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Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

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Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:25 am

Hey Everyone,

A while ago I tried to go King's Canyon for a 2 nighter trip and post a similar request. And you guys suggest against it since it was too early(April) and I don't have mountaineering experience. Now there shouldn't be too much snow problem and I have gained some experience backpacking on both high altitude area and low altitude area. So please bare with me and allow me to post the same question again.

Here is the suggest bulletins for my dream trail:

- Backpacking Experience: Level 2.
- Terrain Preference: On trail. I am Ok with some snow and rive crossing
- Main interest: Lakes are my favorite. Campsite near a lake with a great view of mountains is literally my life-long dream.
- I wish it to be a 2-nighter. I plan to leave at Thursday afternoon and be back at Sunday night. So maybe we can stay in campsite on Thursday night and start backpacking Friday morning. Is this a good idea?
- Maybe 7 miles-ish per day.
- No dogs.

And here are some aggregated information from my previous post that also involving camping by a lake. I hope this can save you guys some trouble and provide some extra information if this thread pop-up in the search items.

- Chain Lakes (this is a 14 miles overnighter judging from this. I will leave this as a backup but I would prefer Aloha Lakes if I end up with a one nighter)
- Ostrander Lake (one way 12.7 miles. It is either a two day trips or we can't camp at lakes right?)
- Buena Vista Loop. (I haven't find an official map for this. I get the basic information from this. This is a bit long for me but I will keep this as a candidate)
- Vernon Lake Loop, (this looks like a two day hikes for me as well. 8.6 miles from Hetch Hetchy backpackers campground. This will be my another backup route)
- Lake Aloha (Saved as backup for reason same as above, I think I would prefer this one because the pictures looks pretty sick).
- Hamilton Lakes ( If I go there, it will REALLY REALLY hurt me since I will be SO close to precipice lake but it is just too far for a 2-night trip. Also I can't camp by a lake)
- Twin Lakes with the middle day doing exploration on Silliman Pass ( There is no Campfire allowed at Twin lakes. What is the fun of camping without campfire? Ok just joking I have been there so I prefer another route).

Please help me. This will be the last backpacking trip before I leave California so I want to make it count. You guys are the best! Thanks!



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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby mursey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:35 am

Where are you starting out from?
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:22 am

sky00high wrote:And here are some aggregated information from my previous post that also involving camping by a lake. I hope this can save you guys some trouble and provide some extra information if this thread pop-up in the search items.

- Chain Lakes (this is a 14 miles overnighter judging from this. I will leave this as a backup but I would prefer Aloha Lakes if I end up with a one nighter)
- Ostrander Lake (one way 12.7 miles. It is either a two day trips or we can't camp at lakes right?)
- Buena Vista Loop. (I haven't find an official map for this. I get the basic information from this. This is a bit long for me but I will keep this as a candidate)
- Vernon Lake Loop, (this looks like a two day hikes for me as well. 8.6 miles from Hetch Hetchy backpackers campground. This will be my another backup route)
- Lake Aloha (Saved as backup for reason same as above, I think I would prefer this one because the pictures looks pretty sick).
- Hamilton Lakes ( If I go there, it will REALLY REALLY hurt me since I will be SO close to precipice lake but it is just too far for a 2-night trip. Also I can't camp by a lake)
- Twin Lakes with the middle day doing exploration on Silliman Pass ( There is no Campfire allowed at Twin lakes. What is the fun of camping without campfire? Ok just joking I have been there so I prefer another route).


Ostrander is a 12.7 round trip, not one way. You can easily base camp for two nights and have plenty to do - climb Horse Ridge, go cross country to Hart Lake (easy because the ridge makes a great guide). Fishing is decent for 8-12 inch brook trout.

The Buena Vista loop is a long way round if you want to do short mile days. Consider Chilnualna Falls to one of the lakes - camp at the falls, camp at a lake, all downhill back to the car.

Jackass Lakes - steep uphill from Norris trailhead, but only three miles.
Lady/Vandeberg/Lillian lakes in Ansel Adams, from Norris or Fernandez trailhead - there are a lot of scenic lakes less than a day apart here. Base camping and day hiking would be possible.

You'll not have a fire outside the national parks - it's too dry and there are bans already in place.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:44 pm

mursey wrote:Where are you starting out from?

I live in Bay Area if this is what you are asking. And trip is suppose to happen at August 14th.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:50 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
sky00high wrote:And here are some aggregated information from my previous post that also involving camping by a lake. I hope this can save you guys some trouble and provide some extra information if this thread pop-up in the search items.

- Chain Lakes (this is a 14 miles overnighter judging from this. I will leave this as a backup but I would prefer Aloha Lakes if I end up with a one nighter)
- Ostrander Lake (one way 12.7 miles. It is either a two day trips or we can't camp at lakes right?)
- Buena Vista Loop. (I haven't find an official map for this. I get the basic information from this. This is a bit long for me but I will keep this as a candidate)
- Vernon Lake Loop, (this looks like a two day hikes for me as well. 8.6 miles from Hetch Hetchy backpackers campground. This will be my another backup route)
- Lake Aloha (Saved as backup for reason same as above, I think I would prefer this one because the pictures looks pretty sick).
- Hamilton Lakes ( If I go there, it will REALLY REALLY hurt me since I will be SO close to precipice lake but it is just too far for a 2-night trip. Also I can't camp by a lake)
- Twin Lakes with the middle day doing exploration on Silliman Pass ( There is no Campfire allowed at Twin lakes. What is the fun of camping without campfire? Ok just joking I have been there so I prefer another route).


Ostrander is a 12.7 round trip, not one way. You can easily base camp for two nights and have plenty to do - climb Horse Ridge, go cross country to Hart Lake (easy because the ridge makes a great guide). Fishing is decent for 8-12 inch brook trout.

The Buena Vista loop is a long way round if you want to do short mile days. Consider Chilnualna Falls to one of the lakes - camp at the falls, camp at a lake, all downhill back to the car.

Jackass Lakes - steep uphill from Norris trailhead, but only three miles.
Lady/Vandeberg/Lillian lakes in Ansel Adams, from Norris or Fernandez trailhead - there are a lot of scenic lakes less than a day apart here. Base camping and day hiking would be possible.

You'll not have a fire outside the national parks - it's too dry and there are bans already in place.


Once again thank you very much AlmostThere. Your suggestion of go Chilnuana Falls for one night and a lake another night sounds particular good since I just checked the license and found out there isn't any reservation spot left for Glacier Point. But the idea of base camping at Ostrander Lake and fishing is also very interesting. Please allow me to ask some follow up questions:

1. How likely for us to get a FCFS license the same day of the hike?
2. We start backpacking at August 14th. If we don't have backpacking permit reserved, will we be able to find a place to stay around Glacier Point the night of August 13th?
3. What you said means I can't have a campfire at Ansel Adams Wilderness? Do they require backcountry permit?
4. Since King's Canyon is also a national park and some of the place can have campfires, does any trails you know from there fit my criteria?
5. Also is that possible you suggest a lake that you think is the most beautiful for us to stay if you decide to do the Chilnuana Falls - A lake in Buena Vista Loop route you suggested?

Thanks!
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:29 pm

Hi Terry,

Since this is your last backpacking trip, before you leave, why not go to a place that offers everything you want, beautiful lakes, outstanding mountain scenery, good fishing, a place like, 1000 Is Lake and Ediza Lake. You can make it there in one night via the River Trail, 6.9 miles, then go to Ediza Lake the next evening, 7.4 miles, and then go back to Agnew Meadow via the Shadow Lake trail, 6.5 miles.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:36 pm

Well, neither the River Trail, nor the Shadow Lake Trail have anything left, except for one slot on both for the 18th, can you change your dates? Or just drive up early like I do to Mammoth, and be first in line to get a walk-in permit, it is about a 6 hr drive.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:06 pm

Maverick's advice was ideal except it like most other popular destinations have by now depleted quota reservations and getting a walk-up permit requires wasting the day before.

I've recommended East Lake out of the Green Creek trailhead to novices for years. Very scenic lake about colorful metamorphic geology, short hike less than 4 miles and 1400 feet up, with good fishing, and several other nearby lakes to explore. Certain to not have issues with its quota because reservations are the old fashion way only by US mail. Thus most visitors obtain same day walk-up permits. That would be in sleepy Bridgeport. Search on it in this forum and then give that Toiyabe NF ranger station a phone call for info.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:08 pm

maverick wrote:Hi Terry,

Since this is your last backpacking trip, before you leave, why not go to a place that offers everything you want, beautiful lakes, outstanding mountain scenery, good fishing, a place like, 1000 Is Lake and Ediza Lake. You can make it there in one night via the River Trail, 6.9 miles, then go to Ediza Lake the next evening, 7.4 miles, and then go back to Agnew Meadow via the Shadow Lake trail, 6.5 miles.


Haha you remember me. Thank you for this.

And OMG a quick google search almost give me heart attack. Its very beautiful from the pictures. I don't mind driving long distance. I still remember climbed Half Dome off-season and drive back by myself same day. Bring some 5 hour energy and we are good.

But how early do we need to be in order to secure a permit? We should go to Inyo National Forest for permit? We can go there an stay in a hotel for the night before the backpacking trip and go supper early to get the permit, is this a good idea?

And judging from the fire ban map, some of the thousand island lake can have campfire right? Otherwise how should we cook our fish....

EDIT: NVM I misunderstood the map. There is no fire allowed. Then how do we cook the fish I wonder.....
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:16 pm

SSSdave wrote:Maverick's advice was ideal except it like most other popular destinations have by now depleted quota reservations and getting a walk-up permit requires wasting the day before.

I've recommended East Lake out of the Green Creek trailhead to novices for years. Very scenic lake about colorful metamorphic geology, short hike less than 4 miles and 1400 feet up, with good fishing, and several other nearby lakes to explore. Certain to not have issues with its quota because reservations are the old fashion way only by US mail. Thus most visitors obtain same day walk-up permits. That would be in sleepy Bridgeport. Search on it in this forum and then give that Toiyabe NF ranger station a phone call for info.



Thank you for your suggessions. I will research this trail up.

You mentioned if the permit system is the old-fashioned postal style, there is less issue. Then is this stands true for Sequoia and King's Canyon National Park? If I recall correctly they use the postal and Fax only.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:21 pm

And judging from the fire ban map, some of the thousand island lake can have campfire right? Otherwise how should we cook our fish....

No, all grey areas have no campfires allowed, you will have to use a backpackers stove and a fry pan, go pick one up at REI.

But how early do we need to be in order to secure a permit?

Plan on getting there 30 min's before they open, just to be sure. The Visitor Center is located right on Main Street, the road you are on once you get off 395, it's on the right hand side.

PS It really is worth all the extra effort Terry. :nod: We will be expecting invites from you, to Baniff and Jasper. ;)
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:43 pm

maverick wrote:
And judging from the fire ban map, some of the thousand island lake can have campfire right? Otherwise how should we cook our fish....

No, all grey areas have no campfires allowed, you will have to use a backpackers stove and a fry pan, go pick one up at REI.

But how early do we need to be in order to secure a permit?

Plan on getting there 30 min's before they open, just to be sure. The Visitor Center is located right on Main Street, the road you are on once you get off 395, it's on the right hand side.

PS It really is worth all the extra effort Terry. :nod: We will be expecting invites from you, to Baniff and Jasper. ;)


Hahahaha. Sure thing. I went back for school and probably will lay low for a while. But Banff is definitely on my to-do list. It might happen on the way the next time I drive to California.

And ya... I realized about fire ban part later. So we can get the permit SAME day as the backpacking trip starts right? Because as SSSDave mentioned "getting a walk-up permit requires wasting the day before".

Also is the visitor center At the junction of 395 and 136? They seems to be open at 8:00 am. What is the likelihood that I get there at 7:30 and the permits are gone?
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