Seville Lake
August 29-30, 2004
Or the "We could've hiked to Lost Lake if we hadn't have gotten lost" Trip, lol

On Sunday I drove up to Kings Canyon National Park to do an overnight backpack trip with
MaximusII, a guy I'd met through Backpacker.com.  I had originally planned this trip with
mtmnslady but she had to work Monday so I'm glad Brett could go!  We met at the Grant
Grove Visitor Center and there we got our wilderness permit.  They are now charging a
$15 fee per trip but the lady who wrote the permit did a very thorough job so we joked
and said we guess she'd earned it!

After getting the permit we were off to the Rowell Meadow Trailhead (sometimes called
the Sunset Meadow Trailhead).  The trailhead is on the Sequoia National Forest off of
the Big Meadows Road.  Because it's a little ways off the main park road, the General's
Highway, not many people go there.  There were a few cars at the trailhead and we met a
few hikers and horseback riders on their way out but we ended up having Seville Lake all
to ourselves :)

The trail climbs steadily through a dense red fir forest then switchbacks up a dry, rocky
ridge.  The red fir give way to plants that can tolerate the sunny slope better such as
Sierra Juniper and carpets of manzanita and chinquapin.  After about a mile and a half you
turn north slightly and the trail follows a little creek up to Rowell Meadow.  Here we
passed the turn to JO Pass and then stopped for a minute at the Rowell Meadow Guard
Station.  I looked at the map and was a bit confused.  The trail to Seville Lake looked
like it might have split from the one going to JO Pass so we backtracked a bit and headed
out that trail a little bit.  But if it split, it split soon from that trail, and we did not see
it.  So we went back to the Guard Station and continued on a little bit further, crossed a
creek, then saw the trail to Seville.  Brett was very good natured about doing a little bit
of backtracking to make sure we had the right trail.

The trail went around Rowell Meadow and crossed another creek.  Here the forest is
mainly stands of lodgepole pine.  There were a few flowers still blooming, asters and
ranger's buttons among them.  Then the trail climbed gradually to a saddle point and then
descended quite sharply down to Sugarloaf Creek.
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At Sugarloaf Creek we could've gone on to Lost Lake, if we had more energy and hadn't
spent time backtracking back at Rowell Meadow.  But Seville Lake was a good enough
destination we thought.  From the creek it's about one mile to Seville Lake.  After
heading up the trail what seemed like a mile I began to have my doubts that Seville Lake
was actually up there.  Brett and I joked, "Anyone see a lake around here?"

But soon enough we found ourselves at Seville.  It's a beautiful little lake surrounded by
steep granite cliffs.  There are two bear boxes at the lake so you do not need to bring a
bear canister, unless you suspect that there would be lots of others at the lake.  But as I
said, we had it to ourselves.  We camped on the west shore of the lake.

After setting up our tents I decided to go for a swim.  Brett, well, I don't think he
actually swam, but I did coax him into the refreshing water.  I swam perhaps a third of
the way across the lake and lay back and floated for a bit.  What a nice way to end the
day!

After I changed into fleece pants and a fleece top Brett mentioned he hadn't brought
the legs to his convertible pants and he wish he had.  I gave him my legs that went to mine
to try to zip to his shorts and sure enough, they worked!  Well, once you turned one inside
out so the zipper was aligned!  The legs were a different color and I said that he'd
probably start a trend, lol

On the north shore of the lake there is a big rock that juts out a bit into the lake and we
sat and soaked up the last of the sun there.  The rock was warm and Brett said it did
wonders for his back which was hurting a bit on the hike in.  As we were lying there
watching the clouds float overhead we suddenly heard a duck.  Yes, a duck, a mallard, at a
High Sierra lake!  Brett named her Matilda and she wasn't shy at all and came up right to
us on the rock.

Unfortunately when I was up on the rock one of my rings fell off my pinky finger and fell
into the water.  It was too deep to reach without getting really wet and it was getting
dark so I didn't want to do that again and risk getting chilled.  It landed near a rock so I
hoped it would still be there in the morning and sure enough it was :)
We then cooked and ate dinner and relaxed and watch the full moon rise over Ball Dome.  
It was a nice night, it wasn't too cold and there were only a couple of mosquitos out and
about.

In the morning I had cinnamon roll oatmeal for breakfast (it's the best!) and we packed
up and headed out.  The first mile and a half wasn't too bad, but then there was the slog
back uphill to the saddle between the creek and meadow.  This part of the trail is also
quite sandy so it was a challenge, but we made it!

We made pretty good time on the way back and were at the trailhead by around 2:00 pm.  
We said goodbye there and Brett headed back to So. Cal and me to Springville.  Brett's a
very nice guy, he has a great sense of humor and is easy-going (great when the ranger
gets lost, lol) and I hope that we'll get to do a trip together again!