Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

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phonewentwest
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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by phonewentwest » Thu May 24, 2018 8:50 am

You could also consider Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.


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SSSdave
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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by SSSdave » Thu May 24, 2018 12:04 pm

Tonydavid wrote:Thank you for the replies so far! I have been researching them trying to figure out the best option given our criteria.-SSSdave of Hetch Hetchy or Cherry Valley (Question on Laurel Lake - is the reason not to attempt loop because of snow?). Thank you for map link and satellite image...although I am not really sure how to read it)...As you know researching a trip is kind of hard , especially with limited time. Really appreciate the input. Keep it coming! You guys are the best!
To make sense out of the satellite Worldview images you need to also be looking at a topo map to correlate what is what. If one is going to be a backpacker, the wisest advice is to also become a skilled map person, especially with topographic maps. Also if one is going to backpack at this time of year, don't be a fool hiking in cotton t-shirts and shorts. Find out how to dress and bring 100% DEET. The cold storm due in tonight is going to kill a lot of mosquitoes above 6k just like one did last year on my trip.

No you won't have snow anywhere as the trail never gets above 6950 feet while the snow line is way up above 9000 feet. That is why I offered this advice. And up closer to that snow line there are going to be a lot more mosquitoes than down below 7000 feet where Vernon is. At Vernon one can avoid most of the squeets by tenting in the bright bedrock flats west of the lake while not being one of the foolish that just has to get as close to lake edges as they can. Doing the loop requires crossing 2 larger streams where mosquitoes are also likely to be worse. Also adding much additional distance for little benefit other than the misplaced IMO notion some seem to have of doing loop trips.

There is much to explore by base camping a day or two at Vernon. The huge cascades on the lake above the lake, the large numbers of rainbow trout above the lake in the creek, or hiking up to Brannigan or Jack Main Canyon, 2 far more interesting places than what one will pass by on the loop.

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SSSdave
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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by SSSdave » Thu May 24, 2018 12:34 pm

CAMERONM wrote:I would imagine that any lower elevation lake area in the Sierra with little to no snow will be mosquito heaven at the moment- no way around it..

Not at all if one is experienced. Mosquitoes will be swarming within about 1k of the snow line that now is well above 9k because that is where most of the snow melt is draining into shallow pools where they breed laying eggs. The Sierra has a fair number of lakes below 7k one can locate if one does their topo map homework. And those that have considerable glacial bedrock nearby are excellent choices because out beyond 100 feet of distance from marshy areas mosquitoes may be about, bright sunny bedrock areas might as well be the Sahara Desert to them. That is where one ought tent on a gruss flat below some isolated jeffrey pine for shade. Now by late afternoon especially if breezes wane, those bugs are going to be exploring beyond most everywhere from where they hunkered down most of the day. That is when one needs to be wearing proper clothing and using 100% DEET or inside your tent. Much more advice in the past here if one searches. Also if one's idea of an early season backpacking trip is to hike in t-shirt and shorts all day long through marshy forest then yeah your experience will be awful.

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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by rightstar76 » Fri May 25, 2018 1:15 pm

I'm a little late to the party on this thread. However, I see you now have more days (I'm assuming 2 are for driving). So here goes for early June in no order of preference. They are all nice.

1. Courtright Reservoir to Red Mountain Basin. Lots of lakes to choose from and the only significant creek crossing is Post Corral. Probably very little if any snow when you go because it's been a drought year. Alternatively, from Post Corral Meadow you can go to Bench Valley (signficantly more challenging) or Blackcap Basin instead.

2. Mt Home State Forest to Summit Lake. Then go to Hockett Plateau and visit Evelyn, Ansel and Blossom lakes. At least one crossing of North Fork Middle Fork Tule River (two if you start from Shake Camp trailhead) but it's a drought year so it shouldn't be too difficult. I don't recommend crossing on a tree. Also, avoid camping in any meadow area = mosquitoes. Snow shouldn't be a problem.

3. Alternatively, you could do Summit Lake from Atwell-Hockett Campground in Sequoia NP. Camp at Clover or Horse Creek the first night. Then go cross country to Ansel Lake from Horse Creek or take the trail from Hockett Meadow to Evelyn Lake. You can also camp at Summit and Blossom lakes. Like #2, there are numerous water crossings along the way.

You could easily make a nice week long trip with any of these. More info can be found by using the search box on the forum.

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CAMERONM
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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by CAMERONM » Fri May 25, 2018 8:15 pm

Now by late afternoon especially if breezes wane, those bugs are going to be exploring beyond most everywhere from where they hunkered down most of the day. That is when one needs to be wearing proper clothing and using 100% DEET or inside your tent.
Yes, indeed.

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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by Tonydavid » Fri May 25, 2018 10:01 pm

Rightstar76...thank you so much for your 3 suggestions. I am looking into them right now. Appreciate the specifics and your taking the time to respond. You are definitely not too late. I am still working on picking a destination and route.

Thank you others for additional advice on mosquitoes and reading the satellite images. Appreciate all you all!

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Love the Sierra
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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by Love the Sierra » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:11 am

If you avoid Army and New Army Passes, everything around Cottonwood Lakes basin is passable with easy hiking. We did not see or hear one mosquito during the Memorial Day weekend, 5/26-5/28. however, there is no telling what you will get in another couple of weeks!

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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by Tonydavid » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:15 am

Thanks " Love the Sierra" for the info about Cottonwood Lakes....sounds good and understood that past performance is not an indicator of future bugs!

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Re: Need Advice on Backpack Route - Early June !!!!!

Post by jhfowler » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:48 pm

OK, I'm back from Mineral King -- here's my report!

http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... =1&t=18307

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