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3 day trip west side suggestions

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3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby riverwalker » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:39 pm

I have a hankering to go walking and have some time to squeeze a long weekend next week. I will either drive up late Thursday or Early Friday to return on Sunday. I am coming from the Bakersfield area and would like to go somewhere on the west side relatively close (Sequoia NP and south) to maximize time on the trail. I have never been to Balch Park area and was thinking maybe up there but would like to hear any suggestions. If I head out of Balch Park where would you suggest going? I have spent so much time on the East side and love being up high I am having a hard time figuring out where to go.

I am a level 3+/4, class 3 with many solo trips under my belt but will be hiking with a friend on this trip. My main focus will be just getting out but will most likely bring the photo gear.



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Re: 3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby lambertiana » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:37 pm

I don't have much experience out of Balch Park (just one time, a horsepacking trip with scouts going up to Hockett).

My suggestion would be Mineral King. Go to Franklin Lake, spend the middle day peakbagging, or dayhiking over Franklin Pass to Forester and Little Claire lakes (if you go to Little Claire, make sure you get the view down Soda Creek toward Whitney from the outlet end).

Since you are comfortable with class 3, a route I did one year that was fun and allowed for views in multiple basins/directions, is up Florence Peak from Franklin Pass, down the south side of Florence Peak, traverse to Peak 12,136, then to Tulare Peak, then down the talus to Franklin Lake.

Another option is Mosquito Lakes. The trail ends at the first lake, go up the west side on a use trail that fades in and out to the second or third lakes to camp. There are great campsites at the second lake. Spend the middle day exploring the upper part of the basin. Not many people go there.
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Re: 3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby Strider » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:15 pm

One of my favorites is Maggie Lakes out of Camp Nelson, and make sure you walk the arrete above the main lake.
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Re: 3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby iHartMK » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:36 am

Strider wrote:One of my favorites is Maggie Lakes out of Camp Nelson, and make sure you walk the arrete above the main lake.


I have always wanted to check out Maggie Lakes. How is that area? Doesn't seem like many people go there... hard to find any trips reports. What TH do you start from?
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Re: 3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby RichardCullip » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:42 am

This late in the year, I'd hike into the Forks of the Kern and take a walk up the Kern River as far as you want to go.
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Re: 3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby sparky » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:31 pm

did a november trip to the hot springs once out of forks of the kern. was a great trip!
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Re: 3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby riverwalker » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:45 pm

Thanks for the replies. I was considering above the Forks of the Kern and then upon seeing the weather reports decided to go up and check out Pear Lake and the surrounding area in Sequoia. First time to the area and had a great weekend. The weather was unbelievable. Boy did I over pack. I don't think it got below freezing and the days couldn't have been better. I had to keep reminding myself it was middle of October. I enjoyed wandering around some of the no name lakes in the area. I will try to post a TR soon.
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Re: 3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:05 am

Lucky you, we froze in Mineral King... and then they closed a trail we were hiking on to start a control burn.

It's still a good idea to be prepared even if you run into higher temps than expected. I've had rain, snow, ice and lightning on every day of a four day trip in October... the weather was fine last weekend, but that doesn't mean it was fine everywhere. We saw some clouds building yesterday over the high peaks, in fact.
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Re: 3 day trip west side suggestions

Postby riverwalker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:40 am

Your absolutely correct Almost. I am sure that a lot of hikers are getting complacent with this weather the last couple years. When I said I over packed, I wasn't implying I wouldn't have taken what I had packed, just that it wasn't needed.
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