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 Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
 Post Date:  07/13/2005
 Date Climbed:   07/12/2005
 Posted By:  sisyphus

 July 12, 2005   

Woke up early and drove to American Basin. The American Basin road is a very easy 4WD road. Some guy actually got a Volvo station wagon up there, with little damage. I think someone may have done some road maintenance on this one. Most guidebooks say that the American Basin road (to the actual TH) is tough. Its not. Lots of vehicles were up there when I descended, including several that I would not consider "high clearance."

One tip: I parked at an obvious parking area just after the turn on the American Basin road. There is a creek crossing about 100 yards beyond this, and it isnt easy. I barely made it across without dunking a foot, using my trekking poles as "pole vaults." There is another parking area just beyond the creek, and I would advise parking there. The creek would be really easy to cross in a vehicle. Its not too deep. Its just really wide and running fast, so crossing on foot sucks. Everyone else that got there after me parked beyond the creek.

The trail to Handies is really easy to follow. Theres one spot where it branches off to another trail, but if you have a map you will be fine. Some people were cutting the main trail, but I would highly advise against that. There seems to be a lot of erosion, and I think thats why the new trail swings out so widely.

Tons of people up on top. American Basin was really crowded also. It wasnt what I expected. I had planned on camping at Grizzly Gulch and trying Sunshine and Redcloud the next day, but I caught a stomach bug that started to give me problems. So, I headed home that afternoon to kick this stomach flu.

Summary: Easy hike-up. Took me about 2 hours to summit from the turn to American Basin. One hour down. Good trail the whole way up. Bring your camera gear for American Basin. Its amazing. I spoke with three professional photographers that were there for the wildflowers. They told me that 2-3 weeks from now would be perfect.

 


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