Early season backpacking route suggestions

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ragedaemon
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Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by ragedaemon » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:37 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some 2 to 3 day early season backpacking trips in the eastern sierra/SEKI area this weekend. We were originally heading up to Clouds Rest from Happy Isles but it looks like Yosemite will be raining for the duration of our stay so we're reconsidering our options.

We're both still fairly new backpackers but are physically fit. I'm aware that with the snowpack as it is now, many places will be unavailable--however, we were just hoping to get into the wilderness and be by ourselves for a night or two. Would love any hike with cool features (mountain peaks views, lakes, forests, etc.) but I'm not too picky considering our limited options. We'll have crampons/ice axes and have experience with some snow conditions, having climbed Mt. Baldy this winter.

Thanks!








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chulavista
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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by chulavista » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:56 am

I think roads end in kings canyon usually opens this Friday. I haven't seen an announcement yet, so you may want to confirm. Weather looks great for this weekend. I'm not sure why you would bail on yosemite.

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SSSdave
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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by SSSdave » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:21 am

This is what you are up against:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/inyo/recreation

There are plenty of threads on early season backpacking including recent inputs. Its all under snow and will continue to be so through May. There are no secrets. It is still ski season and snow levels can be viewed each day on the EOSDIS Worlview satellite image. If you don't know what you are looking at map wise, go to caltop dot com and relate the satellite view to the topo or even use Google Earth.
https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p ... 2664712755

In any case there are plenty of Owens Valley sagebrush elevation locations outside wilderness well away from even dirt roads that people can backpack into cross country. And no there won't be any high country scenery or lakes but at this time of year there are many streams. This is the time of year when those lower elevations are green and if one gets the bloom cycle right, have wildflowers. And no you won't get any help on this forum on where to go at these elevations. I'm the only person occasionally over the years offering such inputs and such is always ignored.

https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=36.9399 ... 1&z=15&b=t

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gary c.
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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by gary c. » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:01 am

I would look into the Domeland Wilderness and Kennedy meadows area above Ridgecrest. I read that the Fish Creek campground is open so the road must be open to there. Saw some beautiful pictures of the SF Kern this week on the Troy Meadows FB page.
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John Harper
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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by John Harper » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:28 am

gary c. wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:01 am
I would look into the Domeland Wilderness and Kennedy meadows area above Ridgecrest. I read that the Fish Creek campground is open so the road must be open to there. Saw some beautiful pictures of the SF Kern this week on the Troy Meadows FB page.
Wow, that's pretty early for the road to be open. Back in 2017 it was closed well into summer IIRC. Such a beautiful area, if it's open I think I'll head up there before my trip to Cottonwood Lakes.

John

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c9h13no3
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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:27 pm

1) Go here: California Current Snow Depth
2) Pick somewhere without snow or bring your skis.
3) Hike there.

If I were doing a 2-3 day backpack this weekend, I'd go to Big Sur (to Mocho camp over Boronda Ridge) or the Lost Coast. The parts of SEKI that make it special are still buried under snow. If you really must go to SEKI with no snow gear, the Redwood Meadow area or maybe the area around Admiration Point & Marble Falls could be cool. But I've never been to either.
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gary c.
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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by gary c. » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:54 pm

John Harper wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:28 am
[

Wow, that's pretty early for the road to be open. Back in 2017 it was closed well into summer IIRC. Such a beautiful area, if it's open I think I'll head up there before my trip to Cottonwood Lakes.

John
John, If you have Facebook check the Troy Meadows page. If I were home I'd attach the link. last week he posted the snowplow dates and has shown people stuck in the snow so I know there is plenty still up there.

Here is the link to the Troy Meadows FB page.
https://www.facebook.com/Troy-Meadows-S ... fO2iXjKnXi

Troy Meadows, Sequoia National Forest
April 21 at 8:28 PM ·
South fork kern river is feeling the spring run off. Temps will stay high this week and it’s likely to stay high for several weeks. Fish creek is also running very high and is the same color. It is not possible to drive up Sherman Pass beyond Troy meadow as the snow drifts are still over 3 feet deep. Troy Meadow Campground is closed, Fish creek campground is open, no water.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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AlmostThere
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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by AlmostThere » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:31 am

Roads end is opening for day use only at first. Always check official websites or call park info number before going. Someone was posting all over Facebook "Glacier Point is gonna be plowed tomorrow" - a week ago, and nope, it's being plowed slowly, but not open, no dates posted.

Early season backpacks are coastal, or foothills. With a BIG warning to turn around instead of taking your chances if creek crossings look deep and fast. I am going to Henry Coe myself this weekend, because it is green turning brown but there are some easier routes to take with water.

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ragedaemon
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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by ragedaemon » Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:20 pm

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to say thank you all for the great suggestions! Luckily the weather in Yosemite seems like it will be clear so we will be forging ahead with our original plans. I'm looking for another trip in May, and I am sure the suggestions will come in handy then. Once again, thank you all! :)

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Re: Early season backpacking route suggestions

Post by AlmostThere » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:22 pm

Have fun in the snow on Clouds Rest....

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