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The Sierra bug is back!

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The Sierra bug is back!

Postby markley » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:29 am

Hey all,
First of all, I'd like to thank you fine folks for all the help you gave me last summer when planning a trip to the Southern Sierra! My wife and I had an awesome 2 week adventure (even though we were dodging fire and smoke). Anyway, my wife just took a new job and we now have an unexpected week off (next week). So we thought let's get out and do something for a week..hmmm, what should we do? Not surprisingly the unanimous decision was to get back out to the Sierra Mtns! So, I think we might buy some flights to Las Vegas (cheapest we can find) and rent a car (another campervan?) and head to the east side of the Southern Sierra. Last year we spent some time in Onion Valley, Big Pine North Fork, Mammoth Lakes (Ediza). Most of our adventure last August were day trips with a few overnight trips sprinkled in. This time I'm thinking I'd like to head out on a multi-night trip. The one place we got smoked out of last August was South Lake area. It looks like there are permits available next Tues. for Bishop Pass-South Lake. While I am now somewhat comfortable with getting walk-in permits, I was considering having this in advance. The other option is to chance the walk-in permit and go to Thousand Island lake area via Shadow Creek or River Trail?

Any suggestions or advice?

I see that a fire has sprung up in Horseshoe Meadows which is another area we wanted to check out..Oh well, next time! Are there any other fires that could affect our trip?

Thanks and we can't wait to get back out there!!



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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:57 am

Lucky you. I'm an east coaster like you so I'm not able to get out there often. Did you check flights to Reno ? I prefer to get to the Sierra via Reno than thru Vegas. I've never been thru Sacramento but maybe that's an option.
Anyway, both of your hike suggestions are good. We did the Bishop pass thing a few years ago but just hiked that trail up toward Dusy basin. Spent the night at Parchers resort to acclimate...very nice and accommodating.
Another option is Mosquito flats-Little lakes valley. Trailhead is at about 10K feet. Nice hiking land good views. Consider going over the crest from there.
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby markley » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:13 am

Yeah I guess that could be another good option. Looks like flights to Reno about the same cost and we come in from a direction we haven't been yet. That would also open up some options north of Tioga Pass that we haven't been able to check out. Thanks for the mosquito Flats suggestion as well.
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby markley » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:35 pm

Well it turns out that we are flying into San Francisco instead..Got a good deal on a camper van (which wasn't available in Las Vegas or Reno). So I think I'm going to hold off on getting any permits and let the trip unfold once we get out there. Since we are now starting in San Francisco, I'm not sure if we'll get over to Bishop or try something north of Yosemite? Any suggestions?
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:30 pm

From the east would consider something out of Sabrina Lake (Midnight and Sailor Lake), McGee Creek (McGee Lakes and McGee Pass), or maybe the Northern Yosemite Loop out of Twin Lakes (perfect 5-6 day trip).

From the west would consider something out from Edison (Silver Divide), Lower and Upper Mills Creek Lake, or Bear Lakes area depending one how many days you are planning this trip for.
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby markley » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:05 pm

Thanks Maverick! Yeah, we will be coming in from the west. I'm thinking the farthest on the east side that we would go is Mammoth Lakes area or up towards Bridgeport. We will likely drive from San Francisco and head over to Tioga Pass to start...then figure it out from there. Ended up getting a spot at Hodgon Meadow just so we have something for Saturday night to game plan. Although i wouldn't feel bad about eating that money if our plans change.

For those that you recommended from the west, are they national forest?

Thanks
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:19 pm

For those that you recommended from the west, are they national forest?


Yes.
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby wildhiker » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:34 pm

If you are going to drive over Tioga Pass, there are some great backpacks you could do in the Yosemite high country that you can probably get walk-up permits for.

1) From Tuolumne Meadows, get a permit for Nelson Lake (almost always available), which is a use trail that takes off from the Elizabeth Lake trail and goes over the Cathedral Range to Nelson Lake. Trail dead-ends there, but really easy class 1 cross-country up the valley and over a broad pass to the Vogelsang area, where you can take the trail back to Tuolumne Meadows (if you only have 1 night), or keep going over to Ireland Lake for a second night and then down to Lyell Fork and back on the John Muir Trail. The trail to Nelson Lake is not on most maps - send me a PM if you want a PDF map of the trail & cross-country route.

2) From the Mono Pass/Parker Pass trailhead (again, permits usually available), go up to either Upper Sardine Lake (awesome view out over Mono Lake and the desert) over Mono Pass, or over Parker Pass to one of the tarns along Parker Creek (we like the lowest one). Either one is a great overnight backpack. For a long trip, you can continue from Parker Creek over Koip Peak Pass down to Alger Lakes, then down to Rush Creek at Gem Lake. From here, you can drop down Rush Creek to the trailhead by Silver Lake and take the YARTS bus back to your car (www.yarts.com - actually, works better to leave your car there and take the early morning bus up to Tuolumne Meadows area to start the hike); or, if you have more time, head up Rush Creek and camp at 1000 Island Lake, Davis Lake, or Marie Lakes, then on the John Muir Trail back over Donohue Pass and down to Tuolumne Meadows.

-Phil
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby markley » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:47 pm

Thanks Phil! This is exactly what we need. We aren't sure how many nights we want to overnight at this point..though likely 2 nights max and do some lightweight day hikes the rest of the time. The trips you suggested sound great!
Cheers
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby markley » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:31 am

Any other day trip suggestions from either Tioga Pass or Mammoth Lakes area? Last year we utilized the YARTS and hiked from Tioga Pass over Clouds Rest to Yosemite Valley which was amazing (at least until the madness that is the Valley; made us question humanity;)). Any other "one-way" trips (15 or so mile range) using YARTS?
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Re: The Sierra bug is back!

Postby markley » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:12 pm

How about any hikes (day or 1 nighter ) up around Tahoe? We're tossing around the idea of doing a loop. Or may just end up trying to get a walk-in permit to Dusy basin...oh the options
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