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Suggestions for summer Yosemite/Eastern Sierra trips

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Suggestions for summer Yosemite/Eastern Sierra trips

Postby Robcat32 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:52 pm

Hi everyone, this is I believe my second post but I hope surely not the last. I am using the form and giving all possible information to aid you in your recommendations, for which I sincerely thank you in advance.

I am a level 2 hiker/backpacker and most comfortable in a level 2 environment. My primary interest are photography, scenery, forests, and simply enjoying the high country.

I expect to spend about a week in the Tuolumne meadows area this summer, as I did last year. I also plan on a few weekends until October if possible, so I ask an expansive question. I expect to hike alone but am pretty cautious, have a Delorme GPS device, good map reading ability, though mostly I always stick to the trail.

Besides Yosemite I am really interested in the Onion valley, Horseshoe meadows, Sonora pass area, and nearby places. I also love hiking to the top of mountains, and am comfortable with class 2 or some class 3 action. Any suggestions will be most appreciated and in the meantime I can take my research further.

Thanks for your help, this forum and its people are amazing. =D>

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Re: Suggestions for summer Yosemite/Eastern Sierra trips

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:20 pm

Hi Robcat32,

Welcome to HST!
What type of daily mileage are we talking about? Are your weekend trips starting Friday and ending Sunday, or strictly weekend (Sat-Sun)? What areas did you checked out on your last trip to Tuolumne? How do you handle altitude?

PS Here is a list of areas you may be interest in visiting for photography purposes on the east side, keep in mind that a few of these trailheads will require you to go over some very rough roads to reach them.

- Sabrina Basin>Midnight Lake> Emerald Lakes
- North Fork Big Pine Creek>Summit Lake>Fifth Lake
- Agnew Meadows>1000 Is Lake>Lake Ediza
- McGee Creek>McGee Lakes
- Birch Creek>Birch Lake
- Convict Lake>Mildred Lake
- Red Mountain Creek>Red Lake
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

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:
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Re: Suggestions for summer Yosemite/Eastern Sierra trips

Postby balzaccom » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:25 pm

Sonora Pass--look at Leavitt Lake as Trailhead into Emigrant Wilderness on the PCT heading South.

And Mono Pass is also lovely, out of Little Lakes Valley.

We have trip reports on a lot of these trips on the website in my signature line.

check out our website:
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Re: Suggestions for summer Yosemite/Eastern Sierra trips

Postby mort » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:23 pm

Hi Robcat32,
You mentioned Horseshoe Meadow: Cottonwood lakes, Army pass, climb Mt. Langley, some cross country, Siberian Pass, Big Whitney Meadow - to catch the trail back over Cottonwood Pass. Some have said Chicken Spring Lake isn't very nice. It is in a scenic area and seem to me like it is in the perfect spot, And I saw a bunny there once.
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Re: Suggestions for summer Yosemite/Eastern Sierra trips

Postby seanr » Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:52 pm

Hi Robcat,

I see good tips so far to get you to areas matching your described preferences. I'll add some more details regarding specific areas you mentioned as already on your radar:

Onion Valley- hike to Kearsarge Pass and tag Mt. Gould. If needed on the way up, camp at Matlock Lake or Bench Lake. If you have time, continue east to camp at Kearsarge Lakes and/or Charlotte Lake and tag Mt. Bago for stellar 360° views of Kings Canyon NP.

Sonora Pass- The more forested areas here actually tend to be lower, but Leavitt Peak makes for a great vantage point near small lakes not too far in from Sonora Pass TH or Leavitt Lake TH. Like I mentioned, it is very alpine, but scenic. Extending south on the PCT drops you down to larger Lakes, more vegetation, and eventually into northern Yosemite. Emigrant Wilderness to the west is more forested, granitic, and more similar to Tuolumne Meadows in places. Trailheads start near Kennedy Meadows and near Pinecrest (convenient if coming from Bay Area or Delta area).

Knowing what kind of mileage and gain you want to tackle and where you are driving from might help me make more suggestions.
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