August 16-17, 1999
This was my first solo off-trail backpacking trip. I was ready and armed with newly gained
information of map and compass use as well as just general route-finding skills from my trip
with SNHA to Mosquito and Ansel Lakes.
The first part of the trip is on an established trail, the Twin Lakes Trail, whose trailhead is
at Lodgepole Campground. There is a switchback right before Silliman Creek and before you
turn to go up it, there is a sandy draw with a steep opposite side to the right of the trail.
Look carefully and you'll find a user trail that skirts up it. This user trail is fairly decent in
spots, but in other spots you pretty much have to bushwack. But just keep on following
Silliman Creek and soon you'll reach Silliman Meadow.
I think Silliman Meadow is my favorite meadow in the Sierra. Perhaps because it's off the
beaten path and you can have it all to yourself. Perhaps because of its setting. It exists
because an avalanche (or two!) has cleared this area of trees. The surrounding mountains are
tall but close in. Just past the meadow is a great spot to eat lunch and soak your feet in the
A little ways further the main stem of the creek makes an abrupt right hand turn but you
want to stay straight. Here the route becomes quite tough. Basically you will be climbing a
little over 1,000 feet up a slope that consists of granite boulders. Take your time and watch
your step. Soon you will be rewarded with two small lakes nestled in a granite bowl off of the
west face of Mt. Siliman.
I camped on the west shore of the upper lake and watched fish jump as the sun set. I
retired early, tired from the tough hike.
|I didn't bring a camera on this trip, but here's
Little Lakes as seen from the top of Mount Silliman