Three Sisters Half-Day Hike

20 Jun 1997 - by Steve Eckert

(Dayhike/2) ^ (1/SisterSisterSister)

As a warmup for an SPS trip I was supposed to lead (see Silver and Izaak Walton report), I solo dayhiked Three Sisters in about half a day (20 June 1997). Since the standard guidebooks seem to consider this area NOT part of the Sierra, I turned to the SPS and PCS website archives. (One day we may not need the guidebooks, eh?) Ibbetson's Epic from Dinkey Creek convinced me to start from Courtright Reservoir. The Roach Approach had too much cross country in an area where a good trail exists, so I decided to follow the Kline Line for a while.

No big tricks to this trip. It's a gentle trail from the west side of Courtright Reservoir (which DeLorme's CDROM calls "Coortwright") toward Cliff Lake, which I reached in under two hours. The Kline Line says "10 miles cross country to the peak" from the lake (obviously a typo - more like one mile), claims the peak is 101619' high (another typo - 10619), and I found no reason to steer for gullies or saddles (I just crossed the stream at the outlet of the lake, and hiked up the class 1 ridge to the east face of the peak arriving directly at the summit block instead of turning north along the ridge). The last 600' of the east face is steeper but has class 2 routes on it, making this a trip suitable for beginning hikers with a reasonably experienced leader. Grandparents and gradeschoolers could easily accompany you to stunning boulder-and-sand campsites near Cliff Lake, and all would have a wonderful time.

At 8:30am I was the first to sign the summit register this year, which really surprised me. This peak would be a good ski tour or early season trip. By late June, the mosquitoes were out in force, and I wound up wearing a head net on the 10619' summit! I had started around 5:30am in anticipation of a hot day, beating the heat nicely on the climb but fighting bugs on the return. I returned to the car before 11am, making this a half-day hike up one of the Three Sisters (finally explaining the report title).

Photo of the Three Sisters, north side, from Cliff Lake.

Bob Ayers adds:

the one captioned "Photo of the Three Sisters, north side, from Cliff Lake" ... Nice photo. But alas a photo of the end of Dog Tooth, not of any one of the three sisters.

Yesterday [8/05/2001], we did the walk-in to Cliff Lake and the climb of the highest "sister" -- a la your 97 trip, just a tad slower than you about 3:20. And then we traversed across the two other sisters and back out via several of the higher lakes.

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