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Like last year, I am planning a good backpacking trip this summer. I have a permit for an eight day trip out of Mineral King starting Saturday July 27 and exiting Saturday August 3.
The general route is to go over Timber Gap, then up Cliff Creek and over Black Rock Pass to Little Five Lakes/Big Five Lakes. From there we will drop down Big Arroyo and go all the way to the trail that heads back up Rattlesnake Creek to Forester Lake. Then north to Lost Canyon. From Lost Canyon, we will take a day to head up to a lake that I have been looking at on the topo maps for a number of years. It is remote and off trail, and I would be willing to bet that we will be the first people there in a generation. Then back to Lost Canyon and over Sawtooth Pass to go back to Mineral King.
We will be on a variety of trails, from well used popular trails to the seldom used and rarely maintained trail in Big Arroyo (the SEKI website says that route finding skills are necessary in this section). And, of course, off trail to the unnamed lake at the east end of the Sawtooth-Needham ridge. The longest day distance wise will be 13 miles, and the longest day vertically will probably be +3200' and -1400'.
I have a permit for seven, and right now I have four committed to go. If you are interested, let me know.
Like last year, I have conditions. If you do not have experience doing multi-day backpacking trips, or any experience at elevation, expect me to ask hard questions. I have had people bail out on the third day of an eight day trip and it was not a pleasant situation. If you are unable to continue because you have simply bitten off more than you could chew, I would expect you to be able to self-evacuate over the shortest route. That may sound harsh, but I only get one good trip each year and it is always a gamble taking on people with whom you have not hiked before because you don't know what their true abilities are.