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Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

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Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby ltkenbo » Mon May 25, 2009 4:43 pm

Me and my dad are planning on going backpacking somewhere in the Sierra National Forest in a couple of weeks. I was looking for some suggestions for routes and stuff. I am 20, my dad is 50. I have done some backpacking, never in mountains as high as the Sierra's though and when my dad was younger he used to Canoe camp and similar stuff in the boundary waters. I am in fairly good shape, my dad is in decent shape. I am maybe looking at a 5 day trip, since it's several hour drive up to that area from where my dad lives in California. I've got all the equipment, just need to get my dad a backpack and sleeping bag. I know how to read topo maps and all that stuff, just need some suggestions where to go.



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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby windknot » Tue May 26, 2009 6:15 pm

I think you may need to provide more information on you goals and priorities for your trip before people can really give you some good advice. Do you want extreme solitude? Off-trail hiking? Do you fish? Do you want to enter from the east side or the west side? Do you have per-day mileage limits? Everyone has different reasons for backpacking in the Sierra and it's a pretty big place, so it's hard to offer suggestions for trips without having some sort of idea of what you're looking for.

Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby ltkenbo » Wed May 27, 2009 2:08 am

Fish, possibly, but not a priority. Milage limits, see I'm not exactly sure, that's why I told you our ages and our physical wellness. west side most likely because we will be coming up from southern California (Temecula) area. The reason I want to backpack there is because I like the mountains, there's lots of lakes, and it's beautiful (at least from what I have seen in pictures). As far as solitude, yeah I guess we want to be pretty solitary 100% sure that's why I'm looking for advice.
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby windknot » Wed May 27, 2009 8:53 pm

Ordinarily if solitude is a priority then I'd suggest a largely off-trail route, but for a first Sierra backpacking trip it's probably a good idea to stay on trails. Although trips like the Rae Lakes loop in Kings Canyon National Park may be considered "crowded" by Sierra standards, this really amounts to seeing maybe 5-8 parties per day and usually only in passing. I personally have pretty limited backcountry experience compared to most of the members of this board, but I can suggest the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness (access via Hwy 168) as a great place to create a lasting first impression of the Sierra Nevada. Lots of pretty lakes, moderately-graded trails, and in five days you have a lot of time to really explore the area and possibly do day trips to other lakes from a base camp at a central location.

I'd also suggest just reading through old threads on this board. There's a lot of good information in threads started by people asking similar questions to yours.

Good luck!
Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby ltkenbo » Sun May 31, 2009 11:04 am

Dinkey Lakes looks pretty cool but another place I was really interested in was John Muir. The only thing is, every time I try to find information about invidual trails within John Muir wilderness I always get things about the John Muir Trail which is no the trail I want. I found the "A Guide to the Sequoia-Kings Canyon and John Muir Wilderness" which I've heard has all the trails and everything. Is there anywhere where I can get a digital copy of this? Even if I have to pay, that would be the quickest way for me to get it. Also, I think I might have found a topo viewing website with the forest service maps and trails but I'm not sure, it's here: http://www.digital-topo-maps.com/ go there and zoom in on the john muir wilderness and let me know if those are the updated forest service maps.

Also if there is any other good websites for viewing the forest service maps (since those are updated) or anywhere I could purchase a digital copy online,please let me know ASAP, I'm trying to plan this out before we go.
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby walkdawg » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:16 pm

ltkenbo,

I would recommend the Mt. Siliman area of SEKI. The hike is relatively easy and the scenery is sublime. Plus there is some pretty good fishing to be had in upper Sheep Camp lake and Lost Lake. I would start out of Horse Corral Meadow. You can be at Seville Lake easily on the first day. Seville Lake is drop dead gorgeous. You could make a loop trip by crossing Siliman Pass , J.O. Pass and spending a night at Jennie Lake (more beauty and good fishing). You can buy topo software at REI or A16. I used to use topozone.com but they were bought by trails.com. Now it is subscription only. One more thing, be prepared for mosquitos.

Cheers,
Walkdawg
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby ltkenbo » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:42 pm

I checked out SEKI but I am still more interested in the John Muir Wilderness. I think I found a route, but I'm not quite sure how long it is and if it is doable for us in 5 days. Here is the general route:

Take trail at Lake Edison through graveyard meadows to upper graveyard meadows, cross cold creek a couple times and then continue on through goodale pass and then around past Papoose lake where we will merge with the Pacific Crest trail and head south through silver pass. Then continue along the trail by silver pass creek and through pocket meadow. Next we will continue on past quail meadows which will end us back at lake eddison.

So what do you think? And how long do you estimate this to be, I would say 15 miles, but I could be wrong. Do you think this is doable in 5 days, a nice loop.
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby walkdawg » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:55 pm

It's more like 20 miles if you catch the ferry at the end of Edison Lake. Otherwise it will be a few miles longer. Easily doable in 5 days. Goodale and Silver passes are nearly at 11000 ft. It wouldn't be a bad idea to call the ranger and ask about snow conditions. The area around the Indian Lakes is beautiful.

-Walkdawg
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby ltkenbo » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:18 pm

Ok cool, that's probably the route we will do which will let us take some day hikes to some of the other nearby trails. So once we drive to Eddison Lake, where do we park? Is there parking there? Also, I have found lots of maps for computer use to plan our route but where should I get maps for actual on-trail use? Also, would it be worth it to register through mail in advance for a permit?
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby TehipiteTom » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:28 pm

ltkenbo wrote:Ok cool, that's probably the route we will do which will let us take some day hikes to some of the other nearby trails. So once we drive to Eddison Lake, where do we park? Is there parking there? Also, I have found lots of maps for computer use to plan our route but where should I get maps for actual on-trail use? Also, would it be worth it to register through mail in advance for a permit?

Plenty of parking at Edison trailhead.

I think you have to write at least 3 weeks ahead to reserve a permit; otherwise, it's first-come-first-served. The good news is that it's very unlikely that your trailhead will fill up. The other good news is that there's a permit office fairly close (~8 miles, 1/2 hour on the narrow semi-paved road) to the trailhead. The bad news is that the permit office doesn't open until 8 am, but if that doesn't sound late to you then maybe it isn't bad news.

For maps, I like mytopo.com, where you can get a map that covers exactly what you want it to cover; you could get a single map for your whole route, for example. It's on waterproof paper, too.

On edit: I'll second Walkdawg's recommendation to call the rangers and ask about snow. That aside, you've chosen a beautiful area to do your trip in--I think you'll love it!
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby ltkenbo » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:00 pm

Ok, cool, yeah I'll make sure to call them first. Here is what I came up with, it's not too huge and it will give enough of the area around our route to allow us to explore some more trails if we want:
http://www.mytopo.com/review.cfm?mytopoid=34519548CC
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Re: Suggested Routes or Areas for me and my dad

Postby ltkenbo » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:01 pm

Ok so I called the ranger station to check about those passes and they said that none of their rangers had gone through there yet so they were not quite sure but there probably was snow. So, what do you think?
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