Homepage Trips Picture Gallery Backpacking Wallpapers Backpacking Checklist My Guestbook Links Contact
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

Graveyard Lakes Trip

Trail Description

Trip Pictures

Trip Report (6/17/2009-6/19/2009):

Day 1: This 7.5 mile trip to the lowest of the Graveyard Lakes was the first backpacking trip I had been on since the single trip I did in 2007. Rich and I left Fresno around 8am and headed up the usual route toward Shaver and Huntington Lakes. We got up to Kaiser Pass rather quickly but then started on the long, narrow road to Lake Edison. After the long drive on the twisty road, we got to the trailhead near the Vermillion Resort and got on the trail around 11am. It was getting rather cloudy and I was a little worried we might get stuck in a thunderstorm (especially after a fried said it hailed up there the day before), but the weather didn't look too threatening. The first part of the trail was rather easy and level. But eventually became steep as it headed up to Graveyard Meadows. Finally the trail leveled out and we soon came to Cold Creek. The creek had quite a lot of water in it, but there was a log nearby to cross on, so we had no problems at this creek crossing. The plan was to break for lunch at Graveyard Meadow, but there was a light rain and with the trail practically flat, we didn't feel the need to stop and loose our momentum. I was kind of surprised the trail didn’t get any closer than 100 yards from the meadow, but from what I saw in the trees, it was a pretty meadow. We were soon past the meadow and the rain had stopped, so we decided to take a break for lunch before the trail went up more. After a nice break, we soon came to another Cold Creek crossing, however this time there were no logs to cross on. We probably could have taken our boots off and forded the creek (there was a lot of water, but not too much to walk across), but we didn't feel like it and headed up stream to look for a log. Eventually we just gave up and hiked cross-country along the creek. The cross-country part actually wasn’t too bad and went rather quickly. The biggest problem was crossing some of the marshy meadows along the way. We eventually came to the creek that came from Graveyard Lakes and saw Upper Graveyard Meadow below us. This was the point where we needed to turn and hike straight up to Graveyard Lakes. We followed the creek for a little bit and then found a log to cross on and immediately got back on the trail. This part of the trail was also rather steep and took a lot out of us. It did eventually level off some but then we had a little trouble staying on the path because of patchy snow. But the snow wasn't much problem because it was just before the lower lake. We got to the lake and took a nice break to pump some more water and contemplate on what to do next. I was pretty tired, but thought I could probably make it to the big lake. Rich was pretty worn out though so we decided to set up camp at the lower lake (which in hindsight was a good idea). It sprinkled off and on throughout the evening, but we didn't get too wet. We tried to get a fire going, but there was absolutely no wood there and what we did find was fairly wet. So the fire just smoked and didn’t really get going, plus the rain didn't help. The rest of the evening was relatively relaxing and uneventful. Dinner for me was some Cup Noodles, mashed potatoes, and some of Rich's chili (which didn't turn out that well).

Day 2: The next day we were thinking about either doing a day hike to Peter Pande Lake or moving camp there. We decided to move camp, so we packed up everything and hit the trail by 11am again. Getting around the lower lake wasn't too bad, but at the north end of the lake we came across some snow and had to climb up it to get over to the next lakes. We quickly came to the second lake and by then there was almost more snow than dirt. We made our way over the snow and saw a narrow gap up in the direction of the big Graveyard Lake and though going around over the snow didn’t look as steep, the bare rocks were welcoming compared to the slippery snow. We climbed up to the gap and started to get some amazing views to the south and at the top of the gap could see the big Graveyard Lake to the north, still half frozen over. We took a short break, plotted our course up over the ridge and the continued hiking. By now the ground was pretty much completely covered by snow, but we slowly made our way around until it really started to slope up. At that point there wasn't much snow, but it was very steep. We soon got to the top and were shocked by the snow field on the other side. We took another break for some pictures and to debate on whether or not to go down it. We decided to give it a try. It didn't look too bad if we were to contour around. However once we got started, we quickly discovered that it was steeper than it looked. We changed our minds and decided to hike back to the lower lake. It would have just been too difficult going back up with our packs on (not to mention a bit dangerous going down) and would have made for a very long hike out the next day. The hike back to the lower lake was relatively uneventful, just lots of hiking over snow in soaked boots. We got back to the same spot, set up camp again, and enjoyed the evening. And this time we managed to find some nice dry wood and got a nice fire going. We heard a little thunder during the day, but didn't get any rain and by night it was very clear, so I took the opportunity to try taking some shots of the stars with my new DSLR camera.

Day 3: The following day, we packed up camp and headed back down the mountain. This time we hiked through Upper Graveyard Meadow and along the trail until we got to that same spot where we had to cross Cold Creek. Again we decided to look for a place to cross it and eventually just went cross-country down to Graveyard Meadow. I thought the meadow would be a good place to have lunch, so we stopped, but were immediately attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. We quickly got moving and desperately tried to find a place to cross the creek and get back to the trail. Eventually we found a couple small downed trees and made our way across them to the other side and out of the meadow. It's a pity there were so many mosquitoes, it was a very beautiful meadow and I would have liked it stay in it longer. After meeting up with the trail, the rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. We got to the car around 2pm, took a few pictures around Lake Edison and then headed down the mountain.

All original images and content Copyright ©2004-2009 Benjamin Zastovnik
Email: webmaster@jamin86.com


Web This Site