A Solo Hike Along the Silver Divide

Silver Divide Trip

Twin Meadows just below Devils Bathtub, the circue in which the lake lies can be seen above the meadow. The peak on the right is Graveyard Peak.

To the Devils Bathtub Junction

Silver Divide Trip from Edison Lake Trailhead, August 2001

Day 1:
Trailhead to East end of Graveyard Meadow, 6.7 miles, 1255' gain, 218' loss.

Friday, August 31, 01

The trip to Edison Reservoir was uneventful and the same pleasant drive it always was, with clear views of the Minarets from Kaiser Pass and of the Mono and San Joaquin drainages. This was my second visit to the area that year, and I noted that people continue to burn up their breaks getting down to the springs. Driving slowly while riding your breaks is not the way to do it.

I was surprised by how much water was drawn from the reservoir, which looked like a yellow desert with a large puddle in the middle. Even early season that body of water was well short of the brim.

I stopped for lunch at Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR), noting that the place was for sale. In the last year, Butch, the owner of VVR died, and now his wife was selling VVR off. This is all very sad and now there is an uncertain future for the shining light of the Sierra, the VVR. (Later I found out that it was bought by a good mountaineer fellow who would keep the traditions of the VVR. Bravo!)

Regular boat-ferry service was going to be ended Labor Day, with only special pre-arranged $40 one way boat trips planned afterwards. This changed my plans: maybe I should have taken the 4PM ferry and headed to Pioneer Basin and planned on returning via Goodale Pass, but I was anxious to get on the trail, and I wanted to make sure I made it to Panda Lake. So, after lunch, I headed for the trailhead (TH), parked, assumed the load (over 55 pounds and felt like it), and hit the trail around 2PM or so.

The choice of this particular trip was due to the new National Parks regulations requiring the mostly unnecessary small heavy bear canisters. For that reason I did not get an annual pass that year, or a bear canister for that matter. This policy left me with a narrower choice for trips, but still many worthwhile ones that did not have a bear canister requirement.

Silver Divide Trip

The only really steep section, just below Twin Meadows.

I headed up the Devils Bathtub trail, which is for the most part is an easy climb. As it neared Twin Meadows in became arduously steep, at least it seemed that way to someone with a too-heavy backpack. Thankfully, as the trail skirted Twin Meadows, it leveled out for a good distance. At the Devils Bathtub trail junction I stopped for a break and water. I also had to scout a location to cross the stream, which still had enough water to threaten my feet with a dunking. With the load back on my shoulders, I crossed the stream with dry feet and hit the trail.

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