Overnight at Franklin Lake

10:48 p.m. on July 12, 2014 (EDT)
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Yesterday after work I went with a friend and someone he knows to spend the night at Franklin Lake.  If I were to pick one place in the Sierra that I call home, it would be Franklin Lake.  I go there regularly, and I really like it there.

We made it up the Mineral King Road and got to the trailhead at sunset.  Here is one of the few pictures I got before darkness fell, right by the trailhead


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Not far up the trail is my traditional first snack break, the falls on Franklin Creek.  Running very low this year


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Most of the hike in (six miles, starting at 7800' and ending at 10,400') was in the dark.  After a very chilly and windy night, I got my first picture of Franklin Lake from camp


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I had never really checked out the upper lake (on top of the shelf in the middle of the above picture.  So I decided to stroll up there...through a bunch of brush and boulders.  On the way, just for Patman's sake, I got some pictures of one of my favorite sierra trees, the foxtail pine


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From there I went up a boulder field to the upper lake


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The lake is very nice, clear water and cool.


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Then I headed back to lower Franklin Lake, this is looking down at the lake from the edge of the shelf


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10:52 p.m. on July 12, 2014 (EDT)
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On the way back to camp I went down the eastern shore of lower Franklin Lake for some good views of the lake.


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When I got back to camp the other two guys were already packed up, and while I packed they headed down.  So on the way down I got the pictures that I couldn't get on the way up because it was dark.


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This is looking back toward the trailhead at Mineral King, at the clump of trees at the bottom of the canyon at the far end.


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Finally at the trailhead, looking where we had been.  Franklin Lake is behind and to the left of the leftmost tall peak in this picture


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And to close the loop, the same creek shot that I took on the way out, this time in full sunshine.


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10:17 a.m. on July 13, 2014 (EDT)
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Great photos! Some stunning scenery there. Looks like a fantastic place for an overnighter!

1:02 p.m. on July 13, 2014 (EDT)
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That is a lot of pretty for such a short trip though with a 2600' climb in the dark it sounds like you earned it.

4:02 p.m. on July 13, 2014 (EDT)
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It does make for a long overnight, and for me the biggest issue is the elevation.  I live at 300', so when I am setting up camp at 10,400' I have to be careful when I bend over and then stand back up...the world spins.

Normally on these overnights I get up early the next morning to summit one of the peaks around the lake.  My favorite is Florence Peak (the granite peak visible at the head of the lake).  It's 12,438' and involves a really fun boulder scramble for the final 400'.  On this particular trip the two guys I was with did not want to summit and didn't want to hang around for hours waiting for me, so I opted to just do a little exploring instead.

12:21 a.m. on July 14, 2014 (EDT)
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I need to do this Franklin Lake/Florence Peak trip you're talking about ASAP!  Hmm.. now what's a good "call out sick" excuse...

6:28 a.m. on July 14, 2014 (EDT)
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I just assumed you folks who climb high mountains lived half way up so you were used to the fact that there is no air in the air up there. Living at sea level for the past 30 years or so I start feeling it around 5k.  Stood up from a break on top of a peak the other day and had to sit back down quick before things went all dark heh, so I know what you are describing.

Keep posting the pics from up there because it is much easier than me trying to go there :p

7:04 a.m. on July 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Ha-ha! Thanks John I much appreciate the foxtail pics! Great report...

 

1:15 p.m. on July 14, 2014 (EDT)
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Beautiful report, John! Thanks again for sharing. I can't WAIT to see the report from your big trip!

11:52 p.m. on July 14, 2014 (EDT)
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LoneStranger - I wish I lived at elevation, it would make trips like this a lot easier.  On long backpacking trips, after the first day or two I feel much better.

Danny - The best excuse is the one my brother told me.  You have an eye problem - You can't see going to work.

6:59 a.m. on July 15, 2014 (EDT)
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Beautiful pictures Lambertiana.

11:58 a.m. on July 18, 2014 (EDT)
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I like hiking in the dark too, it really extends the day.  Looks like a great trip, and a pretty burly elevation gain!

December 19, 2014
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