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Emerald Lake - Inyo NF - 3 members in 5 triplogs have rated this an average 3.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 09 2019
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 668
 Photos 13,746
 Triplogs 1,460

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Pika Lake, CA 
Pika Lake, CA
 
Backpack avatar Aug 09 2019
chumley
Backpack17.44 Miles 3,131 AEG
Backpack17.44 Miles2 Days         
3,131 ft AEG   1 Hour   12 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners partners
Jaxbe22
John9L
Went to Mammoth to meet up with some other obnoxious hikers. Not much of a campground lover, we snagged a permit and headed into the John Muir Wilderness. A great night was spent at Pika Lake with some additional random exploring in nearby areas. It was a little breezy in exposed places and the night temps dropped into the mid 30s. It was a nice respite from August in Arizona.

We spent the next night with the obnoxious group in Mammoth Lakes and a yearling bear kept visiting. It destroyed one empty tent for a single m&m, and while not at all confrontational with people, it was also pretty ballsy. I'd be surprised if they don't put it down before the summer is over. :cry:

Sunday morning we headed out for perseids and hot springs. I didn't realize this area is a caldera like Yellowstone on a smaller scale. A lot of warm water coming out of the ground. Probably the most scenic hot spring I've ever soaked in.
Fauna
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Culture
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Profound observer
4 archives
Sep 19 2018
Oregon_Hiker
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 Guides 8
 Routes 349
 Photos 6,170
 Triplogs 463

73 male
 Joined Dec 07 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck LakeSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 19 2018
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking10.30 Miles 2,151 AEG
Hiking10.30 Miles   9 Hrs   31 Mns   1.08 mph
2,151 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Wow, another amazingly beautiful hike in the Eastern Sierras, and also the last one on my tour of trailheads traveling north on US395. The Duck Pass trailhead is on the south end of the Coldwater Campground where I hoped to stay if it was still open this late in the season. It was open but planned to close on Sept 23. This is a huge CG with the feel of a small city so if you're looking for mountain solitude, this is not the place. If the hike to Duck Pass hadn't been so highly recommended I probably would have turned around and gone elsewhere. Finding a campsite without a reservation was somewhat difficult. A few unreserved campsites were marked with signs saying One Night Only and even fewer had signs that said Available 14 Nights. After asking for help help from a kind CG host I was directed to site #49, a great unreserved 14 nighter that would accommodate me for 3 nights, was screened from other sites by trees and backed up to a meadow with a stream running through it. Plus it was within easy walking distance of the Duck Pass TH and there were flush toilets. :y:

The hike the next day started out through forest switchbacking up a steep slope with not much in the way of views. But it then leveled off in a small basin with a string of small lakes leading up to the final steep switchbacks up to Duck Pass. Arrowhead Lake is the first Lake on this route but I chose not to take the side trail to the lake since I knew there would be several lakes closer to the trail. The first of these and one of the larger in this basin is Skelton Lake. With white sand beaches on the trail side and a rocky cliff topped bluff that drops into the other side it is quite striking. The trail continues past small meadows and a stream then climbs over a low hill where it descends a short distance to Barney and Red lakes, each one different and beautiful. Past Barney Lake the trail starts to switchback up a steep boulder strewn slope and threads its way along ledges and through gaps in the cliffs to finally reach Duck Pass. The construction of this trail is a marvel in itself and the views back towards Mammoth Mountain are amazing. Duck Lake comes into view immediately upon reaching the other side of the pass. It's large for a high mountain lake and I decided to continue on the trail to the south end of the lake which added about 2 miles round trip to the hike but was well worth it. After a short nap at the south end of the lake interrupted by a group of backpackers passing by, I headed back taking a side trail that went by bright green Emerald Lake. It was a worthwhile detour that added little if any distance to the hike.



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Jul 01 2015
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck LakeSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2015
John9L
Hiking8.31 Miles 2,105 AEG
Hiking8.31 Miles
2,105 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
clairebear
Claire and I headed up to Mammoth Lakes on Tuesday and got settled in that evening. On Wednesday morning we picked up our permits for backpacking the next day and then wanted to do a moderate day hike. After researching HAZ we picked Duck Lake because of the proximity and the length. Also, I was on the JMT two years ago and camped about a mile below Duck Lake so I was already aware of it.

We started hiking from the Coldwater Creek Campground day parking area around noon and the trailhead sits at roughly 9,000 ft elevation. The trail immediately starts gaining elevation and we entered the John Muir Wilderness. We continued on and took a short detour over to Arrowhead Lake. From there we continued hiking under overcast skies but no threat of rain. Next up was Skelton Lake which is another picturesque lake where we stopped and took pics.

We continued on and passed Barney Lake and could see Duck Pass roughly 400 vertical ft above us. The trail is in excellent condition and switchbacks it's way up to the pass that sits at 10,800 ft. Once on top Duck Lake came into view. It's another magnificent lake. We decided to drop down to the lake to take our lunch. It was easy going as we descended a few hundred ft and we took our break at a lookout over the lake. It's a beautiful day and our view cannot be beat!

After lunch we headed back up to the pass and then started our return. On the way back we decided to detour over to Emerald Lake. This is a small but intimate lake surrounded by mountains. From there it was roughly a mile back to the trailhead. This was a nice hike and was perfect for getting us acclimated before our backpacking trip the next day.
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1 archive
Jul 01 2015
clairebear
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 Photos 178
 Triplogs 158

37 female
 Joined Oct 26 2011
 Tempe, AZ
Duck Pass Trailhead to Duck LakeSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2015
clairebear
Hiking8.31 Miles 2,105 AEG
Hiking8.31 Miles
2,105 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
John9L
Scenic Sierra hike to Duck Lake. Its a popular area so saw several other groups and dogs on the hike in. At the lake we found a nice spot and stoped for lunch. There was a bee that was really interested in my pack so that made eating a bit challenging. On the way back we approached a pack mule train and somehow managed to cut a corner or two and get ahead of them. At some point we stopped to filter water and the mosquitoes were a bit hungry:(
Nice hike to start off the trip ~!~
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Jun 21 2015
AZLOT69
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 Guides 175
 Routes 247
 Photos 7,433
 Triplogs 1,844

68 male
 Joined Feb 12 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Consolidated Mine TrailSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2015
AZLOT69
Hiking8.50 Miles 1,840 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles
1,840 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Great day on the trails. Comfortable weather at this altitude. Escaped smoke from Lake Tahoe fires.
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It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
--Mark Twain
average hiking speed 1.08 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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