Red Peak Fork??

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jdille
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Red Peak Fork??

Post by jdille » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:24 pm

Hi All,

I'm planning a 5 day loop in July out of Mono Meadows up to Red Peak Pass. I'm wondering about traveling down the Red Peak Fork from Red Devil Lake towards Washburn Lake.

I found a number of (awesome) trip reports about the Gray Peak Fork with Obelisk and Adair Lakes as destinations. But I couldn't find any TRs for the Red Peak Fork. I'm looking to save a little time vs taking the Triple Peak Fork Trail. Also, would like to get some off trail miles in the trip.

Are there TRs that I am missing? Or any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

J








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rightstar76
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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by rightstar76 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:43 am

Let's help Jdille here.

I can't find any trip reports on the Red Peak Fork of the Merced River either. Looking at a map, it seems straightforward to descend from Red Devil Lake to the main trail just south of Washburn Lake until you get to 8400 feet. Has anyone here done it? Seems like most people have opted to go from Red Devil Lake over to Adair Lake via the gap to the east of Lake 9705. Maybe there's a reason they've chosen that route over heading down the entire RPF?

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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by oldranger » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:28 am

Markskor and I dropped down lower Red Peak Fork a few years ago on our Yosemite slam trip. And have covered much of the middle part as well. I would suggest staying on the trail until the terrain eases and then dropping down toward Red Devil lake. The s. end of Red Devil has a delightful rock slab "beach" that provides easy access for a swim. Due to the numerous arms of the lake travel is a bit complex so suggest you not try and hug the shoreline. Do not follow the outlet down to Red Peak Fork but head directly north over the low rise and then drop down to Red Peak Fork. From there the only complexity is the steep 200 ft. vertical section between 9400 and 9200 feet. The rest of the trip is a piece of cake, not difficult working your way down the last 600 feet thru the steeper forested area to the river. Then the wade can be challenging if the water is high but should not be this year unless just after a big thunderstorm.
Mike

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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:28 am

I came up that route. The two big issues are first being able to cross the Merced River, which was not bad late in the season.The other was the initial rock slabs which were quite steep and tend to have clumps of slippery pine needles and moss. Definitely would not do it in a rain. I crossed above the confluence with Red Devil Creek and then went up the southeast side and crossing to the other side when the slope eased. Once up the initial slope it was not bad, a bit of brush, particularly just before Red Devil Lake. I camped here. Be sure to do a side trip to Edna Lake; it is very stunning. I then went over Red Peak Pass which is very steep on the south side. That may be difficult with early season snow. I found a wonderful camp at Upper Ottoway Lake on a little peninsula on the north shore. Plenty of good camping at Lower Ottoway. Went out to Glacier Point. I looped from Glacier Point because years ago I went in Mono Meadows and did not like the crossing of Illouette Creek. It probably is OK later season. I took the high trail past Starr King (scrambled up that) and then intersected the Panorama Trail. I will try to find some photos and post them.

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rightstar76
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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by rightstar76 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:11 pm

Thanks Mike and WD, we are on a roll here! :)

Mike, I read your Yosemite Slam report (incredible pictures) and it appears you hiked down Gray Peak Fork beneath Adair Lake and then crossed over the ridge back to Red Peak Fork.
Our exit from Adair was to head down canyon a bit then head over the ridge and travel e until we returned to the Red Peak fork. Dropping down the canyon wall was a bit dicey but we managed just fine.
The question I have is this route separate from the one you described in the post above i.e. Red Devil Lake to Red Peak Fork (the one OP wants to take)?
Do not follow the outlet down to Red Peak Fork but head directly north over the low rise and then drop down to Red Peak Fork. From there the only complexity is the steep 200 ft. vertical section between 9400 and 9200 feet.
To clarify, the steep vertical section between 9400 and 9200 feet on RPF you mentioned in the post above is not the same route as the dicey canyon wall you descended when returning back to Red Peak Fork from beneath Adair Lake? Can you confirm so we are all on the same route here? Thanks Mike. :)

WD, I haven't forgotten you! :) Your description going up RPF has given depth to this topic and your pictures forthcoming will shed further light on this route. Thanks to you as well. :)

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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by ckm554 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:52 pm

I've done this two or three times. Fairly easy, navigation is really straightforward (just keep going down). Red Peak Fork is one of my favorite places in Yosemite.

Does get a little steep heading down to meet up with the Merced River but nothing too crazy.

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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:01 pm

Cannot find my photos, but did find the map.
Yosemite_west.jpg
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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by oldranger » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:01 pm

rightstar76 wrote:Thanks Mike and WD, we are on a roll here! :)

Mike, I read your Yosemite Slam report (incredible pictures) and it appears you hiked down Gray Peak Fork beneath Adair Lake and then crossed over the ridge back to Red Peak Fork.
Our exit from Adair was to head down canyon a bit then head over the ridge and travel e until we returned to the Red Peak fork. Dropping down the canyon wall was a bit dicey but we managed just fine.
The question I have is this route separate from the one you described in the post above i.e. Red Devil Lake to Red Peak Fork (the one OP wants to take)?
Do not follow the outlet down to Red Peak Fork but head directly north over the low rise and then drop down to Red Peak Fork. From there the only complexity is the steep 200 ft. vertical section between 9400 and 9200 feet.
To clarify, the steep vertical section between 9400 and 9200 feet on RPF you mentioned in the post above is not the same route as the dicey canyon wall you descended when returning back to Red Peak Fork from beneath Adair Lake? Can you confirm so we are all on the same route here? Thanks Mike. :)
When Markskor and I went from Adair to Red Peak fork we dropped down considerably e. of the 9400 and 9200 ft contours. Following Red Peak fork down from N. of Red Devil is considerably easier than our route from Adair. I have been between Red Devil and Red Peak Fork several times in both directions and would recommend a route going nw from the Point Daisy left Red Devil.
Mike

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jdille
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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by jdille » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:07 pm

Thank you all so much. Rightstar76, oldranger, Wandering Daisy, and ckm554 I truly appreciate the help. HST has been such a valuable resource for me in planning trips and I thought that maybe I was on the wrong track when I couldn't find anything specific to RPF.

I'm not sure why I didn't come across the Yosemite Slam in my searches, but oldranger those pictures were really amazing. Thank you also for the map WD. I have been thinking about the Illilouette and Merced crossings but will keep my eye on things as I get closer and hope that the low snow year and season will make it possible.

Thank you again!

J

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Re: Red Peak Fork??

Post by rightstar76 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:57 pm

And thank you Mike for clarifying the distinction between both routes. This is what makes High Sierra Topix such a great forum to visit. Communicating and sharing with each other, we can accomplish alot.

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