Author Topic: Dana Lakes trail - new poster  (Read 5464 times)

ccgincali

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Dana Lakes trail - new poster
« on: June 22, 2013, 02:05:12 AM »
Newbie on the board here, I am using my Ebay title but my name is Craig.  I enjoy the posts , especially the back-country stuff and the pictures are just wonderful, really gets me excited to go. I used to be a “sit on the shore and wait with the bait” fisherman and still am when going with one friend in particular but I really like to go on the trail solo and seek out lakes in the back country, I consider it a challenge to catch wild trout and even if I get just one, I am happy.  I use the fly and bubble and have been getting better but it is not easy.  I have managed to catch all 5 Sierra trout (took awhile for the golden) so I guess my next goal when not seeking new lakes is to get the Slam in one day.   Any advice on best venue for that would be appreciated, I am thinking LLV, if I could get to Treasure Lakes in the back and hit that first, that would be possibly be best (never been that far out though)    I know Saddlebag is an option too with the loop but the browns would be tough.

Postings seem a bit sparser this season so decided to jump in and participate.   I did this hike by myself late last fall and while I enjoyed it, not sure if I would do it again.    It is the Dana Lakes trail which starts at the Tioga Lake overlook where you can park your car for the day (don’t have to cross the toll booth).    There is a trail down through the trees which goes around the very west end of the lake where the inlet is (probably very shallow now).   There is a trail junction that says Glacier Canyon/Dana Lakes and you veer off away from the lake.    The first mile is a moderate to steep climb, mostly shaded, lots of switchbacks and then you plateau at the meadows in Glacier Canyon.   As you head south, the trail becomes a bit tough to follow but it is obvious where you need to go since you are in a canyon and can follow the creek.  Then the trail just ends at a shallow sloped boulder field about 75 feet high.  I was thinking “now what” but figured the creek was coming from a lake above so I made my way up the slope by rock hopping.   You hit Dana #1 soon enough.   Nice little lake, deep in parts and landed a few brookies here (one shown in the pix).  I was perturbed since I thought there was four lakes and did not recall seeing any others on the way up.  I finally realized that the other lakes were above a much larger and steeper boulder field above Dana #1 probably about 200 feet high.   I debated whether to do it and decided to go for it, but it was not easy, when I got to the plateau there was nothing but dirt and rocks so kept on going south.  Up another shallow slope with some rocks and hit two tiny lakes, Dana #2 and #3, which looked too small to  support anything.   Went up a final small slope and there was the giant Dana #4, right below the glacier and directly underneath Mt Dana itself.    This lake is deep, blue and clear but saw no surface action and did not get any bites.  Sadly, despite the beauty, I was not relaxed.   I was a little scared, being two miles from the road, faced with the prospect of climbing down two boulder fields with no phone reception and ZERO chance of coming across anyone if things went badly.  Plus there was rocks tumbling down the slope of Dana , the sounds which echoed through the canyon in a eerie manner..  I had visions of that Utah guy who got trapped in the canyon if one of those boulders were to come loose and trap my leg climbing down.   The wind picked up and so I left in mid afternoon and got down successfully.   Even though it was maybe only 4 ½  miles total, I was mentally and physically beat.   I did take pictures of Dana #4 and the smaller lakes looking north toward highway 120 which hopefully posted.

I remember many years ago a very adventurous boat guide on Saddlebag said he and some friends one season in early summer hiked to the top of Dana, skied down through a chute of snow and ice and ended up at Dana Lake where they caught goldens.   If he managed to do that, good for him, although it looked suicidal to me staring at the mountain.   I was happy to get up there myself just from the highway and catch some fish, even if they were not goldens.     All in all a good adventure, but likely not one to repeat again, barring a bout of insanity....

Hopefully the pictures posted, had some trouble....

wshawkins

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Re: Dana Lakes trail - new poster
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 11:02:34 AM »
Welcome to the Rock Creek’s Message Board Craig!   Glad you left the bait behind and picked up on the fly and bubble, my favorite setup when fishing backcountry lakes.  I mostly go solo myself.

I never have made it a goal to get a Sierra Slam, it just happens.  I'll be fishing several lakes during the day and I realized I need just one more species and I have a slam!  Then I will go for it if time permits.  Just ask the board for advice before your next trip and well point you to the body of water where that species of trout you need for the slam resides.

Been up there Dana lakes several times and can attest that it is a tough hike.  It also is a trail that the Forest Service does not maintain as you probably noticed.  #1 used to have some goldens in it, but the brookies took over.  #2 & #3 have been fishless as long as I can recall, but #4 should hold goldens.  #4 Dana Lake was restocked in 2011 so should have them.  Remember seeing the point on your right when you arrive at #4 at the outlet, that's the spot you want to fish, always done good there!  Just keep away from the landslide areas and you'll be safe.  Remember to bring along the “Ten Essentials” in your day pack and let somebody know where you're going.

And yes, they do ski them mountains in early spring.  Just get up there early when the Tioga Road first opens and you can watch them.  Takes them half a day to hike up there for one ski run.  Crazy!

On your next trip report with pictures, check out topic on posting pictures.
http://www.rockcreeklake.com/board/index.php?topic=16.0
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Little Hardrock

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Re: Dana Lakes trail - new poster
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 11:12:13 AM »
welcome craig!

what a great tale to share....thank you!     now the rest of us know to put dana lakes on the list for the days we feel crazy:).   i think i hope to keep my sanity and i will experience them thru your post:)


there does appear to be a case of 'cats' got everyones tongue' this spring...  i am sure its partially due to the difficulties of getting on the board we have been having.   so thank you for taking the plunge and posting.   looking forward to many more of your trips!

Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

ccgincali

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Re: Dana Lakes trail - new poster
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 01:55:45 PM »
Thanks for the welcome, I know you would rather talk about fishing but I did have a picture posting comment.  I initially could not post my four pictures at all, it errored out due to size issues over the 192KB, so I found a program to shrink the size and so they posted okay (at least I thought) although I may have shrunk them too small.

When I saw my post this morning, before logging in under my name, the text was there but no pictures.  However, when I logged in under my name and password and went back to my post and the reply feed, my pictures were there.   So did they show up at all to you?? 

I am not asking for feedback on the pictures, I just want to know if they showed up since the inference that you gave me a link implies they did not.  If they did not post, I will go into your advice link and go from there to figure out a new way.   I thought the shrinking program worked fine, just a matter of getting a better viewing size for the readers. But maybe it did not.    I guess I just need to know that what you see on the "preview" is what shows up on the message board.

As far as Dana goes, thanks for the follow up on that.   If it were not for the boulder field I would go back to #4 , unless there was a different way around it but there did not appear to be since it was walls on both sides.   I think I saw the chute the skiers use, pretty crazy stuff if that is the case, but this guy looked like he would do it, he drove the saddlebag boat in the late 90s and early 00s for a few years. 

I definitely have more backcountry stuff to share, just would like to get the picture thing worked out.   Thanks again for the welcome.

Little Hardrock

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Re: Dana Lakes trail - new poster
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 02:24:00 PM »
i can see the photos.... yet they are small.   if you go thru a site such as photobucket, it resizes them for you so they work out well on forums....   i think the is the link that wshawkins put in his post
Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

wshawkins

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Re: Dana Lakes trail - new poster
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 02:31:33 PM »
Yeah I hate that boulder field too, really takes the energy out of you.  And the fishing has never been great on #4 Dana Lake.  But there are goldens there, so that’s why I go.  I don’t recommend this hike for fishing, but do for scenery, especially for Dana Glacier and beautiful colored #4 Dana Lake and the pretty meadow down below that you hike through.

As for your pictures, I can only see them with my sign-on name, not as guest.  For posting pictures, hit the link at the end of my last response to you.  Go down to reply #2 from Little Hardrock and she covers the procedure step by step very well.  Most of us use Photobucket which will automatically fit the photos.  No minimizing needed.   Give it a try and let us know if you have any questions.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

damer419

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Re: Dana Lakes trail - new poster
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 09:39:09 AM »
Great read and thanks for the post!
Slowly switching from salt to sweet

saudust

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Re: Dana Lakes trail - new poster
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 03:58:25 PM »
Great narrative of your hike to Dana lakes, Craig.  Thanks for joining in to the foray of the forum, too. 
Let me wake laughing from a nap in the afternoon under the aspens in the fall.