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First-timer need suggestions for tirp

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First-timer need suggestions for tirp

Postby odd man out » Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:14 pm

For my first post, I am looking for advice for a Sierra novice trip. This is for my daughter (High School senior) and me (her father). We did two days in Michigan this year and are looking to do something more ambitious next summer. I have done a lot of reading (books/maps/web) about the area from SEKI to Yosemite and have read the rules for posting a trip request. Here are the requested details:

Experience? Level 2- Some backpacking trips, using trails
Terrain? Class 1 terrain/trail hiking (but am interested in some Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country). No experience with river crossing (but can learn). Not interested in snow or glaciers.
Interest? Big Mountain scenery, Lakes, Forests
Days/nights? 4 to 6 days of hiking (plus or minus - still flexible)
Miles per day? any layovers? We did 21 miles in 2 days of hiking in flat Michigan (but neither were full days due to weather). A rest day is OK.
Loop or out and back trip? I would want to see as much as possible, so loop or point to point would be best.
No dog
Area of interest. I have never been to Yosemite, so I feel I really should hike into the valley to see that. I also would like to get some high Sierra (above timberline) wilderness experience. Some off trail experience would be nice (I am confident with map and compass skills). Would be traveling from MI, so could fly into SFO and rent a car, and/or use public transportation (which limits us to Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point Rd, Tioga Rd, or Devils Postpile area trailheads?)

I was thinking maybe Agnew Meadows to Happy Valley via Vogelsang pass. On this trip, is it possible to go off trail from below Donohue Pass to Bernice Lake, thus cutting out the descent and climb out of Lyle Canyon?

Thanks in advance for your tips.



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Re: First-timer need suggestions for tirp

Postby cowboypacker » Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:35 pm

A good novice area is Little Lakes Valley above Rock Creek Lake. Rock Creek turnoff is off hwy 395 below Crowley Lake about 15 miles south of Mammoth turn off (hwy 203). The Hilton Lakes out of the same area (different trailhead) are also very nice and fires are allowed at Davis Lake and Hilton #2 Lake.

I would keep away from cross country as a novice. Many times you get stuck in areas that are unpassable or require some higher class transit then you seek. Not a good spot to take chances. Also remember that elevation will be an issue coming from near sea level in MI.
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Re: First-timer need suggestions for tirp

Postby rayfound » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:28 pm

I would suggest a shuttle - North lake (Piute Pass) to Pine Creek (Pine Creek Pass) in the Bishop area.

Things to consider:

Muriel Lake and the Glacial Divide
Piute Canyon, Hutchinson Meadow, French Canyon (The lower elevation sections are low enough for campfires).
Upper/Lower Golden Trout lakes.
Humphries basin including (Among many others) Mesa Lake, Desolation Lake, and Foresaken lake(A personal favorite).
Mount Humphrey's twering above the entire area.
Royce Falls in French Canyon (a Must see/Experience)
the lakes of the Glacial Shelf (puppet, moon, Steelhead, Star, Elba, L Lake)
Honeymoon Lake, or either of the pine lakes.


Also, the area has great fishing for Golden trout and Brook Trout, if you are interested in that.


The whole area is generally fairly easy trail hiking, or very straightforward cross-country for some spots(Its easy when there's no trees in the way). Navigation is VERY easy, with a few tall peaks and very distinct canyons. Maintaining your bearings is very easy.
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Re: First-timer need suggestions for tirp

Postby oldranger » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:57 pm

All above suggestions are good. I would never discourage anyone from visiting Yosemite Valley (the scenery overwhelms the masses of people). If you figure out the shuttle schedule consider a Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite valley trip. Also the Rae Lakes Loop in SEKI is a nice trip. There are so many fine choices you can't really do wrong. Strongly suggest a couple of days acclimation at higher elevations before starting serious hiking. You never can tell how you will react to higher elevations. Some people can drive to 10,000 feet and hike higher immediately and do fine while others can get quite ill. When I used to live at sea level I got sick once driving to 7,000 feet and hiking up to 8,500. I got over it quickly but at higher elevations it can get serious.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: First-timer need suggestions for tirp

Postby odd man out » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:28 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. The Humphries Basin area looks especially nice. However, I also agree that altitude adjustment was something I hadn't thought about. I have been on day trips to some altitude with no ill effects (Trail ridge road, Haleakela, Beatooth pass, Loveland Pass, Alta sumit) where others were suffering and I wasn't. Perhaps a couple of days of day hike around Yosemite valley to aclimate (hike high, sleep low) followed by some hiking in the high country would be a better plan. How would something like Tuolumne to Twin Lakes compare to Tuolumne to Happy Valley?

One other question: How the heck do you pronounce "Tuolumne"?
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