Mid-Sierra Lakes & Peaks

johnmuir-portrait-100v
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir
bonnielake-hvw00

Bonnie Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9390'
38.18902°N-119.57745°W
Visits & Activity
2000 Gn, Mz, Gs camped
1999 Gn, Mz, Gs hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Wonderful spot, centrally located with easy access to numerous lakes and day hike destinations. Named after one of the daughters of William Woods Forsyth (US Army Acting Superintendent of Yosemite National Park, 1909-1912) by a close friend, topographer Robert Marshall. Forsyth Peak keeps a lookout over these sister lakes. Fishing: Rainbows & Brooks
coralake-hvw00

Cora Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9357
38.18227ºN-119.56728ºW
Visits & Activity
2000 Gn, Mz hike by
1999 Gn, Mz, Gs hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Short hike from Harriet Lake but miles away. Named after one of the daughters of William Woods Forsyth (US Army Acting Superintendent of Yosemite National Park, 1909-1912) by a close friend, topographer Robert Marshall. Forsyth Peak keeps a lookout over these sister lakes. Fishing: Rainbows & Brooks
crownlake-hvw04

Crown Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9482'
38.11179ºN-119.44357ºN
Visits & Activity
2004 Mz, Gn hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
A good central spot for climbing with access to Crown Point, Cirque Mountain and Kettle Peak. Fishing: Unknown
Stacks Image 6639

Excelsior Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
10266'
37.996, -119.3007
Visits & Activity
2016 Mz Hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
No information on this small lake inbetween Helen and Steelhead. Best guess it was name at the same time Excelsior Mountain was during the 1905-09 survey for the Bridgeport 30' map. Fishing: Eastern Brookies and Goldens co-mingle
fremontlake-hvw99

Fremont Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
8218
38.25422ºN-119.54868ºW
Visits & Activity
1998 Mz, Gn camp
Interesting Facts & Highlights
In 1852 a party of emigrants dragged their wagons up the steep hillside at the northern end of Fremont Lake only to find that they couldn't maneuver them along either shoreline. With no other choice, they dug a drainage trench at the end of the lake and lowered the water level enough that they could ford their wagons through the shallows along the western side of the lake. Several thousand more emigrants followed in 1853 and 1854. Leavitt Meadows maintains a summer camp here and this is a good warm up trip with easy access to other lakes in the area. Fishing: Rainbows 14" and up.
gardiskylake-inf13

Gardisky Lake

Location
Inyo National Forest
Elevation & GPS
10483
37.9561, -119.251,
Visits & Activity
2013 Hike by & first image, Mz, Gn
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Named after Al Gardisky who built two cabins east of Tioga Pass, one of the on the site of the current day Tioga Pass Resort that was enlarged into a lodge. The lake was named by Mrs. Everett Spuller in 1932. Lake has a population of Eastern Brookies up to 14 inches.
harrietlake-hvw00

Harriet Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9260
38.18638ºN-119.56895ºW
Visits & Activity
2006 Mz, Gn, Tl, Rl pack by
2000 Mz, Gn hike by
1999 Mz, Gn, Gs hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Right on the PCT with large campsites. Hike on for solitude. Named after one of the daughters of William Woods Forsyth (US Army Acting Superintendent of Yosemite National Park, 1909-1912) by a close friend, topographer Robert Marshall. Forsyth Peak keeps a lookout over these sister lakes. Fishing: Rainbows & Brooks
hawksbeakpeak-hvw00

Hawksbeak Peak

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
11134'
38.15253°N-119.50822°W
Visits & Activity
2004 Gn, Mz summit
2000 Mz, Gn first view
Interesting Facts & Highlights
View is from Tower Lake. This ridge catches light all day long. Easiest access is from Thompson Canyon. We ran up the back end on an easy hike, with the only difficult part navigating heavy shrub. The view down from the peak is impressive and a bit dizzying.

Helen Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9650'
38.17323ºN-119.56654ºW
Visits & Activity
1999 Mz, Gn, Gs camp
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Named after one of the daughters of William Woods Forsyth (US Army Acting Superintendent of Yosemite National Park, 1909-1912) by a close friend, topographer Robert Marshall. Forsyth Peak keeps a lookout over these sister lakes. First appeared on the third edition Dardanelles map in 1912. Fishing: Unknown
hummingbirdlake-hvw16

Hummingbird Lake

Location
Inyo National Forest
Elevation & GPS
10260"
37.9879, -119.2856
Visits & Activity
2016 Mz First visit
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Aptly named in 1932 by Al Gardisky (who has his own lake close by) when he observed many hummingbirds in the area. Fishing: Eastern Brookies
kirkwoodlake-hwv04

Kirkwood Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
10239'
38.15573ºN-119.50864ºW
Visits & Activity
2004 Mz, Gn viewed from Hawksbeak
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Access via Kirkwood Pass and then up thru a series of joint-controlled notches to a sandy pass and a drop down to the lake. Better sites available all around Thompson Canyon. Good example of a glacial cirque that was formed in areas where snowfall was faster than the melting process creating these bowl like features. Fishing: Winter freeze
lakehelen-hvw16

Lake Helen

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
10103'
38.0013, -119.2921
Visits & Activity
2016 mz Hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Another Al Gardisky naming, this time after a 'lady friend' in 1932. Fishing: Eastern Brookies and Goldens
matterhornpeak-hvw04

Matterhorn Peak

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
12103'
38.0927°N-119.3819°W
Visits & Activity
2004 Gn summit, Mz first view
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Matterhorn Peak is the highest peak in the Sawtooth Ridge group, a series of sharp granite peaks and spires on Sierra Nevada crest, located on the northern boundary of Yosemite National Park. Sawtooth Ridge is the northernmost group of Sierra peaks to exceed 12,000 feet elevation; its sharp relief contrasts dramatically with the generally rounded Sierra crestline to the north, thus Sawtooth Ridge is commonly considered the beginning of "High Sierra".
odelllake-hvw16

Odell Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
10267'
37.9954, -119.2878
Visits & Activity
2016 Mz Hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Al Gardisky named after a friend in 1932. Fishing: Goldens
peelerlake-hvw04

Peeler Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9489'
38.12108ºN-119.46804ºW
Visits & Activity
2004 Mz, Gn hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Another central point for climbing with access to Crown Point, Cirque Mountain and Kerrick Meadows. Fishing: Rainbows & Brooks
rainbowcanyon-hvw99

Rainbow Canyon

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
Average 9300'
Visits & Activity
2000 Mz, Gn hike by
1999 Mz first image
Interesting Facts & Highlights
View is from the ridge above Lake Helen and encompasses Hawksbeak Peak and Watchtower, with Tower Lake below. A first glimpse into country we had not spied before and that we plan to visit. Rainbow Canyon is the name used by the local packers.
ruthlake-hvw99

Ruth Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9649
38.17372ºN-119.57571ºW
Visits & Activity
1999 Mz, Gn, Gs day hike
1994 Mz, Gn, Gs day hike
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Part of the Sister Lakes, above Dorothy Lake in the upper reaches of Yosemite National Park. Scramble up the ridge on the left for wide views of Dorothy Lake and Forsyth Ridge. Fishing: Unknown
sawtoothridge-hwv04

Sawtooth Ridge

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
Average over range 11500'
Visits & Activity
2004 Mz, Gn hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
The entire Sawtooth Ridge area is a paradise for technical rock climbing and ski mountaineering, having a short approach from the year-round Twin Lakes resort. Matterhorn Peak also has the distinction of being the mountain Jack Kerouac attempted to climb in a spiritual quest. His unsuccessful ascent of Matterhorn Peak was dramatized in his novel "Dharma Bums". (Summit Post)
shamrocklake-hvw16

Shamrock Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
10252'
37.9974, -119.2975
Visits & Activity
2016 Mz hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Records indicated this was named twice. First by the USGS during the 1905-09 survey for the Bridgeport 30' map and then by none other than Al Gardisky in 1932 due to its shape. Easy to understand as the lake has three lobes. Fishing: Goldens only
steelheadlake-hvw16

Steelhead Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
10301'
37.9933, -119.3027
Visits & Activity
2016 Mz hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Named appropriately in 1932 after Al Gardisky plated steelhead trout from 1929 thru 1930. Fishing: A jackpot lake containing Eastern Brookies, Lahontan Cutthroat and Rainbow trout.
stellalake-hvw00

Stella Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9508
38.18183ºN-119.57838ºW
Visits & Activity
2000 Gn, Mz, Gs hike by
1999 Gn, Mz, Gs day hike
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Part of the Sister Lakes above Dorothy in the upper reaches of Yosemite National Park. Camp on the back end of the lake (close end in the picture) to avoid the Pacific Trail traffic. Fishing: Rainbows & Brooks
towerlake-hvw00

Tower Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9528'
38.16003ºN-119.55122ºW
Visits & Activity
2005 Gn, Mz hike by
2000 Gn, Mz camp
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Gateway to Watchtower and Tower peaks, Mary's Lake and Yosemite Wilderness. One decent camp at the outlet but the better spot is the tarn above with a straight view of Hawksbeak Peak which can catch a nice alpen glow. The original Castle Peak as named by G.H. Goddard, however two other peaks were named as same and thru a paperwork mistake the name was attached to the wrong Castle Peak. Tower was chosen!
Fishing: Goldens
watchtower-ynp00

Watchtower

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
10820'
38.15443°N-119.54415°W
Visits & Activity
2005 Gn, Mz hike by
2000 Gn, Mz hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
As it guards the Hoover-Yosemite border with it's higher sister, Tower Peak, this climb is likely missed by those who push for the higher peak. Neither of us have yet attempted, so it awaits for another trip.

Watchtower can be climbed via an easy Class 2 scramble from Tower Pass, the saddle between Tower Peak and the Saurian Crest. However, there are also numerous technical routes up the west face for those ambitious enough to haul climbing gear 16 miles to reach the peak. (Summit Post)
watchtower-upcanyon-hvw05

View from Tower Lake Trail 2005

watchtower-saddle-hvw00

View from saddle between Watchtower and Tower 2000

Stacks Image 7261

Z-Lake

Location
Hoover Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
10435'
37.9891, -119.2926
Visits & Activity
2016 Mz first view
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Well, here is a lake I can relate to. Named by Al Gardisky in 1932 because of its shape. It is rather zig-zaggy, but more of a reverse Z. Fishing: Eastern Brookies
bannerpk-aaw11

Banner Peak & Mt Ritter

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
Mt. Ritter (left)
13157'
37.68194°N-119.19956°W

Banner Peak (right)
12936'
37.69664°N-119.19473°W
Visits & Activity
2009 Mz, Gn camp on Garnet Lake
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Mt. Ritter (middle left in the picture above) was named by the Whitney Survey in 1864 for a German geographer who was the founder of the science of modern comparative geography. Whitney had met Karl Ritter at the University of Berlin in the 1840's. John Muir made the first ascent in October of 1872.

Banner Peak (middle right above) was named by Willard D. Johnson, USGS topographer in 1883 when he observed cloud-banners streaming from the summit.
blacktoppeak-aaw11

Blacktop Peak

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
12720'
37.79375°N-119.19592°W
Visits & Activity
2011 Mz, Gn first view
Interesting Facts & Highlights
There does not appear to be any history into the naming of this peak, even though it is obvious from its physical characteristics. The 1901 Mt. Lyell 30' map is the first known naming.
donohuepeak-aaw11

Donohue Peak

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
12023'
37.77449°N / 119.23336°W
Visits & Activity
2011 Mz photo from Ritter Range
2009 Mz, Gn first view
Interesting Facts & Highlights
The peak and pass share the name of the Sergeant in Troop K, Fourth Cavalry who was the first to climb the peak. Named by Lt. McClure in 1985.
Stacks Image 7440

Donohue Peak from campsite 2009

emeraldlake-aaw11

Emerald Lake

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9862'
37.72520°N-119.16056°W
Visits & Activity
2011 Mz, Gn, Js, Rl hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
No documented thread to the naming of this lake, however, given the use of precious gems for other bodies of water in the area, we can surmise that is the baseline. If you have any definitive facts on this and Ruby Lake up the trail, please drop me a note.
garnetlake-aaw11

Garnet Lake

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9678'
37.709°N-119.162°W
Visits & Activity
2011 Mz, Gn, Gs, Js camp
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Name origin is unknown. First mention on Solomons' map of 1896 was as Badger Lake, with Garnet Lake assigned to what is now Shadow Lake along the pack trail that is used to get to Garnet. A fantastic spot to camp and explore. Watch out for Smokey in these parts, as it is heavily traveled and they are smart!
koipcrest-sunset-aaw09

Koip Crest

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
Average over the range 12000'
Visits & Activity
2009 Mz, Gn first view
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Probably named from the Mono Indian word Koipa, meaning 'mountain sheep' in the Northern Paiute dialect indicating the presence of Bighorn sheep that died out years ago. In 1987 there was a reintroduction in the Lee Vining Creek area with sightings of five having moved to Parker Creek and Parker Lake, a former range of this magnificent animal. Willard Johnson of the USGS named this peak and ridge in 1883, and has been shown as Ko-ip in prior map versions. The pass and peak are both now in the Ansel Adams Wilderness and Inyo National Forest, however they were within park borders between 1890 to 1905.
koipcrest-north-aaw09

Koip Crest North 2009

koipcrest-south-aaw09

Koip Crest South 2009

mtdavis-aaw11

Mount Davis

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
12311'
37.71519°N-119.21942°W
Visits & Activity
2011 Mz, Gn first view
Interesting Facts & Highlights
First climbed August 31, 1891 by Lt. Milton Fennimore Davis when he was assigned to protect the newly established Yosemite Park. His account tells a tale of sleeping without blankets, camping at timberline and making a fire, as well as having a Methodist preacher accompnay him, Dr. E. W. Beers. 'The trip nearly killed him' as he gave out and did not cross the last gorge. In 1894, Lt. McClure named the peak.
mtwood-aaw11

Mount Wood

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
12657'
37.80913°N-119.16561°W
Visits & Activity
2011 Mz, Gn first view
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Another peak named for an early Yosemite superintendent (acting)/troop commander, Capt. Abram Epperson Wood. Lt. McClure bestowed the honor as Wood commanded the first troops assigned to Yosemite, that being companies I & K of the Fourth Cavalry. They arrived on May 19, 1891 and set up camp at Wawona.
rubylake-aaw11

Ruby Lake

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9946'
37.72105°N-119.16094°W
Visits & Activity
2011 Mz, Gn, Js, Rl hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
No documented trail of the naming of this lake. However, given the use of precious gems for other bodies of water in the area, we can surmise that is the thread. If you have any definitive facts on this and Emerald Lake down the trail, please drop me a note.
rubylake-above-aaw11

Ruby Lake from Above

1klake-aaw11

Thousand Island Lake

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9576"
37.7228°N-119.1804°W
Visits & Activity
2011 Mz, Gn, Js, Rl day visit
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Started as 'Islet Lake as called by John Muir in 1873. Most likely named by Theodore Solomons on his 1896 map. He was quoted, "Next morning we passed down the slope of the mountains to the lake, with its hundred islets..."
waughlake-aaw09

Waugh Lake

Location
Ansel Adams Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
9424'
37.75094°N-119.19136°W
Visits & Activity
2009 Mz, Gn camp
Interesting Facts & Highlights
This is an artificial lake that was created in 1918 and named for the Engineer who was charged with constructing the dam, E.J. Waugh. Southern California Edison lays claim to these waters and unknown to George and I, decided to drain the lake this year to repair the dam. An unfortunate collision as we were looking forward to a cool dip in the lake to meet our friend Bill. Like Koip Crest, this was within the Yosemite borders between 1890 and 1905, after which it was turned over to the Inyo National Forest, then incorporated into the Minaretrs Wilderness and finally, after the Wilderness Act of 1984, expanded and renamed for Ansel Adams.
alpinelake-hvw16

Alpine Lake

Location
Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area
Elevation & GPS
11033'
37.962, -119.3045
Visits & Activity
2016 Hike by Mz, Gn
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Named by Ak Gardisky in 1932 'because of its elevation'. Today this lake lies outside Yosemite boundaries, however, it was within the park from 1890 to 1905. Fishing: Goldens and Eastern Brookies
boundarypeak-wtm07

Boundary Peak

Location
White Mountains
Elevation & GPS
13140'
37.84619°N-118.35°W
Visits & Activity
2007 Gn summit, Mz saddle
Interesting Facts & Highlights
The high peak of Nevada, and just a few feet of being in California if not by the luck of an arbitrary boundary line between states. We used the Queens Mine trailhead and camped at a turn out before the last climb along the mine road. It is a sheltered spot but there are a few other scattered sites available up the road. The saddle at the trailhead has some good views but may be on the windy side. Make sure you spot the correct mine road, or it will be a rough ride up the wrong canyon (as we did).
connesslakes-hvw16

Conness Lakes

Location
Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area
Elevation & GPS
10749'' |10667' | 10664 | 10543'
37.9753, -119.3103
37.9732, -119.3082
37.9745, -119.3054,
37.9791, -119.3051
Visits & Activity
2016 First view Mz, Gn
Interesting Facts & Highlights
US Senator John Conness is recognized throughout Yosemite for backing and sponsoring the Geological Survey of California that funded the Whitney Survey and the mapping of these spectacular lands. The lakes first appeared named in 1956 on the Tuolumne Meadows 15' map. Fishing: Goldens
greenstonelake-hvw16

Greenstone Lake

Location
Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area
Elevation & GPS
1031'
37.9799, -119.2901
Visits & Activity
2016 Mz hike by, Gn fished
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Named for its green colored rocks. Catchy. Fishing: A jackpot lake containing Eastern Brookies, Lahontan Cutthroat and Rainbow trout.
maulelake-hvw16

Maule Lake

Location
Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area
Elevation & GPS
10221'
37.9531, -119.2871
Visits & Activity
2016 First view Mz, Gn
Interesting Facts & Highlights (Lake on the far left)
Another 1932 naming by Al Gardisky for a forest service supervisor William Maule that was misspelled as Maul. USGS chose to keep the name as orginally spelled by Gardisky and Spuller. Fishing: Eastern Brookies and Kamloop Rainbow trout
Stacks Image 7908

Sonora Peak

Location
Carson-Iceberg Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
11459'
38.35392°N-119.63546°W
Visits & Activity
2007 Mz, Gn summit
Interesting Facts & Highlights
An easy accessible peak either from the St Mary's Pass trailhead or the Sonora Pass parking lot. The St Mary's Pass trip takes you via a lupine covered rock field and great views downline of Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and Stanislaus Peak. The scenery is rather stark but has a beauty of it's own. Once up at the peak the views are 360º and you can peer into the Northern border of Yosemite. Sonora is a Quintuple Divide Peak as the summit feeds the headwaters of five drainages: East Fork Carson River, Clark Fork Stanislaus River, Deadman Creek, Sardine Creek and Wolf Creek!!!
spullerlake-hvw16

Spuller Lake

Location
Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area
Elevation & GPS
10273'
37.9486, -119.2851
Visits & Activity
2016 First view Mz, Gn
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Right under the nose of Al Gardisky, Everett Spuller named it for himself after being the first to plant brookies. He seemed to boast about Al Gardisky not being aware of the lake and that he snuck in! Fishing: Eastern Brookies only
stanislauspeak-ciw04

Stanislaus Peak

Location
Caron-Iceberg Wilderness
Elevation & GPS
11223'
38.3841°N-119.66704°W
Visits & Activity
2007 Gn summit, Mz base
Interesting Facts & Highlights
A good day hike/climb combines Sonora and Stanislaus Peaks. At St Mary's Pass, run up to Sonora and from that perch plan your cross-country route to meet up with the trail that leads to the base of your second climb. There are some dramatic granatic outcrops on the southeast ridge that provides the quickest way up a class 3 route. The scenery is quite barren in this area, but as you hike back there are several spring/snow fed creeks that light up with yellow bursts and a welcome sip of cold water!!!
tiogalake-xtiogapk-inf13

Tioga Lake

Location
Inyo National Forest
Elevation & GPS
9638
37.9253, -119.2531
Visits & Activity
2013 First image
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Tioga is Iroquois meaning 'where it forks','at the forks', 'swift current', or 'a gate'. How this east coast native name got to California would be best explained as the Tioga Mining District founded in 1878 were former Pennsylvania and/or New York promoters. Tioga Lake started out as Lake Jessie named after Jessie Montrose of Lundy. Lt McClure's map of 1895 was first to record it as Tioga.
greentreblelake-hvw16

Treble & Green Lakes

Location
Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area
Elevation & GPS
10217'
37.9529, -119.2905
Visits & Activity
2016 First view Mz, Gn
Interesting Facts & Highlights
The larger lake to the right is Treble and the smaller next to it is Green, as named by Everett Spuller in 1932. Green referred to a longtime forest ranger at the Lee Vining station. USGS maps show the larger as Green Treble Lake, so now you know that is not so! Fishing: Eastern Brookies and Kamloop Rainbow trout
wascolake-hvw16

Wasco Lake

Location
Harvey Monroe Hall Research Natural Area
Elevation & GPS
10310'
37.9848, -119.2979
Visits & Activity
2016 Mz hike by
Interesting Facts & Highlights
Another Al gardisky naming that was the town of a close friend. Once again in 1932! Fishing: Eastern Brookies only
May our paths & errands meet

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