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Beginner Overnight suggestion

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Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby tstrauss » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:50 am

thanks everyone for the awesome responses. to clarify, my 6-7 mile mileage is per day. we did a trip in the smokies back east last year (obviously much lower elevation) but day 2 did have a pretty steep climb. The guide did a great job of making us stop every hour whether we needed it or not, and kept things light hearted. The Smokies doesn't have the grand views that i believe SEKI has, so that should be a plus for the kids. We will be staying 1 night in Potwisha and 2 nights in Dorst to explore and acclimate. I will pick up a copy of Sierra South. My wife and i plan to carry the bulk of the weight to spare the girls, but each will be carrying something.

Tony



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Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:05 am

We will be staying 1 night in Potwisha and 2 nights in Dorst to explore and acclimate.


Tim,

Both of those campgrounds are located in Sequoia NP, Potwisha near the southern entrance of the park, Dorst is the next major campground after Lodgepole to the north. If you plan to drive to Roads End in Kings Canyon, plan at least 1:15-1:30 min's, this is without any side excursions. Also their are no gas stations within SEKI, you will need to purchase gas at nearby Forest Service lands: Hume Lake Market and Stony Creek Village ( the one at Kings Canyon Lodge was damage during the Rough Fire).
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby tstrauss » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:18 am

Are there any campgrounds in Kings Canyon you would recommend that would put us close to some trailheads?
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Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:30 am

There are 4 of them in the Cedar Grove area, have stayed at the Sentinel before, it is a first come, first serve campground.
Here is a link to all of them, with all the info: https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby zacjust32 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:41 am

tstrauss wrote:Are there any campgrounds in Kings Canyon you would recommend that would put us close to some trailheads?


All the trailheads in the actual Kings Canyon (i.e. Budds Creek, Lewis Creek, Wood's Creek) are all relatively close together in the valley. Any campground within Cedar Grove will give you close access to the trails.

In my opinion Cedar Grove can be skipped if you're pressed for time. Mist falls is about the only day hike out with any destination. If you want to see the canyon that's another story, but I feel that the views from potential hikes out of Lodgepole/Rowell Meadow are much greater. YMMV

Another outing would be to visit Big Meadows and Buck Rock Fire Lookout in Sequoia NF. It's in the area and a great destination for kids. There's camping galore: Big Meadows Campground, Buck Rock Campground, or just disperse camp. Buck Rock is topped on a granite peak and offers 360 degree views. The best part is you can drive to the base and climb stairs to the top.

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Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:26 am

I have stayed quite a few times at both Sentinel and Moraine campgrounds at Cedar Grove. They are both great for car camping. On weekdays there have always been lots of available campsites, even in August. I prefer Moraine since there are many campsites that are far from the nearest neighbor, especially in the back of the campground. The few sites along the river in Sentinel are great, but they are the ones that fill first. Along with Mist Falls, the various loops one can hike from Zumwalt Meadows and Roads End can be nice day hikes with excellent views of the canyon.
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Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby balance » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:10 am

Greetings tstrauss

You're going to like reading Sierra South. Beyond being a trail guide, it's packed with information about hiking in the Sierra Nevada.

Here's a suggestion. If it were me, I would cut the mileage down to 5 miles a day. Also, I would try for a three day, two night trip. That could be one day going up, one "rest day" to wander around and explore, and one day coming back down. This way everyone has a chance to relax and get to feel at home in the high-country. Actually, a little less miles, and more time out there in the heart of nature.
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Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:46 am

Here is a video of the drive down to Kings Canyon, at 8:34 is where the road is really exiting for first time visitors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxuL5CHbHXA

Forgot to mention Crystal Cave on the way down to Kings Canyon, pretty cool place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hCrgpLJO90

Here is a video of the hike to Moro Rock Lookout in Sequoia NP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJZttoB41bg
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby chulavista » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:16 pm

tstrauss wrote:thanks everyone for the awesome responses. to clarify, my 6-7 mile mileage is per day. we did a trip in the smokies back east last year (obviously much lower elevation) but day 2 did have a pretty steep climb. The guide did a great job of making us stop every hour whether we needed it or not, and kept things light hearted. The Smokies doesn't have the grand views that i believe SEKI has, so that should be a plus for the kids. We will be staying 1 night in Potwisha and 2 nights in Dorst to explore and acclimate. I will pick up a copy of Sierra South. My wife and i plan to carry the bulk of the weight to spare the girls, but each will be carrying something.

Tony



Are you flying into Fresno? I would head straight up 180 to one of the Cedar Grove campgrounds. Spend a few days there to explore and snag a permit for Paradise Valley. You will run into bears. Then head up to Lodgepole to car camp (get reservation) and do the watchtower, topeka falls, and giant forest day hikes. Make sure you hit moro rock. That would be an awesome trip for any family, but really hits on the stuff that an east coaster isn't exposed to.

I'm an ex-pat Californian on the east coast. If you can do the smokies, you can do these hikes. You also don't need to worry about acclimating to the elevation where you will be.
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Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby balance » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:47 pm

You also don't need to worry about acclimating to the elevation where you will be.


You don't need to worry, but you do need to be aware. Some people get high altitude sickness as low as 7,000 ft. elevation. Children don't always verbalize their symptoms as well as adults. Do a little reading on what to watch for, and monitor how your family (including yourself) are feeling. Even at 5,000 to 6,000 ft. your energy level, digestion, sleep, etc. can be somewhat affected. What is it the Scouts say? "Be prepared". That's the key to making this a great family adventure.

I was once at Clouds Rest in Yosemite, elevation 9,931 feet. Magnificent panorama across the entire Yosemite Valley, and I had the view all to myself until these people showed up: Mom, Dad, and their five kids whose age range was about 6 to 14. They were all scrambling around and frankly, from my perspective, coming a little close to the edge of the drop-off. I thought that was one of the coolest families I ever met in my life.

You guys are certain to enjoy visiting the "Range of Light". You'll notice people from all over the world. Enjoying a little backpacking together is going to make things even more special.

Peace.
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