Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Adventure: Third Recess, Sierra Nevada

Two words: norovirus sucks. I'm writing this post at 3am in between praying to the porcelain goddess (oh please don't let my husband and son get this too!).  But since looking at pretty pictures of mountains helps me feel better, here are a few of one of my favorite spots in the Sierra Nevada: Third Recess, a canyon in the Mono Lakes area.  Last year I did a Thursday Adventure post about Fourth Recess Lake, in the next canyon over, and Fourth Recess is lovely too - but Third Recess is my favorite, because it doesn't have a trail and therefore sees very few visitors.  Wish I was there right now, without any norovirus.

Third Recess Canyon.  You can scramble up that slope behind the lake to a higher cirque and then make a few 3rd and 4th class ascents of various peaks.  
The lake is gorgeous - a deep blue-green and perfectly clear.  For some reason you never get the same shade of blue in Colorado lakes.
My husband Robert, enjoying the view.  We were the only people in the canyon.

Ruby Lake and a variety of peaks, seen from the trail over 12,000 foot Mono Pass
View from near the Mosquito Flat trailhead, after hiking out.  This is the highest trailhead in the Sierra, at  10.300 feet.


6 comments:

  1. Oh, more pretty.That lake IS gorgeous.

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    1. Sierra lakes are the BEST. Well, except for being so freaking cold they'll freeze you to the bone in seconds. :P

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  2. Any place that has a Third Recess sounds great to me. I really wish I'd gone to school there. :-)

    Nature pictures make me feel better when ill, too, and I wish you a Second, Third, and Fourth Recess of rest and recuperation and reading.

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    1. Hahaha. Recess was always my favorite period, too. :) Thanks for the good wishes...had a miserable few days, but am feeling much better now (whew!).

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  3. Courtney,
    You said 3rd Recess is your favorite b/c it doesn't have a trail but it looks to me on the topo map that there is a trail at least half way into the recess. Also, which lake was more beautiful 3rd or 4th recess lake?

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    1. At the time we backpacked it (well over a decade ago), there was only an unmarked "fisherman's trail" that was faint and easy to miss/lose that led toward the 3rd recess lake. In the intervening years I can well imagine that trail has become a lot more trail-like. I don't think there is any kind of a trail past the lake, or at least there wasn't when we visited. We just climbed the slabs beyond the lake and scrambled where we wanted to go. As for your question about the relative beauty of the recess lakes...eeesh, that's a hard one. Fourth Recess Lake has that lovely waterfall at the back plus more imposing terrain right behind it, but Third Recess lake was a prettier, more vivid color (it's shallower and therefore more blue-green). So I guess it depends what you want in a lake!

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