Xerox Mountaineering & Backpacking Club
Matlock Lake


Eastern Sierra Friday - Sunday, June 28-30, 1991

Brief: A moderate two-night backpack in the John Muir Wilderness

starting at Onion Valley. This will be a 10 km (6 mile) round trip with an elevation gain of 448 m (1,470 ft). Trail head elevation is 2,802 m(9,193 ft) trail camp elevation will be at approximately 3,220 m(10,564 ft) with a peak elevation enroute of 3,250 m (10,663 ft).

What: This will be a moderate two-night backpack to Matlock Lake, one of a series of lakes that make up the headwaters of Independence Creek. The first lake we will encounter will be Little Pothole with two beautiful cascades pouring into it from the south and west. Heading west we will pass Gilbert and Flower lakes then turn south to Matlock where we will set up camp. There is reportedly good fishing for rainbow and brook trout in the many lakes and streams in this area. There will be an optional dayhike Saturday over Kearsarge Pass to view the Kearsarge Lakes and Pinnacles (weather permitting). This side trip would cover approximately 10 km (6 mi) round trip and a gain of about 350 m (1,150 ft).

When: We will depart Onion Valley Friday morning around 9:30, it is strongly advised that you arrive at Onion Valley Thursday night to acclimatize to the altitude. There is a Forest Service campground at Onion Valley with piped water, flush toilets, and a $6.00 fee. We should arrive at our trail camp in time for lunch. Return to the trailhead is planned for early afternoon Sunday.

Who: This hike is open to all XMBC members. There is a limit of six persons on the permit, so leader approval is required. There is a wilderness permit fee of $3.00 per person. Reservations will be accepted on a first come basis.

Weather: Expect night temperatures around or below freezing, there may still be some snow cover. Thunder or snow storms are always a possibility. I will be checking back with the rangers to get an update on weather conditions.

Misc: An encounter with bears is a possibility, you MUST bring at least 50' of rope and stuff sacks to hang your food using the counter balance method. There is a food storage pole at Matlock Lake. Also, be prepared for wet conditions such as stream crossings and snow-melt runoff.

Topo Maps: Mt. Pinchot, USGS 15' series, Kearsarge Peak, USGS 7.5' series (provisional ed. 1985), optional: Mt. Clarence King, USGS 7.5' series (also provisional ed. 1985).

Directions: Take US 395 north to Independence. Turn west on Onion Valley Road (Market Street in town) at the traffic light in downtown Independence. Onion Valley is 15 miles west of Independence. Drive time from the south bay is approximately 5 hours.

Reservations: To make reservations or if you would like more information, contact:
Randy Ortland at 805/962-6332 (work),
805/966-9422 (home), or
E-mail: <71620.2666@compuserve.com>.