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2001: Florence Lake to Marie Lake

August 15, 2001

Trip Report for Florence Lake to Marie Lake

July 1-5, 2001

Nick and Brett


Originally this was planned as a loop going up to Lake Italy, and back around (that I did in revers a few years later). However, it ended up as a simple out and back trip, with basically base camping at Marie Lake and going on side day trips nearby.

We drove up to Florence Lake the night before the hike.

Day 1: Florence Lake to Marie Lake (11.5 miles)

7,400' - 11,000' - 10,600'

7,400′ – 11,000′ – 10,600′

In the morning we took an early ferry across to the trailhead.

Brett and Nick start out

Brett and Nick start out

It is a little climb at first then fairly level until one gets to the turn off to head up toward Seldon pass. Once one heads up, there is a long climb with 7 (count them) long switchbacks. We stopped for a lunch at the end of one of these where we could get down to the stream. We had planned on stopping for the night at the Sally Keyes Lakes, but when we stopped there the black flies were horrendous, and after scarfing down a protein bar, we quickly got out of there. We decided to go on to Marie Lake.

Prayer Flags at Seldon past

Prayer Flags at Seldon past

Just over Seldon Pass, as we were able to look down to the Marie Lake, someone had put up Buddhist Prayer flags.

Nick at Marie Lake

Nick at Marie Lake

We headed down and found a nice spot by the northern end of the lakes just off the path. It made for a long day getting all the way to Marie Lake on our first day. After some discussion, Brett convinced me that instead of an ambitious trip of hiking each day, we should just base camp it there. The mosquitoes were pretty heavy, but there was a good breeze at times, which while making it colder, kept them down a bit.

Nick at campsite

Marie Lake is a great place for a base camp. There is good fishing there, and there are lots of other lakes and small peaks one can hike to an easy distance away.

Days 2 & 3: Day Hikes

Picnic spot at Medley Lakes

Picnic spot at Medley Lakes

The next day we hiked over to the Medley Lakes, having a nice picnic at a little grassy area by one of them.

Nick climbing to the peak

Nick climbing to the peak

On the way back to camp I decided to boulder hop it up to the peak of one of the unnamed mountains next to Marie Lake.

Brett at Rose Lake

Brett at Rose Lake

The following day we day hiked the other direction, heading over to Rose Lake, cross-countrying it directly over the ridge and down to the lake. We circled around the lake took the trail down to where it met up with the JMT and then took the JMT back to our camp.



Day 4: Marie Lake to Blayney Hot Springs (7 miles)

10,500' - 7,600'

10,600′ – 11,000 – 7,700′

day we headed back out, stopping at Blayney meadows for the last night. We camped on the near side of the river. It was work getting across to the other side where the hot springs are.

Nick in Blayney Hot Sptings

Nick in Blayney Hot Sptings

We wandered around awhile before we finally found them—I little to the right in the more open area, and back. But we did find it, and the nice swimming area behind.

Brett dives off the log

Brett dives off the log

We also found a great place to jump off a log into a deep pool along the river.

Day 5: Blayney Hot Springs to Florence Lake (4.5 miles)

6 Florence

7,700′ – 7,900′ – 7,400′

The following day we headed out the few miles back to Florence Lake.

  1. What river is that (on the way back to Florence Lake) where you found a log to dive from? BTW, is there still a small lodge at Florence?

    • Last time I was there there was the small store at Florence. Not sure about an actual lodge. Lake Edison does have one I know, but Edison is currently empty, so not sure if it is open.
      If my memory serves me, I’m pretty sure that was long the South Fork of the San Joaquin, in Blaney Meadows

  2. Thanks for your site. I’m 69 and have asthma and a bad back. I want to ask for any suggestions you might have for me in my situation. One option is to get packed in on horses, be dropped, and picked up days later. Aside from that, I’m looking for places I can drive to or take a very short hike to (with another helping carry supplies), set up a day camp, and take day hikes. I can’t carry a backpack day after day. And, at high altitudes, I’d need to camp or stay in some accommodations to acclimate first. Do any spots in the Sierra come to mind? An example is walking up the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne from Tuolumne Mdws Campground…very beautiful. One the the Trinity Alps (do you know them?) is Taylor Lake, although I don’t know that there’s much hiking to do out from the lake. Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you. Steve Brudney

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