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#167783 - 07/11/12 03:16 PM TR: Tyee Lakes, Inyo NF
BZH Offline

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA
Here is a weekend trip me a couple friends took at the end of June to Tyee Lakes in the Eastern Sierras of the Inyo National Forest.

Using approved blush elevation acclimatization procedures we left Redondo Beach, CA (elevation 0 ft) at 1 AM and drove all night getting to the Bishop Ranger Station (el: 4200 ft) at 6 AM. We picked up our trail permit from the night dropbox and got to the trailhead (el: 9200 ft) at 6:30 AM.

We then proceeded to huff it up the hill. This is an efficient hike to get to elevation. You pretty much go straight up the hill. We were passed by family dayhiking and they said lake 3 had great fishing. They said they caught many Golden Trout with dark purple spots. Good news since we planned on camping at either lake 3 or 4.


Lake 1 is at 10300 ft. We stopped for a bite to eat at Lake 2 at 10600 ft. I was feeling pretty good up to that point, but after lunch my brain started to realize how sleep deprived I was.

On the way up to lake 3 (el: 10900 ft) we came across a couple with their son and two dogs. They mentioned a nice camping spot on the down-stream (east) side of lake 3 and mentioned some other nice spots on the south-east side of the lake. Lake 3 was nice, but pretty rocky. It was difficult to find three spots to set-up our tents and have access to the lake. We found a spot where we could squeeze all three of our tents in but we were probably a bit too close to the lake. Admonish us if you will, but we were pooped and took it. blush

When the sun set that evening the wind really picked up so we hit the hay early. It was a cold night and a great night to try out my new Enlightened equipment quilt. Snapped the top button, the quilt pulled in around me and warmed me up. Woke up too warm a couple times. Each time I made small adjustments that let me regulated my body temperature nicely.

When the sun came up the next morning the wind reversed direction (it was coming down the canyon in the night and blew up the canyon all day) and calmed down nicely. Did a little fishing in the morning. They were biting like crazy on Super Dupers (I'd never heard of the lure, but my buddy had a couple). We were mostly catching ~8" brook trout with dark purple spots. Not sure if the family were better fishers than us, or didn't know the difference between Brook and Golden Trout. I did catch one 10-12" Rainbow Trout. We put the Rainbow and a couple brookies on a stringer for dinner and went for a day hike.

Hiked up to Lake 4 (el: 11100 ft) and realized we stopped too soon. Lake 4 is a little smaller than 3 but it is much less rocky with easy access to the lake. Not sure if the wind would have been any different in the evening. We then hiked up to Table Mountain which is a wide expansive table at 11,500 ft. It is mostly rolling hills up there, but there are a couple little peaks that max out at around 11,700 ft. We choose one too see how far up we could scramble. We looked over the back side of the peak and it was a shear cliff all the way back down to lake 1.

We enjoyed a nice lunch on the table and ran out of water. For whatever reason none of us took any water treatment technique with us. We could go straight back to camp a little dehydrated but since we could see the water seeping out of the ground into the stream we decided to drink it untreated.

After that we hiked back down to lake 4 and up over to lake 5. Lake 5 is only about 50 ft higher than lake 4 but it is separated by a rocky ridge and a boulder field. It took a bit of scrambling to get there. Lake 5 is a nice small alpine lake. It is the only one that still had a snow field feeding it.

After a small break we started to head down. I started to scramble over some rocks and the entire sole of my boot delaminated and popped off! I undid the top few laces of my boots and wrapped them around the sole and tied it on. A buddy took the tape from his first aide kit and wrapped that around my laces to protect them as much as possible. The sole was a bit floppy but held together well enough to get back down.

We fried up the fish to go with our dehydrated dinners. The two brookies were dead and showing rigamortis by then but the rainbow was still kicking. We fried 'em up in pan with olive oil, dried spices and fresh garlic... very nice.

When the sun went down the wind again reversed direction and kicked up even more than the night before. I had sand blowing into my tent all night. The next morning the wind didn't die down very much even after the sun came up. We saw white caps on the lake. We packed up, I taped my boot together as best I could and we hiked down the mountain. We stopped by Boulder Creek RV Resort for a shower and a beer and then the Ranch House Cafe in Olancha for Lunch, before the long haul back to Los Angeles.

Edited by BZH (07/11/12 03:20 PM)

#167784 - 07/11/12 07:36 PM Re: TR: Tyee Lakes, Inyo NF [Re: BZH]
BZH Offline

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA
hmmm... I am trying to imbed images, but they don't seem to be uploading?

#167837 - 07/14/12 01:38 PM Re: TR: Tyee Lakes, Inyo NF [Re: BZH]
billstephenson Offline

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Nice TR BZH, great photos too. It's always fun to look at photos of that area.

It's weird, when I lived out there it and went up into the mountains they always seemed so green compared to the coastal valleys, but now they seem so dry and barren compared to here, especially at the elevations you were there.

So, you made it out with the bum shoe ok, but how'd it hold up for you? And why do you think it failed so bad? Was it just old, or was it a defect? Either way, that had to suck pretty bad!


"You want to go where?"

#167861 - 07/16/12 12:12 PM Re: TR: Tyee Lakes, Inyo NF [Re: billstephenson]
BZH Offline

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA
Thanks Bill,

The boot failed in that way for a couple reasons. One it was old and was in pretty rough shape before the trip. Secondly it had a very stiff sole, so as the glue came loose I didn't notice. The stiffness of the sole and a few attachment points kept everything together pretty well. The last factor was how rocky it was up there. Hopping from rock to rock put an awful lot of tension on the glue between the sole and the boot. It was on one of those hops that the boot failed so dramatically.

It held together very well on the way down. The stiffness of the sole really helped and I was quite glad to have brought duct tape.

It is quite dry up there. I don't know what it was like when you hiked it. The western side of the mountain is greener, but still pretty dry. South of there in the valley is Owens lake, which is pretty much just a big salt flat now. Of course I think that is mostly due to LA pumping so much water out of the ground. (actually looking at wiki, it looks like we have been sucking owens lake dry since the '20's... so probably a bit before your time).

#167863 - 07/16/12 12:32 PM Re: TR: Tyee Lakes, Inyo NF [Re: BZH]
skcreidc Offline

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Great stuff!! I strongly suspect that the brookies you caught were the same type of fish as the goldens you heard about; although they could have caught hybrids.

Using approved blush elevation acclimatization procedures we left Redondo Beach, CA (elevation 0 ft) at 1 AM and drove all night getting to the Bishop Ranger Station (el: 4200 ft) at 6 AM. We picked up our trail permit from the night dropbox and got to the trailhead (el: 9200 ft) at 6:30 AM.

Love it... laugh


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