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Carson-Iceberg Wilderness

Backpacking in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness

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Trip Report: Rich, Scott, & Melika report on Unmaintained Clarks Fork of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, 2016

June 18, 2017


Tahoe to Yosemite Trail


Unmaintained Trail Report


This Report:
Section Hiking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail

This Section

Lake Alpine to St. Mary’s Pass

Trip Start Date 
August 7, 2016

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Hunter's Camp Bear Story

Bear encounter in Upper East Fork of the Carson River drainage. Bear wanted my food, but I kept it.


Hunter's Camp Bear Story
Above Hunters Camp there is a big boulder that provides an expansive view, where we can see all the way to Ebbetts Pass. I had ate dinner and made hot chocolate and retired to the boulder to watch the view change with the setting sun and have a relaxing smoke. Hunters Camp has exceptional sunsets.

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Highland's 2014 Upper Clarks Fork Unmaintained Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Report


Highlands Reports on the Unmaintained and Untrailed Segment of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail through the Upper Clarks Fork of the Stanislaus River


Last year we hiked from 108 over St Mary's Pass to Iceberg Meadow.

We did it in mid-June. There was a good amount of snow at the pass  but we manage our way over and around it. 

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New Unmaintained Section of Tahoe to Yosemite Trail South of North Fork of the Stanislaus River

We've been recieving increasing reports of trail deterioration along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail once we cross the North Stanislause River Northbound  climbing the ridge separting the river from Rock Lake.

We get this fine report from Highlands on his 2015 passage:


We started at Lake Alpine and stayed at Rock Lake the 1st night. The next day we proceeded to Highland Creek near the bottom of Jenkins Canyon.

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High Sierra Cow Anxiety in Upper Clarks Fork Canyon

Moved to Mountain Safety Forum

Close Encounter of the Cow Kind

As I was hiking down the Clarks Fork of the Stanislaus on the unmaintained Tahoe to Yosemite Trail I picked up the enchanting sound of softly clanging cow bells bouncing off the rocky canyon walls until absorbed by the forest.

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July 2015 TYT Unmaintained Trail Update: Clarks Fork Trailhead to Saint Marys Pass Trailhead

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Tropical Sunset
Fine tropical-influenced sunset from Clarks Meadow hiking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in July of 2015
  From the North Edge of Clarks Fork Meadow along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

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I need to get outta this place...

Hey Kids,

I need to go backpacking post-haste. City life sucks and has about driven me crazy. I will be ready to run screaming into Nature after the Fourth.

How about you?

I have a five to seven day trip planned out of the Saint Marys Pass Trailhead near the top of Highway 108. I need a ride up there between the 5th and 7th, if anyone is driving that way.

But here's the real deal, why I am posting here; I am hiking North on an untrailed segment of the TYT to an unmaintained segment of trail, then down to maintained trail.

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Ebbetts Pass Backpacking Weather

 Weather Information from real time reporting stations around Ebbetts Pass, as well as long term forecasts, with current satellite and radar views.  

Ebbetts Pass Point Forecast

Ebbetts Pass real time reporting station

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George and Sue Cross Country to Spicer Meadow Reservoir Campsites

George and Sue have a nice campsite at the end of a cross country route located on the North shore of Spicer Meadow Reservoir out of Summit Lake.

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Carson Iceberg Wilderness Backpacking Loops and Trips

Medium and Long distance
Backpacking Loops
and trips
in the
Carson Iceberg Wilderness

This report on backpacking loops and trips around the Carson Iceberg Wilderness comes from the Tahoe to Yosemite section of the Tahoe to Whitney trail guide at the Jenkins Canyon trail junction alongside Highland Creek above Spicer Meadow Reservoir.

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Clarks fork of the Stanislaus River

Interesting formation of rock inclusions in exposed granite along unmaintained segment of Tahoe to Yosemite Trail along Clarks Fork of the Stanislaus River

Unique rock inclusions in granite exposed along Clarks Fork of the Stanislaus hiking TYT.

Trail Guide
Boulder Creek junction to Saint Marys Pass Trailhead

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East Carson River, Boulder Creek

Interesting inclusions exposed on granite outcropping.

South of Northern Boulder Lake trail juction, North of the Southern unmarked junction to Boulder Lake.

Unique inclusions emerging from granite, Pacific Crest Trail.

Trail Guide Page
Boulder Lake junction to East Carson River

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East Carson River Bear Country

I've seen bears and bear sign here as long as I've been coming here.

Bear behavior has been on a long term trend of increasing familarity with humans, and increasing numbers for the past couple of decades.

Then Vic Bergstrom sold the Little Antelope Pack Station to Joe. Joe's opened up the bear hunting in the Eastern Sierra around the East Carson River. This has changed the trajectory of bear behavior as well as their distribution.

This is a general post about bear encounters on the trails and in the terrain around the upper reaches of the East Carson River.

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Wolf Creek flows as Slush

I guess this topic deals with cold effects on terrain, on water, on lakes and streams.

Here's Wolf Creek flowing as slush during October of 2011:

Wolf Creek flowing as sulsh, October 2011.

I was facinated by this. I would have spent the morning watching it revert to liquid water, but I had a hiking partner with time constraints during this backpacking trip that I could not blow off.

In for a penny, in for a pound.

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Eric's Unmaintained Trail Reports: Boulder Creek to Saint Marys Pass, 2011 to 2013

These up to date conditions reports were sent to me by Eric, who was kind enough to share them with us during late July of 2013:

Eric's Account of Recent Trail Conditions, 2011-2013


This was my third summer hiking the original Tahoe-to-Yosemite trail, all parts as originally proposed in Tomas Winnett's guide book.

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Bull Run Lake and Bull Run Peak with George and Sue, Carson Iceberg Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest

George and Sue backpacked up to Bull Run Lake from Pacific Grade Summit on Highway 4 West of Ebbetts Pass,  and scrambled around the nearby peaks, including Bull Run Peak.

Pacific Grade Summit is a wonderful flat with a beautiful lake, Mosquito Lake, with some cabins, a campground and nearby trailheads, of which Sue and George hiked the trail on across Highway 4 from the South side of Mosquito Lake South to Bull Run Lake.

Road Map: Highway 4

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Highland Lake to Summit Lake, Backpacking with Sue and George in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Highland Lakes to Summit Lake via Highland Creek

Backpacking the Carson Iceberg Wilderness with George and Sue. Highway 4 trailheads at Summit Lake near Union Reservoir, and Highland Lakes to the West of Ebbetts Pass and East of Lake Alpine.

Trip: Hike Highland Lakes Trailhead down to Summit Lake off the Northeast end of Union Reservoir.


Dirt roads lead from Highway 4 to both lakes, 

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Carson Iceberg Wilderness 2, David Maxim High Sierra watercolor artist

Carson Iceberg Wilderness

 Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

 Carson Iceberg Wilderness II


David Maxim Studio

David Maxim Artist A gallery of David's styles and projects.

David Maxim Backpacker

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Carson Iceberg Wilderness 1, David Maxim

Carson Iceberg Wilderness

High Sierra Watercolor Art, Carson Iceberg Wilderness 1, David Maxim

Carson Iceberg Wilderness


Take a tour through the David Maxim Studio for a wide spectrum of unique and classic perspectives of life and its expressions.

David Maxim Artist A gallery of David's styles and perspectives.

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Sierran Treefrog, Noble Lake, Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Tree Frog, Noble Lake

8880 Feet

Sierra Tree Frog in Noble Lake, Pacific Crest Trail, Stanislaus National Forest.

Trail Guide Page: Ebbetts Pass to Tyron Peak, Noble Lake

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