Early season alternatives for Memorial Day? | High Sierra Topix  

Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby cantare » Fri May 15, 2015 2:08 pm

I'd been planning a 2-night trip to Emigrant Wilderness over the holiday, with some cross-country thrown in to avoid the crowds (lewis/sardella lakes area from Kennedy). But with all the unsettled/chilly weather I'm thinking that area will probably be snowy.

Before just heading off to Henry Coe SP or Ventana/Big Sur, I thought I'd ask the collected wisdom of HST for some other early season favorites...relatively snow-free destinations that afford some degree of solitude on busy holiday weekends. No need to give GPS coordinates of your favorite stealth campsite, just a general area recommendation will be appreciated!

Parameters:
Level 3- Numerous backpacking trips, some x-country travel
Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country
looking to avoid major river fords & snow/ice travel


main interest:
- Lakes
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography
- dayhike peak scrambling (up to Class 3)


How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead?
2 nights

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers?
10-12. For a 2-nighter I think one basecamp at a nice lake is ideal.

Do you have a route logistics preference: loop, out and back, point to point (which
may require 2 vehicles or hitchhiking)?
loop or out/back, no shuttles

Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in(Yosemite, SEKI
western sierra start or eastern start ect.)?
Originally it was Western Sierra within easy 4-6hr drive of SF Bay Area...now seeking snow-free lower-elev. or Sierra alternative within same radius!

Will you be hiking with a dog?
No animals.



User avatar
cantare
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:11 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby scottshapiro » Sun May 17, 2015 10:40 am

I'm in the same boat - had a trip planned to Desolation but am now thinking Ventana.
User avatar
scottshapiro
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 10:39 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby Willythedog » Sun May 17, 2015 12:02 pm

How's about trinity alps? They got barely any snow throughout the year. I'd imagine it's good to go by now. You can get up there in 4-5 hours.

More main stream places:
Canyon creek lakes
Grizzly lake
Caribou lakes
4 lakes loop

X country:
Smith and Morris lakes

Peaks around there:
Sawtooth
Thompson
Hilton
Wedding cake
User avatar
Willythedog
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:21 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby ndwoods » Sun May 17, 2015 3:39 pm

Yolla Bollys are pretty nice early season. And the magic of the Yolla Bollys and the Trinity Alps is that at one time a very long time ago that mountain range was part of the Sierra before drifting...and have the same feel, flora and fauna as the Sierra.
User avatar
ndwoods
Founding Member
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby SSSdave » Mon May 18, 2015 3:22 pm

moved by moderator:

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=12770
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby Cross Country » Tue May 19, 2015 8:19 am

Vernon Lake or for fishing laurel Lake out of Hech Hechy. You never excede 6500 feet.
Cross Country
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:16 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby cantare » Wed May 20, 2015 4:26 pm

Thanks for your kind suggestions, everyone! I'm unfamiliar with Trinity Alps, but the pictures are drop-dead amazing so I'm going for it. The area doesn't seem to get a ton of press but there are a few great TR's on here that I found inspiring.

Apparently the 4 lakes area & other marquee lakes will be fairly crowded on MDW; still weighing whether to take a popular route like Long Canyon & search for less obvious places to camp vs. try some more obscure(?) trail like Sugar Pine Lk or Grizzly Meadow...so many choices in this area! (edit: I guess Grizzly Lk isn't "obscure," even via China Gulch)
User avatar
cantare
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:11 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby dougieb » Wed May 20, 2015 8:13 pm

I have a couple suggestions having been to the Trinity Alps a number of times. I really enjoy Canyon Creek Lakes even though that trail is one of the most popular in the area. If you go to Boulder Creek Lakes you'll see far fewer people and there are some fun class 2 climbs up above there. Secondly, if you go juuuust past Canyon Creek Lakes to one of the little lakes just beyond them, you will have a spot all to yourself and the hike in is gorgeous. Both of those locations use the same trail by the way so you could do both.
User avatar
dougieb
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 9:10 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby cantare » Tue May 26, 2015 3:58 pm

Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions. I thought thru many less-traveled options but ultimately wound up just going up the Stuart Fork to Morris Meadows, then dayhiking over to the Emerald/Sapphire & Caribou Scramble areas. Rained a bit on the first day, then had spectacular weather. There was a fair number of people esp Sat night but nothing too crazy for a big holiday. Already plotting a return trip!

20150523_190853[1].jpg
User avatar
cantare
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:11 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Early season alternatives for Memorial Day?

Postby scottshapiro » Tue May 26, 2015 4:31 pm

My wife and I did exactly that. We got to the Canyon Creek trailhead on Saturday. Huge crowds at the trailhead - we had to park by Ripstein campground a half-mile down the road. So we took off for Boulder Creek Lakes which was much quieter. We tried scrambling to Mt Hilton Sunday and hiked out Monday. Got a bit of rain Sunday night which was fun.

Here's a view of Sawtooth from Saturday night
Image

Thanks again for the tips!

dougieb wrote:I have a couple suggestions having been to the Trinity Alps a number of times. I really enjoy Canyon Creek Lakes even though that trail is one of the most popular in the area. If you go to Boulder Creek Lakes you'll see far fewer people and there are some fun class 2 climbs up above there. Secondly, if you go juuuust past Canyon Creek Lakes to one of the little lakes just beyond them, you will have a spot all to yourself and the hike in is gorgeous. Both of those locations use the same trail by the way so you could do both.
User avatar
scottshapiro
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 10:39 am
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bkoenig, Google Adsense [Bot], MSNbot Media [Bot] and 9 guests