Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

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steppinrazor
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Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by steppinrazor » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:54 pm

My nephews and I were going to do a 2-3 day Sierra hike, but low snow levels are making it difficult to find something that is worthwhile. Plane tickets are already bought. I'm an 30+ year hiker from WA, living in the Bay Area and don't know where to start looking. Here are some details:

Hike start date is 6/20/19.
3 day loop trip. Alternately, a 2 day out and back with good day hikes from the destination, or a shorter 4 day loop are options.
Nephews are 11 and 12. Could do 5 - 8 miles a day, I reckon, once acclimatized.
Nephews are novice backpackers, so I'd like to avoid extended/steep snow travel and major stream crossings.
Anywhere that is less than an 8 hour drive from SF.
Wanted to stick to Sierra to give the boys something memorable. Coastal ranges (Lost Coast and Ventana) could be last chance options.


Really desperate, any help you can give would be appreciated!








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AlmostThere
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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:03 pm

I wouldn't recommend Ventana unless you want memorable in a "glad we survived that" kind of way... the few trails that are open and hikable have been getting epic (like, 300 people crammed into a canyon bottom on top of each other) crowds. Lost Coast is crowded and permits hard to get.

Emigrant Wilderness might have some good options open by then. The southeastern corner of Yosemite can also be a good option. The Ostrander Lake hike is good for a three day - hike out, stay over and play, hike back.

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c9h13no3
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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:42 pm

Emigrant/Yosemite is definitely the zone to be looking at for June. Yosemite North Rim is a great trip (many, many trail head options), Kennedy Lake in the Emigrant will have minimal snow with bridges over all major streams, Kibbie Lake is accessible now & snow free, Leavitt Meadows area is clear of snow now.

If you do go to Yosemite, get through the entrance before 7AM or after 8PM. The Emigrant avoids such crowds & permit hassles, but the scenery is arguably not world-class like Yosemite.

Ventana is a winter hiking destination, in summer it sucks. June 20th, it will be hot, buggy, and dry in addition to the usual overgrown trails and poison oak. I have no idea what AlmostThere means by the crowds though (I rarely see anyone), but maybe it gets more crowded in the summer even though the season is worse?
Last edited by c9h13no3 on Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AlmostThere
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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:02 pm

c9h13no3 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:42 pm


Ventana is a winter hiking destination, in summer it sucks. June 20th, it will be hot, buggy, and dry in addition to the usual overgrown trails and poison oak. I have no idea what AlmostThere means by the crowds though (I rarely see anyone), but maybe it gets more crowded in the summer even though the season is worse?
At Vicente Flat, on any given weekend, you will find hundreds of people jammed into an area setting up tents that can maybe comfortably host 50. There are scores of fire rings, tons of trash and of course, the typical Ventana hazards -- ticks, clouds of pot smoke, and people who refuse to bury their poop.

Social media has popularized so many of these places that they get hammered. This year it was Vicente Flat because Sykes is still closed due to massive trail damage on Pine Ridge. The VWA is starting to work on it, I hear. In other areas, such as Silver Peak Wilderness, I see reports of "I tried to do the loop and got lost" because of missing signs, missing trails, unclear junctions (is it a use trail, a main trail, or a deer trail) and other issues.

Really better in winter when there's minimal coastal fog, fewer ticks, fewer people. ventanawild.org is a good place to check on water sources and trail conditions. Lots of the locals posting there.

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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by wildhiker » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:28 pm

Here's another idea for late June - the Carson Range on the east side of Lake Tahoe, specifically, the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park backcounty (http://parks.nv.gov/parks/lake-tahoe-ne ... ate-park-1). There are amazing views of Lake Tahoe and all the snowier peaks around it. We did a backpack trip in there June 26-28, 2010, which was also a heavy snowpack year similar to this year (see http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snowapp/swcchart.action and plot 2009-2010 versus this year 2018-2019). In late June 2010, there was essentially no snow left, except little patches on Snow Valley Peak. We hiked into the Marlette Peak campground at 8300 feet elevation and stayed two nights. That's 7 miles and about 2100 feet total elevation gain from the trailhead at Spooner Lake at 7000 feet elevation (there's up and down along the way). You can only camp in designated campgrounds in this park. There is one other campground along the way in North Canyon that can break up the uphill somewhat - it is about 3 miles and 700 feet up from the trailhead. You could potentially drive to the trailhead and hike to this first campground on the same day which could help with acclimation.

This park is not true wilderness. It has service roads that are used by park vehicles and some private inholdings. Many of the trails are open to mountain bikes. The campgrounds have pit toilets and picnic tables and water (potable water well at Marlette Peak; treat stream water at North Canyon). However, the trails run through pleasant forests and meadows and lead to spectacular overlooks on the ridges. The best views come on side trips from the Marlette Peak campground north and south on the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). The sunset view over Lake Tahoe is really nice from Marlette Peak, only about 1/2 mile from the campground. For a side hike to the north, go at least as far as the Sand Harbor Overlook, where you are perched two thousand feet directly above the lake. If you are strong hikers, you can do a day loop from Marlette Peak campground north on the TRT past this overlook, then down to Twin Lakes, then west to the Marlette Flume trail which you take southbound to Marlette Lake, and then retrace a couple miles on your entrance trail back (uphill) to the campground. The Flume trail is heavily used by mountain bikers, but they have to go slow due to the terrain, so you can easily share with them. Again, strong hikers can make a loop on the return to the trailhead by first heading south on the TRT to Snow Valley Peak, and then taking one of the side trails back down to North Canyon.

Here are some photos to give an idea of the scenery.
P1010982+Marlette Lk + Lake Tahoe from Marlette Pk.jpg
P1010989-Snow Valley Pk + Marlette Lk from Marlette Pk.jpg
P1020003+Marlette Lk + Lake Tahoe from Marlette Pk.jpg
P1020026-Lake Tahoe south end from Sand Harbor overlook.jpg
P1020084-North from TRT on Snow VAlley Peak.jpg
-Phil
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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by SSSdave » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:16 am

Kibbie-topo1.jpg
Kibbie Lake in Yosemite NP at 6.5k however permit and trailhead in Stanislaus National Forest. EOSDIS WV shows melted out though forest areas on hike in would have some wet muddy sections. Need to phone for trailhead access info to Shingle Springs as in 2017 they kept that closed through June requiring hiking way back from dam to inhibit kayakers from reaching much too high and dangerous Cherry Creek. If open, short hike without much vertical, rainbow trout, osprey, beautiful glaciated lake, much wildflowers on gruss flats. Do not camp near the popular outlet areas where majority of visitors immediately plunk down but rather west shore mid lake. Dayhike to tall domes at north end of lake.
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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:22 am

wildhiker wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:28 pm
Here's another idea for late June - the Carson Range on the east side of Lake Tahoe, specifically, the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park backcountry
Good suggestion, and in general, anything on the east side of the Sierra crest will be less snowy.
AlmostThere wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:03 pm
The southeastern corner of Yosemite can also be a good option. The Ostrander Lake hike is good for a three day - hike out, stay over and play, hike back.
My initial thought was that this would be an option, given lower elevation. But the Ostrander snow sensor is showing 44 inches of snow. It's melting fast, at a rate of 2 inches per day. But I don't think it'll get down to zero by mid-June.
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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by balzaccom » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:13 pm

Bear in mind and the creeks in Emigrant will be really high with run off.
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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by AlmostThere » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:37 pm

Runoff is how those creeks develop those campsites that are a little ways out from the trailhead... people try, the creek's too high, welp - may as well just camp here and enjoy what we can...

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Re: Need a 2 to 3 day mid-June hike for my visiting nephews

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:14 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:37 pm
Runoff is how those creeks develop those campsites that are a little ways out from the trailhead... people try, the creek's too high, welp - may as well just camp here and enjoy what we can...
balzaccom wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:13 pm
Bear in mind and the creeks in Emigrant will be really high with run off.
I don't think any of the suggested options had creek crossing problems...

Kibbie - nope
Kennedy Lake - nope
Yosemite - ADA accessible
Leavitt Meadows - Stay east of the Walker River.
East Tahoe - I dunno, but I doubt it
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