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Let's play a planning game!

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:33 pm
by limpingcrab
Sorry, another "where should I go" thread but I'd like some outside input, and I like to play these kinds of games myself. I'll try to post a recent trip report once I plan this out to try to give back to this awesome site.

Background Info:
-Myself plus 9 Forestry and Natural Resources students (it's a backpacking class that I drill with LNT).
-2/3 have never backpacked but all are in shape and did well on a practice hike.
-Have adequate gear for fall.
-One night, October 1-2

Preferable Parameters
-Within approximately 2 hour drive of Reedley, CA
-7 or less miles
-Less than 2,000 ft of gain
-Ends at a lake with fish
-Basically looking for the most "remote and rugged" Sierra feel for these kids, without killing them, and within reasonable one night distance from Reedley College.

I've got several ideas but don't want to bias the panel of judges.

Thanks in advance,

Re: Let's play a planning game!

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:00 pm
by zacjust32
For the greatest scenery/mile, Lakes Trail out of Wolverton; but you knew that. Only walk-in permits though, but October may not be so busy. Mineral King would be my next suggestion. Lots to do in a relatively small area- just make sure the road doesn't close.

Re: Let's play a planning game!

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:48 pm
by giantbrookie
The trail out of Wolverton as noted above is a good suggestion as is going to Seville Lake and vicinity (several options, including Marvin Pass). There are many options up 168, and your date puts you past opening weekend of hunting season (Sept 21 in the areas reached by Hwy 168) so things shouldn't be too bad but folks should wear bright day-glo outer garments (or day-glo vests over their normal hiking garb). There are many options up 168 out of Reedley that fit the bill nicely, such as anywhere in the Dinkey Lakes (either from the Dinkey Lakes trailhead or from Courtright). Spanish Lakes out of the Wishon area are nice, too. Kaiser Wilderness has nice options such as the Twin Lakes or (better) George Lake. Jennie Lakes Wilderness (up 180) is outside of the NPs so hunting is something to pay attention to but their opener is Sept 28, so the same cautions apply as above (day glo). Jennie L. is 6 mi in.

Most "remote" or "rugged"? As of October there are fewer folks so the feeling of "remote" will be there in pretty quickly. As for "rugged" I think the suggestion out of Wolverton is the best (take the trail that goes by the Watchtower instead of the cutoff trail), although the fishing may be more interesting in some of the above options.

Re: Let's play a planning game!

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:54 pm
by AlmostThere
I just got back from Coyote Lake, in Dinkey Lakes Wilderness. I would argue that it's pretty remote. Why? All the trails are sh*t. Like, either gone, or almost gone, and people are just making up their own. And yet, I lost no one and had no troubles getting around, because even walking around off trail is pretty easy. Subalpine -- the manzanita is ankle high.

We parked at the Brewer OHV trailhead/gate and walked the dirt road, went around Brewer on the non-boulder-ish side, found the shred of trail and lost it again. Beelined over a ridge to Tocher. Found the trail again there and followed it to Beryl. Then you simply walk up the canyon up the gradual benches and granite slab over the saddle, where the trail used to go, and descend to Coyote.

I didn't bother with a permit and camped in an OHV campsite - just outside the wilderness area. Coyote is the biggest lake in the wilderness area and has decent sized rainbows in it.

Re: Let's play a planning game!

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:26 pm
by limpingcrab
Thanks for the ideas, I haven't explored Dinkey Lakes or Kaiser Wilderness much so I'm leaning towards those, but everything so far would work.

Giantbookie, are you saying you just like Lake George better or do you mean the fishing is better than twin lakes? Feel free to ignore that question if you don't want to spill the beans.