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Three-day trip advice - SNP?

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Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby TJF » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:04 pm

I'm a Southern California backpacker and belong to a few forums related to my local mountains. Very glad to have run across this site. Some EXCELLENT information throughout.

I spoke to a Sequoia National Park ranger about some trail options but I thought I'd toss it out here as well. I'm a big fan of rangers but a bigger fan of backpackers.

Here's the specifics for a much needed long weekend and any trail suggestions would be much appreciated.

-April 25-April 27
-Traveling with a less experienced partner so I'm looking for something 'moderate.'
-Ideally looking for a base camp of no more than 7 miles from the trailhead with day hiking opportunities the next day. Out and back is fine unless a 20 mile or less loop is available.
-Some snow/ice will be OK (we'll be bringing spikes) but would prefer not to snow camp

The ranger had mentioned the Middle Fork Trail as being a good option so any thoughts on that would be welcomed. The preference would be to grab some elevation but it seems you guys actually got a bit of the white stuff this year and I'd rather this quick trip be a little less work for my friend.

The Twin Lakes trail looked pretty good considering the next day hiking opportunities but the ranger wasn't 100% sure of what the snow situation was. So if anyone's been up that way recently...

Finally, can anyone let me know what the campfire restrictions are, or are not, at the lower elevations? I'm assuming that if spots are numbered there are rings but as I've never backpacked in the area I wanted to be sure.

I feel a little lame asking so many questions, I'd usually just walk out and figure it out on my own but because I'm traveling with a friend I'd rather have my plans a little more solid.

A big thanks in advance for any tips.



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Re: Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby maverick » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi TJF,

Welcome to HST! Here is the parks fire regulations: http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/u ... INAL-4.pdf
No such thing as a lame question, better to ask, then to find yourself in trouble.
Do not have any first hand info on the Twin Lakes area, my bet would be that there
will still be a significant amount of snow, there expecting snow fall Tue and Fri in that
area.
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Re: Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:47 pm

Finally, can anyone let me know what the campfire restrictions are, or are not, at the lower elevations?


As I recall but might be wrong the West side of the Great Western Divide has a fire restriction of no higher than 9000 feet and no lower than 6000 feet.

I have not done the Middle Fork trail but I would consider it good if you were going all the way to Red Wood Meadows but that is 11.5 miles in.
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Re: Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby tim » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:04 pm

How much less experienced? I'm headed to Pear Lake ski hut this weekend (Apr 25-27) and might have 2 spare spots if a couple of people in our party can't come. But it is definitely snowshoeing, not hiking with spikes, for the last 3 miles (and of course on the middle day). And weather won't be very pleasant (around freezing, with snow showers and a stiff breeze forecast on Friday). We will get up there Thursday evening (staying at the lodge in Grant Grove because we're coming from SF) and head in on Friday morning, returning Sunday afternoon.

Here are someone else's photos from 10 days ago:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,73756

I'd guess Twin Lakes will have fairly similar conditions, given the elevation. You might find Panther Gap to Alta Meadow to be slightly more feasible in terms of snow conditions given the southern exposure. But it won't be very pleasant to camp anywhere at altitude on Friday night.

Anyone else interested? I won't know if we have spare spaces until tomorrow or possibly Wednesday morning.
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Re: Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby TJF » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:52 pm

[quote="tim"]How much less experienced? I'm headed to Pear Lake ski hut this weekend (Apr 25-27) and might have 2 spare spots if a couple of people in our party can't come.

Really appreciate the responses guys and thanks much for the additional info Tim. Just checked the weather too and with a good chance of snow and a low in the teens I'm thinking it might be a little much for my friend to deal with. I don't want to discourage her. Thinking the Middle Fork Trail might offer some better conditions. I'm trying to track down a ranger to get their thoughts.

Thanks again. I'm looking forward to checking in to this forum. I'm doing 10 days in Yosemite this September and am sure I'll find some good tips here.
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Re: Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby tim » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:21 pm

I wouldn't want to camp anywhere in SEKI on Friday night. Even at 5000ft on the Middle Fork you will have a low of 26, plus snow/rain and wind:
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.ph ... 1bcDaNOXIU

Snow is expected below the level of Yosemite Valley floor and down to 4500ft-5000ft in SEKI. I'd stay at the lodge (Grant Grove is pretty cheap) and do some day hiking. Or go to the coast/desert.
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Re: Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby maverick » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:41 pm

TJF wrote:
Just checked the weather too and with a good chance of snow and a low in the
teens I'm thinking it might be a little much for my friend to deal with. I don't
want to discourage her. Thinking the Middle Fork Trail might offer some better
conditions.


You may want to wait for better weather conditions, the last thing you want to do is
give her a bad experiences and turn her off from doing any future backpacking trips.
Plus you won't be discouraging her, but showing her sound judgement, which in turn
will build her trust in your decision making.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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: Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:59 pm

Currently - depending on how far up the middle fork you click on the nice little NOAA point and click map - there is a 50% chance of rain, snow, etc. and lows in the 20s.

I am going somewhere and not caring - but I can deal with precip. It wouldn't be fun for someone without a lot of outdoor motivation.
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Re: Three-day trip advice - SNP?

Postby TJF » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:20 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Currently - depending on how far up the middle fork you click on the nice little NOAA point and click map - there is a 50% chance of rain, snow, etc. and lows in the 20s.

I am going somewhere and not caring - but I can deal with precip. It wouldn't be fun for someone without a lot of outdoor motivation.


Yeah. She's shown herself to be a studessa the handful of times we've been out but some of the forecasts were pretty extreme. We're going but adjusting a bit. Staying at Buckeye on Friday and then Lodgepole on Saturday. I figured that car camping was in order this time. We'll get up again. And something tells me we'll have an awesome day hike on Friday. Looking forward to it.

Safe travels and enjoy your time out there.
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