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Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

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Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby mbehlen » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:41 pm

Hello Everyone!

Firstly, thank you for your help with my first back packing trip to Point Reyes in March. It went great! However, I have now used all of my vacation time and need to get some trips in this summer that will consist of Friday Afternoon to Sunday night.

I live in Fresno, California and I think my best option for a trip in late July/August would be to do a loop in the Dinky Lakes Wilderness. I wanted to ask you kind folks some more questions!

Main Questions:
-How do I access the trail head from Kaiser Pass Road and does the trailhead have a name? (or should I just go to courtright and hike the three miles from Trapper Springs Campground?)
-Can I camp near the trail head? Or should I just get on with it to night one camp? ( I will arrive around 730pm as I am leaving after work on Friday)
-Is there a loop you can recommend for me?
-What are the best views for photography from this area coming in from Kaiser Pass Road?
-Is a bear can required? (answered: recommended)
-I would like to do some hiking while i am out there to get some views! Any recommendations? Hit one of the sisters? Will I have time?

I think thats about it! I may have more questions once these are answered. If you can point to me some trip reports from the kaiser pass trailhead that would also be amazing!

Thank you!
Last edited by mbehlen on Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby rlown » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:51 pm

Start with this link.. http://www.sierrawild.gov/wilderness/dinkey-lakes If you're coming in from the West, The parking lot is HUGE. I'm not thinking you will be checked or made to move first evening If you have the permit. What do you think you want to accomplish there? fishing? hiking? or just looking around, which is nice. Re read your post. Depending on weather or if you can get to the trail head, there is a spot on the ridge NE of Island Lk that was very cool. Nice views and we had thunderstorms.

The phone numbers on that page are helpful btw..
Last edited by rlown on Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby mbehlen » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:03 pm

Thank you rlown! My main goal is to do a lot of photography!
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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby rlown » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:24 pm

This is the West approach parking lot.

Dinkey.JPG


Google Earth is sometimes magical.. :) If you zoom in, there's a path to the left that is flat under the trees, rather than dropping down into a creek and then up a hill..

Forgot to add.. when you pick up your permit, get a FS map of the area and have them tell you were you're headed. We got lost once getting there... :p
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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:44 pm

mbehlen wrote:
Main Questions:
-How do I access the trail head from Kaiser Pass Road and does the trailhead have a name? (or should I just go to courtright and hike the three miles from Trapper Springs Campground?)
-Can I camp near the trail head? Or should I just get on with it to night one camp? ( I will arrive around 730pm as I am leaving after work on Friday)
-Is there a loop you can recommend for me?
-What are the best views for photography from this area coming in from Kaiser Pass Road?
-Is a bear can required? (answered: recommended)
-I would like to do some hiking while i am out there to get some views! Any recommendations? Hit one of the sisters? Will I have time?

I think thats about it! I may have more questions once these are answered. If you can point to me some trip reports from the kaiser pass trailhead that would also be amazing!


Don't bother with Kaiser Pass trailheads. There's probably a good 10 miles of walking in forests from there. You'll turn on Dinkey Creek Road in Shaver Lake, well before you ever reach Kaiser Pass, to get to the more common, easier walk-in trailheads. You drive to the Willow Meadow trailhead, or you drive to Courtright, you'll save yourself a day of walking. The road to Willow Meadow is all forest service roads, and the last mile is best accomplished in a higher clearance vehicle -- our Subaru makes it okay. If you have a car that you care about the suspension at all might be better to go in from Courtright. Regular cars make it to Willow Meadow, I just can't vouch for the condition they get home in...

You can camp in the trailhead parking area at Willow Meadow. You can't camp at the Cliff Lake trailhead at Courtright.

The standard Dinkey loop is to hike in and go from lake to lake, and there are a few lakes on short side trails here and there.

The best views will be from Dogtooth Peak and the ridge above Island Lake.
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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby mbehlen » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:51 pm

Thank you everyone for the advice! I purchased a Tom Harrison map and I think I have a route planned! I plan to go August 31st-Sept 4th 2017! Can you folks critique my plan?

Thursday Night: Camp at Trapper Springs Campground
Friday: take the trail to cliff lake. Setup camp. Hike Dogtooth Peak.
Saturday: Hike to Island Lake and Setup Camp / Fish / Relax - Day Hike to Three Sisters?
Sunday: Hike to South Lake - Do day hiking to Swede and Mystery Lake
Monday: Hike back to the car and drive home.

Thank you for all of your help!
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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:24 pm

That's a leisurely trip. I've done the whole loop as a day hike before... You could spend the night at Cliff, go to Dogtooth on the way over the ridge, camp at Island Lake (or if it's crowded go over the ridge to Fingerbowl), do the loop as a day hike on Sunday, hike back out to the car the last day.
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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby Shawn » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:51 pm

Three Sisters is a leisurely walk around to the other side of Cliff Lake (also with some very nice views). It might be a bit easier to hike to Three Sisters on Friday, then Dogtooth on Saturday.

In this photos we were descending Three Sisters back to the trail, which is on the other side of the lake from where the photo was taken.
Cliff Lake from Cliff2.jpg




mbehlen wrote:Thursday Night: Camp at Trapper Springs Campground
Friday: take the trail to cliff lake. Setup camp. Hike Dogtooth Peak.
Saturday: Hike to Island Lake and Setup Camp / Fish / Relax - Day Hike to Three Sisters?
Sunday: Hike to South Lake - Do day hiking to Swede and Mystery Lake
Monday: Hike back to the car and drive home.

Thank you for all of your help!
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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby Troutrider » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:46 am

Hi!
My wife and son have done this trip numerous times from the west approach parking lot. We come from Temecula Area so ya, a long drive and the last bit of the forest service roads are a bit tricky if you don't have any ground clearance on your vehicle, but we have seen mini vans and even a Prius one time!
Our son is only ten but he has a blast on this hike and it is not very far from one lake to the next so the scenic distractions far outweigh his complaining about the hike. :nod:
We typically hike to South lake, find a great camsite, and then dayhike the area for a few days. This allows us to see/fish the other lakes (dinkey, island, Second dinkey, rock) and hit some of the small peaks or even a three sister or two!
All in all it is a beautiful area, very easy to spend 2-3 days enjoying. I wish I was going back this year! Enjoy!
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Re: Quick Trip Advice - Dinky Lakes?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:33 pm

Troutrider wrote:Hi!
My wife and son have done this trip numerous times from the west approach parking lot. We come from Temecula Area so ya, a long drive and the last bit of the forest service roads are a bit tricky if you don't have any ground clearance on your vehicle, but we have seen mini vans and even a Prius one time! !


This only applies to the Willow Meadow trailhead. Cliff Lake trailhead is at the end of a paved road.
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