Sierra South - SEKI, Rock Creek aka Miter Basin

westy

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
144
Ahhhhhh… That's better. The high Sierra, Colorado Plateau of the mountains. Nothing but rock and water. In comparison to anywhere else I've tromped, overall nothing compares to you, high Sierra. I've been wanting to go up Rock Creek into Miter Basin for a long time, and its time had come. It started dicey, with active burn warnings posted as I got near to Horseshoe Meadow, and then LOTS of Forest Service firefighters and vehicles. Fockin' shite. Seriously ? After consulting one of the fire crew I was assured Horseshoe Meadow was open for business, as of just earlier in the day. Score ! Little Cottonwood Creek had been burning, but was now contained enough to allow access to Cottonwood Lakes and Pass. So I settled in for the evening, excited for the morning to come.

With a reasonable start, 8'ish or so, I headed up the white sand trail towards Cottonwood Pass through typical Foxtail Pine forest. Annnnnd break for ooh's and ahh's. Then on towards Lower Soldier lake, up the notch to the tarn above, and repeat, with oohier ooh's and ahhier ahh's. The views down into Miter Basin were splendid ! I took my time traversing down to the meadows below and wandered my way up to Sky Blue Lake, home for the next 2 nights. I spent the rest of the day just mucking around Sky Blue, watched the sun set, and crawled into the tent. So. I had realized before reaching the trailhead that I had failed, I repeat, FAILED, to pack my sleeping pad. So I was… curious, as to how the night would be on flat, sandy ground. It was not one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.

Come morning, after fitful, tossy-n-turny "sleep", I had no major kinks or cramps or sore spots. Even so, I considered hiking out that day to avoid another even less than normal comfortable night. But then I remembered - I'm a man ! I fart in public. I pick my nose at the dinner table. I slap my waitresses ass and say "keep it firm, babe" as the tip. Yeah. I'm a Man. So I left the tent up, packed for a day hike, and set off to circle the drain. Traversing the lakes under Mount Pickering and Mount Newcomb, up to Crabtree Pass, and finally down to the lake below Arc pass. I love the high Sierra ! Nothing but rock and water. Towering spires of fractured granite, benches and cliffs and ramp and slab everywhere. Pretty cool. Then another crappy nights "sleep" after another nice sunset.

After packing come morning I started my day back to the truck with long shadows, and ended it with even longer shadows, due to side trips and last, longful looks back. I was very food motivated on the way out, wanting to get to Lone Pine before closing times for a well deserved rib eye. I've had much better, but it was worth it. Then off to find a camp, a truck with an awesome memory foam mattress in the bed camp ! for one more night before heading home.

Cottonwood Pass looking west.
_MG_1678.jpg


Whitney Meadows.
_MG_1679.jpg

Siberian Plateau.
_MG_1685.jpg

Lower Soldier Lake.
_MG_1690.jpg


Tarn at top of notch.
_MG_1692.jpg

Miter Basin !
_MG_1696.jpg

Miter Basin !
_MG_1699.jpg

Sky Blue Lake outlet.
_MG_1708.jpg

Looking back at Miter meadows.
_MG_1712.jpg

Sky Blue home.
_MG_1737.jpg

_MG_1774.jpg

Upper basin and lakes.
_MG_1798.jpg

_MG_1801.jpg

_MG_1816.jpg

_MG_1825.jpg

_MG_1829.jpg


Heading out and looks back.

Sky Blue Lake.
_MG_1841.jpg

Sky Blue outlet.
_MG_1846.jpg


_MG_1854.jpg


Iridescent Lake.
_MG_1866.jpg


Looking down on Miter meadows from hanging valley below Iridescent Lake.
_MG_1872.jpg


Looking back from low meadows along Rock Creek.
_MG_1888.jpg

Mount Langley.
_MG_1896.jpg

Siberian Plateau.
_MG_1908.jpg

Whitney Meadows.
_MG_1912.jpg

Foxtail Pine.
_MG_1910.jpg
 

Dan_85

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
226
Not sure how I missed this, killer trip! I'd wanted to go via Soldier Lake at the end of my JMT hike in July but ended up apparently missing the turn off, then getting caught in a hailstorm. So I just hustled on to Chicken Spring Lake & Cottonwood Pass....
 

westy

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
144
Not sure how I missed this, killer trip! I'd wanted to go via Soldier Lake at the end of my JMT hike in July but ended up apparently missing the turn off, then getting caught in a hailstorm. So I just hustled on to Chicken Spring Lake & Cottonwood Pass....

I wish I'd spent another 2-3 days just wandering the basin and peak bagging. Plenty to keep one busy for 4-5 days of day hikes from a base camp. Ran into 3 parties while there who were all finishing JMT hikes and had come over Crabtree Pass. Seems like Miter Basin is a popular destination, saw people everyday wandering off trail.
 

SKLund

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
459
I was there in 92'. I miss camping above timberline In the Sierras because you didn't have to worry about T Storms...very much.
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,400
Very very nice. I have been up in Upper Rock Creek in winter and now I am going to have to visit the Miter. Thanks. What in the heck is the exact source of that last image? Beautiful.
 

Laura

freespirittraveler
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
957
Awesome trip report, great story telling. :D My husband has told me for years how awesome the Miter Basin is but I could never get over the altitude, so great to see pics.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
KevinBoyer South Lake to North Lake Sierra Nevada Trip Planning 4
norwegianxplorer Summiting Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake, 6 Days backpacking the Sierra before the Creek Fire closed everything down. Backpacking 5
Tarp Boy High Sierra Camp Loop, Yosemite, CA Trip Reports 5
balzaccom Sierra (Nevada) Stories General Discussion 0
Perry Anyone Have any Experience with Sierra Designs Nitro 800 0-degree Sleeping Bag Gear 11
Tim Valentine Big Pine Creek Eastern Sierra Backpacking 10
fossana Bear Lakes > Royce Lakes overnighter (High Sierra) Backpacking 12
J Cali: Cinder Cones, High Sierra Rambles, Famous Domes Oct 26-31, 2018 Hiking & Camping 3
fossana Pine Creek/Granite Park fall excursion (High Sierra) Hiking & Camping 14
wsp_scott A week in the Sierra Nevada Backpacking 23
Boognish Four days in the High Sierra Backpacking 10
mikejones3 Northfork to Second Lake Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains Backpacking 5
scatman High Sierra Trail Backpacking 23
K In Search of Snow in the Eastern Sierra Backpacking 3
balzaccom Trail work in the Sierra Backpacking 0
Tim Valentine Sierra 2017 Ansel Adams Wilderness Backpacking 11
scatman The Theodore Solomon's Trail (southern portion), Sierra Nevada - July 6, 2017 Backpacking 14
balzaccom Buckeye Creek, Eastern Sierra on the 4th of July Backpacking 0
Tim Valentine High Sierra Lakes Tour Backpacking 11
isleroyaleguy 170 Miles in the Sierra Nevada Backpacking 22
Perry Sierra Designs High Route 1FL Tent - Looks interesting Gear 6
balzaccom Blue skies and green trees in the Sierra Nevada General Discussion 0
SKLund Sierra Negra Hiking & Camping 0
BryanG Sequoia National Forest - Sierra Nevada, CA Backpacking 5
westy Sierra North Backpacking 3
Mike Jones High Sierra Trail to Mt Whitney through hike Backpacking 11
balzaccom Carson Iceberg Wilderness, Sierra Backpacking 1
Mike Jones High Sierra Trail to Mt Whitney Trip Planning 11
balzaccom Protecting the Sierra Resource Discussions 1
Aldaron Bear Spray in the Sierra Nevadas General Discussion 7
balzaccom Sierra Snowpack report Trip Planning 3
Shaverkid Trans-Sierra Backpack Backpacking 13
mak1277 Sierra weather - mid-September Trip Planning 1
Laura Eastern Sierra Getaway Backpacking 11
uintahiker Sierra Trading Post coupon codes Gear 15
Laura Rock Creek Cabins-Eastern Sierra Romantic Getaway! Everything Else 4
Nick Sierra Trading Post Coupon Codes Gear 30
Deadeye008 Sierra Designs DriDown Gear 5
wsp_scott Big South Fork Views Backpacking 1
S Conejos - South San Juan Wilderness Backpacking 2
Jammer Sequoia: Upper Kern and Lake South America Backpacking 12
kwc Chimney Mountain, South Central Adirondacks Hiking & Camping 3
kwc Hiking in the South Central Adirondacks Hiking & Camping 1
I Water in Frisky Creek south of Highway 12 in the Grand Staircase? Trip Planning 0
K Floating down South Fork of the Snake (ID) Trip Planning 1
regehr Dirty Devil South Trip Reports 2
Nick Coyote Buttes South - Jan 18, 2020 Trip Planning 1
TrailScot Quite the Adventure, South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 4 Backpacking 17
TrailScot Quite the Adventure, South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 3 Backpacking 8
TrailScot Quite the Adventure - South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 2 Backpacking 14

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top