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Emerald Lakes to Hungry Packer Tail

Difficult
 3.0 (3)

An off-trail route climbing from Emerald Lakes over a low pass, with incredible views of Topsy Turvy and Sierra Crest.


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Map Key

0.9

Miles

1.4

KM

85%

Runnable

10,858' 3,309 m

High

10,563' 3,220 m

Low

321' 98 m

Up

27' 8 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

14%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views

Wilderness permits are required. They can be obtained on line at recreation.gov/permits. The trail entrance is JM17. There are daily quotas.

Description

This off-trail route provides a shortcut to Hungry Packer and Moonlight Lakes and it avoids the crossing of the Middle Fork of Bishop Creek above Dingleberry Lake. The only difficult part is getting across the large blocks of talus at the bottom of Topsy Turvy Lake.

Leave the Emerald Lakes Trail between the second and third of the large lakes. Go west up a moderately steep draw that climbs over the ridge. I saw some indications that this was once a trail. From just below the ridge, there is a sweeping panorama across Pee Wee and Topsy Turvy Lakes to the Sierra Crest.

From this point, the large blocks of talus become a problem. It is easier to pass Pee Wee Lake on the right. From below the lake, there is a rough trail that takes you down to the Sabrina Basin Trail (31E01). However, that means dropping about 250 feet in elevation and then having to climb back up. I avoided this by working my way across the talus and crossing below Topsy Turvy at the point where the stream leaves the lake. Most of the stream runs under the talus so I had no difficulty crossing. It could be more difficult if the water is higher.

Topsy Turvy is a large glacial tarn in a basin of huge talus blocks. Many of these rise above the water in the middle of the lake. From Topsy Turvy, it is a short climb up to the Hungry Packer Lake Trail (31E01C) and Moonlight Lake Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lee Watts

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 3 votes

#11

in Bishop Basin

#21740

Overall
  3.0 from 3 votes
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#11

in Bishop Basin

#2,393

in California

#21,740

Overall
13 Views Last Month
193 Since Apr 22, 2017
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Photos

Topsy Turvy Lake and the Sierra Crest. This is only about half of the full panorama.
Apr 22, 2017 near Big Pine, CA
Middle Emerald Lake.
Apr 22, 2017 near Big Pine, CA

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