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Carson-Iceberg Wilderness | High Sierra Backpacker

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Carson-Iceberg Wilderness


Backpacking in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Forest Roads Closed in Aftermath of the Donnell Fire

 

CRITICAL UPDATES

May 29 & June 17, 2019
Donnell Lake and Crabtree Trailhead Closures ADDED

May 23, 2019
Forest Closure Order Modification,
North & East Carson Iceberg Wilderness Opened, Half TYT still Closed
 

 

SPRING 2019
DONNELL FIRE AFTERMATH REPORT

During the Donnell Fire, August 2018
Bringing Water to Fire

FEO Engine 344 on Groveland Ranger District, by Josiah Dewey.
Photo by Josiah Dewey, FEO Engine 344 of Groveland Ranger District. More.

 

Aftermath of the Donnell Fire

Stanislaus National Forest, Recent Forest Orders,
Stanislaus National Forest. Alerts & Notices.

The Donnell Fire

Donnell Fire Timeline

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Carson Iceberg Wilderness Backpacking Loops and Trips

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

Despite the Fire, Some Beautiful Places to Visit
Summer's Here. The Eastern end of the Carson Iceberg is pretty much closed South of Clarks Fork Road, excepting the route of the Pacific Crest Trail, which is complimented by the still open segment of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail coming South down from Lake Alpine to Woods Gulch.
Now, prospective Tahoe to Yosemite Trail hikers will need to make use of our alternative routes, just to get around the closed section of the TYT across the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Alternative Year...
The route tying together what we can hike of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail across the Carson Iceberg, then connecting with the Pacific Crest Trail as described below, is where we can bend our route either North into a nice Summer Backpacking trip, maybe ending at Ebbetts Pass despite the carnage of last year's Donnell Fire, or turning South along the PCT to bypass these closed segments of the TYT, so we can hike South to Sonora Pass along the PCT, to pick up the TYT again by hiking South out of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station.

 

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May 2019 TYT UPDATE: Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Closure Requires TYT Hikers Detour across Carson Iceberg Wilderness

 

2019
Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
CLOSURE

Update

2019 Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
CLOSURE-DETOUR
As of
May 23, 2019
FOREST ORDER

Critical Stanislaus National Forest Donnell Fire Closure Order No. STF-16-2019-09,

 

The TYT is closed from just above Arnot Creek South to Clarks Fork Meadow.

 

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

Video embed: 
See video

Tropical storm brings heavy hail, lightening to Saint Marys Trailhead, just below the Sierra Crest, July 8 2015.

  

Status Update

MAY 2019
Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Forest Roads Closed in Aftermath of the Donnell Fire

 

Post-Storm July 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.

Clarks Fork Trailhead 
to
Saint Marys Pass Trailhead
on
Highway 108
11.25 miles along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
 The Iceberg, sitting across Iceberg Meadow from the Clarks Fork Trailhead at the end of Clarks Fork Road.
Above: The Iceberg sitting across Iceberg Meadow from the Clarks Fork Trailhead at the end of Clarks Fork Road.

July 2015 TYT Status Report
The Trail

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

Published
June 18, 2017

 

Status Update

MAY 2019
Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Forest Roads Closed in Aftermath of the Donnell Fire

 

 

Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
TRIP REPORT

 

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

The Team:
Rich, Melika and I were dropped off by my wife at Silver Creek Trailhead near Lake Alpine on August for a 7 day trip up to St. Mary’s Pass. We can't do these trips without family support crews. Thanks to all!

Meet The Team

Rich and Scott after route-finding their way South to Saint Marys Pass Rich and Scott found their route up the untrailed Tahoe to Yosemite Trail to Saint Marys Pass.
American Farmers

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High Sierra Cow Anxiety in Upper Clarks Fork Canyon

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.

I figured I'd meet some cows. The narrow canyon certainly makes "our" shared route along the visible bits of route along the unmaintained trail the best solution for both grazing stock and passing backpackers to reach our respective goals. It's cozy. No problem. I like cows.

My goal is always to get past cows with as little trouble as possible. I've dealt with cows many times before, and always gotten myself through quickly, sometimes employing sweet talk, and other times threatening a re-branding if cow-cooperation is found lacking.

I will go freeking cowboy on their huge cow asses.

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Encounter: 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

Highlands

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. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bear Sign: East Carson River is 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.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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.
 
 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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

Alex Wierbinski's picture

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.

Information

Dirt roads lead from Highway 4 to both lakes, 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Carson Iceberg Wilderness 2, David Maxim High Sierra watercolor artist

Carson Iceberg Wilderness

 Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

 Carson Iceberg Wilderness II

2012

David Maxim Studio

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

David Maxim Backpacker

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