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#46722 - 06/17/16 02:42 PM Brainard Lake
Dano Offline


Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 6
Loc: Riverside, ca
Did an over-nighter to Brainard Lake this week. The wind was blowing unusually excessive the first night, but the next day was awesome! Another gem of the eastern Sierras!


[img]https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=...&type=3&theater[/img]


Edited by Dano (06/17/16 02:48 PM)

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#46724 - 06/17/16 04:11 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7233
Loc: Fresno, CA
Dano, that link/picture doesn't work. Can you try again -- or tell us where to look in Facebook.

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#46725 - 06/17/16 04:34 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Dano Offline


Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 6
Loc: Riverside, ca
I'll have to have my kids do it........not as savvy as I think confused

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#46731 - 06/18/16 02:50 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Gina Offline


Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 39
Loc: Ridgecrest
Dano, we are day hiking Brainard, then on to Finger Lake this Thursday. Nice way to beat the heat!

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#46745 - 06/19/16 01:21 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Gina]
Dano Offline


Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 6
Loc: Riverside, ca
Enjoy...it will be epic!!

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#46751 - 06/20/16 07:50 AM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Madbutcher Offline


Registered: 06/20/16
Posts: 5
Loc: Felton, CA
Thanks for the report. We will be doing the South Fork trail on Saturday. We are going to try to summit Sill on Sunday and Mid Pal on Monday. Anyone have information on the creek crossing. With the heat this week I'm sure it will be flowing pretty good.

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#46765 - 06/20/16 12:30 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Madbutcher]
goldscott Offline


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 112
Loc: San Diego, CA
I just did Mid Pal on Saturday. The creek crossing from the trailhead to the mountains wasn't bad, but the return trip was more difficult, especially with the added flow from the warm weather. I used my poles and the bush nearby (held with my left hand) to reach my right foot from the shore to the first boulder in the water. From there it's a crawl/careful walk across to the other side. Good luck!

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#46767 - 06/20/16 01:04 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Madbutcher Offline


Registered: 06/20/16
Posts: 5
Loc: Felton, CA
Thanks Goldscott, Are you going to do a write up on the hike somewhere. I have enjoyed reading your posts in the past.

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#46769 - 06/20/16 05:10 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: goldscott]
Gina Offline


Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 39
Loc: Ridgecrest
Scott, Are there two crossings across the creek? I'd imagine by Thursday, with this heat wave, it will be rushing gushing. I may need to prepare to get wet!

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#46770 - 06/20/16 05:11 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Gina Offline


Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 39
Loc: Ridgecrest
Do you have a new link? Thx

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#46771 - 06/20/16 05:13 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Gina]
goldscott Offline


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 112
Loc: San Diego, CA
I'll definitely be writing a report soon!

There is only one major creek crossing that I recall, here: https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?t=t4&label=on&markers=||37.114387,-118.445556^1

Be prepared to get wet.

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#46772 - 06/20/16 05:31 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: goldscott]
Gina Offline


Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 39
Loc: Ridgecrest
Thanks, I'm ok with the wet part.
I'll also work toward not drowning as well.

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#46839 - 06/24/16 11:45 AM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
RichardK Online


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 82
Loc: East Coast Florida
At one time, there was a log bridge where the trail crossed Big Pine Creek. It was destroyed in a winter avalanche and the forest service never replaced it. There is a horse crossing very near the former bridge where the water will be between your ankles and knees. That was my experience in August. There is a lot of brush and rocks just downstream. You are not in danger of being swept away. So many old guidebooks and trip reports mention the bridge the forest service should have made this sign permanent.


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#46843 - 06/24/16 05:41 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: RichardK]
Gina Offline


Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 39
Loc: Ridgecrest
When we reached the usual crossing yesterday, it was very swift moving water. Too high for us-we also checked downstream, in between the willows (?) but we didn't feel comfortable either. What a difference from last summer! We didn't have a rope and for safety reasons, we retreated and continued our hike up North Fork for an alternate day hike.

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#46855 - 06/27/16 06:48 AM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Gina]
Dano Offline


Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 6
Loc: Riverside, ca
Hey Gina,

Yes, I had to cross the creek (where the willows were laid down and had to choose rocks carefully) Lost a hydro flask in the process...but made it across. It was do-able with hiking poles, or else I would'nt of tried it. Sorry you did'nt make it up to Brainard. Hope your north fork hike was good.

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#46856 - 06/27/16 06:54 AM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Dano Offline


Registered: 11/06/14
Posts: 6
Loc: Riverside, ca
By the way.........that hazardous water crossing sign is brand new, or was in a spot that I did not see....

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#46857 - 06/27/16 09:44 AM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
bobpickering Online


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I once managed to avoid that creek crossing entirely. This was before the bridge that got wiped out in the avalanche had even been built. I crossed the bridge at the trailhead and skied all the way to my camp above Finger Lake. The next day, I skied to the base of Middle Palisade, climbed to the summit and back, and then skied all the way down to my car.

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#46874 - 06/28/16 06:20 PM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Gina Offline


Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 39
Loc: Ridgecrest
In real life, I'm just happy to see SO MUCH WATER in the Creek! As I hike more of the Sierra this summer I'll be pleased to get wet as opposed to previous drought crossings.

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#46896 - 06/30/16 08:53 AM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
Madbutcher Offline


Registered: 06/20/16
Posts: 5
Loc: Felton, CA
We crossed the creek June 25th at about 2pm and back across on June 27th around noon. We used the spot just up stream from the main crossing. Going up, you had to use a downed tree to help you jump from a rock ledge to a rock in the middle of the stream and then jump to the far bank. We didn't get wet but if you did fall in its at least a five foot deep hole and fast moving water.

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#46908 - 07/01/16 06:20 AM Re: Brainard Lake [Re: Dano]
RichardK Online


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 82
Loc: East Coast Florida
Here is an internet picture of someone crossing where the old bridge used to be. Crossing here is not advised unless you are very nimble.




Here is a picture of the horse crossing just downstream. It is somewhat less deep.



The warning sign at the trailhead is gone. The forest service should put up a permanent sign.

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