Overnight at Franklin Lake

10:48 p.m. on July 12, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
399 forum posts

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


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


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


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



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


The lake is very nice, clear water and cool.



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


10:52 p.m. on July 12, 2014 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
399 forum posts

On the way back to camp I went down the eastern shore of lower Franklin Lake for some good views of the lake.


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.



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.


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


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


10:17 a.m. on July 13, 2014 (EDT)
1,238 reviewer rep
426 forum posts

Great photos! Some stunning scenery there. Looks like a fantastic place for an overnighter!

1:02 p.m. on July 13, 2014 (EDT)
3,171 reviewer rep
678 forum posts

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)
0 reviewer rep
399 forum posts

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)
480 reviewer rep
189 forum posts

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)
3,171 reviewer rep
678 forum posts

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)
1,234 reviewer rep
1,583 forum posts

Ha-ha! Thanks John I much appreciate the foxtail pics! Great report...


1:15 p.m. on July 14, 2014 (EDT)
3,404 reviewer rep
505 forum posts

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)
0 reviewer rep
399 forum posts

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)
0 reviewer rep
110 forum posts

Beautiful pictures Lambertiana.

11:58 a.m. on July 18, 2014 (EDT)
4,641 reviewer rep
1,381 forum posts

I like hiking in the dark too, it really extends the day.  Looks like a great trip, and a pretty burly elevation gain!

November 26, 2015
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Snowdonia National Park, Wales, Day 1 Newer: 21 Days to Yellow Creek Mountain
All forums: Older: ****FS Western Mountaineering Hooded Flash Jacket**** Newer: Search on forum topics