Gordon Lake 2019
Wilderness: John Muir Wilderness
Elevation: 8,888 feet
Day 1 – Hike in
Gordon Lake sits almost 10,000 feet above Florence Lake. You can get to it from the Hooper Trail (about 2.9 miles from trailhead to Gordon). If you think that it is an easy hike, think again. Google Earth and topo’s don’t do it justice. Usually our mileage is based on steep and short, or long and gradual. Even though we choose the short and steep this trip around, the trail is in bad condition. Additionally, it is littered with thousands of ankle busters (small round rocks), lots of brush and direct sunlight most of the way.
The first 1.9 miles or so are the hardest. You climb approximately 1,900 feet. From there, the trail levels off slightly and start dipping into the trees. The last mile climbs about 600 feet gradually until you reach Gordon Lake. If it wasn’t for all the trail markers (“ducks”), it would have been a confusing hike.
Once you get to Gordon Lake, you are greeted by a beautiful canopy of trees and the backdrop of a large pointed peak.
There is only one camp spot at Gordon Lake (that we could easily find) and it is setup with a large fire pit and small flat rock for the stoves. Logs are placed around the fire ring for seating and there are plenty of trees for hammocks. Someone has also taken the liberty to create drainage dips for when it rains.
Day 2 – Recover
On day 2 we just took it easy. Local fishing, napping, and getting the camp site ready for the next 3 days. The guys fished the lake somewhat but did not have any luck.
Day 3 – Fish the lakes
On day 3, we fish all the lakes in the area. These included Harvey Lake, Hooper Lake, Neil Lake and Crazy Lake. This time around, Crazy was my favorite.
Day 4 – Climb the peak
We actually never made it to Hooper peak (again), but to the ridge next to Gordon Lake. The view was okay and worth the effort to get a glance of the lakes from above.
Day 5 – Hike out
Nothing much to report here. The climb down the steep hill is worse than coming up. All of our equipment and food lasted the trip.
Here is some additional info that may be helpful:
– Hike in: 11:30 am to 6:00 pm (6.5 hours).
– There is a little stream at the top (about 1.8 miles) that you can get water at. There is a bigger creek about 1/3 of a mile up the trail
– Temperature AM: 46 F
– Temperature MIDDAY: 73 F
– Lake water temperature at 2 feet:: 61 F