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Looking for suggestions for November

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Looking for suggestions for November

Postby zedin » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:44 am

Some friends and I are looking to a relatively easy backpacking trip (will be 2 of the folks first time) the weekend of Nov 5th. I have been looking around trying to find a nice place in the sierras but being that I mostly backpack up there in early summer I am not sure what streams are still running. All of the lake areas I seem to find are 9000+ elevation and I really don't want to risk hitting snow (such a pain to pack through). So I was seeing if anyone had any suggestions. I would be traveling from southern CA so have relatively easy access to either side of the sierras (either 99 or 395 work).



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Postby giantbrookie » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:41 pm

You might want to consider the northern Sierra, say from Desolation Wilderness and north. Odds are there will be at least one fall storm that will have given the place a light dusting of snow before then, but you have a decent chance of having good weather. The northern Sierra features lower elevations and short hikes, so that you can bail easily if conditions look threatening. My wife and I would have tended to switch from the High Sierra during the summer and early fall to the lower northern Sierra later in the fall for this reason. The Lakes Basin area north of Yuba Pass is good at that time of year, as are parts of the I-80 backcountry, such as Grouse Ridge, and Desolation Wilderness.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby SSSdave » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:22 pm

Kibbie Lake at 6.6k elevation in Yosemite from the trailhead across Cherry Valley Reservoir is only about 3.5 miles without much vertical. Lake is picturesque lower glaciated granite geology and has a colorful evolved population of rainbow trout planted over one-hundred years ago.

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=38. ... &layer=DRG

Also nearby is Lake Eleanor (reservoir) 4.7k where one could hike out to the Frog Creek inlet. At that elevation in November one will see Pacific dogwood and black oak undergoing fall color change.

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=37. ... &layer=DRG
...David
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Postby giantbrookie » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:36 pm

SSSdave wrote:Kibbie Lake at 6.6k elevation in Yosemite from the trailhead across Cherry Valley Reservoir is only about 3.5 miles without much vertical. Lake is picturesque lower glaciated granite geology and has a colorful evolved population of rainbow trout planted over one-hundred years ago.

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=38. ... &layer=DRG

Also nearby is Lake Eleanor (reservoir) 4.7k where one could hike out to the Frog Creek inlet. At that elevation in November one will see Pacific dogwood and black oak undergoing fall color change.

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=37. ... &layer=DRG
...David


One thing to watch out for with Kibbie/Eleanor is whether or not they gate the road off at Cherry Lake dam as of mid to late September (and keep it shut until spring). As of 1995 they were doing this. The rationale they told me was to leave a buffer zone between the hunters and Yosemite. It tacks on 4 miles or so to get to the Shingle Springs trailhead to get to Kibbie. Kibbie is such a good lake that 7.5 mi miles might still be worth it, though. I'd be VERY interested to know if they keep the road open all the way to Shingle Springs through the fall now.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby cgundersen » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:20 pm

Hi zedin,
To add another 2 cents, since I also make sojurns to the Sierras from the south, I'm usually inclined to try to spend less time driving, and more time hiking (which explains why southern Yosemite tends to be as far north as I go). And, even though November is definitely pressing your luck just about anywhere in the Sierras, I think that with careful attention to where the storms (if any) leave their mark in the next 5 weeks (and besides the rangers and other sources like CDEC, you can get daily updates online from the myriad webcams that are accessible at: sierravisions.com), you'll be able to find something. To that end, even though the lakes (Heather, Aster, Emerald and Pear) out of Wolverton in Sequoia National Park definitely exceed 9000 ft, the great feature of that route is that the road trip includes the dazzling switchbacks up to the Giant forest (and that stretch of highway should be very peaceful in Nov), the giant Sequoias themselves and the relatively modest distance/elevation gain up to Heather from the trailhead (with the advantage that you can push on further depending on how everyone does). Certainly, these lakes have experienced a lot of use, but in spite of their accessibility (they are even relatively easy to reach on xc skis), they retain enough Sierra magic that I'm not embarassed to recommend them. And, from LA, the trailhead is a 4 hour drive even without risking a chat with the CHP. Good luck!
CG
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