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Best Day Hikes in the Sierra?

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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:54 pm

Here's a shot of the MR from Lone Pine:

http://community.webshots.com/photo/173 ... 6497BnsFZk
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Postby sierranomad » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:27 am

Wow! Nice shot. Impressive route. Just a thought though. As a day hike doesn't the altitude gain result in :puke: ?
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Postby Snow Nymph » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:49 pm

:nod: For me its better to acclimatize for a day, do the hike and get down before I :puke: . I always feel better coming down. The year we did the 4 peaks I felt great! Some days the altitude kicks my (_!_) and other days it doesn't.
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Postby markskor » Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:53 am

This is one warm-up/ 6 - 8 mile/acclimatization hike; I first did it when starting out some major hike originating from Tuolumne Meadows. (This hike also has the added possibility of a bit of fishing too.)
I offer:
At the Cathedral Lake/ Budd Lake trailhead, follow the trail straight up to Budd Lake. - Then after the lake- (very beautiful btw) -, up and over the ridge saddle left of Cathedral Peak and then down x-country to first Upper, then Lower Cathedral Lakes - finally either down the main trail or the waterfall/ fisherman's trail at the Lower Cathedral outlet, coming down just between Tenaya Lake & Pywiack Dome on highway 120. Take the free shuttle back to your Tuolumne Campground.
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Postby SSSdave » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:27 pm

The last few times I've been to Lower Cathedral Lake, I haven't seen any signs of trout so have been wondering if it is yet another Yosemite rainbow lake gone barren due to poor spawning. The upper lake and stream down to Echo Lake does have fish. There is a better way to descend to the highway than those steep lower lake outlet granite friction slopes. Way shorter than any other route and used by the YNP backcountry rangers. A well used climbers trail that is not shown on the topo routes from Virgin Dome to Medlicott Dome. The crux of the trail is however hard to follow for newbies where it goes across granite at the cliff band.

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Postby dave54 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:01 pm

Just an observation...

I know that most of the people here hail from southern California or the Bay area, so proximity plays a part in preference. But a big part of the Sierra Nevada range does lie north of Tahoe, and IMHO, the best part. Granite Chief Wilderness, Lakes Basin of Plumas County, Bucks Lake Wilderness, Middle Fork Feather River, and a host of other locations are great destinations that have far fewer visitors.

And as mentioned earlier, head up any trail a couple of miles and turn 90 degrees. You don't cover as many miles in a day cross-country but you find a lot of solitude and pristine meadows and lakes without a sign of previous use.
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Postby sierranomad » Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:45 pm

Dave:

Thanks for the suggestions. I too am partial to N. Cal. Most of my journeys in the Sierra have been between Yosemite and the Mokelumne Wilderness. Further north has been in the redwoods and coast.

From suggestions that have been offered it is obvious there's a lot more out there to see. :D
Jon

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Postby dave54 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 10:30 pm

sierranomad wrote:Dave:

From suggestions that have been offered it is obvious there's a lot more out there to see. :D


Geologically the Sierra Nevada range ends between the town of Greenville and Lake Almanor in Plumas County. North of that is the Cascade range and its active volcanic history. Northeast is the high desert steppes of the Great Basin and the Modoc Plateau. The Warner Mountains of extreme NE CA is part of the Nevada Basin and Range complex.

This is getting farther away from the population centers but the area is interesting and very sparsely settled. A lack of crowds even on major summer weekends.

But this site is about the Sierra Nevada, so I will refrain from additional commentary. Besides, I don't want to tout my favorite haunts too emphatically. They may get 'discovered'. :)
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Postby SSSdave » Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:55 pm

dave54, just a few comments on the northern Sierra you mentioned. An interesting way to look at the northern Sierra is to consider the amount of backpacking at those elevations and compare them to the amount of backpacking at similar elevations in the southern Sierra. What one would find is that there is not a lot of difference. Similar elevations in the south are mid elevation forests. If one excludes backpackers and hikers only interested in passing through those areas from trailheads, there is also a dearth of activity and also considerable amount of empty wilderness. In other words those in the south are traveling up stream canyons in order to reach the near timberline and alpine areas where most of the lakes and impressive landscapes are. In forest areas, basins gouged out by glacial ice tend to quickly become meadows from erosion inflow while depressions in higher rock and snow areas contain far less wood and vegetation so take much longer to fill in with debris. The north has a few higher areas where glaciated bedrock landscapes contain fair numbers of lakes, but in the south lakes are abundant because it is significantly higher generally. It is the lakes people tend to backpack to. When someone mentions where they are going, it inevitably is to one or more lake areas. A related issue is the northern lake areas are more often at the end of paved or 4wd roads unlike those in the southern wilderness areas and that certainly has an attraction to someone interested in more than day hiking regardless of whether there may just be a couple jeeps at a lake versus a half dozen backpacker groups.
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