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Need some under 3 miles (one-way) backpacking destinations

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Postby fyton2v » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:02 pm

Little Lakes Valley...

Where is the closest trail head?



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Postby AnnieB » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:07 pm

I have to agree on the Little Lakes Valley suggestion. I went there for 3 nights a few weeks ago and I think it would be great for a kid's first backpacking trip. We stayed at Chickenfoot Lake - very beautiful. Lots of great day hikes there. Also lots of dayhikers but they were the nicest bunch of people you could ever hope to meet and for a first time backpacker I think that could be comforting.
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Postby MountainMinstrel » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:40 am

I'll second the Weaver lake option, though I think it is about a 3 mile hike.

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Postby ericZ » Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:37 am

nice suggestions, many of which i need to note for later.

a couple of years ago, i took my 5 year old daughter on a hike along the trail from bridalveil creek campground in yosemite along glacier point rd downstream to where it meets the creek. she did GREAT for the 2 mile walk and looked pretty cute in her little REI daypack and hitech hiking boots. she started walking back but almost immediately, i ended up carrying her on my shoulders the remainder. now at 7, she might be ready for the hike to weaver...

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Postby fyton2v » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:33 am

Weaver Lake is one of the few short hikes I knew about, but I'm ruling it out because my older kid and I did Jennie Lake earlier this summer.

Little Lakes Valley is calling....

or maybe something in Yosemite. How difficult will is it to get overnight permits over Labor Day weekend? Lack of available permits for the more scenic destinations might help me make up my mind.
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Postby Telkwa » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:18 am

fyton2v wrote:How difficult is it to get overnight permits over Labor Day weekend?


Well, let's just say you couldn't pick a busier weekend. Coupla years ago, Patti and I picked up our wilderness permit at the Yosemite Park Big Oak Flats entrance as they opened for business a week before Labor Day. There was one party ahead of us. We drove out of the park about the same time in the morning a week later, at the beginning of the Labor Day madness. There were 50+ people in line.

You could take a chance and try to score a "first come first served" permit the morning you want to go. In the Sierra National Forest they hold back 40% of available permits for walk-ins. I've heard that proportion before, so it may be pretty standard. I'd try a National Forest, not a National Park. Someplace less busy. I would imagine East side of the Sierras is likely to be less people standing in line than West side.

If you took a chance on walk-in permits you might want to get there an hour or two before they open...Sierra National Forest offices open at 0800, pretty much the same for others? It'd be disappointing of course to get turned down, but don't know what else to offer.
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Postby mountaineer » Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:08 pm

Why the love affair with everything in Yosemite? I stay as far away from that place as possible, especially on weekends and holidays. I have a general rule of thumb and that is to go in on any day other than Fri-Sun and not to backpack in NP's if possible. First-come first-served permits are easy to get that way. Just as nice if not better scenery in millions of destinations other than NP's.
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Postby giantbrookie » Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:09 pm

fyton2v wrote:Little Lakes Valley is calling.... How difficult will is it to get overnight permits over Labor Day weekend? Lack of available permits for the more scenic destinations might help me make up my mind.

I am not sure how difficult a wilderness permit for Little Lakes Valley is on Labor Day weekend, given that the area is justifiably popular and I know all the trailheads out of the Rock Creek/Mosquito Flat area are indeed quota'd. You might call the RS at Bishop to see how quickly the first come first serve permits go (I forget whether this is too late for reserved permits). As a great backup, though, my recollection (someone can correct me if I'm wrong) is that going out of Saddlebag Lake is non quota. Virginia Lakes (Blue, Cooney, etc.) is probably going to be OK as well (likely quota'd, but you're probably OK there). Any trailhead in Yosemite during Labor Day weekend is probably dicey for wilderness permits.

In addition to Saddlebag (non quota'd and OK to camp except for the Conness Lakes and Wasco Lake), there is also the possibility of camping at Shell Lake or the unnamed lake just above it, about 1 mile from the lower part of the Saddlebag road. This will be non quota'd. You can't go further to the somewhat nicer Spuller Lake and environs to camp owing to the fact that it is in the Hall Natural Area (no camping), but one can dayhike in there. Gardisky Lake is a total gem going the other way off the Saddlebag road. I believe it is also non quota'd, absolutely gorgeous, and sees surprisingly few visitors, considering that it is a mere 0.75 mi from the road. The catch with Gardisky is that you gain something like 800 feet in that 0.75 mi. We took my son there when he was 4 and I ended up carrying him the last 30 percent of the way. Your 4-year-old may be a stronger hiker, though.

Anyhow, perhaps a strategy would be to try Little Lakes Valley (still my top choice) and if that doesn't work you can fall back on the Saddlebag area (including the additional two options above). Note for the Saddlebag area you can get wilderness permits at the resort there--you don't have to go all the way over Tioga Pass to the Lee Vining ranger station.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby fyton2v » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:46 pm

giantbrookie wrote:Anyhow, perhaps a strategy would be to try Little Lakes Valley (still my top choice) and if that doesn't work you can fall back on the Saddlebag area (including the additional two options above). Note for the Saddlebag area you can get wilderness permits at the resort there--you don't have to go all the way over Tioga Pass to the Lee Vining ranger station.


That sounds like a plan :). Thank you.
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Postby arlopop61 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:56 pm

I like the Little Lakes idea, but this weekend I ran into a couple with their five year old daughter and their three year old son on their way down from Eagle Lake in Mineral King. It worked perfectly for them. The kids held up well and the options were great for them. The hike can be a little rough for kids, but if a three year old can hack it...
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Postby mountaineer » Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:59 pm

arlopop61 wrote:I like the Little Lakes idea, but this weekend I ran into a couple with their five year old daughter and their three year old son on their way down from Eagle Lake in Mineral King. It worked perfectly for them. The kids held up well and the options were great for them. The hike can be a little rough for kids, but if a three year old can hack it...


But they froze to death because they couldn't have a fire up there. :D
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Postby arlopop61 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:14 pm

lol
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