Just got back from the annual three Scopatz brother’s backpacking trip in Sequoia National park. This year we did the Twin Lakes Trail. I decided on this trail because last year we did the Alta and Lakes Trails. These other two go up the one side of Tokopah Valley and the Twin Lakes Trail goes up the other.
This trail was intense! It was seven miles of a relentless uphill climb (~2500 ft). The Alta Trail and the Twin Lakes Trail have point where after a good rise, you walk downhill for a bit. Oh ho, not so here! All up all the time.
The lakes themselves were pretty; but we had to cut our planned 4 day/3 night excursion one day and night short due to concerns over rain and a lack of proper gear to handle it.
The first day was spent getting up to the Twin Lakes. The second day we took day hike to Lost Lake in Sequoia National Forest, because now unlike its moniker we have found it. Lost Lake was 5 miles away and required a thousand foot climb to Silliman Pass and then a 2000 foot decent into the valley on the other side. Of course this was reversed on the return trip.
The third day was supposed to be a grueling 20 mile long loop. However, the day before while coming back home over the Silliman gap we saw and heard and felt a thunderstorm. Luckily, this stayed on *that* side of the ridge and didn’t rain on us that night. A group that came back over a couple hours later actually got fully caught in the storm on their way out. A ranger told us that there was a 30% rain chance for the next day. Furthermore, by the morning of the third day, the winds had shifted. What was a warm front (being in the 70s at night at 9500 ft) had turned into a a very cold air mass. Taking this as a sign of trouble to come, we cut our losses and, better safe than sorry, headed down the mountain.
It was disappointing that we had to call the trip early, but Shane’s and Julian’s rain gear consisted of one black plastic bag each. Oh well, we will know for next year to get some serious rain gear for everyone in the party.
Speaking of which, I am looking forward to next year! It is looking increasingly likely that we will end up in Mineral King. Should be fun!