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Favorite Wilderness?

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Favorite Wilderness?

Postby balzaccom » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:15 pm

Fifty years ago, in 1964, Congress passed the Wilderness Act. (Yes, in those days they actually got something done!) The US Forest Service is hoping to make a big deal out of this, and we hope they are successful. After all, this act is what has allowed us to hike for days on end through the Sierra Nevada without crossing a road, seeing a power line, or hearing the noise of chain saws or cars.

And as a way to thank them, I'd like to suggest that we each offer up our favorite wilderness area. Ours is Emigrant Wilderness, just north of Yosemite, and just a half-hour from our cabin. It has a lot in common with the National Park, including that amazing granite, but without so many people---and a lot easier permits!

What's yours?
Last edited by balzaccom on Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Favorie Wilderness?

Postby Vaca Russ » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:59 pm

I would say Deso.

I know...I know, the typical complaint about the crowds. There can be quite a few people at times. Last labor day I hiked for all three days (off trail) and never saw another soul.

The fishing can be great if you know where to go and how to fish. The scenery is great. It is an "all-season" wilderness, but most importantly, it is in my own backyard. I can be there in two hours.

The people who go there take good care of it as well. I've been to other wilderness areas (closer to southern California) and was surprised by the about of litter (cigarette butts...YUCK!)

We in the bay area(ish) are really lucky to have such a wonderful resource so close to home.

"...Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host and then a master?"

Kahil Gibran.
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Re: Favorie Wilderness?

Postby scrotata » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:54 pm

Trinity Alps...

For me this is where I grew up backpacking with my dad and taking summer trips. It might not have the elevation of the sierras, but there is a wide range of elevation gain, isolated lakes, great fishing, year round snow on certain slopes, great cross-country opportunities and is fairly accessible year round.

As an added bonus, when I drive there I get to stop by Granzella's deli!!
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I haven't found one I didn't like.

Postby FeetFirst » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:00 pm

I too spend the majority of my backcountry time in Desolation and Emigrant Wilderness mostly because of their proximity to home (1 1/2 hour and 2 1/2 hour drive, respectively), but it sure doesn't hurt that these places are absolutely beautiful. More recently I've traveled farther south to enjoy some time in the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness areas and they're not too shabby either ;) .
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: Favorie Wilderness?

Postby sierraholic » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:01 pm

Really tough choice as they all have some great parts to them! Love Desolation since it is so close to the Sac area (especially Clyde and Schmidell Lakes)! Parts of Hoover are awesome and very diverse in geology (Love Horse Creek Canyon below Matterhorn Peak). Ansel Adams is crowded at times, but I have a soft spot for the Minarets, Banner, and Ritter (I want my ashes spread with a view of this range). ;) Yosemite is great even though it is busy around the highways and trailheads (love the Northern part in Spiller, Matterhorn Canyons). John Muir Wilderness is outstanding. Love the stretch from Duck Pass to Marie Lake on the JMT. Still need to hit the Mono Divide and the Bear Lakes Basin. Haven't really made it yet to Emigrant and Sequoia wildernesses yet. :o

The wilderness that takes the cake overall for me is King Canyon NP. From Evolution Valley to the passes and lakes on and off the JMT through Forester Pass, the sights and beauty of this wilderness area is overwhelming. Some of the peaks along this stretch are just gorgeous, as are the lakes. I have a picture from Evolution Lake's outlet, looking southeast across the lake, that epitomizes alpine beauty . I wish I had as good of a sunset as Galen Rowell, but it sitll makes me think of the mountains on my most boring, winter days. I still need to make it into the Ionian Basin, Lakes Basin, Lake Reflection/Sphinx Lakes Basins, and Deadman/Cloud Canyons regions. One day! :smirk:
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Re: Favorie Wilderness?

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:46 pm

All of them. They are all gems.

If I absolutely had to pick one, it'd be Hoover. Emigrant would be second.

Others of choice would be in Utah.
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Re: Favorie Wilderness?

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:58 pm

If we limit it to National Forest wilderness areas, then John Muir. There's just so much amazing scenery. (If we include National Parks, then it's Kings Canyon easily.) But really, it's all good, from Carson Pass south (sorry, Vaca Russ).

Outside the Sierra, it would have to be Marble Mountain or Trinity Alps. Or maybe Goat Rocks, up in Washington. But then outside California there are so many I've never been to...
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Re: Favorie Wilderness?

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:41 pm

John Muir Wilderness / Ansel Adams Wilderness
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Favorie Wilderness?

Postby markskor » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:50 pm

Above 9,000 feet -
Somewhere between Kennedy Meadows south and Kennedy Meadows north.
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Re: Favorie Wilderness?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:35 pm

What is your definition of wilderness? Sierra only? California only. Anywhere?
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