Florence Lake, Sierra National Forest: August 2005


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Published: October 25th 2006EDIT THIS ENTRY

In August of 2005, I needed a getaway. It was just a normal 2 day weekend like any other, but this time I had tremendous motivation. And I needed it, Florence lake is just 150 miles from Fresno- but the drive takes almost 3 hours one way. I left Fresno early saturday morning. Within an hour you reach Shaver Lake, a forested Gem at 5000 feet. Soon the grade increases as you reach Huntington Lake and Sierra Summit Ski Resort. Here the road turns into a one lane, twisting track that winds its way over 9000+ foot Kaiser pass, and down the other side of the mountains into the glorious San Joaquin River drainage. Kaiser Pass is accesible only in summer, and usually opens in early May most years. Soon 13,000 foot peaks come into view, as does distant Edison and Florence Lakes. All of the lakes on this drive- Shaver, Huntington, Edison and Florence- are part of So. Cal Edison and company's water and power project. I can't say I mind! Here, the highest of the Sierra's and teh steepest of canyon's is still just as it should be. Low visitation, hundreds of miles of roads and trails, untouched wilderness, boating, fishing, backpacking, climbing...



The Sierra National Forest is everything between Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks. The wilderness areas of the Sierra NF unite the parks, and along with other wilderness areas create something unheard of elswhere in the world- a connected belt of mountain wilderness over 200 miles long. The longest roadless strip of wilderness starts at Tioga Pass Road and runs south until the end of the Golden Trout Wilderness, 150 miles distant. No cars, no pavement. Just mountains, animals and plants protected forever from engines, wheels and roads.

All of the major lakes(Shaver, Huntington, Wishon, Courtright, Edison, Florence) are surrounded by National Forest, and once over Kaiser Pass you enter the Ansel Adams Wilderness. In fact, this is the only road in California that goes over 10 miles deep into Wilderness Area. The roads to the lakes are not inluded in the wilderness boundry, so in effect this creates access to deep wilderness areas by car.


Additional photos below
Photos: 58, Displayed: 23


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White Bark OverlookWhite Bark Overlook
White Bark Overlook

Cut and Paste for full size picture: http://sphaydenphotography.com/images/pano10.jpg
Bear Creek CanyonBear Creek Canyon
Bear Creek Canyon

from left to right- Recess Peak (3895 meters) Mt. Gabb (4163 meters) Mt. Hilgard (4074 meters)
Juniper CountryJuniper Country
Juniper Country

Graveyard Peak (3591 meters)
Lake Edison, Sierra National ForestLake Edison, Sierra National Forest
Lake Edison, Sierra National Forest

Highest mountain visible (left of center) is Red and White Mountain, 3898 meters!
Florence Lake, 2235 metersFlorence Lake, 2235 meters
Florence Lake, 2235 meters

(Mt. Shinn in center, 3344 meters)


26th October 2006

Reminds me of Fuji!!
Hey, those peaks are about the same height as Fuji though Fuji stands alone so is fairly breathtaking. You should photograph it. Great pics again.
17th June 2007

Nostalgic for the 50's
I am researching my family vacation slides from 1952 of this area when we took the Florence Lake ferry and hiked and camped up to Evolution Basin over about 10 days. Your photos are a big help in remembering names and places. Wonderful photos!! I'd love to do it again. Thanks
19th June 2007

Actually Ms. Manx...
Most of the peaks in this area are significantly taller than 3,776 meter Mt. Fuji! Whats more the entire mountain range is over Mt. Fuji's height, not just a tip of a volcano that cheated its way to the top instead of being uplifted my millions of years of tectonic action like everyone else. :)
10th August 2007

Fantastic photography!!
29th April 2009

Love the pics...
I actually found them on google because I'm looking for an internship out there and wanted to see the area, its beautiful. Any I ended up looking at your whole sideshow. Thanks :-)
17th April 2011
The Drive Home...

Thanks for the memories
I have been going to Huntington Lake since 1962. Have been swimming in Florence Lake, (think a got a bit of hypothermia), drove on the crazy road from Huntington to Florence, sat in a hot pool at Mono (in other words, done it all). Love your pictures. Thank you. Nina
22nd August 2012
Lake Edison, Sierra National Forest

So Awesome
I'm headed to Ward Lake tomorrow to camp with the family. Been going to these parts since I was 3 years old (45 now). It was so nice to see your beautiful pictures. Can't wait to get up there.

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