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2015-08-25  
2013-06-21  
2013-06-21  
Buena Vista Peak from Chilnualna Falls, CA
mini location map2013-06-21
45 by photographer avatarchumley
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Buena Vista Peak from Chilnualna Falls, CA 
Buena Vista Peak from Chilnualna Falls, CA
 
Backpack avatar Jun 21 2013
chumley
Backpack29.97 Miles 7,351 AEG
Backpack29.97 Miles3 Days         
7,351 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
9L forced me to do this. Apparently I'm a good sport, and don't think driving 10 hours for a weekend trip is a bad idea. We made out well on that front though, renting a car for a whopping $68 for four days. Then we racked up over 1,300 miles on it, while somehow logging over 30mpg and with a nearly impossible average speed of 81 on the way home. (The trip computer includes the city driving around the gas station too. That hour between Indio and Blythe where we followed 3 cars doing 95+ didn't hurt.)

Yeah so anyway, I knew the hike was gonna kick my butt. The plan was to do about 10 miles the first day, and it's a solid, unrelenting climb gaining about 4,500 feet. After the long drive in I managed about 4 hours of sleep, so at least I was rested and full of energy! Not. I actually did ok, though toward the end I definitely slowed on the steeper ascents.

We ended up going a couple of extra miles on the recommendation of the BCO ranger to get to the scenic Royal Arch Lake. It's a beautiful spot, but I went through my entire allotment of deet trying to keep the mosquitos at bay. The next morning resulted in what might have been the most miserable wilderness restroom experience of my life. Doing one thing while protecting exposed valuables from a swarm of biting insects is a hell of a way to start your day :o I swear I would consider finding a container and doing this inside my tent next time!

Mosquito misery aside, once hiking they were not a problem, so we headed up to the goal of BV Peak. The trail crosses a pass about half a mile below the peak, and to gain the peak itself is a tiresome scramble up a messy field of granite boulders. This is no smooth dome! But the resulting views are phenomenal! An absolute highlight and one that makes you easily forget the mosquitos!

With many miles to go, we forced ourselves to leave the peak and head down to BV Lake. This is the crown jewel lake along this loop and I could easily camp here for a couple of days. The mosquitos were much less troublesome here as well. As we headed back down the trail, and into some of the more wooded alpine meadow areas, we happened upon a foraging bear. Apparently bears don't have the sense of smell everybody tells me they do, because after two days out there, my socks alone should have given off a scent he could pick up from a mile away. As it was, we got to about 50 feet of him and just observed quietly for a minute or two. Finally something tipped him off and he looked up at us. After about 3-seconds of eye contact, he bolted away.

That night we found a good camp site near a trail junction along C-creek and got a better night sleep. Mosquitos were mildly irritating, but nothing like the night before.

Sunday we headed out, knowing we had 8-miles of hiking ahead of our long drive home. About 15-minutes into the hike we spooked another bear. Didn't see this one until he jumped up about 20-feet from us and ran away. Another huge (500lbs) bear, and I'm still stunned at how fast something that size can move :o .

On our way out we met a NPS LEO ranger on horseback and had a nice chat with her. (She was packing a pistol, pepper spray, a taser, and handcuffs.) Must be some crazy people out there! Upon hearing we had stayed at Royal Arch Lake, she immediately asked about mosquitos, so apparently that's a fairly known thing there. She also mentioned that Buck Camp was also a mosquito haven. We made great time down hill, got to the car and made the trip home in really, really good time.

This is probably comparable to the Grand Canyon's Hermit Trail. Once you get past the first couple of miles where day hikers go, you will only see a couple of other groups of hikers all weekend. A definite plus for prime season in an amazing place like Yosemite!
Flora
Flora
Snow Plant
Fauna
Fauna
Rainbow Trout
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Buena Vista Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Chilnualna Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Chilnualna Fall Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Chilnualna Lakes 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Crescent Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Grouse Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Johnson Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Royal Arch Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
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