Author Topic: Half moon pass  (Read 9318 times)

Obi96

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Half moon pass
« on: November 24, 2014, 08:14:40 PM »
Hello all,
 
1st post on the forum. I joined because of the wealth of Eastern Sierra knowledge gathered in one place.  :bowdown:
We get to come out every couple of years or so and I've wet a line on several of the higher lakes in search of Golden trout (skunked so far) For part of our trip, my Son (18) and I are planning to return to the LLV and try Golden Lake.

Has anyone on here used Half moon pass to get back to the LLV trail head? if so, what  impressions / advice would you give for getting through it?

Thanks



wshawkins

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2014, 11:31:14 AM »
Iím assuming youíre hiking LLV Trailhead over Mono Pass to get to Golden Lake.  Hopefully you have time to check out Pioneer Basin while youíre there; you may even get rid of your golden trout ďskunkĒ before your time at Golden Lake. 

But yes to your question, you can hike from Golden Lake over Half Moon Pass to LLV Trailhead.  Itís about a 250 ft. elevation gain getting over Half Moon Pass from Golden Lake with plenty of scree to climb through, but very doable and is the quickest way out of Pioneer Basin.  Only recommendation I would give you is to park your vehicle in the Hilton Lakes Trailhead parking closest to the Rock Creek Pack Station.  This will save you the 1.3 miles uphill climb to Little Lakes Valley Trailhead from the Half Moon Pass route.



From Golden Lake looking east at Half Moon Pass
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 04:16:04 PM by wshawkins »
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Obi96

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2014, 03:51:10 PM »
Thanks wshawkins, great advice as usual. Pioneer basin looks too awesome to be rushed through on this trip. There's a chance I'll be meeting up with relatives at the end of the trip so I have to leave some wiggle room for that, but next trip for sure. Great shot of the pass by the way.

saudust

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 09:11:46 AM »
Welcome, Obi96.  I hope your trip is a golden one once you get here.  wshawkins, is there any semblance of a trail up the scree or is just keeping the pass in sight and making to it?
Let me wake laughing from a nap in the afternoon under the aspens in the fall.

TEX

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 08:44:59 PM »
Saudust,
I've been over it both sides. The picture Hawk shows has no trail; just aim for the 1/2 moon slog up the scree and aim for the saddle. Pioneer Basin especially the other recess lakes the packers go to less frequently are pretty cool and the are "fishy" The East side is not well marked in spots; just stay high and east of the vegetation and you will eventually cross the "poop" trail from the pack station that heads west towards Mono Pass. The east side is one of those trails filled with duks of varying reliability.
The E.S. is where I come to get back to sanity and to the real me.

wshawkins

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2014, 06:59:47 AM »
No trail on the Golden lake side as Tex said.  I found its easier to hike just to the right of the saddle as the angle up is more forgiving.  Just need to pick out the best route up as best as you can.  Not that hard.  Coming up from the other side of Half Moon Pass (Rock Creek Lake side) is the tough hike. 


Poop Trail as Tex calls it - don't take it ;D
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Obi96

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2014, 07:16:23 PM »
Hello all,

Reading the forum replies to my question about the pass inspired me to come up with this route back to the trail head. I hit the road across from the Mosquito flats picnic area where the one of us with mores gas left (OK, I volunteer to watch the packs) will walk and up to the car and drive it back to the picnic area for pick up. Anybody see any glaring issues with the proposed route?

wshawkins

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2014, 06:55:02 AM »
Itís what I do if I have no one to pick me up at the stables.  It will add about 1.3 miles to your hike, but itís all on asphalt road.  With a full pack it takes me about 30 minutes, should be less with no heavy pack to carry.   I will usually try to hitch a ride as people are quite friendly around these parts.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Sierraslam

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2014, 02:40:55 PM »
If you are just going to Golden Lake, park at the Hilton Lakes Trail head, walk through the pack Station, and go right at the pass. There is a section of vertical at the top on the Golden Lake side. It's not too bad, a little hand over hand action. Can be intimidatng the first time. I've tied a rope to my pack a lowered it down passed this section, but if you stay left going down towards Golden there are enough foot and hand holes. Take your time on the pass, I fell up there, broke my fishing rods, busted up my knee, and still had to limp my way down. What a view from the top of Half Moon Pass! Enjoy! p.s. fish near the outlet.

Obi96

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2014, 06:07:37 PM »
Sierraslam,  yikes! broke your rods and had quite a ways to hobble back to the car, that would put a damper on the best day of fishing.  We will be staying a night at Ruby lake before getting up to Golden.
 
The itinerary as of today is; SFO to Aspen CG, 20 lakes basin and Conness lakes then LLV for
Ruby and Golden, a recovery day in Mammoth lakes then 2 days at Alger lakes.

That uses seven of the ten days planned. We'll see what kind of condition we're in for other options for the last two days before flying home on day ten.

Have I mention how lucky you are to have the Sierras in your "back yard" relative to us East coasters?

Sierraslam

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2014, 09:36:40 PM »
I got it. What a great itinerary! Should be a great trip. Have a blast!

TEX

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2014, 08:31:34 AM »
I'll add to Keith's rope trick. I too lowered my pack down the GL side.   I left the rope there for my ascent back up the notch. Felt like the  Batman trick climbing up the side of a building on the way back up. :rotflmao:
The E.S. is where I come to get back to sanity and to the real me.

saudust

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2014, 05:58:26 AM »
Add to Bucket List
Let me wake laughing from a nap in the afternoon under the aspens in the fall.

wshawkins

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2014, 07:33:58 AM »
It's been a few years since I've been up that way, glad we brought this subject up again as I might try it again next summer.  On a normal snow year, it might take until July 4th for the lake to clear up for fishing.  One year (2011 I think) it was July 20th and Golden was still 80% iced up.  Was still fishable by the outlet, and what a great day of fishing it was with Goldens to 18".

Still it's a tough day hike going over the west side from Rock Creek Lake.


Half Moon Pass from the west side
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

saudust

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2014, 05:39:46 PM »
Great...and I should take a rope to get down on the other side, hoping I don't break my poles (among other things), lowering my pack down and leaving the rope to get back up and out from the east side, only to face this treacherous stretch.  Youth has little problem, but age has seasoned the old man with the realization of mortality and the fragility of the body that once was seemingly immeasurably immortal.  Still, goldens are calling in their hushed tones and I beg to listen as if they were the sirens, knowing that they might lure me to their rocky shores.
Let me wake laughing from a nap in the afternoon under the aspens in the fall.

Obi96

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2014, 09:10:48 PM »
wshawkins, that is a fantastic picture of the notch. Nothing like seeing it up close and personal. Summer seems soooo far away these days.

Sierraslam

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2014, 11:35:47 AM »
Stay to the right and you can find enough foot and hand holes to climb the last section. Seems like the climb down to Golden is more intimidating. Heading down the East side is not so bad. Kind of a trail to follow down. Slow is the way to go though.

chasinggold

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2018, 02:19:54 PM »
Hello all!  Im new to the forum but not new to the fishing around here. I'm from Mammoth Lakes and spend most of my free time chasing gold.  Just trying to zero in this pass,  can someone tell me if this is the red or the purple dot on the attachment?

TEX

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2018, 06:46:57 AM »
What attachment?
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rockman

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Re: Half moon pass
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2018, 06:48:19 AM »
What a hike!  My father back in the 60's-70's drug me and my brother all over the Rock Creek area and one was Golden lake.  That hike if I remember correctly was hands and feet up to the pass crescent.  Then straight down as the photo shows.

We used to park in that area that was just above RCL and we followed that water pipe up to the trail.  I once caught a fish in one of those little ponds, but never again. 

I still have dreams about hiking up to the Kenneth-Dorothy-Francis lake side to revisit that area.  I want to see again an area just over the hill that my father & his friends called Beaver dam.  I don't anyone else knows of this info, I have tried here with no results.   It was the hill you hiked just above the upper pine grove lodge trailhead.  I better do this or at 58, might be too old to do it!