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Old 06-22-2013, 08:02 PM   #1
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Sardine Lakes

Sardine Lake is at the base of the Sierra Buttes which are very scenic.



The Sardine Campground is at the east end of the lower lake. One great characteristic of this campground is the interpretive walkway through the marsh.



The signs talk about the beavers who swamped the place, killed all the trees, and now they are gone this is what is left. (I think this is why all the California frogs are dead too.)



The road to the upper lake is four wheel drive only.



It was listed as an intermediate bike ride so we took the bikes up there. However my wife found the rocks very difficult and has no more faith in her book about bike rides. She did ride some of it.



It is only a short distance and well worth the trip.



The off road possibility was to a Tamarack Lake. They say no camping except in campgrounds, but there was one guy up there and it looked great.



We were able to boat around in the lower lake



The Sportsmobile gave me a little grief. I remember reading a post about a guy's bolt in the joint of the two supports of the penthouse backing out. I just scanned it and didn't remember how he got it fixed, but now I faced the problem. The damn thing is under intense pressure with the garage springs working on them. I ended up parking on a slant with the penthouse partially up. This was what it took to get the hole to line up so there was a chance of getting it back through. Then I had to beat it with a hammer.

I know why the nut comes off. They use a nyloc nut which is right for something that is an axle, but the bolt is too short and the nylon part never gets in contact with the bolt so it is easy to wiggle off. WTF. Two thin jam nuts jammed together works. No way of getting the bolt out and replacing it with a longer one.

We checked out the lakes to the north on Gold Lake Road. Snag Lake had a campground on the lake. The big lake is Gold Lake. Allstays didn't show the campground at Gold Lake boat ramp but there is one there. It looks good and is the trail head for a bunch of 4X4 roads. It said National Fee area, not National Forest. I don't know what a fee area is or how to find them on the interweb.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Fantastic looking area. IMO the Sierra Nevada Range is one in a million and as long as I have vehicle access to it I'm hopelessly indoctrinated to this region.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:12 PM   #3
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
as long as I have vehicle access to it I'm hopelessly indoctrination to this region.
When I show all the roads I can't take I am thinking of you!
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:44 PM   #4
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Don't want to rub salt into the wound but a buddy just called me and claimed he saw a silver SMB up at Leavitt Lake. Actually because my van is in the shop, it stings a bit on me as well.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Thanks for posting your travels. I read in Nat Geo mag that the frogs are dying off in the High Sierras due to the settlers stocking fish in the lakes. It turns out there never were fish up there til then.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:34 PM   #6
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Another trip for the list, thanks for posting.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Hands down one of my favorite spots to camp. The Butes are amazing. Try dinner at the Lodge on Upper sardine./ Its insane!
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Just saw this post. I'll high 5 every comment. You can also drive up to the Sierra Buttes lookout if you have 4wd and there is plenty of dispersed camping in either direction from Packer Saddle above Packer Lake. I haven't camped up there in 20+ years and I'm sure it's more crowded but wow is the scenery spectacular.In season Packer lake lodge is also fun for dinner.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:47 AM   #9
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by xcnick
It was listed as an intermediate bike ride so we took the bikes up there. However my wife found the rocks very difficult and has no more faith in her book about bike rides. She did ride some of it.
Unless the book was written when the trail was in very different repair, that rating probably refers to the level of technical riding skill required.

I've spent a bit of time scouting 4x4 trails and unimproved roads by mountain bike this year. Nothing that I'd want to scout is easy.

You'd think something as wide as a road would inherently be easier than dirt single track. However once you're staring at nothing but 8"+ rocks it takes a lot of faith to convince yourself that you can just keep on riding, at least for someone that's not into technical mountain biking. You need to concentrate on finding a line that won't grab your front wheel, particularly when coming back downhill.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:22 PM   #10
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Re: Sardine Lakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by xcnick

We checked out the lakes to the north on Gold Lake Road. Snag Lake had a campground on the lake. The big lake is Gold Lake. Allstays didn't show the campground at Gold Lake boat ramp but there is one there. It looks good and is the trail head for a bunch of 4X4 roads. It said National Fee area, not National Forest. I don't know what a fee area is or how to find them on the interweb.
The National Fee area may be a left-over from a few years ago when the NFS was trying to charge a fee in most areas. The only fee areas that I know of (In California) are some of the National Forests in SOCAL.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r5/pa ... width=full

Last year we took the 4x4 trail around Gold Lake and ended up at the top of Sierra Buttes. Its not technically difficult. Lots of baby heads to go over. The 4x4 campground on the S/W side of Gold Lake was completely full (during the week) with a lot of yahoos. There is a forest service cabin a bit further on as you head up to the summit. We boondocked just above it with a great view of Gold Lake below.
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