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Starting Over With Backpacking

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Starting Over With Backpacking

Postby Wooldri9 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:38 pm

Ok so here's the deal, Im an Eagle Scout and used to backpack and camp all the time. Now with school and everything else in my life it seems to have slipped away from me. I want to get back into it and at the same time i found this great form. So i have a lot of questions becuase its been a couple of years since my last trip. I live in carson city nevada and the sierra's are right here. i know there are a lot of amazing trials for day trips and long trips. Im trying to plan a trip for either spring break or this summer. and by that time i want to be able to do at least a three two four day trip. What would be a great trail or area to visit. If anyone has maps on the internet or any site to help me find a great place that would be amazing.

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Postby markskor » Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:22 am

First welcome...
Take a look around this forum, do some homework... many searches - read it all - lots of great people and a bazillion of excellent trip reports here.

After you narrow it down some, (basically you can take a dart and throw it on any map of our High Sierra, and you won't go wrong.)
Then, try: http://www.Topozone.com
and put in the name of the place/trail you selected...(you might have to fiddle around with the sizing and such....little tricky)

Finally, ask specific questions.

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Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:03 am

Welcome aboard. Carson City is hard to beat in terms of easy access to the entire length of the Sierra. Given that you clearly enjoy the outdoors, it would indeed be a crime not to exploit the proximity to such great hiking opportunities. As Markskor said, there are too many possibilities to count, so you should narrow down some of the criteria for what you're looking for. You've said you want a trip of 3-4 days or more. Some specifics you might want to add might include the following:
1. How much is driving time to the trailhead, factor in? From Carson City, even some of the W. Sierra entries aren't too far, but the eastern and northern Sierra are particularly accessible.
2. How much hiking (in terms of distance and elevation gain) are you willing to do each day?
3. Do you like to do off trail hiking?
4. What other activities do you like to include in your hikes (fishing, peak bagging, technical climbing, photography, etc.).
5. How much of a priority is solitude versus other criteria (beauty, fishing, climbing and photography opportunities, ease of access, etc.)?

I can tell you that if I were in Carson City, I'd take advantage of Desolation Wilderness, owing to the fact you can reach a number of kick off points in a hour (maybe less?). This would be great for spontaneous weekend trips or dayhikes. Desolation offers some nice possibilities for longer hikes, particularly if you really hike fishing, but if you'd like something more rugged and alpine, you will find that the southern part of the range (entry points from Hwy 108 southward along the east side) offers more.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby caddis » Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:33 am

There is also Levitt Meadows trailhead which isn't too far a drive. From there you can take day hikes, overnighters or extended trips
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Postby hikerduane » Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:47 pm

We have loads of options for bping close to Carson City. I work in Carson during the week and take many trips after work in the Summer and Fall. In the Winter, I go on an occasional Saturday since the days are too short to get anywhere before dark and the cold sets in. Desolation Wilderness on the west side of Tahoe, permits can be picked up at the Eldorado NF office behind Denny's or at the Visitor Center during the summer months by Fallen Leaf Lake. For day hiking you can pick up a self-issue permit at trailheads such as Glen Alpine, Bayview, Eagle Falls etc. Down Minden way, take 88 up to the Carson Pass and go into trailheads off of 88, permits are required there I think they can be gotten from the Eldorado NF, I have never called for one as I have gone with others who had a permit there. Believe it or not, Tioga Pass into Yosemite is only a 3 hour drive from the south end of town. For Spring break you may need to head down 395 to the Death Valley area, I haven't been there since the mid 70's, but check out some of the trip reports and photos from those trips on this forum. There are many lakes north of Truckee, to the west of 89. Check out the Tahoe National Forest maps. If you come back and reply, maybe some of us will let loose a little more. Not all newbies stick around. Too, ask a little at the Sporting Rage on the south end of town by Albertsons on the SE corner of the building there. If you see Dave there tell him Duane told you to go by.
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Postby gdurkee » Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:36 pm

Carson City. Perfect. You can't go wrong just starting to do some the east side passes.

First trip: Tuolumne to Reds Meadow and out Mammoth. Get a friend and put a car at each end. This makes sure you're really into it. A good, basic trip; very good shakedown cruise and some excellent terrain.

Next: Any other pass: Bishop Pass; Kearsarge; Horseshoe Meadow to Whitney.

Either a long loop (again, leave a car or work out a ride) or just go in and out the same way. There's a kind of prejudice among a lot of hikers that going in and out the same way might be boring. Repeating terrain?? Who knows. Weird, but ignore that. I have spent, literally, years in a place & hiked the same trails hundreds of times (I'm a ranger) and never gotten bored.

Markskor is right. A dart aimed at a Sierra map and you can't go wrong. And, of course, give a good study to rules and regulations. Get a bear cannister. Boy Scouts (lately) have been OK about this stuff, but maybe read up on stuff a little beforehand.

Have a great time.

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Postby rightstar76 » Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:49 am

I agree with George about going back the way you came and it being completely different. The pictures you take are different, the scenery is different. That's why hikers who don't take the time to look backwards get lost. Things look very different on the way back. So retracing your steps on a trip shouldn't be a problem.
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Postby StumbleBum » Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:03 pm

There are also a number of books that may help you get back into it - info on everything from trips to the permit process. I personally like the Sierra North/South books.

Keep in mind tho - things can change quickly, esp. things like rules/regulations/permit processes, etc. Don't assume what you see in print in a book is up-to-date.
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Postby ndwoods » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:53 pm

Ditto on going in and out the same trailhead being fine...it will still be great and you can do some awesome loops in the Sierra doing that. Besides...you more than likely won't repeat but a few miles. You might pick up a copy of Sierra North and Sierra South....I don't use guide books much anymore, but when I started they really gave me great ideas...
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