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ScottySUntitled Comment

ScottyS

Hasn't voted

Sounds like an adventure, Matthew! Sorry my directions were insufficient. If the "pipe" is indeed covered now, then the Meadows road is likely the way to go in a low-clearance vehicle. However, in the interest of distance, if I was driving a high-clearance machine, I would still go for the "fencline" road. Of course, the biggest question would still be "is the Red Lake trail worth all of this?" Of course not ;-)
Posted Jul 21, 2004 1:28 pm

Matthew HollimanUntitled Comment

Matthew Holliman

Hasn't voted

Well, I took your directions, the ones from 395.com, and the ones from climber.org, and although all were accurate, I still failed. I was quite impressed that you found the road at night. I made it to the end of the mine road, headed down a couple of wrong options, walked around with my headlamp for a bit looking for the fence, before the absurdity of the situation hit me and I gave up.



Although the road is rockier, I think the boulders may be slightly smaller on the fenceline road than the section of McMurray Meadows Road after the pipe, so the shortcut may be preferred for lower clearance vehicles. But I don't think I'd have wanted to take a car with less clearance than my Subaru on either option.



And I'd have to agree that it'll be a while (perhaps never) before I slog up that trail again!
Posted Jul 21, 2004 2:07 pm

Brian KaletUntitled Comment

Brian Kalet

Hasn't voted

I got to the Red Mountain Lake Trailhead in a 2005 Ford Focus ZX4 SE (ground clearance = 6.2 inches) by taking the Tinemaha route. I don't recommend subjecting low clearance vehicles to this, but high clearance is not required. From trailhead to north end of Fish Springs Road and 395 took 38 minutes.
Posted Jun 20, 2005 10:26 pm

Matthew HollimanUntitled Comment

Matthew Holliman

Hasn't voted

Some additions/clarifications to the drive to the Red Lake TH:



I tried the shortcut at night, using Scotty's directions and the 15', but had no luck finding the road. In my opinion, a 7.5' and/or GPS may be necessary to negotiate this at that time of day--although they're accurate, I found the written directions alone to be insufficient. I eventually gave up, and headed back to Big Pine to take the McMurry Meadows Road (this little diversion cost me an hour).



The McMurry Meadows Road is easy to follow, especially with the Forest Service directions (the Bishop ranger station office has a good information sheet on the Red Lake/Birch Lake trailheads). The road may have been improved compared to past trip reports; the infamous pipe is now mostly buried under gravel, and there were no fords required at the stream crossings. The road is nonetheless quite rough for about a mile or so after the pipe, with some large rounded rocks buried in the road, but it was passable by a Subaru Forester (7.5" ground clearance). This is the worst section of the road.



I was able to find the infamous shortcut on my way back in daylight, using the reverse directions from climber.org. This shortcut was also negotiable by my Subaru. Below are GPS waypoints I took on the return for the shortcut:



TOPO! GPS Data Format Deg NAD83 ElevFeet UTC-Time

MINE,37.05293,-118.29803,4981,07/20/2004,04:09:19,MINE (END OF PAVED ROAD)

SHRTCT,37.05788,-118.31368,5407,07/20/2004,04:08:09,SANDY TRACK TO SHORTCUT

MCMURR,37.05698,-118.32660,5604,07/20/2004,04:05:51,MCMURRAY MEADOWS ROAD

RDJNCT,37.04848,-118.32642,5573,07/20/2004,04:05:06,ROAD JUNCTION

TH,37.03530,-118.35888,6613,07/20/2004,04:03:21,RED LAKE TRAILHEAD



To reach the mine, follow the paved road (Fuller Road) out of Tinemaha campground. At the mine, the pavement ends and the road turns to a good graded dirt road, which winds its way west around the base of a hill. The road peters out amidst piles of gravel, but a sandy track (see map below) leads shortly to a very rocky "road"--this rocky track might also be followed directly from the mine road. The rocky "road" runs alongside a fence, but the fence isn't too useful as a landmark for finding the track (especially at night), as it doesn't start until a little way along the track.



By the way, the drive to the trailhead from Big Pine took 60 minutes at night (stuck behind a slow car for the last few miles), while the drive back to Big Pine in daylight via the shortcut took 45 minutes. Both drives were more exciting than the climbs. I would probably just take McMurry Meadows Road again if I were heading to the trailhead at night.
Posted Jul 21, 2004 9:59 am

ScottySUntitled Comment

ScottyS

Hasn't voted

Sounds like an adventure, Matthew! Sorry my directions were insufficient. If the "pipe" is indeed covered now, then the Meadows road is likely the way to go in a low-clearance vehicle. However, in the interest of distance, if I was driving a high-clearance machine, I would still go for the "fencline" road. Of course, the biggest question would still be "is the Red Lake trail worth all of this?" Of course not ;-)
Posted Jul 21, 2004 1:28 pm

Matthew HollimanUntitled Comment

Matthew Holliman

Hasn't voted

Well, I took your directions, the ones from 395.com, and the ones from climber.org, and although all were accurate, I still failed. I was quite impressed that you found the road at night. I made it to the end of the mine road, headed down a couple of wrong options, walked around with my headlamp for a bit looking for the fence, before the absurdity of the situation hit me and I gave up.



Although the road is rockier, I think the boulders may be slightly smaller on the fenceline road than the section of McMurray Meadows Road after the pipe, so the shortcut may be preferred for lower clearance vehicles. But I don't think I'd have wanted to take a car with less clearance than my Subaru on either option.



And I'd have to agree that it'll be a while (perhaps never) before I slog up that trail again!
Posted Jul 21, 2004 2:07 pm

Brian KaletUntitled Comment

Brian Kalet

Hasn't voted

I got to the Red Mountain Lake Trailhead in a 2005 Ford Focus ZX4 SE (ground clearance = 6.2 inches) by taking the Tinemaha route. I don't recommend subjecting low clearance vehicles to this, but high clearance is not required. From trailhead to north end of Fish Springs Road and 395 took 38 minutes.
Posted Jun 20, 2005 10:26 pm

donSApproach

Hasn't voted

The dirt road approach really isn't that complicated (in daylight anyway). Exit 395 at S. Fish Springs Rd. Take a left on Tinemaha Rd, to the campground. Then a right on Fuller Road, going past the gravel mine. there are a couple forks, but they all basically rejoin each other in a mile or so. if you hit a locked gate, no big deal, just follow the road along the fence line till you can get through. I know it sounds complex like a lot of turns, but basically if you just look up and see the peak and canyon, then aim for that point you will arrive. you dont need 4wd, just some clearance... a subaru should be able to make it with careful driving. 20min highway to trailhead going fast in a truck, prob double that time if your going carefully in a lower vehicle.
Posted Jul 7, 2009 3:23 pm

Steve PrattRoute warning

Steve Pratt

Hasn't voted

Coming down the north slope:
Stay full to the left to return to the John Muir trail or full right to return to Red Lake. In between, there is a very cliffy chasm which drains to the north of Tinemaha. In our early season descent we found a snowfield at the bottom of the slope leading to a significant cornice which was not visible from above. Not a problem in good conditions, but in poor visibility this hazard has true death fall potential. Need to avoid snowfields on the north slope unless you can see the entire runout.
Posted May 28, 2013 5:08 pm

Diesel Read all you can about this hike before you proceed

Diesel

Hasn't voted

I hiked this on 7/28/2013. I can tell you for sure, as accessible as this Split Mt. might look, it was a pain to make it to the trailhead and also to the top. I ran into a lot of conflicting info from the start. Fist of all, the Fuller Rd is the way to go. Take it until the asphalt ends. Follow the dirt road to the first split that has a sign NO PASSING PRIVATE PROPERTY. Make a right there and follow the road. Without a GPS I've never made it. I made the mistake of taking McMurry Rd back to the street and I drove for almost an hour and 30 minutes. That road it is in a way worst shape then Fuller Rd, at least for a sedan. I also need to point out I drove a sedan Nissan Sentra. I had no choice.

The trailhead it located at the North side of the parking lot. I did not know. There it is a trailhead at the Southside of the parking lot which I took. That trail merges with the official trail eventually but I found that out the hard way. Taking this trail on the South along the creek and trees was much sorter but I keep losing it and finding it until I lost it completely. By mistake and out of frustration at one point I started going straight up the hill until I found the official trail that I followed all the way to Red Lake. My GPS said 3 miles to Red Lake. The official count is 5 miles. At the lake I found out from some campers what I did wrong/different and all that about the trailheads. From Red Lake to the summit it would take one 3 hours one way. There is no trail and just uphill rock fall hiking. Of course, as all went wrong for me the whole day, I got all the way to the last ridge when the clouds, high winds, almost no visibility and thundering, hail and rain started very strongly on me. I got so concerned that, with the summit within reach and with pain in my throat I had to go down. I felt it was too dangerous to make the last 400 ft elevation on that weather. Of course, on my wan down, rushing as much as I could to go out of that thundering and hail, I lost my camera. So if you find it (a black point and shot Canon) let me know. Of course, when I got back to Red Lake there were no thundering, clouds or hail. Like I said, things worked backwards for me that day.

On my way down it looked like everything got hit with a lot of the rain that I mentioned. People probably rushed down the trail since I found a camera (silver Canon with about 40 pics on it, all from Red Lake and Split Mt.). If yours, hit me up I'll be glad to mail it.

If this hike will be done in two days, it’s easy. Go to the trailhead, hike to Lake Red, wake up early AM and hike to the summit. If this hike will be done in one day, like I did, start as early as you can. There is time enough to do it in on day. I did it, but the lack of info drove my frustration through the roof. I was convinced reading the maps that there were 5 miles from the trailhead to Split Mt. but I was wrong. There are 5 miles to the lake. I was alone and I have a good pace on the trails. I wish I was at the trailhead at 5:30 am not at 9 am. Also wear long pants. I wear shorts and I ended up with a million cuts on my cafes. Them bushes are not to friendly.
Posted Aug 7, 2013 4:36 pm

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