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Evolution Valley Loop Campsites

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Evolution Valley Loop Campsites

Postby WhitneyBrian » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:07 pm

I will be doing this loop in a few weeks (6 days/5 nights) and was looking for campsites that would be away from the more popular places (Little Pete/Big Pete Meadows, Evolution Lake, etc.) and thus offer more solitude. I understand this is a popular hike, so I figured I would try to avoid the crowds at night. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I also may be arriving at South Lake late on a Friday. Four Jeffrey Campground is booked. Will I be able to sleep in my car near the trailhead?

Thanks for your help!
Brian



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Re: Evolution Valley Loop Campsites

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:52 pm

Heading north of the JMT out of Big Pete about 2.5-3 miles on the southern
side before the trail starts to climb up towards Muir Pass there are some smaller
lakes which make a good alternative to BP or LP, finding an out of the way camp
spot in Le Conte is not possible because you are in a canyon, unless your willing to
do some climbing, and that is not the kind of thing you are looking for.
In Evolution Basin all it takes is to go find a lake that is a little ways of the trail
like the lakes east above Sapphire Lake (it will be like you have the basin all to
yourself) or the small lake west of Lake 11594.
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Re: Evolution Valley Loop Campsites

Postby stevet » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:52 pm

Lots of campsite options, but first at the trailhead. Sleeping in your car/truck will probably work out, though a ranger might pester you. Be sure to try a walk in a Big Jeffrey, also begging for a small sliver from an accomodating camper. I've also found cabins at Parcher's available from time to time.

For your first night out try camping at the lower chain of lakes (hike towards Knapsack Pass 1/2 mile or so from the trail) or halfway down into LeConte Canyon on the forested ledge. I've never encountered anyone at these locations. About 2-2.5 miles above Big Pete Meadow are some small lakes. On the far side of Muir Pass try to first lake below Wanda or at Sapphire lake (walk south along the west shore line) or try Darwin Bench (about 1/2 miles from the duck that marks the route into Darwin Basin, a bit of a climb but gets you off the JMT). Another option here is to hop the ridge x-country west of Wanda, drop into Goddard Canyon and camp at Davis Lakes (routes you off the JMT). Not always away crowd free, but very nice if it is is the packer campsite just NW of the San Joaquin bridge crossing a mile north of the gate at Franklin Meadow. There is a lot of room to spread out a Hutchinson Meadow, but if you have the energy and want to escape completely head on up Piute Canyon about 1 miles then go climb south to Lower Honeymoon Lake (haven't been there but a buddy says this is a nice secluded spot).

I've generally found solitude when I want it, most of the time it means hiking just a little bit further, or just far enough off the trail to discourage most from seeking them out.
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Re: Evolution Valley Loop Campsites

Postby WhitneyBrian » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:21 pm

Thanks Maverick and Steve! You have given me some great information. It's nice to have additional options as I am planning this.

Brian
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