06/17/2021 at 4:36 pm #5388
We have a permit for next Wed-Friday (6/23-25)- we were going to hike Lost Creek Trail past Grinnell Ridge Camp up to Dollar Lake for first night. Day 2 we’re doing all the peaks (Charlton thru San G) and back down to Dry lake/Lodgepole for night 2. Then back down morning of day 3.
I’ve seen on other trail condition posts that the Lost Creek Trail is unnavigable from before Grinnell Ridge Camp up to Dollar Lake Saddle. Is it unnavigable or just that there is no trail and we get to do a quick compass course cross country? Is the South Fork Trail a better option? On my topo the Lost Creek Trail looks pretty straightforward. Is there currently water at the spring just east of the Grinnell Camp (Mosquito Spring on my Tom Harrison topo)?
My brother wants to try fishing along the way. I’ve done San G multiple times from all the different approaches except this side (South Fork) and never considered fishing. I’m going to assume Dollar Lake will be fishless, but do any of the creeks along the way hold anything?
Also (and I know I ask a lot of questions- philosophy major) it sounds like plenty of water at South Fork Meadows, but are there any updates from last weekend regarding availability of H2O at Dollar Lake and Lodgepole Springs?
Thanks in advance for any intel available.
06/17/2021 at 5:14 pm #5389BrianDParticipant
I have not been on the Lost Creek trail beyond Grinnel Ridge (from South Fork). But between the ridge and South Fork trail, it is unnavigable. But it’s not very far to just drop straight down to the South Fork and pick up the trail.
I am wondering about your route choice though. Any particular reason why Lost Creek rather than just taking the South Fork Trail to the Dollar Lake/Saddle trail?
On the fishing front, there will be nothing on the way in. Nothing that I’m aware of anyway.
06/17/2021 at 5:26 pm #5390
Why? Shits and giggles I guess…
06/17/2021 at 8:12 pm #5391chris in redlandsParticipant
give lost creek a go. how lost could you get? A few details to consider…
Anything is possible cross-country, but whether or not it’s advisable is another thing.
The lost creek trail ends at the south fork trail. from the point where the two trails meet to dollar lake saddle, the trail is in fine shape and easy to follow.
Don’t expect any water before south fork meadow. anyone could get there from either trailhead with no water, so this should not be a problem.
Dollar lake will have no fish, as it also has no water.
Assuming you have a permit, you should also have received the email from the SGWA today that specifies that “Currently water is available at Fish Creek camp, Mineshaft Flats, Lodgepole/Dry Lake, Dollar Lake, High Creek, Vivian Camp.”
If you catch any fish on your trip, share photos!
06/17/2021 at 8:59 pm #5392stbrnnrParticipant
To answer your question on Mosquito Spring, nope, don’t bother. Unreliable in drought years like this one, old use trail now obliterated, it got trashed by an illegal weed grow a couple years back. See post/pic in the thread from one year ago here: https://sgwa.org/forums/topic/grinnell-east-ridge/
Grinnell N and W slopes were totally nuked by the 2015 Lake Fire. Besides the depressing visuals, there’s so much charred deadfall and shrubbery now to deal with along what was the Lost Creek route that–as it just terminates into the nicely cleaned-up South Fork trail which you’ll be taking to the Dollar junction–why not just enjoy a relaxing cruise on the latter from its trailhead? If you do go for Lost Creek –be sure to bring the HD gloves and gaitors!
06/18/2021 at 6:37 am #5393BrianDParticipant
For your shits and giggles, as you say, on your loop from Dollar, if you aren’t planning it already, after you hit SG, make sure you drop down into the Tarn and hit Dragon’s Head and Big Horn–way worth while, despite the grind back up from the Tarn to Sky High Trail. If you really want to add to your loop. Hit Lake Peak, swoop down to FC saddle and up to Grinnel. Then follow Grinnel Ridge down to (what used to be) the trail back to lower South Fork, and out. Lake Peak right now is worth the price of admission just to get to walk through the “creepy forest” of torched limber pine in white sand.
Your only issue, besides being tired, will be water.
06/18/2021 at 6:01 pm #5403
I did do the permit of course- easy as pie online and we’re going midweek so it was easy pickings. I never got an email notification of current conditions though?
Even though I’m not a huge fan of humans in general, yins are great. Thanks for all the intel and tips. I think we’re gonna forego the Lost Creek death march and enjoy the South Fork Trail. Definitely going to do the Tarn and Bighorn. Just found Lake Peak on my 2000 SG Wilderness Map; it isn’t marked on my newer 2019 map. 2019 shows Zahniser Peak right above Mine Shaft Saddle, but no Lake Peak. I think we’ll just bag both? I don’t know about Grinnell- depends on how we’re feeling I reckon. It would be easy to bag those last two knowing we were going to be sitting down at Lodgepole shortly after.
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