Beginner Overnight suggestion | High Sierra Topix  

Beginner Overnight suggestion

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby tstrauss » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:50 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



User avatar
tstrauss
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:12 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:05 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).
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8039
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby tstrauss » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:18 am

Are there any campgrounds in Kings Canyon you would recommend that would put us close to some trailheads?
User avatar
tstrauss
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:12 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:30 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
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8039
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby zacjust32 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:41 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.

Image
Buck Rock Foundation
Hiker, adventurer, fabricator, tinkerer, theologian, and occasional student. http://www.zacjust.blogspot.com
User avatar
zacjust32
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:50 pm
Location: An hour drive from Grant Grove
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:26 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.
User avatar
LMBSGV
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:42 pm
Location: San Geronimo, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby balance » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:10 pm

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.
User avatar
balance
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 12:26 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby maverick » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:46 pm

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
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8039
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby chulavista » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:16 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.
User avatar
chulavista
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 6:02 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby balance » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:47 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.
User avatar
balance
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 12:26 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby chulavista » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:15 pm

Maybe I should have said the elevations on this suggested itinerary are comparable to the Smoky Mountains in the southeast that the OP's family has backpacked. The Sequoia hikes being a tad higher, but not more than a 1000 ft or so. I find that a lot of people from the east coast are scared of the elevation not realizing that a lot of the west-side trailhead elevations are comparable to stuff in the east.
User avatar
chulavista
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 6:02 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Beginner Overnight suggestion

Postby balance » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:12 am

Greetings chulavista

You make a very good point: There's no reason to let worry or fear stop you from hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada. I completely agree.

On a technical note, hiking to 6,500 ft. and then coming back down is different from eating, sleeping, and being active at altitude for several days, even if only slightly higher. Also, hydration is a big part of becoming acclimatized. Children get dehydrated more easily, and so having them drink a lot of water, which they might neglect, is important.

One time in the Whitney area I was careless about staying hydrated. The skin on my feet got so dry that they developed cracks at the heel and ball of my foot. Every step hurt. Now I guzzle water like a fish, and that's never happened again.

I'm very concerned about children nowadays being deprived of a happy experience with nature. Richar Louv wrote a good, popular book titled "Last Child in the Woods" describing this development. What tstrauss and his wife are doing, taking the kids outdoors, is wonderful. I'm sure every person on HST would love to hear a trip report someday, describing how they all had a great time visiting and hiking in the high-country. So you and I and the others here are contributing how we can to make this to happen. Thanks for your contribution.
Last edited by balance on Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
balance
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 12:26 am
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], playero1, psykokid, steiny98 and 2 guests