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Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

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Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby slownsteady » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:32 pm

New to the Forum--- thanks in advance for your input, advice, and recommendations.

I am going taking my 8 year old boy on his first official backpacking expedition. We have car camped a bunch together but this will be our first time together out on a multi day trip--- he is stoked!

I would appreciate any recommendations you have for a 4 day/ 3 night trip in Kings Canyon or Eastern Sierra's--- I would love to do a loop trail if possible. I believe 6-8 miles a day is doable for him as he is a tough litlle guy. Rae Lakes loop looks awesome but is too long for him right now. Sabrina looks like a good option also.

We are going to be heading out the second weekend in August. Any advice or recommendations are greatly appreciated!!!


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Re: Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby jadensdad » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:40 am

Hard to go wrong with Sabrina. Awesome scenery at every turn, plenty of nice lakes to camp near and relatively easy travel. The climb up to Blue can be a little strenuous for a little guy with a pack but it makes a great fist night destination. Little Lakes Valley is also a fantastic intro trip for a first time little backpacker - very gentle gradient and pretty. It is popular for good reason but you can find relative solitude for camping if you look for it. I took my son on his fist bp trip there 4 years ago and he has been hooked ever since. Just be flexible and don't try to cover too much ground in one day. If it turns in o a death march he's not going to like it. My son is also a great strong hiker but with a pack on I think 6 - 8 miles might be a little over ambitious. Proobably half that amount is more realistic especially with the elevation changes on the east side. I have found a great program to be travel day then layover day with time to explore and dayhike. For kids, I think it's more about the destination than the journey. Your son will love the feeling of accomplishment but hiking and rock hopping îs much more fun without a pack on. Have a flexible itinerary so if he starts to wear out you can stop and camp sooner than planned, that way he woñ't feel like he has failed if he can't make it to that farther destination. Have fun
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Re: Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby Troutdog 59 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:44 am

I agree with JD that 6 to 8 miles might be a tad much for an 8 year old. Heck, thats what I shoot for and I'm 50 something :wink: I would add that the lakes above South Lake in front of Bishop Pass would also a good spot. Long Lake is not too far and you could visit many nearby lakes quite easily from there. Another nice entry level hike is the Hilton Lakes out of Rock Creek. I think about 4.5 to the lakes, but nice and gentle. Good scenery and fishing to boot!!!

I also agree with JD to take your time and let him pick the pace. Let him explore his surroundings on the way in and you will be surprised how much he sees that we old guys seem not to notice anymore. My sons first multi night trip that he carried his own gear was when he was 6. Took us all day to go from Florence to Upper Blaney Meadows (5 miles tops), but we had an absolute blast checking out all the things that interested him on the way in.

Regardless, I hope you guys have a great time!!!
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"
D. Gilmour, Pink Floyd
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Re: Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby austex » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:48 am

One thing to add. To make sure they have fun and safe. HYDRATE and be aware of the symptoms of AMS in the little guys especially if y'all are coming from the flatlands. Consider a night of acclamation before the start.
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Re: Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby mort » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:07 am

Hi Brad,
My first Sierra backpacking trip was about that age. And it stuck. There is much more than where you go that makes backpacking become a necessary part of life. 3 nights is not enough. And I think 6-8 miles is ambitious. I'd plan 3 miles the first day, 4 miles the second, and hike out 7 miles. But working with what you have - Sabrina is a fine area. But if you can get over Bishop Pass (from South Lake) into Dusy basin, you can make it back to the car from there in a day. A night at one of the higher Dusy lakes, somewhat off the beaten path, is the kind of stuff I loved best around that age.
Also in that area, hiking out of North Lake, either trail. Over Piute Pass to Murial and back. Or up to Lower Lamarck Lake and then off trail a few miles up into the Wonder Lakes basin.
If you would consider Southern Sierra, Horseshoe Meadow to Chicken Spring Lake (over Cottonwood Pass). Or a different trail from Horseshoe into the Golden Trout Wilderness, which is where the Cottonwood Lakes are and climbs to Army Pass. (confusing naming around there).
These are a couple areas where the road end is high, and the first day's hike can be short, but you still get to great scenery and some isolation.
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Re: Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby Ballpeen » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:56 pm

Hi. I just did Sabrina with my 8 year old a couple weeks ago. I think it is a good choice for what you are lookinig for. I suggest stopping at Blue Lake the first night. We made it to Topsy Turvy the first day, but it ended up being a bit much; its a pretty steady climb. We did have it to ouselves though. That's unlikely with Blue Lake.

The second day we day hiked to Moonlight and Hungry Packer. We enjoyed exploring this upper basin area - the basin opens up and is very beautiful with easy cross country opportunities. The day hike worked well but there are lots of camping opportunties in the Sailor/Moonlight/Hungry Packer zone too. Keep an eye out for packer camps though.

Even though we car camped at the Sabrina campground the night before, my son was feeling the altitude. This was his third trip. I finally got him a proper backpack and that seemed to help him a lot.
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Re: Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby tim » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:43 am

Unless the fires calm down very soon (and assuming you plan to go this coming weekend) you might want to go further south. Cottonwood Pass to Chicken Spring Lake (night 1) and then on to Lower Soldier Lake (night 2) is a nice hike for kids. You could come out the same way or go over New Army Pass and make it a loop. I did it with my 10 year old twins in 2011 (early July in a very snowy year): we spent Day 3 in Miter Basin then hiked all the way out on Day 4. That may be a bit much for an 8 year old though. You need to be careful about possible altitude sickness of course.
Our trip report is here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6526
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Re: Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby Ska-T » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:37 pm

Keep the mileage low and the play time (fishing, wading, exploring) long. Here are two ideas.

1. South Lake TH - Day 1 hike to Bull Lake. Day 2 hike past Chocolate Lakes (fish) and camp at Ruwau Lake (or some other lake in that vicinity). Day 3 hike over Hurd Pass to one of the Treasure Lakes, such as the lowest one. This entails easy cross country route finding over the obvious pass between Margaret Lake and the highest of the Treasure Lakes (11175). Day 4 walk out to South Lake.

2. North Lake TH - Day 1 hike to Lower or Upper Lamarck Lake. Day 2 hike to one of the Wonder Lakes and make a base camp. This involves off trail travel, but by following the water it should be hard to get lost in that narrow basin. Day 3 explore the Wonder Lakes Basin as a day hike. Day 4 hike back to North Lake.

I don't know how fires may impact this area. Also, the low water year may make the 2nd trip idea drier than ideal.
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Eastern Sierra or Kings Canyon 3 night Itinerary w/ 8 year o

Postby crayons » Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:56 am

Treasure lakes is perfect for an 8 year old, hike in base camp and explore the lakes. IMO 6-8 miles is to much for an 8yo it was for mine and I think he is pretty tough also. Treasure lakes trail starts high and only climbs like 200' in elevation per mile. Check it out you will both enjoy it.
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