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Camping, Hiking and Outdoor Activities Camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities within.

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2021, 12:30 PM
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Default John Muir Wilderness Backpacking On The PCT & Golden Trout Fishing

My son, a friend of his and I did a 5 day backpack fishing trip in the John Muir Wilderness on the Pacific Crest Trail last month, 45 mile round trip starting/finishing at Florence Lake. The weather was perfect and the fishing for Golden Trout was spectacular. I had done this trip myself over 25 years ago and wanted my adult son to see it, I wanted to see it again too. I was, to say the least, apprehensive about my physical ability at 57 to do this trip, especially the initial 3200' elevation climb in, but I got in shape, lost some weight beforehand and modernized my gear cutting it's weight substantially compared to my old backpacking kit.

Here's the map, stating at Florence Lake we took the water taxi across then hiked to Muir Trail Ranch and up the switchbacks on the PCT to Salley Keyes Lakes. From there we went over Selden Pass to Marie Lake and north toward Lake Edison cutting back to Florence Lake via Bear Creek Trail and out to Mono Hot Spring then back to our car at Florence Lake



Day 1 at Florence Lake waiting for the water taxi to take us across


Blayney Meadows by Muir Trail Ranch


The switchbacks up to Salley Keyes Lakes


Salley Keyes upper lake at 10,200' looking east towards Selden Pass, we camped and fished here for 2 days


Day 2 at Salley Keyes Lakes


Golden Trout, I'd estimate 70% on our casts got a fish on






My son and I exploring about


We found a snow survey shelter off trail just south of Salley Keyes Lakes




And spotted a grouse at 10,200' elevation...


Day 3 headed to Selden Pass looking back at Salley Keyes Lakes


My son and I loaded up at Heart Lake just below Selden Pass


Looking north east at Marie Lake from Selden Pass at 10,910', Mammoth Lakes is north over the far peak on the left


Day 4 at Rosemarie Meadow


Day 5 along Bear Creek, we did 20 miles on day 4 & 5


And out...
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Last edited by MeatyMac; 09-09-2021 at 2:05 PM..
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:54 PM
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That looks like you had a awesome trip. Looks similar to echo lake area, and woods lake. Good memories
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Old 09-09-2021, 3:22 PM
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Great looking trip! Did you need a permit?
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Old 09-09-2021, 3:38 PM
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Good job, great scenery. My long distance at elevation days are behind me. Love the high country. Nice fishin. PAX
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Old 09-09-2021, 4:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homers View Post
Great looking trip! Did you need a permit?
Yes, wilderness and a campfire to run our stove.
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Old 09-10-2021, 5:57 AM
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I hiked that same area in the 1970s....it still looks the same. Beautiful. Sounds like a great trip.
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Old 09-10-2021, 6:18 AM
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Nice.
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Old 09-10-2021, 6:55 AM
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Looks like a great trip. I'll have to add that area to my list of to-do hikes.
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Old 09-10-2021, 7:11 AM
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Nice trip!

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Old 09-10-2021, 7:32 AM
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Looks like an awesome hike.
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Old 09-10-2021, 7:58 AM
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My high school buddy and I did that same backpack trip many years ago in mid June. So long ago, there was no water taxi running across Florence Lake - get this, we had to hike all the way (sarcasm) from the parking lot to the other end of the lake. The trout fishing was very good where the creek dropped into the lake.

We first camped near the bridge across Boulder Creek. Then hiked and camped near Sallie Keyes Lakes. Next, we hiked over Selden pass to get to Marie Lakes. From the pass, as we looked over to the Marie Lakes valley, it was completely snow and ice packed. And the Marie Lakes were completely frozen. Since we were equipped for summer camping, we realized that we were going no further and headed back to Sallie Keyes.

Looking for things to do now that were as far as we could go, we hiked to Heart Lake, then climbed up the adjacent east slope as far as we could go until we got to the upper ice pack. Picked a good spot with a great view to have our salami and cheese lunch. We got water that was running out from under the glacial ice. Best tasting water we ever had.

While sitting there, we then noticed that high up there, on a horizontal flat rock right next to us, someone had carved the shape of Heart Lake in that rock. The carving was well weather worn. We were in awe that we found that, and could only wonder how long ago that was carved, and by whom. Awesome...
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Old 09-10-2021, 9:37 AM
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What an awesome trip. Your son will always remember this trip.
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Old 09-10-2021, 4:08 PM
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See any deer or bears?

Nice Golden's
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Old 09-10-2021, 4:36 PM
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this thread delivers!

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Old 09-10-2021, 4:40 PM
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Awesome trip and photos. Thanks for posting that.
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
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See any deer or bears?

Nice Golden's
We saw deer on the way in at around 7500’ in Blayney Meadows but once we got above that we didn’t see any deer and never once saw any bears.
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Old 09-11-2021, 4:57 PM
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Beautiful. Good thing you got it in before they closed the forests.
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Old 09-11-2021, 5:09 PM
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That's the good stuff right there! Looks wonderful. Thanks for postin!
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Old 09-12-2021, 8:57 AM
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Beautiful fish and scenery. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-15-2021, 3:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeatyMac View Post
We saw deer on the way in at around 7500’ in Blayney Meadows but once we got above that we didn’t see any deer and never once saw any bears.
Awesome trip! Looks like you guys had a blast.

You missed a great golden trout opportunity when you got off the water taxi. If you hike around to where the San Joaquin empties into Florence, there is some great trout fishing. There's a bridge that takes you to Boulder Creek Campground. Hike about a 1/4mile up the river from that bridge & there is some good fishing.
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Old 09-25-2021, 3:07 PM
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Great pics and memories. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-29-2021, 2:09 AM
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any probs with the bugs biting you esp mosquitoes?
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Old 09-29-2021, 4:31 AM
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Good times!

Complicating the AT is on my bucket list. Problem is by the time I have the financial stability to invest 3-5 months, I don’t know that I will still have the physical ability.
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Old 09-29-2021, 6:36 AM
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Quote:
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any probs with the bugs biting you esp mosquitoes?
Ground squirrels were the biggest problem pests, we had a few mosquitoes around Florence Lake through Blayney Meadows on day 1 but after that they weren’t a problem.
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Old 09-29-2021, 12:24 PM
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A few more pictures



Lower Salley Keyes Lake where the PCT crosses over its outlet


Pan of Upper Salley Keyes Lake


Marie Lake


The Boys


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