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Trip Advice, 4-5 days

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Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby juliabrooke » Sat Feb 13, 2016 8:54 am

Looking for advice on a 4 day trip sometime this season, dates are pretty open, however later in the season is preferred. Will be going with my dad and husband. We are looking to put in fairly low mileage each day (~6 miles) and wouldn't mind settling ourselves in a basin and just exploring/fishing for a few days. This is DH's first backpacking trip (but lots of day hiking experience), my third and my dad has good amount of experience cross country/trail travel from back in his college days. We would also have a dog. We've done Sabrina Basin up to Baboon Lake in 2014 and Pioneer Basin in 2015. We are coming from the Northern San Diego County, would prefer no more than a 7 or 8 hour drive.

What level of backpacking experience do you have?
Level 2 for me, Level 4 for dad.

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
-Class 2

What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography
- Fishing

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead?
3-4 nights

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers?
Shorter days, up to 6 miles, But don't mind putting in more than that the first day and then spending the next few days exploring around camp.

Do you have a route logistics preference: loop, out and back, point to point (which
may require 2 vehicles or hitchhiking)?
No preference

Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in(Yosemite, SEKI
western sierra start or eastern start ect.)?
Within a 7-8 hour drive from North San Diego County

Will you be hiking with a dog?
Yes, a GSP. In great shape.



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Re: Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby LMBSGV » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:33 pm

Here are a couple of suggestions. Do a search for trip reports of both areas to get a better idea - there are lots here.

1. Humphreys Basin. You can go over Piute Pass to Muriel Lake the first day. That will be about 6 miles. There is a use trail from Piute Pass to Muriel. There are lots of great campsites on Muriel. From there, you can either base camp the entire trip at Muriel, exploring all of Humphreys Basin on day hikes, or move to another location in Humphreys Basin, such as Mesa Lake. Cross country travel in Humphreys Basin is class 1. From Mesa you can dayhike to Puppet Pas, which is class 2, or to lots of other places in the basin. Humphreys Basin is a lot of fun to explore and you can expect relative solitude since you will be off the main trail.

2. Minarets/Ansel Adams Wilderness. There are a lot of choices here. From Agnew Meadows, there is Ediza, Garnet, and Thousand Island lakes. As I said, check the many trip reports. If you camp at Garnet or Thousand Island, find one of the many great campsites towards the far end of the lake, away from the main trail. If you go to Ediza, think about going over the ridge cross-country to Nydiver Lakes. There is a use trail up from Ediza to the small lake below the ridge. From there, it is class 1 to Nydiver.
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Re: Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:38 pm

West side trailheads within that range of travel will likely be limited to Golden Trout Wilderness, which lacks the lakes and scenery of higher trailheads. I find myself driving for three hours just going up to wilderness areas between the parks. And you won't be taking a dog to Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks, or any of the other national park/monuments or to state parks either.

Going in from trailheads at Horseshoe Meadows or Onion Valley would be higher elevation but Cottonwood Lakes would be a nice place to explore about five miles in from the trailhead.

Your dog may be in great shape but may not be in great trail shape... paws aren't always up to snuff for hiking in granite, and dogs can find elevation as taxing as people do. Tick prevention is also an issue in some areas. I took my own dog backpacking just a week ago, which she loves to do, and forgot her tick collar -- she was covered in them. Lots of things to think about including how you're going to store the dog food -- bear canisters can already be tough to pack.
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Re: Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby rlown » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:52 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Your dog may be in great shape but may not be in great trail shape... paws aren't always up to snuff for hiking in granite, and dogs can find elevation as taxing as people do. Tick prevention is also an issue in some areas. I took my own dog backpacking just a week ago, which she loves to do, and forgot her tick collar -- she was covered in them. Lots of things to think about including how you're going to store the dog food -- bear canisters can already be tough to pack.


Totally agree with AT on this. Leaving the dog with a friend will leave you unfettered in your choices.

What's a tick collar? there are meds for them now.. :)

All that being said, I'd pick Humphreys Basin. Great scenery, good fishing. You can drive up the East side towards 395, which is scenic in itself.
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Re: Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:03 pm

I give my dog Trifexis, which deals with all kinds of worms and fleas, but not ticks. In early-late spring, I use a Preventix collar to supplement the Trifexis. Keeps the little critters from latching on.
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Re: Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby juliabrooke » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:48 pm

Just wanted to jump in and say thanks for the suggestions. There ended up being work conflicts, so we assumed a trip wouldn't work out. However, just last week some time off opened up to add on a couple days onto the July 4th weekend, so we ended up snagging a permit into Pioneer over Mono Pass again since there's not much left this time of year!

Thanks for the thoughts on the dog as well. She's a hunting dog, so truly is in great shape, and we took her out last year. Finding room in the bear canisters for her food was a pain, but worth it. She had a blast and her feet held up surprisingly well. This was a concern, as she can can run for 10+ miles with no loss of endurance, combine that with high-pain tolerance and we thought we might be asking for trouble. But, she made it through the trip fine, no issues there.
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Re: Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby balance » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:29 pm

GreetIngs juliabrooke

Good to see you're planning things well. That sets you guys up to have a great time.

So you're going from Mosquito Flat over Mono Pass to Pioneer Basin. That's a beautiful area with a lot of variety. Pioneer Basin has that spectacular, remote high-country feel to it. Excellent choice.

Here's a couple options to consider. Since Mosquito Flat is at 10,000 ft., and then you head up over Mono Pass at 12'000 ft., that first day of hiking is strenuous. Even if you stay well-hydrated and stop for snacks, sea level to 12,000 ft. is no joke.

Would it be a good idea to acclimate a day at the campground on the way in? That's your call, but worth considering. It could be an option to take a slight detour and stop the first day at Ruby Lake, which isn't very far in.

Also, here's something I did once and really enjoyed. About a mile beyond Mono Pass you'll be heading approximately North-Northwest. You'll come to a place where, if you look North, you can see Golden Lake. If there is no snow on the long granite shelf, you can leave the trail there and head almost directly toward Golden Lake. Bear somewhat to the East. You can see on the 7.5' topo map there is a navigable basin leading to Golden Lake. You would be approaching the Lake from the South and slightly East of the Lake. As you get closer down to the lake you'll want to pick your route carefully, and take time to find the more gradual descent, rather than head directly for the lake.

It should be snow free, because the granite is wide open and exposed to the sun. If there's snow it will be an obvious "No Go". Traversing that would take specialized gear and experience. Otherwise, it's a fun little off trail jaunt that's basically a piece of cake. Golden Lake is one of those Sierra Nevada treasures that's easy to get to, but still off the beaten track enough to feel pristine and isolated. So if you go there, be very diligent about leaving no trace. No campfires are allowed at Golden Lake, not even little ones. So be prepared to enjoy the sound and smells and serenity of the night without a smoky campfire. Believe me, watching the stars will be more breathtaking and memorable than any dirty, dumb fire. You're going to love it there. Let others love it too.

When you leave Golden Lake just follow Golden Creek roughly West, and in less than a mile you're back on the original trail headed to Pioneer Basin.

Remember, we appreciate trip reports around here, so share the good times and photos with your new HST friends. Okay?

Peace.
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Re: Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby maverick » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:47 pm

You mentioned that you had visited Pioneer Basin, don't know what areas you checked out on your previous trip, but if you have not visited the higher lakes and especially the ones situated in the eastern part of the basin, please do, they are very pretty and worth the visit. :nod:
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Re: Trip Advice, 4-5 days

Postby balance » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:04 pm

Greetings Maverick

Both times in Pioneer Basin I wound up at the northern part, Lake 11028.

On the map there are three small lakes west of Mt. Huntington. Looks like you just follow the outlet stream. Nice and off the beaten track.

Thanks
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