Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips? | High Sierra Topix  

Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

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

Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby acvdmlac » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:07 am

Hi, I'm looking for favorites for 2-3 nights of alpine views/peaks/streams/lakes, from a West Slope trailhead, with relatively short drive-times from the SF Bay Area, i.e. north of Kings Canyon. I'm a level 3 backpacker and my level 3 buddies have all bailed on our usual 7-10 day East Slope trek this September, so I'm settling for a much shorter trip with a newbie...but would still like to get my fix of solitude and exposed granite (will settle for volcanic, and looking to avoid the PCT/big name hikes etc.). Even though we live in the SF Bay Area, my experience of the West Slope is limited to something to drive through to get to the East side, and I'm relatively unfamiliar with the west side trailheads and options. Looking for anything up to 8-9 miles/2,500' of elevation change/day and easy Class 2 cross-country. Just us two, no dogs, kids, or shuttle trips. Thank you for any recommendations!



User avatar
acvdmlac
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 12:34 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby wildhiker » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:14 pm

There are many, many similar requests for trip ideas on the forums that will give you ideas - use the search feature. Here are some to which I and others have recently contributed suggestions for west-side 2 to 3 night backpack trips:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14320
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14054
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14871

Also, Desolation Wilderness near South Lake Tahoe has many opportunities for two or three night trips from multiple trailheads. I just did a nice one from the Glen Alpine trailhead up to camp at Gilmore Lake, then dayhike up to Dicks Pass and Mount Tallac, then over to camp at Lake Aloha, and then back on the Triangle Lake trail (steep and rocky). Desolation has really nice high country open granite areas. I think it gets a bad rap for supposedly being the most-used wilderness in the country (not even true), but we were there mid-week and saw very few people. It has a nice online reservation system that lets you print off your own permit and avoid the trip to the ranger station. We found that essentially all trailheads were reservable mid-week just a few days in advance - weekends are another story.

-Phil
User avatar
wildhiker
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:44 pm
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:38 pm

There are many, many similar requests for trip ideas on the forums that will give you ideas - use the search feature.

:thumbsup:

West Slope trailhead, with relatively short drive-times from the SF Bay Area, i.e. north of Kings Canyon.


:)
The forest roads are long, some quite bumpy, for example the drive from Bass Lake to Isberg Trail is about 32 miles, a windy and bumpy ride, which you will get no where fast. Kaiser Road is also slow going as are most central Sierra trailheads.
It took me 6 hrs from SF Bay Area to get to the Isberg Trailhead. :(
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: 8038
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby MountainMinstrel » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:20 pm

Emigrant wilderness. Many nice three day routes
Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.
User avatar
MountainMinstrel
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: Sonora
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:07 pm

I like the Emigrant idea, or even just hanging out at the chain lakes, or Lillian/Rutherford. Everything is bumpy on the West side. You could also consider the Carson Pass area towards Round Top, or even the North side of Carson Pass.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5349
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby Love the Sierra » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:23 am

I am not sure how long the drive would be from SF, however, there are lovely hikes in the John Muir wilderness out of the Courtright reservoir at the Maxson trailhead. You can get to Rae Lake and Devil's Punchbowl and to the King's river and to a nice hanging valley. I think that it is called Bench Valley. Very nice area.
User avatar
Love the Sierra
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:32 pm
Experience: Level 2 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:02 pm

Love the Sierra wrote:I am not sure how long the drive would be from SF, however, there are lovely hikes in the John Muir wilderness out of the Courtright reservoir at the Maxson trailhead. You can get to Rae Lake and Devil's Punchbowl and to the King's river and to a nice hanging valley. I think that it is called Bench Valley. Very nice area.


I very much agree, came back from a week of hiking these areas, on and off trail. Loved every step. But for someone who rarely hikes, substitute "grueling" for "lovely." All these trails send you climbing 2000-3000 feet to each of these destinations. Very hot open sunny granite stretches of trail on some of them. I doubt the people who made these trails had a thought about making nice 10% grades on switchbacks... some of them go straight... up... up... up... up... we found at the top of these steep grades some sketchy little camping sites that were clearly a result of "YOU ARE NOT GETTING ME ANOTHER STEP FARTHER NO WAY STOPPING HERE NOW" kinds of reactions.

The Emigrant wilderness trails, and the Ansel Adams wilderness trails, are much less... slope-y. The Lady/Lillian Lakes loop is tops, nice moderate hiking with some optional challenges. Dinkey Wilderness would be perfect - easy in, with some moderately strenuous stuff farther out as you acclimate.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1761
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby zwoij » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:25 pm

I just took two of my kids on a fantastic three night trip: Lakes Trail from Wolverton to Pear Lake (that part is very popular), then off trail through the Tablelands to the Kings-Kaweah Divide and Moose Lake, then down to Alta Meadow and back to Wolverton on the Alta trail. A very nice trip with mostly easy off trail travel, solitude, and good fishing in beautiful lakes. And plenty of granitic rock. Two hour drive to the trailhead from Fresno. Add your drive time from the Bay Area.
User avatar
zwoij
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:26 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Favorite 2-3 night West Slope trips?

Postby mursey » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:54 pm

Emigrant out of Crabtree. Get away from the trails and packers and make your loop up as you go. No skeeters, warm water swimming (relatively speaking here), decent fish.
User avatar
mursey
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:06 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: The Other Tom and 3 guests