Camping sites at Lake Catherine California

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Alpineholydog

Trad climber
Spring Tx
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 20, 2014 - 01:05pm PT
I am hiking up to Lake Catherine via Thousand Island Lake area in August.
Are there any decent flat sites up by the lake or close by to camp the night. There will be three of us w 2 tents. We want to climb Mt Davis and possibly Banner but did not know if it was worth base camping up at Catherine or going back down to Thousand Island Lake. I read somewhere that there is a few flat sites west of lake near small pond.

Any help appreciated.
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Jun 20, 2014 - 01:27pm PT
Two different views of Lake Catherine.

Looking East southeast <br/>
Looking East southeast

Credit: skcreidc

Looking Southwest
Looking Southwest
Credit: skcreidc

So the answer is no comfortable camping at Lake Catherine. Although there is a bench of sorts at the East end, it's not my idea of a comfortable spot. Easiest good camping is likely at the West end of Thousand Island Lake. It's a popular area though, so an exact spot is hard to pin down. But there are loads of decent campsites to choose from.

edit: to be clear, as you head west more spots open up and a small meadow with a creek rushing through it is very nice for camping. But this adds needless miles to my eye. YMMV
Alpineholydog

Trad climber
Spring Tx
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2014 - 02:23pm PT
Thanks!
It looks like you were standing about where I was thinking there might be a flat spot in the first picture. The Ritter Lakes look pretty crumbly and steep on topo. We might base camp out of the far western part of Thousand Island. I have seen the spots there and at Garnet's west end. Also looked like a flat spot due south of lake before the drop to Ritter. Topo always just part of the story however as always…
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 20, 2014 - 02:32pm PT
I would recommend staying at Thousand Island Lake rather than Lake Catherine. In 1968 (another very dry year), we climbed Mr. Davis via an interesting snow couloir and some 4th class near "Annie's Spire," and it was a straightforward day, although it was a bit of grind over talus from the top of the couloir to the summit of Davis. Great views, though.

John
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Jun 21, 2014 - 07:54am PT
This is one of my favorite places in that part of the Sierra.

Just on the other side of Catherine over that little pass toward Thousand Island are some great areas but water might be an issue.

I wouldn't say there is "no" comfortable camping around the lake but it is very tight. A few of years ago I spent several hours erasing a site cleared by someone that was about 5 feet from the lake. You'd think people would know better. At the west end of the lake there are some small benches that are good enough for 2-3 people and about 75-100 ft from the lake and a good 20+ feet higher. Still a bit close but workable if you do your business away from the site. It's a bit to the left (northish) of where skcreidc's first photo was taken but close to the west end of the lake. I don't recall seeing a pond anywhere there, but no doubt that comes and goes.

John, this is not 1968. Thousand Island Lake these days is a zoo full of fish torcherers and rednecks and extremely unpleasant.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
Jun 21, 2014 - 10:48am PT
West end of 1000 island then up a few benches there's a bitchin flat spot with a nice grove of whitebark pines.
Edit. .....the spot I'm talking about is beyond the 1000 yahoo camps.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#363736
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Jun 21, 2014 - 12:17pm PT
Ya 1000 Island Lake camping is thee most horrendous I have experienced in 41 years of Sierra backpacking.

The small bench west and above the lake sounds like the ticket. I am partial to camping around Island Pass. Same great flavor, but nobody around.
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Jun 21, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
Another photo for sh1TS and giggles. A shot of the Western end of Thousand Island Lake.

General layout of Thousand Island Lake, west end
General layout of Thousand Island Lake, west end
Credit: skcreidc
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 21, 2014 - 02:48pm PT
We camped 1000 Island several years ago,close to the water near one of those weird island hummocks -- but I forget at which end. It was in the latter part of September and when the sun went down it got surprisingly chilly real fast. I somehow forgot my thermal pad and it was like sleeping on an ice cube.
Eventually we hiked out at Tuolumne a few days later via Lyell Canyon.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jun 23, 2014 - 01:06pm PT
hey there say, alpineholydog...

wow, thanks for starting this share...

and as to this qoute, of khanom, think it was?:

This is one of my favorite places in that part of the Sierra.

Just on the other side of Catherine over that little pass toward Thousand Island are some great areas but water might be an issue.

favorite place, says a lot, :)


and, timid:
great photo share...


ooops, big edit here:


say, swellyman, thanks for more info:

Ya 1000 Island Lake camping is thee most horrendous I have experienced in 41 years of Sierra backpacking.

The small bench west and above the lake sounds like the ticket. I am partial to camping around Island Pass. Same great flavor, but nobody around.

thanks for the added info, too...
just read over for the second time, and saw the
answer, as to which areas are best, :)


i am from calif, but never learned/heard of this place...
neat thread, :)


say, happy camping!!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 23, 2014 - 01:49pm PT
Sorry to hear the deterioration of Thousand Island camping. I was last there in 2002, having come over Donahue and Island passes, but we kept going to Garnet Lake. Since I'm always approaching from the west (in 1968 we came in over Parker and Koip Peak Passes), I forget how easy it is to get there from the east. Still, our climb up the coiloir and on to Davis was great fun. . .

John
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jun 23, 2014 - 03:14pm PT
John, this is not 1968. Thousand Island Lake these days is a zoo full of fish torcherers and rednecks and extremely unpleasant.
Really? Last time I was there was probably a good 15 yrs. ago and there were none of the problems that people are mentioning. It was quiet and as beautiful as it looks in those pictures. Pity.
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