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Overnight at Mosquito Lakes, Sequoia NP

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by lambertiana, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    One of my friends has not been able to get up in the mountains for a long time and was itching to go. So when he asked if I wanted to go for a quick overnight trip I did not need much convincing. He had to work half the day on Friday so we didn't leave town until about 12:30 PM. We drove to Mineral King (via the ever fun Mineral King road, 24 miles with 698 official curves, broken pavement with two dirt sections, one and a half lanes wide, and gaining almost 7000' elevation) and got on the trail around 3PM. We took the trail to Mosquito Lakes (and got some hail by a passing cell on the way up), where the maintained trail ends at the first lake:
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    From there we headed up the drainage to the second lake:
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    We were debating whether to stop at the second lake; it has really good campsites. But I wanted to push on to the fourth lake. So we continued up the drainage, passing the third lake:
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    And finally arriving at the fourth lake at about seven PM. After setting up camp the evening light was nice:
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    And late evening light looking at Sawtooth Peak and Mineral Peak (on the far right) with Empire Mountain on the left, and the Kaweah ridgeline peeking over in the distance:
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    Yesterday morning I got up and instead of taking a walk to the fifth lake (the highest lake in the basin) I wandered over to look at things on the west side of the drainage. When I got there I noticed that the top of the ridge on that side was not going to be a hard climb so I went up to look at the next drainage south (Mineral Lakes basin). I could look down at the highest of the Mineral Lakes:
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    If I had had more time I would have dropped down to that lake; I have always wanted to visit that basin because it is rarely visited. And from that same spot, looking at the headwall of the Mineral Lakes basin:
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    The best thing about that spot on top of the ridge was the presence of a photogenic pond. It must have been quarried out by the glacier that spilled over the ridge from the Mosquito Lakes drainage. Here are some pictures from that pond:
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    And looking at Sawtooth Peak, Mineral Peak (on right) with Empire Mountain on the right and the entire Kaweah ridgeline in the distance (L to R: Black Kaweah, Red Kaweah, Square Top, Second Kaweah, and Mt Kaweah) with a little different perspective than what I had at camp:
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    After soaking in the absolute solitude for a while, I headed back down to camp, where I got some good daylight pictures of the lake at camp:
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    I told my friend and his friend who also came along with his son about the views at the ridge, and they wanted to see it, so we went up so that they, too could enjoy the spot. And on the way back down to camp, we saw two people coming up the drainage...for that location, this constituted a traffic jam of epic proportions. Since it is off trail and requires some scrambling to get there, you usually don't see anyone else there. I guess with covid a lot of people are heading up into the mountains because they can't do much in town.

    Then we went back down to the trailhead. On the way down, one final view, looking toward the peaks around Franklin Lake; I have been on top of every one of those at least once (you can barely see the top of granite Florence peak peeking over the brown Tulare Peak):
    [​IMG]
     
    315, LMT66, Aikiguy and 7 others like this.
  2. bore

    bore

    542
    May 20, 2015
    Nice area. Any wildlife other than skeeter? Great pics
     
  3. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    I only saw one doe with a fawn, some birds, trout in the lake, and marmots. Plenty of marmots, and they were very persistent in their attempts to get at my pack.

    I have seen bears around Mineral King before, but not on this trip.
     
  4. bore

    bore

    542
    May 20, 2015
    Awsome! Did you take some Camp pics? Help us home stuck people out lol!
     
  5. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Only one. The lake is a short distance to the left.
    [​IMG]
     
    LMT66 and bore like this.
  6. theobetts

    theobetts

    426
    Nov 4, 2004
    Great pics! Looks like you guys had a nice trip
     
  7. ArchVV

    ArchVV Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 8, 2015
    Thanks for posting this OP! I grew up in S. Lake Tahoe and have been missing the Sierras like crazy.
     

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