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Banner Peak (2009)
Big Margaret Lake (2009)
Dinkey Lakes (2009)
Graveyard Lakes (2009)
Kaiser Wilderness (2007)
Darwin Canyon (2006)
Upper Twin Lake (2006)
Redwood Canyon/Big Springs (2006)
Upper Twin Lake (2005)
Mt Whitney (2005)
Dinkey Lakes Wilderness (2005)
Cliff Lake/Dinkey Wilderness (2005)
Kaiser Wilderness (2004)
Blaney Meadows (2004)
High Sierra Trail (Mt. Whitney) (2003)
Mt Whitney Day Hike (2002)
Hell for Sure Pass(2000)
Marie Lake/Selden Pass (1999)
Sandbeach Lake (1994)
Big Spring (1994)
Graveyard Lakes
Hidden Lake and Kaiser Peak
Darwin Canyon via Lamarck Col
Redwood Canyon/Big Spring
Twin Lakes
Dinkey Lakes
Cliff Lake
Kaiser Peak
Blaney Meadows
High Sierra Trail
Mt Whitney Trail
Hell for Sure Pass
Sandbeach Lake
Selden Pass

Dinkey Lakes Wilderness Backpack Trip

Trail Description

2005 Trip Pictures

Trip Report (7/15/2005-7/17/2005): The youth group at my church was wondering if I could pick a good place to goThe Group at the Trailhead backpacking and if I could help lead them. So I recommended we go to First Dinkey Lake since it is a pretty short and easy hike. So we got started Friday morning and stopped by the ranger station in Prather for the permit. Unfortunately we had some problems had to split up and stay at separate lakes. We continued up and got to the turn off for the trailhead and went up the deteriorating road. After awhile we came to a snow pack blocking the road and had to go up a steeper slope. A few cars made it up that steeper slope, but we decided to dig down the snow pack for two other cars. (When we came back down that snow pack was melted). After a long drive on that road we finally came to the trailhead. We took a picture and got started. Immediately we had to take our boots off and cross Dinkey Creek that was about knee deep. We continued on going up. It was pretty easy, there were a few steep parts, but a lot was fairly level. Along the way we heard one of the kids was feeling sick. We went back and picked up his pack and slowly made our way to the rest of the group (after getting to camp, he felt fine). After rejoining the rest of the group, we made our way up the last steep section and got to First Dinkey Sunset at First Dinkey LakeLake. We got a little drizzle of rain during this section of the trail, but after that there was no more rain. The mosquitoes here were terrible and they were terrible during almost the entire trip. There were swarms of them and the deet wasn't doing a very good job at keeping them away. Everything was very green and beautiful after the long winter and it was very nice being up there. And I noticed there was a lot less snow than there was two weeks ago; it was almost completely gone. We found a good campsite and they began setting up camp. However, four of us had to go up to South Lake so after a little while, we headed up there. We took the long way getting up to South Lake, but eventually made it (later we found a faster way that only took ten minutes to get between the lakes). We set up camp and then headed back to First Dinkey Lake for dinner and then back to camp to go to bed. About 12:15 AM I woke to a big crashing noise. I determined it to be a rockslide, although I thought later that itFirst Dinkey and South Lakes could have been an avalanche, but I had heard an avalanche a few weeks before and this was much louder than that had been. The next morning we ate breakfast at First Dinkey then headed back to South Lake to start on a day hike. While we were waiting for everyone at South Lake, I went for a little swim. It was pretty warm out so I thought it would feel good, and it did. The water was a little cold, but really was nice and refreshing. After that short swim, we headed on up to Second Dinkey Lake. After a fairly steep climb, we made it to the lake. We went to the ridge to the west of the lake. There was a really good view from here and a nice breeze and for once, no mosquitoes. We had a nice long lunch stop here enjoying the view and the breeze, then we headed up to Island Lake. It was a fairly steep climb above Second Dinkey, but it was pretty short. There was some parts with snow on the trail and water running down it, but we made it up without any problems. We took Island Lakea nice break at Island Lake. Richie and I decided to climb the small peak to the north of the lake. We got some good views of the lakes we were staying at and Dogtooth Peak and several other things. We also say some snow that had recently slid off some rock which could have made the noise I heard the night before. But as I said, that was a really loud noise and didn't sound like an avalanche. We then headed down and met up with the group heading down the trail. We got back to camp and then headed to First Dinkey again and had dinner. Dinner was delicious. Spaghetti, mashed potatoes and pudding for dessert. We stayed there and then headed back to South Lake to go to bed. The next morning we packed up and headed to First Dinkey for breakfast. We thought we'd hike out by Swede Lake and Mystery Lake, so we headed back to South Lake and caught the trail going that way. We climbed up a littleCave near the trailhead ways and then dropped down to Swede Lake. It was a nice lake, but we basically passed right by it. We then dropped down a lot and then got to Mystery Lake. We stayed there a while and had lunch. I went in the water a little bit. It was actually pretty warm. After lunch, we dropped down some more and met up with the trail we came in on. I thought that instead of crossing Dinkey Creek twice again, I'd just go around the little bend. There was a trail that went that way, so I followed it and came out to the west of the main trailhead. At the parking lot I found a little cave. It only went back about five or ten feet and then there was an opening at the top. So that was kind of interesting. After we all got back and rested awhile, we headed down that long road. I didn't enjoy going down it very much, I just wanted smooth road. After a long bumpy drive, we finally got to Dinkey Creek Road and headed to Hungry Hut in Shaver Lake. I got a small cheeseburger, which was very small, but it tasted really good. After the food stop, we headed back down to the valley.

First Dinkey Lake Panorama

2009 Trip Pictures

Trip Report (7/17/2009-7/19/2009):

Day 1: David and I got a very early start from Fresno/Clovis and got started hiking around 6:45am. It was a chilly morning, but soon warmed up once we got going. The trip up to First Dinkey Lake went very quickly and we got up there about an hour and a half later. Of course the mosquitoes were bad here, they always are, but we managed to take a little break there and take some photos of the early morning reflections off the lake and the beautiful green scenery around the lake. Of course after we were back on the trail, we took a wrong turn (which usually happens in this area) and were probably heading toward Rock Meadow. David caught the mistake and we were soon back on our way to Island Lake. About an hour and a half later, after a quick stop at Second Dinkey Lake, we were up at Island Lake. We got a really nice campsite at the northwest end of the lake, set up camp and then went up to the ridge just north of the lake to check out the amazing view from there.

After lunch we started around the lake to get to the Three Sisters. It's a bit steep going up but we quickly got to the top of the highest peak, admired the view and took some pictures, then walked along the ridge to the middle peak. It was my second time to the top of the highest peak, but I had never been to the other two peaks. The view is essentially the same, but you can get a little better view of some of the lakes. After some more photos, we hiked along the ridge to the third peak. Again, the view was basically the same as the other two, but one thing that was cool about this peak is we could see Fingerbowl Lake down below, which was a shallow lake with a very pretty blue color. We then descended quickly down the steep slope next to the peak and headed back to camp. By now it was getting pretty cloudy. I didn't think it quite looked like it was going to rain. Although after a few hours, it did look pretty threatening. I could definitely see rain coming down over the divide northeast of us while we were up on the Three Sisters. But the rain never came and the clouds went away, giving a nice sunset from the ridge looking down on First Dinkey Lake and South Lake.

Day 2: We woke up to a cloudy sky and thought surely it was going to rain. We took some pictures and got ready for a day hike. By the time we started, the clouds had mostly cleared away. We went down from Island Lake to Second Dinkey Lake, then over to Rock Lake. We got some nice shots there and then headed up over the pass to Cliff Lake. That climb was a lot steeper than I remembered. I was out of breath halfway up the hill and then the downhill on the other side seemed to last forever. We got to Cliff Lake, took a nice break and shot some photos and then headed over to Bullfrog Lake. We decided not to go down to the actual lake, but we could get a pretty good view of it and Dogtooth Peak from the ridge above. We then went around Bullfrog Lake to Dogtooth Peak. Again, I didn't remember the climb being quite so steep. One thing that is really cool about the area around Dogtooth Peak is all the quartz sitting around the mountain. We first tried climbing up the small, southernmost peak but I think I got as far as I did the first time I tried to climb it. David, being a bit more daring went a little higher, but couldn't make it to the top. We then went down and over to the tall, official peak to get on that. We went around to the west side of the peak and went through a cool little flat area between some of the rock pillars. David climbed around on some of the rocks while I shot some photos, then we tried to get up the highest part of the peak. I didn't manage to get up there last time, but with David's help on one difficult part, I was able to get to the top of the peak this time. After admiring the views and passing another group on the way down, we headed down the very steep drop to Little Lake. By this time my legs had had about enough and I was relieved to get to Little Lake and take a break. We shot some photos, and I took a nice break, then we headed up the hill to Rock Lake and then back to Island Lake, taking a detour up to the ridge again. I then ended the day with a little fishing, but only caught one small fish.

Day 3: We took down camp and set out around 10am. Instead of going back to First Dinkey Lake, we went on the south trail to South Lake, Swede Lake, and Mystery Lake. Other than the beautiful scenery along the way and the steep descent before Swede Lake and after Mystery Lake, the hike back was relatively uneventful. We got back to the trailhead and chatted with a couple we met up at Island Lake on the first day and then headed down the mountain, stopping at Hungry Hut for some ice cream before getting back to the 108F heat of the valley.

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