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Route/Trip Advice - Agnew Meadows/Soda Springs

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Route/Trip Advice - Agnew Meadows/Soda Springs

Postby Holokuahiwi » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:26 am

First time asking for trip advice on here, so please be gentle.

A buddy, his girlfriend, and I are planning for a 5 day trip a couple of weeks from now. My buddy has decided that he wants to depart from Agnew Meadows or near Soda Springs. It would be the first time for both of us up near the Mammoth area, so it would all be new to us. He has suggested checking out both Thousand Islands and Minaret Lakes, but beyond that we're still formulating a plan.

We would be able to camp at/near a trailhead the first night and get up and go, giving us all day Wednesday and having to be out by midday Sunday. So that gives us 5 days, 4 nights (5 if you count camping at the trailhead).

All 3 of us have decent backpacking experience. We fall into the level 3 category I would say. We've all been backpacking for many years and have experience doing a couple of days worth of x-country travel over x-country passes in the Sierra as well as some limited peak-bagging.

My buddy is a fisherman; I enjoy photography. So for me, any large stands of aspen in late September are a huge bonus. Lakes that are still producing fish in the third week of September is a huge bonus. We could also take a day or two to bag a couple of peaks. We're capable of class II, minor class III type of stuff.

As far as distances, we could push ourselves if need be, but that wouldn't really be the purpose of this trip. This trip is more about chilling out and enjoying the mountains. 10 mile days with time to enjoy the lakes is perfectly acceptable :)

Thanks for listening,
Niles



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Re: Route/Trip Advice - Agnew Meadows/Soda Springs

Postby Holokuahiwi » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:45 am

Forgot to mention, this would ideally be a loop of some sort. One car at the trailhead type of situation.
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Re: Route/Trip Advice - Agnew Meadows/Soda Springs

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:28 am

Late Sept. may be too early for fall colors. Last year we did an end-of-October trip and probably were too late by about a week. Also, fall colors are not usually outstanding in drought years. The colors were good but not great last year. Grasses are already yellow/orange and "fall" colored due to lack of moisture. There are some websites that follow the fall colors along Hwy 395. McGee Creek and Convict Lake are well known for fall colors- short day-hikes, just south of Mammoth. You may want to check these out too. And unfortunately, smoke from the Rough Fire may still be in the Mammoth area.

Last year it seemed everyone did a loop through the Minarets and there are several good trip reports that will give you ideas.
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Re: Route/Trip Advice - Agnew Meadows/Soda Springs

Postby Holokuahiwi » Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:14 am

Thanks for the reply, Daisy. I've done a bit of research into fall colors in the eastern Sierra, and what I've found is pretty much what you're saying. And yea, based on the drought, I don't expect much. Man, how many years until there will be good fall colors? Just another sad thing to think about. My ideal would be an early October trip to the Adirondacks, but I can't get anyone to go with me.

We're looking at Minarets, Thousand, Ediza, Garnet. I was looking at some hot springs around Mammoth, but found via the search function on here that they're closed now :(
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