The first great reward comes at the Humphreys-Agassiz saddle, where the trail tops out the ridge between these two monstrous peaks and overlooks the Inner Basin falling away into the distant Painted Desert. Your email address will not be published. Geology (from photographs) appears severe with rock, scree, and debris, Topography appears manageable, and the vegetation appears sparse. A fairly easy trail leads to the top of Piute Pass. North Lake Fall Colors There are a variety of use trails, but as long as one knows the general direction one is heading, going too far astray is difficult. The trail is generally low angle and easy to travel on. Desolation Lake. You can easily spend a day rambling up and down one. It is an easy hike up to and over Piute Pass, and I set up camp at one of the many unnamed lakes below Mount Humphreys. The Inner Basin is Arizona’s own little version of the Alps, and the hike that takes you there is as good as it gets when autumn rolls around. Those heading for the camp sites on the knolls around Upper Golden Trout Lake, about 1/2 a mile south depending on your route, will spy some use trails or find a cross-country route down the shrubby slopes of the lake. Less than fun. Away from it, be ready for cross-country hiking that grades from easy off-trail to enjoyable but demanding boulder scrambling. This backpack begins at the North Lake (2853 m) trail head. I headed out on a solo 5 day/4 night trip to the French Canyon and Humphreys Basin via Piute Pass on August 12. (The old trail that followed the creek down to the bottom of the cirque has been abandoned.) This is a shuttle hike of Humphreys Peak which combines the Humphreys Peak Trail and the Humphreys via Inner Basin hike. Humphrey peak is also accessible from this location via the Weatherford Trail and continues north (follow trail signs). Passionately curious and stubbornly persistent. Humphreys Basin Trail is a 8.2 mile out and back trail located near Bishop, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Since that time I've been on many backcountry trips, often leading kids on their first-ever journeys into the wilderness. The Piute Pass trail leads into Humphreys Basin a good camp spot for climbs on the west side of Mount Humphreys. Humphreys at its eastern boundary along the Sierra Crest, the lake-filled basin boasts expansive views in all directions. You must walk the last .5 mile to the trail head beyond the camp ground. Animals you may spot in this high country include porcupine and elk. Still a tiny bit of snow near the pass but 99% clear. These sites and others in Humphreys Basin make fine base camps for exploring the basin’s wonders. From here, Steelhead Lake, to the north, is a good spot to set up for the night. Why you should go: A longer, more beautiful route to the summit. Required fields are marked *. Additional Info: Humphreys Summit Trail. Many people are satisfied with turning around here, at a breath-taking elevation of 11,800 feet. Weather permitting, you can plan to climb Mt. We woke at sunrise at the North Lake Campground, had breakfast and coffee, and broke camp. The trail connects with a larger network that includes the Weatherford Trail, Kachina Trail, and Inner Basin Trail. Once over the pass I turned right and headed deeper into the Humphreys Basin. This beautiful area is just 20 miles west of Bishop, CA. Gordon came up from Idyllwild to Lone Pine on Friday afternoon and we drove up to Pine Creek to leave his pickup truck where we would come out, then drove to North Lake and camped out in my car on a rainy night. Humphreys Basin will take your breath away! Humphreys Basin August 2005 Arlo, Marshall and David spend a week backpacking in the High Sierra west of Bishop, California. Learn how your comment data is processed. Humphreys Basin Still some flowers out here A tarn below Lower Desolation Lake Like Lockett Meadow and the Inner Basin Trail, these woods are full of beautiful aspens and, if you’re hiking in the fall, golden autumn leaves. Lower Lamarck Lake lies in a small granite basin, Cross the stream and outlet and follow the flowered trail to the upper lake. Lower Golden Trout Lake is closed to camping within 500 feet of its shoreline. Distance: 14 miles; Elevation Gain: 4,700 Feet; Difficulty: Challenging; The longest and most challenging hike on the list is arguably the most spectacular too. Emerson. From Piute Lake, the trail ascends an open, rocky slope to tree line overlooking alpine meadows threaded by streamlets and dotted with bright pools. The two of us are fairly fit, so we laid out a somewhat ambitious itinerary. But they all topple eventually, due to the action of frost wedging, and add to the piles of talus at the foot of the peak. To stand on the roof of the state, take a short trip from Flagstaff up to the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. To the south, the Glacier Divide, with its lingering snowfields, catches the last rays of light at day’s end in the warmth of alpine glow. The Humphreys Basin is accessed from the North Lake campground, 20 miles southwest of Bishop. If you missed the use trail to the Desolation lakes, you can follow the outlet northward from here. Summit Lake. From the upper part of the trail, views of Mt. trail begins at the camp ground and heads south across 2 footbridges through a grove of aspen trees. Inter-lake trails are not denoted on the USGS maps. Best season mid to late. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Your email address will not be published. The Bear Basin is one of the most discussed off-trail areas of the Sierra. Only certain vehicles are … 6 day backpacking trip, much of it off-trail, out of North Lake, near Bishop. The trail is easy. Below, the Golden Trout lakes gleam down in the cirque bottom. This trek samples some really fine alpine and sub-alpine scenery, and spices it up with some relatively easy off-trail hiking. Aspen is left behind, the lodge pole becomes sparse, and some limber pine is seen. Yellow-bellied marmots can be seen sunning on rocks or dashing into the shadows. There is a camp site north of the trail, near the lake’s west end. Due to the presence of giardia, all drinking water should be treated or boiled at least 3 minutes. I headed out on a solo 5 day/4 night trip to the French Canyon and Humphreys Basin via Piute Pass on August 12. Overview 3.7 miles on the Inner Basin Trail #29 to the Weatherford Trail #102. This country is rugged and rocky with sheer cliffs of granite and rough boulder slopes. Plus you get a great view of Mt Humphreys. Yellow-bellied marmots can be seen sunning on rock… Humphreys Basin Trail is a 8.2 mile out and back trail located near Bishop, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. It is a high elevation glacial basin mostly over 11,000 feet in elevation. This page describes the simplest and most popular way to the summit via the Humphreys Trail (#151). Also during winter and spring time months when covered by snow via traversing the eastern face of Agassiz to gain the saddle between Humphrey's Peak and Agassiz Peak. There is a popular multi day 48 mile loop hike from North Lake to South Lake or the reverse out of Bishop that takes in both these Beyond, spreads Humphreys Basin. I planned this trip with my good friend Braden. This scenic basin is relatively easy to reach and offers more solitude than many areas of the High Sierra, combined with a variety of recreation opportunities, most notably trout fishing. Those intrigued by the Desolation lakes’ reputation for fishing and fond of treeless, open camps will find a camp site or two east of the use trail above Lower Desolation Lake, and some wind-raked flats among the great white boulders surrounding aptly named Desolation Lake. Head over Piute Pass, through Humphreys Basin and down to Hutchinson Meadow. Beautiful trail, moderately steep climb. Humphreys Via Inner Basin. Even m’dear Robin had to bail out, as it was the weekend before her finals. Destination for this bonus trip was to be up and over Piute Pass and into the Humphreys Basin region of the Eastern Sierra, during the third week of June. North Lake Loop via Lamarck Col and Alpine Col, Piute Pass Trail to Muir Trail Ranch via Florence Lake and John Muir Trails, Bishop Pass from Dusy Basin to South Lake, Lake Sabrina to Midnight Lake and Hungry Packer Lake. Inner Basin is the only place in Arizona that mountains higher than 11,000 feet surround you. Pine Creek Trailhead can be reach by driving west off Hwy 395 through Rovanna and up to a rugged parking area south of the Tungsten Mill. The intricate, twisting beauty of the basin’s many stream channels surpasses any human design. 51 View of glacial cirque, ridges, and moraine in the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks. It was absolutely amazing. What makes it great is the scenery. Over Piute Pass (11,423) the trail drops into Humphreys Basin, loaded with many high alpine lakes. Black bears have been known to stroll right through groups of picnickers without so much as a glance at … If you choose to skip the climb, you can keep heading in deeper, toward the north side of Desolation Lake. I was able to get the second-to-last available permit on the 11th, so woke up early on the 12th, made the final drive from Mammoth to … Humphreys in the morning. Sierra High Country Odyssey: Humphreys Basin Loop, 8-09 6 day backpacking trip, much of it off-trail, out of North Lake, near Bishop. Climbing glacier carved granite benches, the trail passes Loch Leven, Piute Lake and many smaller lakes and ponds on the way to the pass. Start at Lockett Meadow, which is 7.1 miles to the peak, but has more gradual elevation gain. Approaching Loch Leven, the trail levels off. Beyond Piute Pass the trail gives access to Humphreys Basin, with an abundance of high alpine lakes and tarns on the north side of Glacier Divide. Emerson. After the trail fords and quickly refords the North Fork Bishop Creek, the ascent becomes moderate. The Piute Pass trail eases up through a forest of lodgepole and quaking aspens before following the North Fork of Bishop Creek; Paintbrush, Columbine and Penstemon flank the trail as one climbs higher near the rusty cliffs of the Piute Crags and Mt. The basin also serves as the headwaters of Piute Creek. After a few hundred feet turn right again and go 2 miles to a backpacker’s parking area just west of North Lake. Humphreys Via Inner Basin. 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