Fourth Lake Loop via N. Fork Big Pine Creek Trail
9 reviews Inyo National Forest #45 hike out of 602 in
6 hrs 18 min
This is a difficult loop trail to Fourth Lake in Inyo National Forest.
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Solo day hiked Thurs 11/9/2023 – Hiked to Sam Mack Meadow using the North Fork Big Pine Creek & Palisade Glacier trails. Light snow and several icy trail sections to navigate on the North Fork while the Palisade was entirely covered with a nice layer of powdered snow with good grip. Felt like a winter hike with clear weather but a 19°F/-7°C cold morning at the meadow. Traversed the snow covered talus field at the meadow’s SW end and up the drainage chute towards Sam Mack Lake until my ice axe poked through a void/bridge. Couldn’t skirt the sides of the chute with its deep Bergschrund like crevasses next to the ridge walls so I traversed right to the class 3-4 ledges and ran into unclimbable ice on the rocks. Went further right and up the ledges to Sam Mack Lake which has its first layer of surface ice. Even with the warmth of the sun, winter is knocking on the door. Down and back to Fifth, Fourth and Black Lakes on beautiful loop trails on the way out with a stop at the Lon Chaney Cabin to cap off a great fall season in the Sierra. Was nice to see the spectacular fall colors and capitalize on an unusual number of clear weather days during the last half of this year. Logged 16.6 miles/4411 vertical ft. with Gaia.★ ★ ★ ★ ★
NF Big Pine Creek - Black Lake Loop Track (10/3/16, 10:24:08AM)
Our first day of hiking. Cool temps, snow flurry's, great hike and all happy!