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Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck Lake
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mini location map2015-08-06
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Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck LakeSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2015
Hiking8.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
1,700 ft AEG
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My wife and I went on a hike by ourselves today. We set out to hike the Duck Pass Trail. I wanted to go to Duck Lake, but my Linda refused. She only wanted to go as far as Barney Lake. Along the way we passed the junction with the Emerald Lake Trail and I suggested that we head down that trail on the way back. The Duck Pass trailhead and the Emerald Lake trailhead are only a hundred yards or so apart. She agreed.

The weather was cool and windy, so all of the lakes along the Duck Pass Trail were pretty choppy except for Red Lake. We found a nice rock outcropping overlooking Barney Lake and had a snack there. The temperature was probably only in the 50s.

We had never been above Emerald Lake on the Emerald Lake Trail. So this was a first for us. Almost immediately after entering the trail we were greeted with a nice view of Ritter, Banner and the Minarets. The slope dropped off steeply from that point and there are no real switchbacks. So heading up this section would be tough. It wasn’t that easy going down either.

The trail wraps around some fairly large granite shelves as well. It thought they looked spectacular, but wasn’t that impressed with the photos I took. Soon, Emerald Lake comes into view from high above. Just before reaching the lake we passed the only area along the entire hike with wildflowers – mostly tiger lilies, lupine and corn lily.

Emerald Lake looked fantastic with no wind and the sun finally coming out. We stopped for another snack and headed on down toward the trailhead. Glad we chose the alternate route back.
Tiger Lily
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