Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Return To Utica Reservoir

Last weekend we'd planned to scoot out of town to Utica Reservoir with another couple to introduce them to back country canoe camping but work got in the way and they had to cancel. Kathy & I had already put in for the day off and we were pretty much packed and ready to go anyway so we went without them....you missed out suckas!

We were able to snag out favorite campsite (from our original trip, HERE ) at the NE end of the lake though doing so wasn't much of a challenge. There were very few people at the lake. I guess now that school is in session through most of the state people are heading to the mountains less...it pays to be a married couple with no kids!

The weather was a bit of mix, it was overcast on Saturday and we even had a brief shower, just long enough to duck into the tent for a flat-out lazy afternoon nap.

Wheeler Peak to the left (~9000') and Bull Run Peak to the right (~9200')


A small conifer struggles for life in a rock cleft at the waters edge.
2007 Cabernet Franc is best enjoyed at an altitude in excess of 6800'
We did get a chance to go out for a paddle Saturday afternoon once the showers stopped. I think Guinness is getting comfortable with this whole canoeing & camping thing.

The weather on Sunday & Monday was absolutely bluebird conditions. The High-Sierras at their late summer best.

How's that hunk of granite for a pillow? Bullmastiffs are a lot of things but delicate isn't among them.
The only downside to the weekend was a group of people camped in what is normally a Boy Scout camp at the SW corner of Utica in the early summer. Let me preface this by saying that I am a gun owner, I enjoy hunting & shooting sports and I will take the defense of the 2nd Amendment to the grave if need be, but........ These people were some genuinely inconsiderate clods. It's perfectly legal to shoot in this area and I've no problem with someone doing so...within limits. These folks however were at it literally all.....day.....long. They may not have realized it, but you could hear the sound of their gunfire over the entirety of Utica Reservoir and Union Reservoir to the SE where we paddled Sunday morning accompanied by their din.

On top of that, they were camped ON, not adjacent to, but ON the portage trail between the two lakes. So if one was to portage from Utica to Union as we did, one was forced to walk directly through their camp. If anyone among the group in question happens to read this I hope they'll come to realize that they were inconsiderate of their fellow back country enthusiasts. Shooting for an hour once or twice a day would not have been a big deal but all day was a bit much and camping on the portage trail was almost as rude.

Other than that....a great weekend.


  1. Beautiful spot. Great pics. Guinness looks just like my pal's Mastiff, Danny. Incredibly awesome dogs. Too bad about the self-absorbed clowns you came across. With or W/O guns, folks like that are pretty anti-social.

    Spectacular country. Love it man.

  2. Hello! I found your blog when looking for information regarding the portage between Utica and Union Reservoirs. Great Trip reports! Questions: How was the terrain of the portage? And what was the distance between reservoirs? Thanks!