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Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

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Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

Postby shabook » Wed May 13, 2009 8:14 pm

I'm looking for some suggestions on hikes and short backpacks we can do in May and early June in the Eastern Sierra (trailheads from Bridgeport to Lone Pine and points in between), without encountering too much snow.

All ideas welcome!



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Re: Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

Postby Wild Bill » Thu May 14, 2009 8:12 am

As of today, the snow has melted off pretty good up to 9000'. It is warming up nicely, so the snow is melting. Expect lakes above 10,000' to still be iced over on Memorial Weekend. Afterwards, they will start to thaw quickly. In general, just plan on walking across a few snow patches along the way of most eastside trails. Nothing too difficult. You shouldn't have trouble finding dry ground to camp on (below 10,000') if that's your goal. Still solid snow above 10,000'.
I drove to Tioga Pass on Monday. Anticipated opening is May 22. There was a few feet on snow still on the level at the top of the pass. "Spring conditions" prevail; hard snow in the morning, soft in the afternoon. Go get'em!
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Re: Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

Postby shabook » Mon May 18, 2009 8:39 pm

To follow up on my own post :) We dayhiked to Horton Lake this weekend - after surviving the suspension-wrecking last two miles to the TH, we had a great hike, saw a few flowers, and no snow! Now to figure out where to go this Memorial Day.
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Re: Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

Postby maverick » Mon May 18, 2009 9:28 pm

Hi Shabook

Crown Lake out of Bridgeport.
1st or 2nd Lake out of Big Pine.
If Tioga opens then Waterwheel/Leconte Falls out of Toulomne Meadow.
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Re: Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

Postby shabook » Mon May 18, 2009 9:46 pm

Thanks! I was just thinking about the Bridgeport options. Crown Lakes might be a good one.
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Re: Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

Postby Jmma » Tue May 19, 2009 3:35 pm

Maybe Kennedy lake off hwy 108 starting at Kennedy Meadows in the Emigrant wilderness.
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Re: Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

Postby hikerduane » Tue May 19, 2009 6:26 pm

Way up north here, just beyond the northern end of the Sierra, there was a couple feet of snow still, give or take a little in the Caribou Wilderness. 99% snow covered trail from the Caribou Lake TH, 6600', to Emerald Lake at just under 7000' where I turned back, as that got me the info I needed.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Early Season Hike/Backpack Eastern Sierra

Postby shabook » Mon May 25, 2009 7:18 pm

Just wanted to report back on a successful 2-night backpack up to Barney Lake (out of Twin Lakes) and dayhike almost to (almost) Peeler Lake this Memorial Day weekend. Trails were snow free all the way to Barney, with intermittent snow after the second major stream crossing above Barney, and solid snow (but navigable) from about a mile below Peeler. Biggest challenge right now is definitely the two creek crossings above Barney Lake - the water is running high and fast! Fortunately, we found a bypass up and over a talus ridge on the north side of the creek) just before the first crossing that let us skip both - the second especially looked pretty scary, especially since we were carrying our two year old. He's a good sport, but probably not game for a trip over the falls :) Barney was beautiful, mosquitoes just starting to get active - I think it's going to be bug hell within a couple of weeks, but no big deal right now.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions - hoping this is the start of a great backpacking summer in the Sierra!
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