SSSdave, Thanks. Since I was called out on some etiquette in my post, I will do the same here. As a native angeleno the term LALA land is not much appreciated. Also, we are training in the snow up here in the San Gabriel mountains so we'll be ready and willing for the challenge!
SSSdave wrote:Your best choice as someone in LALA land is to NOT Sierra backpack in early June. Go on a car camping trip to the eastern Sierra.
Well lakes people backpack to in the southern Sierra given an average winter tend to be at too high of elevations to backpack to in June. Everything beyond easy day hiking distance from the Owens is simply too high. There are many more choices north of Yosemite however you two novices are not going to want to drive that far for just a 4 night trip. But if you do Mavericks advice is excellent. And as novices you are not going to want to be tramping through and camping on snow.
So limiting your choices to the south and lower elevations, a more reasonable strategy would be to forget about lakes and hike up one of the major western slope river canyons like from Roads End up either Bubbs Creek or Woods Creek a couple days. Water will be high making fishing difficult. On the other hands there are a lot of trout in those waters.
Thanks wildhiker! We are seriously considering your recommendation, really looks like a great fit for us. Best
wildhiker wrote:Another option that is likely to be snow-free in mid-June and not too far from LA is the first part of the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National Park from Crescent Meadow to Hamilton Lake. It is basically between 7,000 and 8,000 feet elevation on a south-facing slope, with great views of the Great Western Divide peaks over the deep canyon of the Kaweah River. This would be an out-and-back trip in early season. There are some possibilities for hikes up the side canyons to higher lake basins. As a bonus, you can do some hiking in the Giant Forest of sequoias before or after the backpack. -Phil
In a typical snow year we are able to get to a lot of great Eastern Sierra locations on Memorial Day weekend without any snow issues. It looks like this year will be a lot worse (or should we say better?) and there should be plenty more snow to come. As for some good "introductory" trailheads on the eastern side I would recommend the Cottonwood Lakes area, Sabrina Basin, and the North Fork Big Pine Creek areas. Each would make a simple out-and-back with plenty to see. Let me know if you want any details on these locations.