ideas for solitude / quiet campsites on high sierra trail | High Sierra Topix  

ideas for solitude / quiet campsites on high sierra trail

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

Re: ideas for solitude / quiet campsites on high sierra trai

Postby frozenintime » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:51 pm

all great info to have!

we are considering camping at arroyo (which is the same as the 'five lakes trail junction' wandering daisy referred to, no?), then getting an early start and doing a side trip up mt kaweah... if we do, then we won't be passing through chagoopa early in the day. but i didn't realize how dire the water situation is before kern. might be logistically hard to square that circle. we do like water.

thanks again all



User avatar
frozenintime
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:06 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: ideas for solitude / quiet campsites on high sierra trai

Postby robow8 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:23 pm

The ranger who issued my permit on Sunday told me his favorite campsite is just when you can see the lower Hamilton lake, head to the right up the hillside. I kind of looked from the trail but didn't go up to search. Maybe look on Google earth?
User avatar
robow8
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:17 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: ideas for solitude / quiet campsites on high sierra trai

Postby oleander » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:37 pm

A few more ideas:

Instead of camping at Bearpaw (where the backpacker campground is unpleasant), continue another 1.5 miles to the bridge at Lone Pine Creek. Cross that bridge; continue about 1/4 mile to a junction; turn left at the junction, following the sign to Tamarack Lake. In about 1/10 mile you will find at least one campsite along the river, to your left, just below the trail. That is a very little-used trail, so you should have it to yourself for sure especially in September.

The ranger at Bearpaw actively discourages people from camping at Precipice Lake. I can see why - the campsites there are marginal and mostly are right on the trail! You can camp instead in a little basin that is above the trail, about 3/4 of the way from Hamilton to Precipice. When you come to the place where the creek crosses the trail, follow the creek up a little ways up towards the basin. I camped there 23 years ago! It is just far enough off the trail, and off people's radar, that there *should* be few signs there of human impact, and again no competition in September.

Along the Kern, as Daisy says there is plenty of camping near the bridge just below the hot springs. But there is also a lot of great camping about a mile south of there. It's sandy, open forest with good water access and camping everywhere. So even if someone else happens to be there, you could easily find another corner there.

When you have done your miles along the Kern and come to the Wallace Creek junction, instead of camping there or turning up the Wallace Creek trail, you can walk 5-10 minutes further north along the Kern. Word is there is solitude and very nice camping there.

How are you at altitude? 9000 feet and 13,000 feet are two very different beasts. I try not to attempt 13,000 feet unless I've been out for a minimum of 4 days and/or am on at least my second trip of the season. YMMV. If Mt. Kaweah turns out to be "just too much" when you near it, consider spending that time instead exploring a cool basin. If you do have that time, my side trip of choice would be Wales Lake (next to Wallace Lake); and my second choice would be the middle/upper benches of Nine Lakes Basin, east-northeast of the heart-shaped lake. But you'd need a full layover day to truly see either of those places.

- Elizabeth
User avatar
oleander
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:15 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: ideas for solitude / quiet campsites on high sierra trai

Postby frozenintime » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:41 pm

THANK YOU for all of these ideas, oleandar. i really appreciate it.

the spot beyond bearpaw sounds lovely but it might be a bit far for day 1. we'll just have to see, re: altitude and adjustment. generally we jump right in, but we'll see how we react. i was thinking buck creek, or maybe even stop at mehrten if necessary. we will have spent one night at lodgepole.

and re: kaweah and altitude, i don't honestly know. we've both been at 9 or 10k in utah and colorado and done fine. impossible to say til we're out there! we might consider a mountain later on in the trip to be more acclimated. spending a night at crabtree lakes and doing hitchcock in the AM sounds fun.

you're not the first to mention wallace/wales!
is the only non-technical way in/out of that area to follow wallace creek just as the PCT turns sharply south?
or is there a route over/around mt hale, etc? those north faces look pretty steep on topos :)
User avatar
frozenintime
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:06 pm
Experience: N/A

Previous

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], dschmierer, MSNbot Media [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests