Margaret Lakes 2016

Google earth KML – Graveyard Lakes

GaiaGPS Info From Aaron

Wilderness: John Muir Wilderness

Trail System: Onion Spring Trail
Latitude: 37.2727
Longitude: 119.0201
Elevation: 9,991 Feet

Day 1 – Hike in
To get to the Onion Spring trail head, you take highway 168 past Shaver Lake to Huntington Lake. From Huntington Lake, head up Kaiser Pass Road until you reach Edison Lake (Lake Thomas Edison). From Edison, drive down the 4×4 trail named Onion Springs Route. The trail head will be on your right and signed for identification.
Our goal this first day is to get to Frog Lake. There we will base camp for the rest of the trip. The trail is pretty straight forward for the first mile and then you hit a series of switch backs. Once at the top of the switchbacks, the trail continues pretty straight until you hit another series of switch backs topping out at a pass. From the pass, you head back down the mountain again traveling on a series of switchbacks until you reach Frog Lake.
At Frog Lake, there are about 3 decent camping spots to choose from with easy access to the lake. After setting up camp, we relax, at some food and then hit the sack.

Day 2 – Acclimate
On the second day, we just chilled and recovered from the previous day. We were all sore so it was nice to just recover by the lake and sun bathe while the guys caught fish. I would have to say that I have been to a lot of lakes in the background and none of them had fishing as good as this lake did.
Going this late in the year, it was a little bit chillier (see below for weather information). Normally we go at the end of September but due to work, I had to push it to the end of August.

Day 3 – Lake Fishing
In total, we visited 6 lakes on this day. Our first destination was a little lake right before Big Margaret. My topo doesn’t have it named so I will call it Fern Lake. Fern Lake fishing was very good considering it’s size. It was also a nice little place to take a breather before heading up the trail. Next was Big Margaret Lakes. A most stunning lake with absolutely no fish in it. Still worth the visit. From Margaret, we hooked around the lake and started down the very un-maintained and hidden trail that goes past Rainbow lake. From Rainbow, we pass another small lake and then continue down the hill, through some marshy area and then back up a steep hill that climbs up to a ridge. From the ridge, you drop down into Coyote Lake and then from there back to camp. It was a very long day with heavy cloud cover most of the day. We finished the evening next to a warm fire.

Day 4 – Peak Day
Originally, we wanted to climb Sharktooth Peak, but the trek to get there from Frog Lake was too long so we decided to climb Saddle Mountain instead. Saddle Mountain sits at about 10,906 feet. We took a path towards Coyote Lake and then hooked back around up the valley between a large volcanic area and Saddle Mountain. There was lots of slate which made the climb slippery but we eventually made it. On top was a beautiful view of the surrounding area with clear skies to see as far as we wanted.
After taking in the sites and having lunch, we headed back down to camp to finish the day with fishing and drinks.

Day 5 – Hike out
For some reason, the hike out is always longer than coming in it seems. Because we came down into Frog Lake means that we had to climb up a switchback infested trail on the way back until we reached the pass. It was a very cold morning. The sweat from my brothers bandanna froze over the pass and it was very windy. Needless to say, we made our way out quickly. I ended up getting a cold after getting home.
That concludes this years trip diary. Next year we will be doing Hell For Sure area. I’m the only one that has been there so the guys are excited to visit a new area.

Weather & Fishing

Afternoon temperatures averaged from 48 to 62 F
Morning temperatures averaged from 32 to 44 F
Water temperature was 52 F at 3 feet

Fishing was excellent at Frog, Fern, Rainbow and Bathtub. No fish at Margaret
Fish between all lakes averaged 8 to 12 inches with the biggest ones at Frog Lake


Wednesday – September 28th
Steps – 23,787
Distance – 12.8
Calories Burned – 4,369
Active Minutes – 254
Floors – 315

Thursday – September 29th
Steps – 13,030
Distance – 6.23
Calories Burned – 3,675
Active Minutes – 67
Floors – 40

Friday – September 30th
Steps – 27,449
Distance – 13.12
Calories Burned – 4,440
Active Minutes – 255
Floors – 189

Saturday – October 1st
Steps – 21,840
Distance – 10.44
Calories Burned – 4,203
Active Minutes – 258
Floors – 200

Sunday – October 2nd
Steps – 22,211
Distance – 10.61
Calories Burned – 3,673
Active Minutes – 209
Floors – 110