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~7 day trip recommendations

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~7 day trip recommendations

Postby ppolischuk » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:06 am

A friend and I were planning to do the North Lake-South Lake loop with some side-trip explorations over 7-8 days, starting about September 25. But the smoke reports have us second-guessing our plans. My top back-up would have been some kind of off-trail Yosemite loop, but it sounds like the smoke situation could be pretty bad up there too.

So I'm interested in populating our back-up queue. Do you have any favorite 6-8 day trips that are likely to be free of smoke in the next few weeks? Loop, lollipop, YARTS-accessible, or an easy hitch would be needed. 10-15 mile days with one or two shorter or zero days would be nice. Interested in big views, off-trail fun, moderately challenging passes, easy peak-bagging, maybe a little fishing. Thanks!



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Re: ~7 day trip recommendations

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:28 pm

A guarantee of smoke free will be somewhere not in the SIerra, I think.

Mineral King was nearly smoke free, and the passes gave us views of the horrible smoke plume of the Rough Fire to the north. There is a small lightning fire near Big Five Lakes that we walked past that will still be there (has been burning since June) but otherwise that area would be most likely to have the least haze and the best scenery at the moment. But the passes are mostly strenuous, not moderate, with steep slopes, steep gains, and lots of exposed hiking in rock.

Desolation/Tahoe might be a good choice though the Butte Fire is now making things hazy to the north.
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Re: ~7 day trip recommendations

Postby ppolischuk » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:09 pm

Thanks for the info--I'll look into Mineral King as an option.

And I understand there's no guarantee of a smoke free trip, but would prefer to minimize the risk of completely obstructed views and breathing issues.

And strenuous passes are fine by us. I should have specified that we'd prefer to avoid sketchy off-trail passes. Class 2 is fine. Minimal class 3 is maybe fine. :)
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Re: ~7 day trip recommendations

Postby Jason98165 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:15 am

Mineral king is legit. Bring your fishing poles, good fishing there. After black rock pass or Franklin pass you won't see too many people. A day exploring the upper big five lakes will be worth it. Would be a great short hike/layover day.

Good luck
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Re: ~7 day trip recommendations

Postby maverick » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:47 am

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: ~7 day trip recommendations

Postby WarrenFork » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:05 am

I wouldn't give up on North/South Lake or Yosemite just yet. There's been a lot of progress containing the Rough Fire and it's a beautiful bluebird morning all along the East Side today. It's definitely worth your while to monitor the Bishop and Mammoth/Conway Summit webcams over the next few days.
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Re: ~7 day trip recommendations

Postby slowhiker » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:08 pm

On Sept 3 - 9 my wife and I left the Virginia Lake trailhead (a few miles south of Bridgeport) and via Virginia Canyon/ Return Creek and the PCT connected with the Benson Lake Loop trip. We did it clockwise and we skipped Peeler and Crown Lake and instead took the trail up to Rock Island Pass/ Snow Lake. Most days were smoke free and those that were not , we're just hazy in the mid afternoon. Great trip, water a little scarce in places, yet it was beautiful. The only small downside is the first 16 miles is also the last 16 miles, so it is a combined out&aback/loop trip. I will be posting a TR in a few days (This trip can also be doe out of Twin Lakes and only has a 9 mile approach.)
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