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1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:02 pm

seanr wrote:This is succinct and has many useful links:
http://www.summitpost.org/eastern-sierra/154084

Mammoth Lakes-Mono Divide is another good NG Map to have besides SEKI and Yosemite. If serious about backroad camping and hiking, especially west side, there is a road atlas worth having.
http://www.amazon.com/California-Road-Recreation-Atlas-Benchmark/dp/0929591496
Also, NG Shaver Lake Map for considering west side south of Yosemite only.

Inyo NF Permit Info.:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/passes ... recreation

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/pass ... 746#walkin

Also look up camping information on the Inyo NF site, including dispersed camping information. It is easy to disperse camp on the Eastside.

The hard part will be picking what to skip vs. what to ask specific questions about and to spend time researching more about on HST. There are so many hikes and backpacks worth doing!

So you mentioned fishing? There is a sub-forum for that on HST.

How much mileage and elevation gain do you want to take on?


Yeah, I'm definitely going to research the fishing forum. Figured I'd start here since the fishing is really just an added bonus. I always bring along my 4 piece fly rod for such occasions.
Regarding mileage, I'd say ~8-10 miles a day (could likely do more but
don't want to push it), and for elevation gain..not sure. Likely will want to avoid steep super technical climbs..



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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby seanr » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:22 pm

Dispersed camping is the forest service name for what you want to do in your van. In a van, you are less noticeable than with tents or an RV, but you still aren't supposed to sleep in trailhead parking lots nor aside most paved roads. As you know, it becomes even more restrictive in Yosemite and SEKI. If you research enough to get very specific about places you want to see, places you want to hike, and places you want to backpack, we can probably tell you where to camp if you can't figure it out.

I ask about gain because it is more important than miles. Easy is less likely to garner solitude, but we don't know what you will be experienced in, as well as in shape for, to safely be able to hike from a sheer stamina perspective.

Little Lakes Valley/Mosquito Flat TH is scenic and easy. Saddlebag Lake TH is scenic, easy, and no permit quota. Ediza Lake and Thousand Island Lakes area from Agnew Meadow TH is scenic and easy. There are tons of other scenic areas with less crowds and less competition for permits, but many would be slightly to extremely steeper and/or more rugged. If you hang out dayhiking along Tioga Road-Tuolumne Meadows and Saddlebag Lake area for a few days, you'll very likely adjust to the altitude enough to not specifically worry about that unless peakbagging Whitney and other 13ers-14ers, which you don't sound interested in.
Last edited by seanr on Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:32 pm

Yep! That's what I was thinking of regarding car camping!

While we are both in good shape (been trail running the mtns of western NC for the past 2 years) I still don't want to push it, especially right away. I think a few lower elevation hikes would be good to get acclimated. While it is unlikely that we will bag a 13 or 14er, I wouldn't rule out something approaching those elevations. Sometimes I just can't help myself!

Yeah, I think I'll try to focus on some specific areas and do some more research. It seems like we can't really go wrong.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby Silverfox » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:36 pm

Welcome, I would spend your first week on the Western side and the second week on the Eastern side of the Sierras and it will make for a perfect round trip loop from LA and back. When you leave the airport take 405N to 5N and then 99 N to Fresno,then head East on Hwy 180 to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, roughly 4-5 hours to park entrance from LAX. Would not recommend Hwy 198 to Sequoia Nat. Park, very winding road and traffic going uphill can get real slow. Save your backpacking for the Eastern side and do the tourist sightseeing on the Western side. Sequoia has more to see and do then Kings Canyon, maybe 2 days Sequoia and one in Kings Canyon. Stop in Grants Grove to see the Giant Sequoia trees, this is in between both parks, roughly 4-5 miles from park entrance off Hwy. 180. When you leave the park go out Hwy. 180 to Fresno, and Hwy 41N to Yosemite. I do not spend as much time in Yosemite as SEKI, because of crowds. Glacier Point is nice vista in Yosemite, would not spend much time in Yosemite Valley, it is packed with people, you will think you're in the city. Spend the rest of the week in the Toulumne Valley Area, Hwy. 120 -less people, and spectacular scenery and some fishing possibilities. This road will take you across the Sierra to the Eastern side and the Inyo National Forest off Hwy. 395 where backpacking and fishing opportunites abound. Head South on Hwy. 395, Ansel Adams Wilderness area in Mammoth is beautiful and cannot go wrong there, popular place, also South Lake out of Bishop will have what you're looking for. Further South in Lone Pine, consider Horeshoe Meadow, and backpacking into Cottonwood Lakes, about 5-6 mile hike to the lakes, roughly 10 lakes in the area, also, another 5 miles or so, some off trail and you can be sitting on the top of Mt. Langley at 14,027 feet and get a great perspective of the Sierras. When all done it is only about 4 hours to LAX from Lone Pine, head South on 395 to the 14S to 5 and 405S and your back to the airport. Doing this will get you well acclimated for the higher elevations on the Eastern side of the Sierras and less people as well.

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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby seanr » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:38 pm

If you trail run you probably can handle most trails, especially if you train some with a pack between now and your trip. Rocky, rugged, steep, or off-trail stuff thins out crowds. If you want to have a relaxing and all on major trail hike, the trade off will be crowds, lack of stunning scenery, or need for great timing. You also can just be willing to go slow on tougher hikes.

Edit:
By the way, your Dusy Basin from South Lake and North Fork Big Pine Creek below the Palisades ideas are among the best. They are moderate as far as stamina requirement.

Cottonwood Lakes mentioned above is relaxing with options to easily go above 14,000 feet.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:25 pm

Great! Thanks!
Do you know if I would go through Inyo for a permit for Dusy Basin? or SEKI?
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby Silverfox » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:43 pm

markley wrote:Great! Thanks!
Do you know if I would go through Inyo for a permit for Dusy Basin? or SEKI?


You would get your permit from Inyo Nat. Forest since you are entering from the East.

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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby seanr » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:45 pm

Should be Inyo NF with easiest trailhead to get there South Lake. It is popular, but TR's can point you to the best options there. North Lake and Sabrina THs have great hike and backpack options too if you have trouble getting the permit you hope for. Walk-ins are explained on the website as well. Study up if you can on SEKI fish lakes where fish have been killed off by NPS.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:10 pm

Right on! It looks like the Inyo wilderness permit page is down at the moment. I'll try again tomorrow. How many nights would you recommend to go up to Dusy Basin? From what I can gather it looks like about 10-12 miles from South Lake? Was thinking 2 nights.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby ERIC » Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:15 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Generally, east side snobs don't get over here much - we love our west side and it's got no end of Sequoia groves and nice shady spots, rather than hiking from the desert to 10,000 feet in the open sun for a day....


Well said. Both have their merits.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby seanr » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:25 pm

Markley, yes, if you know you would both enjoy being out for 2 or more nights, plan for that. If you rush you could do that trip in an overnight, but then you might not have time to fish and might feel challenged rather than relaxed. You see all those lakes on the east side of Bishop Pass, right? The hiking becomes stunningly beautiful a short distance from the trailhead in that area (same story in many other areas mentioned). You could spend your first night near one of those and then climb over Bishop Pass to Dusy Basin the next morning. There are plenty of TR's and tips if you use the search function. Alternately, if you feel up to it, head over Bishop Pass on Day 1, and set up camp near a scenic lake well off the main trail. Day 2 you could carry a daypack to explore Dusy Basin more or, if comfortable, cross over Knapsack Pass to Barret Lakes/Palisades Basin. You could also check out Ladder Lake area, if really energetic on a day hike from base camp, or more easily if taking 3-4 nights.

The less permits you have to obtain and the more time you spend in the backcountry, the more time you have to travel off main trails to garner solitude. Furthermore, the less you have to make plans on where to campground or disperse camp.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:39 am

Well it looks like the all of the permits for the "Bishop Pass-South Lake" (to go to Dusy) are reserved for the time we will be there. Any opinions on the following: Sabrina Lake (to go to Midnight Lake, Hungry Packer, and surrounding lakes), Treasure Lakes-South Lake, Golden Trout Lakes, and Big Pine Creek North Fork.

Thanks
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