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2017 August Sierra Hike

Rowell Meadow, Sugarloaf, Box Canyon, West Ferguson Creek, Ellis Meadow, Comanche Meadow.

This is a work in progress


Rick took us for a classic trip along the JMT last year, so this year I took him through some off-trail backcountry. The path was very similar to the one I did with Dale and Wally in August 2014, except we spent 4 nights on the trail instead of 6.


The first day was all trail. We passed Rowell meadow and camped half way between Seville lake and Comanche meadow. The off-trail route the next day took us down Box canyon a ways until we got tired of hacking our way through the brush. We then climbed the steep slippery sandy canyon wall till we got up to the trough that runs high up along the wall of the canyon. Following the trough was much easier. Our campsite was along the upper creek that drains into Ellis meadow. The next day we visited the two pairs of lakes at the top of the ridge between Box canyon and Ferguson canyon. We descended to Ferguson creek at the large beautiful meadow; spent a night up the creek; then came out and camped at the Sugarloaf campsite. We made it out to the car and home the next day.


2017 aug 008
Mandatory Picture in Rowell Meadow at Snow Hut. Notice mosquito buzzing near my hat brim.


2017 aug 010
First campsite at a broad flat area near the junction of trails half way between Comanche Mdw. and Seville lake.


2017 aug 012
At the start of Box canyon we had to cross Sugarloaf creek. Neither swift nor deep.


2017 aug 019
Rick resting during the climb up the wall of Box canyon.


2017 aug 022
View up the 'trough' that runs up high on the wall of the canyon. It was much easier to walk along than the brush-clogged canyon floor.


2017 aug 031
Rick took a swim in the first lake we came to. He also swam later in the day in the second.


2017 aug 039
While Rick was swimming I was practicing with the delay timer for the picture. It worked. These are beautiful lakes. While scouring the campsite I found a piece from Wally's tent that he had dropped. We had camped at the lake three years ago. I guess no one has been there since.


2017 aug 045
This is the largest and prettiest of the four meadows you pass as you climb up Ferguson canyon from Ellis meadow. We cut across from Box canyon and so landed at the forth and best looking one. There are trout in the creek here.


2017 aug 046
Rick at Prettiest Meadow.


2017 aug 047
It was a wet year, so all the mushrooms came out. This was one of three huge ones that we saw during the trip.


2017 aug 053
To get out of Ferguson canyon you have to hug the left side going down to Ellis meadow. Otherwise, you have to go through a lot of downed trees. Once at Ellis meadow, go north over the lip keeping the largest creek on your right. It is steep but not technically challenging. Pictured is Rick making his way down. You pop out onto the trail a little over a mile from the Sugarloaf campsite.


2017 aug 054
A wet year brings out the flowers. This is along the way up from the Sugarloaf campsite


2017 aug 055
Made it out the same day to Apple Annie's for a California omelet. Home late to shower and clean sheets.

©2016, 2017 Tom Judd.
Carlsbad, CA