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Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

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Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby netminder0 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:21 am

I'd like to first say hello. I've searched for a nice forum for hiking/camping/backpacking, and I am really excited to have found High Sierra Topix.

So, this coming weekend (I know, short notice), I'll be heading to SNP for the first time. We'll get there late Thursday night, and we will leave by early afternoon on Sunday (roughly 3 days). I'm going with 2 friends who I backpack with every year (sort of a tradition). We are in our early 20s, and we have been camping in the backcountry before.

What would you recommend we do/see while we're there? I figure we'll sleep there Thursday night, wake up Friday and see the "sites" (i.e. Sherman, Moro, the Redwood grove, Giant Forest, maybe Grant, etc.). What is the difficulty of climbing Moro, and how long does it take usually to get to the top? What trails would you recommend for us to take? We would like to get out into the backcountry, and we would like to follow some rivers and/or lakes.

What other general tips/words or wisdom can you give? How prevalent are the black bears (I know we'll need a bear can)? At what elevation do you have to be at to have a fire (I think I read stoves are permitted, but are firepits allowed at higher elevations?)?

Thank you so much for your help.



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Re: Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:55 am

Hello Netminder0 and welcome.
Moro Rock, Giant Forest and the others you mentioned are day hikes.
Moro Rock is a steep climb up stairs to a perch over looking the Western Divide.
You say you'd like to get into the back-country and mentioned bear canisters so
would you like day hikes or a backpacking trip?
If your talking about camping stay at Lodgepole and do day hikes from there.
Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow, Tokopah Falls, and Little Baldy are the day hikes
I would recommend.
A longer day hike up the Pear Lake Trail from Wolverton to the Watchtower will
give you memorable views of Tokopah Valley, and continue on to Heather Lake or
Emerald Lake were you'd turn around.
You could use this same trail above for a backpacking trip up to Pear Lake which
is a total of 13 miles round trip, and a total elevation gain of 2300 ft from the
parking lot.
From Pear Lake you could day hike up into Tablelands, visit Moose Lake, or climb
Alta Peak, all have great views but cross-country experience is needed.
Another trip is from Sunset Meadow to either Seville Lake or Lost Lake, 14 miles
round trip for Seville and 17.4 for Lost Lake.
You could use Seville Lake as a base camp and visit Lost Lake as a day hike including
Sheep Camp Lakes on the way.
Seville is only a 800 ft elevation gain from the parking lot and Lost Lake is 1520 ft.
Pear, Seville, and Lost Lakes all have bear boxes so you would not need to carry
bear canisters.
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Re: Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby MountainMinstrel » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:39 pm

I would agree with Maveric and include Weaver Lake/Jennie Lake out of Big Meadows. Weaver is 3.6 miles and Jennie is about 7.3. However, if it were me, I would do Emerald or Pear via the Watchtower.

Here are some photos of both.
Watchtower and the lakes trail-- http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/564141396LCbecR
Weaver/Jennie Lake-- http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/552941767LjgSHY
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Re: Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby netminder0 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:16 am

Thank you both so much for your input. I appreciate it.

maverick, thank you for the details. You're giving me a bunch of homework between now and Thursday, but I love it. Thank you.

MountainMinstrel, awesome links with the pictures. I really appreciate you sharing those with me, and giving me your input as well.

I hope to have some photos of my own to share with you all. Thanks again for your help ... its very much appreciated.
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Re: Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby rightstar76 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:27 am

All of you sound like you're in good shape. So I'd hike from Wolverton Trailhead to Alta Meadow and back. It's a spectacular 13 miles round trip. If you leave around 9 or 10 am and go at an easy pace, you should be back by 5 pm. Just don't get too distracted with the camera (it's easy to with the scenery) or you'll get back later. Bring plenty of water and a hat for the sun. The first couple miles to Panther Gap are pretty forest scenery. Then it gets amazing all the way to Mehrten Meadow. Alta Meadow is even better with a view you won't forget.
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Re: Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby netminder0 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:44 pm

Thanks a lot rightstar76. I have ready a bit about Alta, but I can't find it on the map of Sequoia at nps.gov.

I'm sure I'll be able to get some park maps once we get there though. I will definitely look into that route, and checking out Alta. Thanks again.
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Re: Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby MountainMinstrel » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:46 pm

If you go out of Wolverton (Alta Peak or Pear Lake), you will also have an excelent chance of seeing the Bear and her Cub that are hanging out between the trail head and the turn off to Panther Gap.
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Re: Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby netminder0 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:03 pm

Really? Is it just one cub with the female? I know black bears aren't nearly as dangerous as grizzlies, but what would I be looking at if such an encounter were made? Are female black bears more likely to avoid contact if they have cubs, or more likely to get aggressive? Thanks again minstrel.
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Re: Heading to Sequoia NP for 3 days ... fresh meat ...

Postby MountainMinstrel » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:23 pm

They are on a very heavily used trail and seems to pay no attention at all to people. Still I would not want to get between her and her cub. She has not learned to associate people with food so when we went by she was too absorbed with shreading a falled tree for insects to be concerned with us. Just give her and every bear a wide birth and you will be fine.
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