Jul 30, 2023 at 5:39 pm #3786003Kathleen RBPL Member
I don’t claim to be as experienced as others that are posting on this topic but I have gone in via Sawmill and exited via Taboose. There is no way that I would want to enter via Taboose. Although Sawmill was exposed and warmer than I would have liked, my recollection of Taboose is that the trail was too steep for my liking. I didn’t even enjoy coming down Taboose (other than the section with water where I could cool off). Good luck with whatever you decide.Jul 30, 2023 at 6:17 pm #3786004Kathleen RBPL Member
I echo the sentiments about taking a side trip to Bench Lake and Arrow Peak. It is a very worthwhile diversion from the JMT, and not too far to reach it. Arrow Peak at sunset is spectacular.Aug 29, 2023 at 6:03 pm #3788016Eric SBPL Member
I want to thank all the previous posters. I’m headed to the Taboose Pass loop in a few weeks with a friend who lives in Big Pine. I’m in the Pacific NW and hike the Olympic Peninsula a lot. I was in Yosemite two years ago hiking in an area that my father worked on when he was in the CCC back in the 1930s. I take his love of hiking, fishing, and the outdoors with me every time I escape the confines of my comfortable domicile.
Again, thank you all. I look forward to providing my trail report in a few weeks.Aug 30, 2023 at 2:01 pm #3788074jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
“This last trip felt harder than ever, and almost convinced me that I am going to avoid the hardest passes in the future. Do them while you are still able!”
Yep. But…there’s no reason to insist on challenging yourself with the hardest, meanest, orneriest passes. As one ages, taking an easier, but still beautiful and high route, is more enjoyable. I never thought that backpacking was about challenging my physical strength. I thought it was about being out in wilderness. Regardless, my physical strength was challenged!
More: easing off on physical demands can prolong one’s ability to continue with backpacking for more years. Trying to prove that I’m still 25 years old and can still do what I did then became a losing game for me. I’m not that age; I’m who I am. Accept it. Adapt.Aug 31, 2023 at 3:27 pm #3788101Tom KBPL Member
“I take his love of hiking, fishing, and the outdoors with me every time I escape the confines of my comfortable domicile.”
Since you mentioned a love of fishing, I’ll reiterate my earlier recommendation of Bench Lake as a place worth visiting. The lake is crawling with fish anxious to rise to about any fly you present. If you amble over to the talus rimmed south shore of the lake, where it is much deeper, you will find the fish much larger. None on them are the malnourished “hammer heads” so commonly found in high altitude lakes. They all seem to be very well fed, but interested in the novelty of artificial flies.
Best of luck on your trip. One bit of advice: Get an early start, because there is very little shade, and once the sun comes up the higher you have already ascended the more comfortable you will be. There are good campsites just after the first stream crossing and again just before the second stream crossing, should you decide on a short first day.
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