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Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

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Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby Sewellymon » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:14 pm

Hi all! My planned trip fell thru (Onion Valley to Road's End/ EZ trans- Sierra).

Time for Plan B- what’s your favorite 3 day/ 2 nite casual ?

My options? Taboose Pass maybe a tad ambitious? Thinking I’d rather start my hike at 7,500’ – 10,000’ versus 5,500’.

I’ve been hiking the Sierra for 40 ++ years, so OK if I do a re-tread. Prefer east side trailheads.

Have never been to Pioneer Basin over Mono Pass. Not backpacked out of Tuolumne Meadow much. Not been up McGee Creek.

Did recently go out of Laurel Lake trailhead to lakes above Convict Lake. Nicely obscure. Been 40 years since I’ve done Mammoth Crest/ Deer Lake and out Duck Pass (or vice versa). I might agaiun... Not been to Hungry Packer Lake above Lake Sabrina- would like to but that pretty short for 3 days .

Since I am solo, prefer to stay on-trail this trip, alas. OK- what's your 411? Thnx



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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby RichardCullip » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:36 pm

Cottonwood Lakes Basin. Hike in, set up camp and go fishing. That's what I would do.
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby jessegooddog » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:41 pm

I love Cottonwood, and solitude can usually be found by camping at the First Lake, rather than with everyone else further in at 3 and 4 and beyond. Plenty to explore in that basin with 2 nights. Remember there is a fire in Yosemite Valley, and Tuolumne and surrounding areas could be smoky.
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby Sewellymon » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:23 pm

Thnx guys. I am looking for something a bit more unusual than Cottonwood Lakes. Love it, but was just there, etc....

But true about that fire. Always a bummer to hike in smoky environs.

Maybe up Pine Creek to Granite Park? Never been...

Maybe back to Humphreys Basin. Always satisfies.
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby seanr » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:14 am

Swellymon, your list of places you haven't been, but are eager to check out, is similar to mine. All are great from what I hear and I suspect more exciting than Cottonwood (not that Cottonwood is bad). The casual two night descriptor may be skewing suggestions to easy stuff. Pine Creek sounds steep, but if you are experienced and considering Taboose, you ought to do fine. You also mentioned Mammoth area. I finally visited last weekend after the summer shuttle and crowds dissipated post Labor Day. There were still a lot of backpackers over the weekend, but not a lot of other activity still going on in the area (September-October seems to be a great time to go there). I don't backpack much, but if you get specific about mileage, gain, and what terrain you are comfortable with, tips from others may get more abundant and specific. Edit--I see you mentioned wanting to stay on trail/class 1.
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby Sewellymon » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:54 am

Hi Sean- likely I'll hike some Friday (uphill), hike more Saturday (lotsa up, some down, some more up?), then Sunday get outta Dodge.

Taboose would be OK in that I'd climb about 2500' and bivy, then another 3500' then crest the pass and bivy somewhere on the other side. Just thinking I just might rather not hike again up the sun blasted Owens. Just did that a week ago up Horton Lakes. 7000'- 10,500' with no shade. I like high altitude trees. Is why Tuolumne or Mammoth regions also still in the cards. At least Pine Creek would be somewhat shaded in the PM?
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby markskor » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:07 am

Suggest Saddlebag TH...20 lakes basin to Secret Lake over Shepherds Crest to McCabes...return same way.
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby Sewellymon » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:45 pm

anybody do Green Valley TH up past Green Lake, over Summit Lake down into YNP/ Return Creek headwaters and up over Virginia Pass back to car? Or slightly longer version does essentially the same starting at Virginia Lakes TH....

Obscure NE portion of Yosemite...
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:20 am

I highly recommend that Green-Return-Virginia loop. That is very nice territory and fits a 3 day two night schedule pretty nicely.

Have you been up Convict Canyon into the basins at its head? That is some beautiful country if you haven't tried it before and the crowds will have diminished, too.

For further south, something like Baker Creek/Thunder and Lightning Lake is another area that is a bit off the beaten path.

Birch Lake is a single-destination sort of objective, but it isn't much visited and will work for a 3 day. The middle day can be a layover (first day is a bit harsh with 4200' of gain) that you can use to relax at the lake or peak bag (Birch Mtn or the Thumb). The only drawback of this are the campsites are rather bleak around Birch L.
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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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby Sewellymon » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:49 am

giantbrookie wrote:Have you been up Convict Canyon into the basins at its head? That is some beautiful country if you haven't tried it before and the crowds will have diminished, too.


Hiked out to the Laurel Lake TH into the Convict Lake headwaters 8 weeks ago. VERY nice country. Not a soul back there....
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby sparky » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:41 pm

Convict canyon proper is quite a psychedelic place... Keep it on your radar
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Re: Help! Best 3 day semi-casual backpack this weekend 9-12/14

Postby Sewellymon » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:47 pm

sparky wrote:Convict canyon proper is quite a psychedelic place...


!!! that

I enjoy hanging at it's base. Wife n I spend a lot of nights at the Convict Lake Resort. The climber in me would have liked to ascend the choss pile that is Laurel Mtn BITD... no longer lust for it

Still thinking Green Lake or Virginia Lakes TH. Virginia Pass and Summit Lake Pass looks like a nice loop. Not granitic like the Sawtooth's a few miles NW(boo hoo), but still should be pretty country.
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