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

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

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:08 pm

NFS:
One day before the entry date all remaining space is made available for walk in permit requests.

True, can you get their the day before, pick up the permit, and chill for one night at one of the Mammoth Campgrounds? There is a mandatory shuttle down to Agnew leaving from Mammoth, but you can drive down to Agnew before 7 am, and park at the trailhead, which would alleviate having to use the shuttle, so there are some pluses of getting your permits a day before.

PS NFS:

Q: ARE THERE EXCEPTIONS TO THE MANDATORY SHUTTLE BUS?

A: Visitors driving in before 7:00am or after 7:00pm, who are camping, who are overnight guests of Reds Meadow Resort, who can provide proof of physical handicap, who are hauling stock trailers, or who are bringing in small watercraft for use in one of the lakes within the Valley are permitted to drive their personal vehicles down the road.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby JohnS » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:13 pm

You can get walk in permits for next day entry starting at 11am.
at Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center, Lee Vining or Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center, Mammoth Lakes

If you drive over Tioga Pass the Mono Basin center is closest if you can be there before 5pm.

Centers http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5144746
Quotas https://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5143453.pdf

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

Postby sky00high » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:59 pm

maverick wrote:can you get their the day before, pick up the permit, and chill for one night at one of the Mammoth Campgrounds?
I can't. My friend don't have any vacation day left. I will try to convince them to do it at August 21st. But that means bad news for me: I have less time to prepare my drive from California to Canadian east coast that starting from end of August.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:09 am

Oh never mind. I just checked. The river trails does not have enough quota for us. We have group of 5. Does anybody know the likelihood for us get a walk-in permit the same day of the hike? I can try reserve the Yosemite permit first so we can have a backup plan. Money is really not an issue now.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:52 am

sky00high wrote:... Does anybody know the likelihood for us get a walk-in permit the same day of the hike?..


Unlikely. Trailheads for the Ritter Range are near the largest summer resort population, ie Mammoth Lakes, along the Eastern Sierra, swarming with people every day of the week on vacation interested in summer recreation. There are not going to be any permits available same day for its most popular backcountry destinations. People in line the day before at 11am will take them ALL. Many in line will not get what they want then go down a list of plan B C D etc. Your only chance is if you wait till 11am and then some reserved group of at least 5 people is a no show. Small chance with just 1 person trying to slip in, very slim with your 5.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:28 am

SSSdave wrote:
sky00high wrote:... Does anybody know the likelihood for us get a walk-in permit the same day of the hike?..


Unlikely. Trailheads for the Ritter Range are near the largest summer resort population, ie Mammoth Lakes, along the Eastern Sierra, swarming with people every day of the week on vacation interested in summer recreation. There are not going to be any permits available same day for its most popular backcountry destinations. People in line the day before at 11am will take them ALL. Many in line will not get what they want then go down a list of plan B C D etc. Your only chance is if you wait till 11am and then some reserved group of at least 5 people is a no show. Small chance with just 1 person trying to slip in, very slim with your 5.


I see. It is good to know this so I don't waste time trying.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:51 am

I'm a little surprised no one has brought up Saddlebag Lake and the 20 lakes basin. No quotas - walk in the Tuolumne Wilderness office on the way to the trailhead and get the free permit, rent a few bear cans, and go. There's a (expensive for backpackers) ferry if you want to make an easy hike even easier, to ride across Saddlebag. No fires, but gorgeous and the lakes have a variety of trout in them. I have easily pulled in three pound rainbows at the inlet of Saddlebag itself.

You could also play "trailhead roulette" - come in a Yosemite wilderness office around 10, and see if you can bag some unclaimed, formerly reserved spots on a trailhead out of Tuolumne. Young Lakes, Ten Lakes, something heading south to Ireland, Evelyn, Emeric, Merced ... if no luck hang out til 11. (I usually get first choice doing this.)
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:58 am

SSSdave wrote:I've recommended East Lake out of the Green Creek trailhead to novices for years.


For East Lake I should try to get the permit from Hoover Wilderness right? On the scale of 1 to thousand islands lakes, how will you rate East Lake? Do you by any chance know some other trail require more backpacking milage?
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:04 am

AlmostThere wrote:I'm a little surprised no one has brought up Saddlebag Lake and the 20 lakes basin. No quotas - walk in the Tuolumne Wilderness office on the way to the trailhead and get the free permit, rent a few bear cans, and go. There's a (expensive for backpackers) ferry if you want to make an easy hike even easier, to ride across Saddlebag. No fires, but gorgeous and the lakes have a variety of trout in them. I have easily pulled in three pound rainbows at the inlet of Saddlebag itself.

You could also play "trailhead roulette" - come in a Yosemite wilderness office around 10, and see if you can bag some unclaimed, formerly reserved spots on a trailhead out of Tuolumne. Young Lakes, Ten Lakes, something heading south to Ireland, Evelyn, Emeric, Merced ... if no luck hang out til 11. (I usually get first choice doing this.)


Thanks! Let me research saddlebag lake and 20 lakes basin.

I plan to reserve the chilnualna falls trailhead first as a backup plan since apparently this is the only place around have slots now.. So I don't jerk around and end up nowhere to go. Are those lakes you listed preferable compare to Buena Vista Falls you suggested?
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:09 am

sky00high wrote:
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!


I missed this before.
1. It depends on the trailhead and time of the week. Ostrander and similar "not anywhere near Half Dome" trailheads in Yosemite are fairly easy to get. Trailheads on Glacier Point Road will get you access to places like Red Peak pass, and the surrounding area.
2. Bridalveil Campground is all FCFS. Coming in the morning during the week gives one a much better chance of getting a site.
3. All designated wilderness areas in the central Sierra require a wilderness permit from the local office with jurisdiction, with the exception of the Jennie Lake Wilderness (in Sequoia NF). National Forest areas outside those wildernesses do not. You need a free campfire permit to use a stove or build a fire (if allowed) - in the national parks, they consider your wilderness permit to be your fire permit also.
4. I would direct you to trailheads in Sequoia NP rather than Kings Canyon, not knowing your preferences for strenuous trips - most KC trailheads in the canyon proper climb a lot on that first day out, and lakes are farther from the th. A strong group of hikers might get to Junction Meadow and the two lakes upstream from it in a day - but that's a lot of uphill in open sun on granite.
The Lakes Trail does not allow reserved permits, and getting there at two pm the previous day is necessary to ensure success. No fires in that area, either, and that has always been the case.
Twin Lakes out of Lodgepole is nice - the views of the central valley are good, the lakes have fish.
Jennie Lake has rainbows and brook trout, needs no permit except the fire permit (for the stove) and is easy access.

Any trip with steep uphill at the start (many are) would be best with an early morning start. When I go up this September to head for Gardiner Basin, I'll probably be tackling Bubbs Creek trail at 4 am, before the sun rises. Chilnualna is one of those - there are a few lakes uphill from there, the ones after Grouse (which is off trail and boggy) are best for camping and fishing. You can have a campfire in Yosemite below 9600 feet and above 6000 feet, and those lakes meet that criteria.

ETA: You would not be disappointed in Saddlebag/20 lakes, if your priority is scenery. The fishing is not the greatest, however, the entire basin is gorgeous with no appreciable elevation gain - easy stuff. You'll get better bang for the buck there.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby sky00high » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:26 am

AlmostThere wrote:
I missed this before.
1. It depends on the trailhead and time of the week. Ostrander and similar "not anywhere near Half Dome" trailheads in Yosemite are fairly easy to get. Trailheads on Glacier Point Road will get you access to places like Red Peak pass, and the surrounding area.
2. Bridalveil Campground is all FCFS. Coming in the morning during the week gives one a much better chance of getting a site.
3. All designated wilderness areas in the central Sierra require a wilderness permit from the local office with jurisdiction, with the exception of the Jennie Lake Wilderness (in Sequoia NF). National Forest areas outside those wildernesses do not. You need a free campfire permit to use a stove or build a fire (if allowed) - in the national parks, they consider your wilderness permit to be your fire permit also.
4. I would direct you to trailheads in Sequoia NP rather than Kings Canyon, not knowing your preferences for strenuous trips - most KC trailheads in the canyon proper climb a lot on that first day out, and lakes are farther from the th. A strong group of hikers might get to Junction Meadow and the two lakes upstream from it in a day - but that's a lot of uphill in open sun on granite.
The Lakes Trail does not allow reserved permits, and getting there at two pm the previous day is necessary to ensure success. No fires in that area, either, and that has always been the case.
Twin Lakes out of Lodgepole is nice - the views of the central valley are good, the lakes have fish.
Jennie Lake has rainbows and brook trout, needs no permit except the fire permit (for the stove) and is easy access.

Any trip with steep uphill at the start (many are) would be best with an early morning start. When I go up this September to head for Gardiner Basin, I'll probably be tackling Bubbs Creek trail at 4 am, before the sun rises. Chilnualna is one of those - there are a few lakes uphill from there, the ones after Grouse (which is off trail and boggy) are best for camping and fishing. You can have a campfire in Yosemite below 9600 feet and above 6000 feet, and those lakes meet that criteria.

ETA: You would not be disappointed in Saddlebag/20 lakes, if your priority is scenery. The fishing is not the greatest, however, the entire basin is gorgeous with no appreciable elevation gain - easy stuff. You'll get better bang for the buck there.


Thank you very much for this very detailed reply!

Scenery is very important to me, I was half joking about the fishing part because I never done it before... Now I have to find some fishing equipment :P. Last time I hiked Twin Lakes and I think that will be the difficulty I am looking for.
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Re: Request a 2-nighter trip in Sierra that have lake camps

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:30 pm

Called a friend who works at the Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center, they have 12 walk-in permits for the River Trail, and 12 for the Shadow Lake Trail, they said, on average they have 6-7 permits available in the morning for same day hikes available, but they also said, that their could also be only 1.
They advised that you call around 4:45pm (close at 5 pm), the day before your trip, and inquire about how many permits are left for walk-ins the next morning, and if they have enough, get there at least 30 min's before they open (8 am).
5 people really complicates things.

Another area you should consider is Matterhorn Canyon, out of Twin Lakes, hike to Crown Lake for the first night (7.2 miles), then stay at the lakes under Finger Peaks and Burro Pass, the views of the Sawtooth Ridge at sunset is spectacular, as are the view west from the lakes at Finger Peaks, but the "piece de resistance" are the views from the top of Burro Pass, looking down into Matterhorn Canyon is a Sierra classic that should not be missed!
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