over the outlet of Wallace Lake, inlets to lower Wrights Lake, outlet of Lower Crabtree Lake

Note on McGee (north) Creek: I did not do this myself but this is a information from the camp host at McGee campground. The "bridge" at the first crossing washed out this summer. The pack station people have rebuilt it. So it is now crossable. The trail on the other side washed out big time- the packers have made a new trail. The upper crossing log also washed out. The packers have replaced it. McGee Creek is still running really high.

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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by tomba » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:25 pm

Bubbs Creek at Junction Meadow (trail from East Lake) last weekend - mid thigh (walking on stream bottom, not on higher rocks). Strong flow.
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by SirBC » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:44 am

The log at the last river crossing just before Ediza Lake is out. There is a use trail that continues along the north side of the river that involves some scrambling over boulders. Once at the lake you can continue along the north side by traversing a short stable talus field. I was told by someone I ran into at the outlet that they did both the talus field along the north side as well as crossing the lake at the outlet and taking the trail that runs along the south side and they preferred the talus as the trail on the south was under water in three places.

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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by paulryan » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:06 pm

tomba wrote:Bubbs Creek at Junction Meadow (trail from East Lake) last weekend - mid thigh (walking on stream bottom, not on higher rocks). Strong flow.
We are planning to go to Lake Reflection in a weeks time. Where did you cross Bubbs Creek? At the trail from Junction Meadow camp or did you cross elsewhere? Also, how tall are you? My wive is 5 foot 3 and is concerned that it my reach her waist. Would that be safe from your experience?
Thanks for your help!

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tomba
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by tomba » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:48 pm

I crossed at the trail junction. I didn't look for a better crossing. I think at 5'3" it should be high thigh, not waist. I think that when taking proper care it should be safe enough. If you don't like the crossing you could try to look upstream or downstream for a better crossing. But I don't think you will need that. If you wear shoes/boots you could try to step on the rocks there (if they are not too slippery), then it would be shallower. I crossed barefoot, so it would have been more likely for me to slip from the rocks.

By the way, the trail to East Lake and to Lake Reflection is in poor shape, mostly due winter/spring damage. Allow a bit extra time. The trail from East Lake to Lake Reflection in some places is difficult to find.
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