4 June 2022
Crescent Lake to Ranger Lake to Twin Lakes plus a day hike to Little Lakes
(11 miles, +3,000/-3,300 feet).
Crescent Lake was absolutely gorgeous this morning, and of course being so far off trail we had it to ourselves.
After breakfast we made our way cross country to the north, dropping to Lake 9518 before ascending to its twin.
It turned out to be quite challenging to climb the 100 feet or so up to the twin lake. We followed a seam and then turned off of it at the level of the lake, but it cliffed out so we had to backtrack and keep climbing higher until we reached the high point and descended to the other side.
The descent from there to Beville and Ranger Lakes was pretty easy, but it took a little bit of route-finding.
Once we reached Beville Lake we started looking for the trail. But all we found were a million mosquitoes!
Ranger Lake was so full of mosquitoes I didn’t even get a picture. We both grabbed water as quickly as possible, found the trail to Silliman Pass, and started ascending to escape!
At Silliman Pass there was a nice breeze and we were far away from the bogs below, so we took a good long break. The view showed us the basin we crossed yesterday to descend from the Kings-Kaweah Divide to Crescent Lake.
I was really afraid Twin Lakes were going to be as bad as Ranger and Beville Lakes, but there was nary a bug. It was paradise!
We set up camp and planned to do a day hike to Little Lakes, but then a crazy fog bank rolled in, obscuring our view of the route above the lake that we would need to take.
Steam rose from the lake, making the whole place feel like Middle Earth.
The clouds moved in and out, and there was enough visibility that we thought it would be safe to give our trip to Little Lakes a try.
We headed for a saddle that lies between Silliman Pass and Little Lakes, but we ended up ascending above it near peak 10224 before heading down to an absolutely-gorgeous meadow on its southern side.
Getting down to Little Lakes was pretty easy. We just followed the ravine and soon we were there.
We took a nice break at Upper Little Lake before heading back to the ridge towards Silliman Pass.
The ridge walk was lovely, and it took us right back to Silliman Pass. We descended back to our camp and dinner and bedtime!