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4 day Trip advice

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4 day Trip advice

Postby Graydog » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:06 pm

Hi All-

Longtime user of the site first time poster and since it is never to early to start planning some summer trips (and in this case maybe a but late already) I thought I would hit up the forum for advice on a 4 day 3 night trip from July 1 to July 4.
The quick required skills set. My buddy and I are both experienced backpackers say level 3 but generally stay on trail, for terrain lets say Class 2. We are both comfortable with mileage around 7-10 per day.

I am looking for a loop or out/back trip that will allow us to do some fishing. I know some people here are not fans but if I can have a small campfire is a plus.

A few of the routes I have looked at are Graveyard Lakes on west side, and on east side the King Creek area and also 1000 Island lake (but too late for that with permits), also Humphreys Basin is a consideration.

Any advice on the above or alternates would be much appreciated. Let me know if I missed anything.

Thanks.



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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:29 pm

- Eastside, North Fork Big Pine, no campfires.
- Westside, Dinkey Lakes, campfires okay.
- Eastside, Minarets, 1000 Is Lakes- Garnet Lake-Ediza Lake, worth getting a walk-in permit, campfire restriction apply to some lakes.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:17 am

Not sure where you are coming from. These may be too far north.

Hoover Wilderness on the east side near Bridgeport, has some nice loop hikes, is low-key management that allows fires and dogs. One of the best 3-4 day trips with fishing is Green Lake- East Lake - West Lake. Easy to get permits. Not a loop.

Tons of nice loops in Emigrant Wilderness (access off Senora Pass road). Again, fishing, dogs and fires allowed. Easy to get permit, even on 4th July. Should be better water this year - Emigrant - Buck Lake - Upper Relief Valley loop from Kennedy Meadows.

I think the main problem you may have is getting a permit for 4th of July.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby Graydog » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:58 am

Thanks for the responses. I will be coming from San Diego so a couple of those spots may be a bit far for a long weekend but thanks for the suggestions.

Does anyone have any info on Graveyard Lakes? It seems like a good trip but I am really not familiar with that area.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:28 am

Graveyard Lakes is popular, relatively easy to get to. You can do some cross country over the ridge to Peter Pande from the higher of the lakes. The fishing is fair. You can have a fire camping at the lower lakes, below the elevation based ban (no fires above 10000 feet).

I was supremely frustrated with the idiots who hauled an axe up there and then kept us awake most of the night, chopping, chopping, chopping, chopping.... It was as though they hadn't bothered to bring sleeping bags and clearly felt it necessary to burn wood all night. But that is what can happen in areas that are a short distance in from a trailhead. Dinkey Lakes is gorgeous but similar. It can feel quite crowded setting up at a lake ringed by 20 campfires.

For a good 4 day loop consider climbing Silver Pass - we were the only ones staying at Silver Pass Lake, it was perfectly serene - and walking through the indians - a small lake basin with lakes named on an American Indian theme - over to Goodale, which is gorgeous for views, then on down to take a short side trip to Graveyard Lakes for a night. Plenty of places to camp but not all of them are campfire legal, but that didn't matter a whit to us since we had stoves and I bring a small fry pan when intending to eat fish I catch.

It is a long drive from Fresno to Edison, and a 8-9 hour drive to San Diego from Fresno.... I suggest a hotel in Clovis (adjacent to Fresno) before driving the three hours over Kaiser Pass to Lake Thomas Edison, if you choose Graveyard Lakes or anything in Dinkey, the trailheads for which are another three hour drive on different roads. The road over Kaiser Pass is paved, but *interesting* - it narrows to a single lane most of the way and random granite sticks out of the asphalt, and the road at times goes through a notch in granite or winds along a steep slab slope that makes dealing with oncoming traffic *fun* - sometimes a truck towing a boat or RV that cannot reverse means you get to reverse along slowly to the last pullout. I sometimes try to drive that road at night because seeing the headlights coming actually makes it easier for me to time the narrow stretches. And all those roads in this area only open after the snow melts off.

Permits for this area are obtained at the office in Prather on the way up 168 from Fresno -- I recommend reserving them since you're looking at the weekend of the 4th. Dinkey will be a crazy madhouse. The trailheads out of Edison (I believe there are a couple of them possible and the ferry can take a few miles off the trip if you do Silver Pass first) have higher quotas, I believe.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby snevill » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:04 pm

Sabrina Basin seems like it would fit with your plans. It would make for a relatively straightforward out-and-back, but fires won't be allowed.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby Graydog » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:29 am

Thanks AlmostThere. The silver Divide trip you describe sounds pretty perfect. I was curious about the road which you described and so that will definitely have to figure in to the plans.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby balance » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:06 am

Who in their right mind would even consider a campfire at 1000 Island Lake?

Also, I once camped at a beautiful little lake off the beaten track in Humphrey's Basin. The area was pristine, except for the carbon-encrusted rock that will bear the marks of some thoughtless person's campfire for many years.

We would all be better off if some people would stick to car camping.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:32 am

balance wrote:Who in their right mind would even consider a campfire at 1000 Island Lake?

Also, I once camped at a beautiful little lake off the beaten track in Humphrey's Basin. The area was pristine, except for the carbon-encrusted rock that will bear the marks of some thoughtless person's campfire for many years.

We would all be better off if some people would stick to car camping.


Unfortunately, people who firmly believe that a campfire is more important than Leave No Trace and "it's part of camping" and "it's just one little fire, what hurt could it do?" and "My taxes, my wilderness" are legion.

I see the label "public lands" and think of that as a responsibility, of something entrusted to us, where others see ownership and entitlement. And I certainly don't pretend that I know more about the damage a single fire can do when I'm not paid to study that sort of thing. I'm just a guest -- if I go to someone's house, I don't rearrange the furniture and start to rip up the carpet. The wilderness is everyone's and no one's, and I'm not about to pretend I know what's best for it, or do any more damage than to walk through it and catch a few fish -- which many times were planted there by other people and not even native to the waters they're in.

I sure wish people who are building fires in places they shouldn't be would rethink that practice, because I carry a very light and compact bucket to put out the fires they build and then leave them burning -- I may start carrying leather gloves to remediate the fire ring as well (you need to sift through ashes to pull out shards of glass before dispersing the ashes, and leather gloves keep you from being injured).
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:42 pm

It is possible to build a campfire, completely put it out, and then clean up the campsite leaving no trace of a campfire. It is a LOT of WORK! Most people are not willing to do that. If campfires ARE legal, and a fire ring is located at an obviously established campsite, then I have nothing against fires as long as they are fully extinguished and the wood is gathered from already fallen branches (no ripping branches off trees). I have on occasion, when run out of stove fuel, built a small twiggy fire to heat enough water for my hot coffee. A very small fire is quite easy to clean up. I personally would rather see one well-used established campsite, with a fire ring, than 50 sites, everyone choosing a different spot, but still leaving some trace. This is why in many popular wilderness areas, you are REQUIRED to camp at established campsites. It is all a balance of use and impact. There is no one BEST answer. I in no way want to play "wilderness cop" and tear down every fire ring I see, even if illegal. I can absolutely understand why someone would want to have a campfire as part of their wilderness experience. Go for it, just be sure it is legal and do it right.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:02 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote: I in no way want to play "wilderness cop" and tear down every fire ring I see, even if illegal. I can absolutely understand why someone would want to have a campfire as part of their wilderness experience. Go for it, just be sure it is legal and do it right.


I'm no wilderness cop. Just part of a trail crew, and know well how tired of hauling trail crew gear up another 1000 feet to rip out illegal fire rings trail crew can be, so if I'm passing through and can save us an extra few miles of trail crew duty -- I'm all over that.
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Re: 4 day Trip advice

Postby balance » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:13 pm

"USDA Forest Service: No campfires at Thousand Island, Garnet, Ruby, Emerald, Badger or Clark Lakes. No campfires above 10,000 ft."

"Inyo National Forest: Piute Pass Area: No campfires from the trail head to Piute Pass. No campfires above 10,000 ft north of Glacier Divide."

As you requested Graydog: "Let me know if I missed anything."

You missed something.
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