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Day hikes doable with microspikes right now (Mammoth/Bishop/June area)

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:55 pm
by BardoPond
Hi all, I'm new.

I'm staying in Mammoth this week and looks like most trails are considered inaccessible due to snow.
However, I was wondering what possibilities would open up if I got microspikes.
For instance, today I tried to reach Valentine Lake and had to turn back maybe half a mile from the lake. I saw someone proceed with crampons.

Are there any other trails that would become doable with microspikes right now?
Also, are poles necessary or a nice-to-have?

Re: Day hikes doable with microspikes right now (Mammoth/Bishop/June area)

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:40 pm
by c9h13no3
I'm not a microspikes guy. I think trekking poles are far more valuable in the firm & sun cupped snow of June.. Course, I hiked to the top of Round Top today, and our crampons stayed in our bag. I guess it depends on your snow comfort level. Buy some cheap used poles from a ski shop for like 8 bucks, or just find a good stick.

Convict Lake is always worth your time. And a visit to Minaret Summit is always worth it. Should be able to hike there if the road isn't open, but I've never done it.

Re: Day hikes doable with microspikes right now (Mammoth/Bishop/June area)

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:35 pm
by BardoPond
Thanks for the tips!
We went to Loch Leven today (Piute Pass Trail) and a couple sections were quite thrilling. Probably couldn't have done it without poles and microspikes.

Re: Day hikes doable with microspikes right now (Mammoth/Bishop/June area)

Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:25 pm
by Matthewkphx
BardoPond, what elevation is the snowline at now? Looking around in other threads it sounds like it is at maybe 8500-9000’. Does that sound right?

Re: Day hikes doable with microspikes right now (Mammoth/Bishop/June area)

Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:29 pm
by BardoPond
Sounds about right. The switchback where we needed microspikes on the Piute Pass Trail was at about 10k.
By comparison the Big Pine Lakes Trail was easy with just boots at least until Third Lake and probably a bit further (we did run into a rattlesnake though!).

Re: Day hikes doable with microspikes right now (Mammoth/Bishop/June area)

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:41 am
by scipio
BardoPond wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:29 pm
Sounds about right. The switchback where we needed microspikes on the Piute Pass Trail was at about 10k.
By comparison the Big Pine Lakes Trail was easy with just boots at least until Third Lake and probably a bit further (we did run into a rattlesnake though!).
You ran into a rattlesnake at Big Pine Lakes? I thought it was too high for them.

Re: Day hikes doable with microspikes right now (Mammoth/Bishop/June area)

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:06 pm
by BardoPond
The snake was near the beginning of the trail, which was very hot and rocky.