August 19 – Lodgepole to Twin Lakes
August 21 – Comanche Meadow to Scaffold Meadows
August 22 – Scaffold Meadows to Big Wet Meadow
August 23 – Big Wet Meadow to Upper Cloud Canyon
August 24 – Upper Cloud Canyon to Lion Lake
August 26 – Tamarack Lake to Mehrten Creek
August 27 – Mehrten Creek to Crescent Meadow
This year's trip brought us back to the place that had inspired me to start backpacking. Back in 1992, I took a day hike to Silliman Pass. After seeing the view from the pass to the east, I wanted to continue to explore the wide open backcountry, but had to return to Lodgepole. I started backpacking the next year. Finally I returned to continue the trail to the east of Silliman Pass!
This trip was a long loop starting from Lodgepole campground and heading over Silliman Pass and across to Cloud Canyon. We followed Cloud Canyon up to its headwaters and went over Lion Lake Pass. This pass is described as class 2, but the route that we took had some class 3 sections. We dropped down to Lion Lake, and the next day continued over challenging terrain down Lone Pine Creek to Tamarack Lake, where we met with a spur trail that took us to Bearpaw Meadow and the High Sierra Trail back to Crescent Meadow and the car. We had left the car at Crescent Meadow before starting the hike and took the park shuttle bus back to Lodgepole Campground where we spent the first night.
We had three days with afternoon thunderstorms and rain,
the heaviest being when we were at Scaffold Meadows the third night. The rain
didn't affect our schedule though, as we were either already in camp or
near camp by the time the sprinkles started.