Over Labor Day weekend we once again headed into the Sierra for a backpacking trip. This trip was built around my desire to see Benson Lake (the picture in this entry) with its giant sandy beach and trout fishing. We started off from Twin Lakes (out of Bridgeport), headed through Hoover Wilderness, down Matterhorn Canyon, by Smedberg and Benson Lakes, and back up Kerrick canyon. It took us 3.5 days to cover the ~50 miles, with a long, 20 mile final day when we decided to forgo our last campsite and hike all the way out.
In researching this trip, I learned that most people do this loop counterclockwise, but I chose to go clockwise and am happy with that choice. With our itinerary and direction, the hardest part of each day’s hike was at the beginning of the day when we were fresh. I was really happy to have relatively easy hiking during the second part of each day. A clockwise approach is definitely recommended.
Day 1: Twin Lakes Trailhead, up Robinson Creek, camp at Crown lake
8.38 miles, 2700 feet of gain
Day 2: Over Mule and Burro Passes, and down Matterhorn Canyon
12.78 miles, 2700 feet of gain
Day 3: Over Benson Pass, by Smedberg Lake, and camp at Benson Lake
10.81 miles, 2300 feet of gain, 3300 loss.
Day 4: Over Seavey Pass, up Kerrick Canyon to Peeler Lake, then back to the trailhead
19.19 miles, 2600 feet of gain, 3000 loss.