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Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

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Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby JackH » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:23 pm

Hello wonderful members of this board,

I'm taking my 10 year old daughter and our dog for an overnight backpacking trip this weekend (June 18/19). My daughter is an enthusiastic hiker and can handle 4-5 miles a day with a smile. My main concern is mosquitos. I'm worried that if we get swarmed, she'll never want to go backpacking again. :crybaby:

Can anyone suggest locations that will be only a 1 or 2 out of 5 the mosquito scale within striking distance of the Bay Area? Some of the hikes I'm considering are
- Camp lake / Bear lake in Emigrant Wilderness
- Lost Lake, Sword Lake in Emigrant Wilderness
- Lake Margaret - Off Highway 88
- Shealor Lake - Off Highway 88

Anyone know what the mosquito conditions are like at those areas right now? Any of them less or more buggy? Any other low bug suggestions?



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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:45 pm

Hi Jack,

Welcome to HST! Please don't do it, those bloodsuckers are just starting to get bad, and will only be worse by next week Jack. Go to Ventana Wilderness in Big Sur, Point Reyes, or Big Basin, and save the Sierra for later in the season, would hate to see another young backpackers career cut short because of a bad experience.
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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby JackH » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:58 pm

Thanks Maverick!

After talking to my 10 year, she told me she really, really wants to go backpacking this weekend despite the mosquito hatch. Sadly Point Reyes and Big Basin have no backcountry camping spots left for the weekend. I'm avoiding Big Sur due to fears of poison oak. So we're going to brave the bugs in Camp Lake and Bear Lake in Emigrant. Keeping my fingers crossed we don't get too swarmed.
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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:57 pm

Good luck, and please write up a TR of your adventure when you get back.
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
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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby justm » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:39 pm

I just got back from the Emigrant, leaving and returning from Crabtree trailhead. The weather was cool and breezy for my 5 night trip ( which I will be posting soon) I was prepared for the worst, but was very pleasantly surprised with only a mild mosquito nusiance. I think the cool, breezy weather has them sluggish. You should be OK for this coming weekend, but I wouldn't wait any longer. A bug head net is great for the face+ a natural bug repellent like, Herbal Armor for the face and hands. DEET works the best , but is nasty stuff. Camp lake has poor camp sites ( few and far between) Bear has several, but tends to be over run on the weekends. There are some nice sites there on the inflow side. I camped at Grouse lake, which has some nice camping sites, plus an abundant of wild life, frogs, lizards, owls , falcons ect. that kids would love to see.
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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby wildhiker » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:50 pm

Have you considered Rancheria Creek out of Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite Park? It's a lot lower elevation - you never get over 5,000 feet - so should be drier with fewer bugs. Also, no problems with altitude acclimation. It's also a good trail for kids - not too much elevation gain, lots of excitement looking out at the cliffs and waterfalls (and getting sprayed by Wapama Falls!). And teachable moments where you can describe the conflict between preservation and utilization of natural resources and the beautiful valley that was drowned for the reservoir.

I see on the Yosemite Park website (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm) that the reservable permits for Rancheria Creek are all taken for starting on Saturday, June 18, but there are 14 walk-up permits available starting at 11 am on Friday. If you can get out of the Bay Area early Friday afternoon, you should be able to get one, and then stay Friday night in the backpacker's campground at Hetch Hetchy, but you have to get there before they close the entrance gate at about 9 pm. Plan on 4 hours to drive from SF or the Peninsula, not including traffic! You get your walk-up wilderness permit and rent a bear canister (if you don't have one) right there at the Hetch Hetchy entrance station.

-Phil
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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby Asolthane » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:52 pm

Good luck! I do hope you write up the experience. Cool that your 10 year old is so into it.

If you got to Emmigrant, hopefully someone on here can recommend a campsite up on the rocks a little away from a lake where you can get a bit of a respite.

Is it OK to bring citronella candles or mosquito coils into the wilderness for camp in the evening at least?
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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby JackH » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:37 pm

Thanks everyone. The hike with my daughter was a blast. She loved it and wants to go again. We got very lucky with the mosquitoes, who were surprisingly passive. I posted it as a 2 on the mosquito forum thread.

I'd highly recommend Bear Lake as a great destination with a young hiker. 3.5 miles walk. Not too much elevation gain, maybe 500-600 feet? Lots of shady spots to rest on the trail. Only trick is finding a good campsite, as it's a very popular spot.
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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:05 pm

Happy to read that you and your daughters trip was a success, and that the mosquitoes were kept at bay some of the the time by the breeze. Hope you will consider posting a TR Jack, it could help assist other parents in planning their trips with their kids in the future.
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Re: Suggest a low mosquito destination for a 10 year old

Postby hjldennis » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:33 am

Glad to hear you guys had a blast. Before you know it, she'll be asking for you take 3 weeks off so she can do JMT. My family got so much help from this forum. We backpack with 9 and 11 yr olds, and next month we're off to the Wonderland Trail (sort of compromise :), after 1 or 2 shirter sierra outings. I hope we get lucky with skeeters as you did....
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