Lake Basin Trip 2009
Late afternoon in Dusy Basin with Isosceles Peak on the left.
Joining a Sierra Club group for a nine day trip, I was able to reach a longtime goal spending most of the time off trail visiting Amphitheater Lake, the Dumbbell Lakes Basin, and spending two memorable days in Lake Basin where we had this beautiful area all to ourselves. We began with a two day layover in Dusy Basin prior to rejoining the JM trail in Le Conte Canyon. We exited over the old Cartridge Pass trail dropping down in a knee-jarring descent to the South Fork of the Kings River and completing the journey via Taboose Pass.
Above: Early morning light at Dusy Basin. Left: Late in the afternoon all the Palisades begin to light up as the magic of Alpenglow takes place. Mt. Winchell is especially striking with its prominent dikes.
On left below: Climbing up the chute on Mt. Agassiz from Bishop Pass. Below right: The summit provides a spectacular viewpoint including this perspective along the crest of the Palisades. North Palisade is in the upper center and Mt. Sill is to the left.
Above left: Pausing before the descent into Le Conte Canyon from Dusy Basin. On the right: Beautiful Amphitheater Lake, a prime goal that rewards those who make the lengthy climb alongside Cataract Creek.
Crossing over to Dumbbell, the view back toward the ramparts of the Palisades and Amphitheater below is a stunner! Looking on the other side, the slope down to the Lower Dumbbell Lakes is much gentler.
Above: A perfect reflection of Observation Peak in one of the Upper Dumbbell Lakes en route to the pass to Lake Basin.

Right: The first view toward Lake Basin from the pass.

Left: Down into the promised land from the pass. Right: Poised on the brink looking down at the amazing blue of Marion Lake.
Marion Lake, truly one of the gems of the Sierra. On the upper left is the pass from Dumbbell Lakes.
Lake Basin trout From Cartidge Pass, the expansive view toward Bench Lake and the deep canyon of the South Fork of the Kings River. Shortly past the lake, the "trail" descends down a relentless and steep slope to the valley floor.
Two views taken 46 years apart from nearly the same point on the approach to Taboose Pass with Arrow Peak in the background.