?Southern Sierra first trip for 5 year old route ideas? | High Sierra Topix  

?Southern Sierra first trip for 5 year old route ideas?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

?Southern Sierra first trip for 5 year old route ideas?

Postby jimqpublic » Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:11 pm

I posted this same basic question on another forum but I'll ask here too.

In the '80's as a teen and twenty something I spent hundreds of days hiking, skiing, exploring, and snowshoeing the Eastern Sierra. I graduated from one of the fine institutes of lower learning in the Owens Valley and found that the jobs were to be found 250 miles south so to LA I moved. The trips became less frequent but still at least annual until our daughter came along.

After a 5 year hiatus from backpacking I want to take my daughter for her first trip this year. We've been doing plenty of car camping and short day hikes but have never overnighted. She is definitely enthused about the prospect and I want to make this the first of many trips, not a bad memory to never be repeated.

She's a tall kid and strong; is easily capable of walking 3 miles round trip on gentle terrain without appearing tired. I'm thinking a one day hike in to basecamp then two before hiking back out.

How about some route suggestions? Ideally it would be a reasonable drive from Long Beach- West or East side both fine (my folks live in Owens Valley so most of my experience is East). Kid friendly things such as:
Moderate elevation
Forested
Water features (at least a little creek)
Gentle terrain
Approx 3 miles from trailhead to campsite.
Low bug population early summer
Nice temps

East side ideas I have plenty but my inclination is to look to the West side as I think a moderate elevation deep dark forest might be better than the alpine sparseness that I so love in the high eastern flank.

Thanks in advance.
Jim
Jim



User avatar
jimqpublic
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:16 pm
Location: Long Beach
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby ndwoods » Sat Feb 25, 2006 8:50 am

I don't think you'll be able to find low bug population early summer unless you go when there is still considerable snow. But having said that, my kids will tell you now that their most favorite trips of all time were the trips with snow!
I have hiked with kids and now grandkids for many many years, but I hail from Santa Cruz so am most familiar with Yosemite and that section of Sierra. I have heard Italy Lakes area is great for kids on the eastside...
User avatar
ndwoods
Founding Member
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Skibum » Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:48 pm

Hi,

You might consider Weaver Lake in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness. It's a pretty easy overnighter. 2 miles in from the Jennie Lakes Trailhead at Big Meadows. hardly any elevation gain. Mostly a forest hike with a nice alpine view of Shell Mt. from the lake.

As far as bugs go in early summer. Hard to say right now. Really depends on snowpack. More than likely there will be bugs.

Big Meadows by the way if you aren't familiar is located in Sequoia Nat'l Forest between Sequoia Nat'l Park and Kings Canyon Nat'l Park.

Big Meadows itself also has campgrounds near the trailhead.
User avatar
Skibum
Founding Member
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 4:50 pm
Location: Kings Canyon Nat'l Park, CA.
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:39 pm

A bug-free early summer spot is hard to find unless you go up on a windy weekend. Weaver Lake is indeed a nice easy one, but I find it is getting more and more crowded with time and there aren't too many other places to explore very close by.

Here are some other suggestions: Little Lakes Valley might be my first choice. Within 3 miles of the car, with minimal elevation gain, you have lots of options--both the lakes along the main trail and some others that are a very short distance off of it. There are lots of little pockets one can camp in that will give you elbow room and the scenery is absolutely magnificent (as you no doubt know, as a longtime Eastern Sierra hiker). There are some options around Tioga Pass and Saddlebag Lake that are very nice. With the boat ferry across Saddlebag you can access a number of gorgeous little lakes and places to camp within 1-2 miles of where the boat drops you off and the elevation gain is also minimal. Another hike in the Tioga Pass area that is under 3 miles is the Gaylor Lakes-Granite Lakes basin. This one has a bit of steep grunt to start off (over 500 feet in about a mile), but after that things are very easy.
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
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby krudler » Sat Feb 25, 2006 8:12 pm

Maybe try a trip in the Golden Trout Wilderness, off the East side (395) from the Kennedy Meadows area. It will be snow free earlier, bugs not too bad, not too much elevation or relief, easy hiking, good times.
"Krusty, you know Bette Midler?"
"Yeah we own a racehorse together - the Krudler!"
User avatar
krudler
Founding Member
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:51 pm
Location: Irvine, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

hiking with 5 year old

Postby gdurkee » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:52 am

Kennedy Meadows is a good place. Also take a look at Horseshoe Meadow out of Lone Pine -- up the Whitney road, but take the left hand fork to Horseshoe. It's a huge meadow and you can hike about two miles on a dead level to the head of the meadow and camp. If things are going well, you can cross over the low pass to Chicken Spring Lake. Maybe take two days to there and one day out.

Bad time of year to get away from bugs. Also, you'll need a bear canister.

Good hike, though.

Take care,

George
User avatar
gdurkee
Founding Member
 
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:20 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby jimqpublic » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:15 pm

Thanks for all the ideas. I had been thinking about Horseshoe but was concerned over the altitude. It will also depend on when we go.

I know that mosquitos aren't avoidable but there are certainly better and worse areas.

I think I'll try Kennedy Meadows area. I've only done two trips down that way and they were 25 years ago so it'll seem new to me as well.

Daddy gets to be pack mule so I imagine I'll wear out before the girl does.
Jim
User avatar
jimqpublic
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:16 pm
Location: Long Beach
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests