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Advice Request, Wolverton Cutoff Loop, Sequioa NP

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Advice Request, Wolverton Cutoff Loop, Sequioa NP

Postby sheperd80 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:36 am

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Planning on doing this loop or some variation of it next weekend as a dayhike with my girlfriend. Shes really getting into hiking and this will be her longest and toughest trip so far. It looks like a good Sequioa starter hike with a variety of scenery and moderate difficulty.

Experience: Me 3, her 2
Terrain: Comfortable with class 2 for this trip

I havent been into SEKI in years and could use some insight from anyone who's been to the Giant Forest area recently.

1. If I arrive early enough (well before shuttles start at 9am) can I drive all the way to Crescent Meadow?

2. I see a few small creeks on the upper Wolverton Trail section. Can i expect to see any water, or should we carry enough for the entire loop?

Any other advice for hiking this area would be greatly appreciated. Im trying to keep her interested in hiking. So far shes done mostly easy, super scenic Yosemite and Mammoth stuff. I want to ease her into more typical hiking, where you have to work for it a bit, without discouraging her by going too big.

Thanks

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Re: Advice Request, Wolverton Cutoff Loop, Sequioa NP

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:13 am

What sort of scenery does she likes? Much your planned route is forested without the long sight lines that make so many High Sierra hiking routes scenic. There are big trees, yes, and if this is a focus, then this should be easily doable and a good hike. The best views in terms of long sight lines will be the part on the HST out of Crescent Meadow. I don't recall having parking issues at Crescent Meadow at any time.

For better long distance sight lines on a short dayhike, a hike out of Wolverton to the Watchtower (not loop) or a bit beyond, depending on hiking progress, would seem to be better for its better alpine scenery. The views from the Watchtower and the section of trail a bit beyond it are among the best in the west Sierra for a short hike.
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 sheperd80 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:18 am

Thanks GB that trail has always interested me as well. Id like to hike to Pear Lake some day. It may be a bit much for her though, I dont think shes done more than 5 or 6 miles in a day. Maybe I'll take her there next year if shes up for it.

I chose the loop because its shorter, flatter and supposedly has a good combination of giant sequioas and atleast some high alpine scenery according to the write-up i saw.

She seems to like long mountain views and waterfalls most. But i think the big sequioas will be fun for her too.






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Re: Advice Request, Wolverton Cutoff Loop, Sequioa NP

Postby Silverfox » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:06 pm

Shepherd80,
The long mountain and canyon views are on the 2.7 mile stretch along the HST, no water along that stretch, the total loop is closer to 9 miles.

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Re: Advice Request, Wolverton Cutoff Loop, Sequioa NP

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:13 pm

Highly recommend doing that cutoff DOWN instead of up. If you must do it at all. In fact, I'd just take her to Pear Lake instead. The cutoff is not so shaded as all that - hiking up it in the afternoon is a hot proposition. On the Lakes trail, if you get to the first lake and have had enough, you got to a lake you can swim in. Or go on to the next lakes if you're up to it. Nice flowers on this route.

See the green areas? Those are forest. The pale green has sparse trees and stretches of open granite/decomposed granite sand. Sun bouncing up off that stuff can sunburn a face even when you're wearing a nice hat.

We came out of Bearpaw and hit that area in the afternoon - granted, we had backpacks, not day packs - and reversed course to go out to Crescent Meadow and take the shuttle back to our car at Wolverton. Hot hiking. I'd say more like strenuous.

ETA: Hey, you know - I just looked at the map more closely - that's a different trail than the one I'm thinking of. Never mind... I was thinking of Seven Mile Hill. But that starts near Mehrten Creek.

However - I'd still reconsider the Lakes Trail, at least going to the first lake. You can always then go for a leisurely walk in the deeply shaded sequoia groves in the afternoon when it's hottest.
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Postby sheperd80 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:56 am

Okay this is why i post these threads! Youve all convinced me to rethink this. While i am a little concerned about the elevation gain to the watchtower and beyond, i think it will make a better trip.

Heather Lake will be the destination and if she handles the climbing and wants to go further we can do that too. And as AlmostThere mentioned, we can still cruise the grove later if we want.

Thanks all for the advice!

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