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South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby iHartMK » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:59 am

David, it sounds like you did the Garfield Hockett trail on the south side of the river. The route I'm talking about is on the same side of the river as Whiskey Log (north). Then cross country east up to the Hockett plateau. But I appreciate your feedback.
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby iHartMK » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:04 am

richlong8 wrote:I have not done that stretch, but my understanding from a packer who takes clients into Hockett, Blossom Lakes, etc; is that there is a good stretch of the Kaweah below the Hockett Plateau going downstream to Whiskey Log that is a gorge. Supposed to be pretty good fishing, seldom traveled or fished, but not an easy task to travel through the area. Staying close to the river, and walking in the water at times when the flows are low might be an easier mode of travel for part of the trip.

That sounds about right. That's what we're thinking it's going to be like.
We were unable to get a topo map of the area and we we're heading up today. So this trip has been put on the back burner for this weekend. We are going to go do Alta and the Lakes trail instead. Booo.. Oh well at least we're still backpacking and doing some cross country. But thanks for the reply.
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby iHartMK » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:19 am

Almostthere,
LOL that's funny...and probably accurate. I would love to do SAR. I have never had a problem thrashing around in poison oak, manzanita and mountain misery. I love getting dirty.
However, we didn't get our topo for this area in time. We're heading up today. So we are going to do Alta Peak then cross country down through the Lakes area. So.. not very exciting but it'll do for this weekend.
Thanks for the reply!
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby richlong8 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:53 am

You should be able to get a topo right off this site and print it out. Also, topoquest.com. Maybe download it if away from PC, and have it on your device.
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby caddis » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:49 am

iHartMK wrote:
caddis wrote:Trust me....don't do it :)


Have you tried it?
Following the south fork Kaweah river from South Fork Grove up to Hockett Lakes?
we went up it for another mile or so past whiskey Log last year. We came across a couple of really cool campsites on the north side of the river and the non maintained trail seemed to keep going..
Looking at Google Earth it doesn't look that bad.

I've come down from South Fork crossing/Hockett lakes many times. The first was an attempt to follow the river. It was steep and choked with manzanita in places. I would never do it again so I wouldn't advise going UP. Now I would follow the ridgeline similar to the old trail (Maverick posted some excellent info...second map) and drop off the ridge to get to the SF grove. I wouldn't advise going up that way either but it's more doable. Stick with the Garfield trail or try coming up the old Hockett trail.
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby caddis » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:59 am

iHartMK wrote:Almostthere,
I have never had a problem thrashing around in poison oak, manzanita and mountain misery.
I thought you were crazy when you described the route you wanted to take....now I know you're insane! :)
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby The Hungry Packer » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:39 pm

Last November a friend and I made our way past Whiskey Log Camp and camped along the South Fork Kaweah. Once we passed Ladybug Falls we didn't see anyone else the entire time we were in the canyon. There are some nice campsites on the north side of the river maybe 1 mile past Whiskey Log. After a night of camping, we followed a faint trail along the north side of the river up the canyon. We made it well into the South Fork Grove, where there are some awesome sequoias, including a huge one that has fallen and you can walk on top of.

As I recall, the trail continued up the canyon along the north side of the river. There were remnants of camping gear and shredded clothing in the area...don't really know what that was about.

Interesting note: we camped along a large, open granite slab close to the river. We laid out there until about midnight to look at the stars...didn't see or hear anyone else. The next morning when we left camp to hike up to South Fork Grove, we found twig objects/figures lashed together with natural twine at the site where we had been stargazing.

I don't know who would have put twigs together like that in the middle of the night. That area gave me the willies.
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby maverick » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:03 pm

THP wrote:

There were remnants of camping gear and shredded clothing in the area...don't
really know what that was about.

The next morning when we left camp to hike up to South Fork Grove, we found twig
objects/figures lashed together with natural twine at the site where we had been
stargazing.
I don't know who would have put twigs together like that in the middle of the night.
That area gave me the willies.


South Fork Kaweah was a place back in 2004 where they uncovered several hundred
pot plants:

LA Times:
The seizure in the park occurred along the South Fork of the Kaweah River, an area
favored by growers. Agents uncovered a new subterfuge: "stringer gardens," plants
strung in lines to make them harder to spot from the air.
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: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby richlong8 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:11 pm

Whew! I have always kind of liked the South Fork Kaweah trailhead, because from my door in Bakersfield to trailhead is no more than 2 hours driving, and it is kind of pretty in its own, low elevation kind of fashion. I am suddenly not so interested in going up there again. That area is national park, I believe, but little use, never seen any rangers, or government personnel, and self issue wilderness permits are at the trailhead most of the time. Sounds like the wrong sorts of folks are taking advantage of the situation. We could start a whole sidebar conversation about going armed into some areas is maybe not as silly as some people think. But I won't.... :rock:
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby rlown » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:11 pm

The Hungry Packer wrote:Interesting note: we camped along a large, open granite slab close to the river. We laid out there until about midnight to look at the stars...didn't see or hear anyone else. The next morning when we left camp to hike up to South Fork Grove, we found twig objects/figures lashed together with natural twine at the site where we had been stargazing.

I don't know who would have put twigs together like that in the middle of the night. That area gave me the willies.


Did you keep the twig figures? or take pictures of them? Nice Blair Witch twist.
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:16 pm

Low elevation trailless areas are prime real estate for marijuana growers. Used to be if you were driving to Mineral King and saw a guy or two standing in a pullout with a large ice chest, you averted your eyes and kept right on driving... growers hiking out the harvest waiting for pickup. Those steep brushy canyons no one wanted to be brave enough to explore were perfect for them.

SAR conferences usually have at least one class on identification of booby traps. Our team were encouraged to conceal carry.
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Re: South Fork Kaweah River Canyon to Hockett

Postby iHartMK » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:44 am

caddis wrote:
iHartMK wrote:
caddis wrote:Trust me....don't do it :)


Have you tried it?
Following the south fork Kaweah river from South Fork Grove up to Hockett Lakes?
we went up it for another mile or so past whiskey Log last year. We came across a couple of really cool campsites on the north side of the river and the non maintained trail seemed to keep going..
Looking at Google Earth it doesn't look that bad.

I've come down from South Fork crossing/Hockett lakes many times. The first was an attempt to follow the river. It was steep and choked with manzanita in places. I would never do it again so I wouldn't advise going UP. Now I would follow the ridgeline similar to the old trail (Maverick posted some excellent info...second map) and drop off the ridge to get to the SF grove. I wouldn't advise going up that way either but it's more doable. Stick with the Garfield trail or try coming up the old Hockett trail.


Thanks for the info. Maybe this route isn't such a good idea afterall.
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