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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 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:20 am

Thanks Mark! Does it matter which wilderness permit station we stop at? We will likely be coming in from the west...through Wawona? or mariposa?



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

Postby markskor » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:48 am

Secret dirt-bag * hiking secrets - Yosemite - Tuolumne area

Wilderness permits Sierra are controlled by the closest office/offices to the trailhead. Thus Saddlebag (just outside the park boundary) permits are only issued from Tuolumne - (in Yosemite - westside) or from Mammoth/ Lee Vining, (eastside). All the other Yosemite TH permits, trips originating inside the park can be obtained from any of the wilderness office in Yosemite but priority is always given to the closest permit office to the starting trailhead. Thus, if in the Valley, the Wilderness office there controls Happy Isles, Yosemite Falls, etc, trails but, if trying (in line elsewhere YNP) for a TH originating out of Tuolumne, they will first call up to Tuolumne and see if anybody is in the "next day" line there - satisfy those backpackers first...limited quotas - before issuing any Tuolumne TH permits from Wawona or the Valley offices. If trying for any Tuolumne area trail, always best to be in line Tuolumne, or be flexible (maybe waste that extra day but there are worse places to be stuck - having to stay over again Tuolumne BP - safe) and trust in good Karma.

BTW, If stuck Tuolumne, waiting for a next day permit -
Morning coffee with a Ranger - good coffee, free too...at the Dana circle.
Have a beer(s) and burger at the Tuolumne picnic tables, (just in front of the big white-tent store)...Usually a good crowd of real (dirt bag*) hikers there. Soft swirl ice cream too...decent wine selection...small gear store. TPR, a short drive avay, has good dinners - fresh pie.
Maybe walk out to Soda Springs, and, if lucky, catch a seminar at Parson's Lodge - (check bulletin board schedule at post office).
Soak in some meadow...bask on the river...warm rocks, lodge pole pines, stellers jays.
Free shuttle to Olmsted Point...nice beaches Tenaya Lake too...all available same free shuttle.
Sometimes at the campfire circle, (a nightly thing - posted), the Ranger has topics of great interest...Raven talk was cool.

Earlier in one of your responses, you mentioned staying over someplace instead of driving 200 miles daily...which IMHO, sucks. Here is a possible dirt-bag week Yosemite - Saddlebag, Valley, and Tuolumne - no reservations - includes 3 - 4 nights backpacking, fishing too. Just park the car once in Tuolumne and do it all out of a backpack via YARTS... and some plastic.

*dirt-bag hiker is a term of great respect...just one step below dirt-bag fisherman
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:43 pm

Ha..thanks for all the advice Mark! I'd also like to think of myself as a dirt-bag fisherman...at least in some circles :whistle:
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markskor » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:50 pm

Anytime -
BTW, free showers at Curry (Valley) - before 11:00 AM.
More tips too if needed, but better told by a PM.
Mark
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:04 pm

Another question..it appears Beasore Rd is in the Sierra Nat'l Forest. Are there car camping opportunities there? Or is it pretty easy to get a spot at the campgrounds in that area (Upper Chiquito,Bowler, Clover Meadow, or Granite Creek)?
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby seanr » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:27 pm

Yeah, awesome ideas coming together! Yes, Sierra NF. Yes, you can sleep in your van many places around there. I have done it many times at Norris TH and along Granite Creek. The road generally gets rougher the farther you go. Be careful if you drive past Granite Creek campground to the creekside dispersed spots. Actually be careful past Clover Meadow. I think the stretch before Norris TH turn-off on Beasore that used to be very bumpy with giant potholes got smoothed out some last year. Lady Lake-Lillian Lake areas are nicer than Jackass Lakes IMO. Madera Peak is fun and has great views into Yosemite and of the Ritter Range. Starting from Fernandez TH is not much farther if you have trouble getting to Norris up road 5S86. There are many longer options in the area.

Edit: By the way, if ambitious enough to take packs up toward the peak, you can loop back via Jackass Lakes if you follow the Madera Peak ridge down to Burro Lake and Jackass Lakes.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby Tom_H » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:05 pm

markley wrote:Out of curiosity, how are the conditions of the forest service dirt roads? As long as they are not potholes that will swallow a small van (or 4x4 required) or have any fords, we should be okay.


Some FS roads are good condition, others require 4x4 or even a jeep. You need to check with the company renting the vehicle before you take it off pavement. As I said before, some companies have in the fine print prohibitions from taking the vehicle onto a non-paved road. Some do, some don't. Many also now put a GPS tracker and black box recorder inside the vehicle. I have heard of people being charged big penalties for going out of the agreed territory, exceeding the speed limit, all kinds of things prohibited in the small print that modern electronics can keep a record of. AAA will not pay for a tow truck to go more than 100 feet off pavement. You have to pay yourself and they jack the rates up considerably. Just make sure the roads you want to take the vehicle on are approved by the rental company and make sure either your or their insurance covers a tow if you're away from paved roads.
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:10 am

Man..I'm getting really excited! So many options...Gonna put a very loose itinerary together this weekend to at least come up with some sort of game plan to see if I am going to be trying to do too much for two weeks.

Regarding the rental companies tracking you?? Does that really occur? I'm all for taking my time on gravel roads (but not push it; and turn around if it gets too hairy) and knowing that I'd be on my own to get out if need be, but to get dinged because they tracked us..that'd suck!
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby Tom_H » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:15 pm

markley wrote:Regarding the rental companies tracking you?? Does that really occur?


I can tell you are skeptical. I personally believe skepticism is a good thing. Here are some links with facts about this issue. Some do it, some don't. If they do, it has to be in the written contract. If you ask them, they have to tell you. Also consider this, if the contract has a prohibition against taking the vehicle off pavement, yet there is no tracking in the vehicle, do you think it is ethical to take the vehicle on rough roads when you've agreed not to, even though you can get away with it without their knowledge? Motorhomes of any type usually push the GVWR to the maximum without suspension upgrades. Taking them on rough roads, or even washboard roads, places a lot of stress on the suspension as well a lot of stress on the anchor points where all the furnishings are affixed to the structure of the vehicle. My Tiger has suspension upgrades and special high stress anchors to hold the fixtures to the vehicle so that it withstands these stresses better. People who take standard motorhomes off road find that they vibrate apart in a fraction of their expected lifetimes.

I am recommending that you ask the rental company two things: 1) Do you have restrictions on taking this vehicle off pavement? 2) Do you track the vehicle electronically? If the answers are 1) Yes, and 2) No, think about the ethical implications of signing a legal contract.

Here are some links:

http://www.liveviewgps.com/blog/gps-tra ... car-abuse/

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=130872

http://www.autorentalnews.com/article/s ... age/1.aspx

http://www.rense.com/general26/rentalcarsatellite.htm
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:38 pm

I hear ya Tom. Thanks for the links.

I don't doubt that some places would do that. Looking at the terms for our rental, it basically just says were liable for any damages that occur on restricted roads, which include "unimproved road, trail, track (excluding county and state maintained road)". I guess my next question is, are forest service roads considered county or state maintained?
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby Tom_H » Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:44 pm

markley wrote:are forest service roads considered county or state maintained?


Mainly the feds, but states and counties sometimes contribute. There are several "levels" of condition and maintenance, from paved roads to gravel roads to things only a rock crawler can handle. Budget problems through the recession saw USFS road maintenance needs being met at around 20%, so many are greatly neglected.

http://www.fs.fed.us/eng/road_mgt/qanda.shtml

https://wiki.waze.com/wiki/Forest_Service_Roads

http://www.swcrown.org/wp-content/uploa ... ds-101.pdf

http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655555.pdf
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Re: 1 to 2 night backpack trip (lake) suggestions

Postby markley » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:34 pm

Thanks Tom!

So for those familiar, if you had to choose one of the following two areas which would you recommend: Dinkey Lakes area, or up Beasore Rd towards Norris TH and/or lakes in vicinity? I guess road conditions would factor in to this.

Trying to scale down all of the spots i want to check out...Thanks much!
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