The hike to Minaret Lake isn’t a technical hike, however it’s best to nonetheless pay particular consideration to the next potential security hazards, and make sure to plan forward accordingly.
Whereas Minaret Lake is actually not the very best level within the Sierra Nevadas, the trailhead begins at round 7,500 ft elevation, and also you’ll find yourself all the way in which up at 9,800 ft if you attain Minaret Lake. Though this in all probability gained’t trigger altitude illness, it may make the hike a lot extra of a battle in case you’re coming from sea stage. In that case, it’s in all probability value spending an evening in Mammoth Lakes earlier than the hike in an effort to give your physique somewhat time to regulate.
Relying on the season you select to hike Minaret Lake, you can encounter snow on the path, which might make the hike extra technical and probably treacherous. In the course of the summer time, the path ought to be clear and melted out, however early in the summertime or within the fall, it’s best to positively verify the up to date path situations and snowfall totals for the season earlier than you try this hike.
Whereas the summer time months of July and August make for nice path situations, additionally they are the months when you can find probably the most mosquitoes. On this space, mosquitoes generally is a huge nuisance and make your hike fairly depressing, so make sure to convey bug spray and probably even insect-repellent clothes in case you’re mountain climbing within the top of summer time. Additionally, in case you’re backpacking, arrange your camp farther away from water, the place wind will assist hold among the mosquitoes away.
Close to the start of this path, you’ll come to a stream crossing close to Johnston Lake. Later on this season, the water stage ought to be low, and the crossing shouldn’t be a difficulty in any respect, however early within the season, it would be best to watch out making this crossing. When Michael & I did this hike in late June, the stream was about knee excessive and VERY chilly. Climbing poles may positively turn out to be useful right here to take care of your stability within the water on slippery rocks.
This space of the Japanese Sierras is stuffed with a wide range of wildlife, however the greatest concern is black bears. Often, black bears are fairly scared and skittish round people, however the bears right here generally is a little extra daring since they’re extra accustomed to seeing individuals round.
As with all bears, it’s best to follow commonplace bear security ideas together with (however not restricted to) the next:
Make noise whilst you hike so wildlife is rarely startled by your presence.
All the time hold your distance in case you see a bear.
By no means run from a bear.
All the time retailer your meals (and another scented objects) at night time in both a bear field or bear canister.
Rangers ask that you just don’t convey bear spray with you on this space. Simply be sensible, make noise whilst you hike, and also you’ll possible keep away from a bear encounter.
And positively don’t depart meals in your automotive on the trailhead – use a bear locker for something you don’t convey with you on the path.