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Planning trip - suggestions

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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby rlown » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:32 pm

Seki's permit/wilderness page: http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/wilderness.htm

Inyo Nat'l forest pointer: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/inyo/recreation ... ndex.shtml

All the Fed stuff is by forest area. You need to look up where you want to go, find the right regulatory body, and do the reservation. It's best to pick a time, regardless of the conditions; pick a back-up plan if the weather blows you out.

Hope these help,

Russ

PS: I like September, after the kids go back to school. Given the potential "el nino", this year's early attempts are probably improbable. If you go high, you'll still have snow to cross. I never go in Summer anymore; fish are down and crowds are up. Just my thoughts.



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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby amigo » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:13 pm

Yes, even out here, September and October are the best times to hike. Only problem is I have rather hypersensitive extremeties to the cold (more than normal). So, for camping, early September would be best for me - probably less chance of snow then as well (I'm guessing).
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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby rlown » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:31 pm

October in the Sierra might be way too late unless you're really prepared for cold, snowy conditions. I generally target the last week of Sept with my permits; a little earlier if i think it's a bad weather year.
In my opinion, you're safe for permits and weather in mid-late sept. If i go near a high sierra camp, i go after they close. Before that, i make sure i have a permit in place.

Early Sept, per your comment, would be best aimed after labor day, depending on where you want to go.
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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby gary c. » Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:40 pm

If you can not plane far enough in advance to reserve your permits I wouldn't let it detour you from making your trip. Just make sure that you bring plenty of TOPO maps for several areas that you would like to hike. Some of my favorite trips have been ones that we realy didn't know or care where we went. We just showed up early for the "day of permits" and asked what was available. We alwyas have a list preferred trails and have always gotten a permit for someplace on the list if not our first choice.
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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby amigo » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:16 am

I was a little discouraged yesterday by all the permit reservations deal. However, stupid me - I should have known better. I've just been so thrilled about going backpacking in the Sierra (been a dream of mine for many years now) that I just didn't give the logistics issues much thought. As well, you don't need backcountry permits in the National Forest up here. Guess it's just not as busy as the Sierra.

We may consider going in September after labor day - sure sounds like a nice time of the year with less crowds. If not, we'll just make the best of it. Following gary's suggestion about last minute overnight permits is a good idea - at worse, we can do dayhikes. Either way, I think we'll enjoy it. And head to a city on busy weekends for some good California brewpub sampling ;) Boy, I'm so looking forward to this!!
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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:31 am

amigo wrote:I was a little discouraged yesterday by all the permit reservations deal. We may consider going in September after labor day - sure sounds like a nice time of the year with less crowds. If not, we'll just make the best of it. Following gary's suggestion about last minute overnight permits is a good idea - at worse, we can do dayhikes. Either way, I think we'll enjoy it. And head to a city on busy weekends for some good California brewpub sampling ;) Boy, I'm so looking forward to this!!

Hello Amigo. As others have said, don't be discouraged by the wilderness permit thing. It is a mild logistical consideration and not a major barrier to enjoying the High Sierra. As noted above, having several options handy and such will get you around the potential problem of not being able to do your first option. The Sierra is such a big mountain range with so many choices, that options 2, 3...etc will all be good. In the years that I did first-come-first-serve permits, instead of reserving them, the few times I didn't get my first choice all ended up with me calling audibles at the line of scrimmage to trips that turned out to be stellar.

Regarding the brewpub thing, as a longtime beer enthusiast and veteran homebrewer I can certainly give you some recommendations, especially if your tastes in beer tend toward what has become the West Coast signature style (extreme use of hops). While there is a greater concentration of brewpubs in SoCal (especially San Diego) and Bay Area and points north, there are plenty of good ones closer to the Sierra on its western flank (spanning Bakersfield to Chico--OK the last spot is cheating a bit because it's not exactly flanking the "High" Sierra) and one on the east side (Mammoth Brewing Co. makes a very respectable IPA--they have a brewpub in Mammoth and a restaurant/pub in Bishop).
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
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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby amigo » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Thanks, giantbrookie. Appreciate the good advice. I seem to always be complaining to my friend about our trips being overly planned with little spontaneity. Here's our chance to not worry too much about permits and where we'll be hiking. Sure looks like the entire range is a gem for hiking.

As for beer, both my friend and I are IPA lovers so I think we won't have problems finding good beer. I try to make it a point to visit a few brew pubs on our trips for some good sampling. They're especially appreciated after some good hiking. I did a google map on brew pubs in California and I see what you mean by SoCal having so many of them. Thehy appear to be somewhat scattered around the Sierra Nevada range. Too bad there aren't more on the east side. I guess we'll just have to lug a couple of 6-packs with us. I'll note the ones you mentioned :)

By the way, is it strictly Yosemite Valley where bears have a tendency to break into cars that have anything that looks like food or is scented, or anywhere in the Sierras? Not joking here, but can a bear smell a 6-pack of beer in the trunk of a car (unopened), for example? Sure wouldn't want a rental car to be destroyed by a bear.
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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:19 pm

A bear shouldn't be able to smell unopened beer. If any aroma was leaking out of the bottle, we'd have some issues with the beer. Regarding some near Sierra favorites that may be handy to your routes:
Visalia: Brubakers--nice IPA, Fresno: Sequoia Brewing Co. (was Butterfields back in the day, for those that follow this scene back to the late 80's)--nice IPA and otherworldly high gravity specials. Their Jacob Marley Barley (only Xmas time, unfortunately, best barleywine I've had that wasn't brewed in our home brewery: epic gravity: 12% but supreme hoppiness and drinkability) and the Buzzsaw (serious Double IPA at 11%, hasn't been brewed since 2007 but is supposed to come back this fall). If going up the 108, Snowshoe has been a great brewery for a long time (Sonora and also along 4 in Arnold going up toward Ebbetts Pass). Sacramento and vicinity has many good ones, but I'm still partial to the first of the Sac breweries: Rubicon: their IPA has kept up with the very best in the pack with many upgrades over the years--it is superb! Chico, of course, had to be mentioned, even if it was a bit north, because Sierra Nevada is there. Not only is the brewpub excellent for beer (including stuff you can't get outside of the brewery), but their food is mighty fine and not overpriced. Sierra Nevada is one beer pilgrimage that should be made for all microbrew enthusiasts (plus they are on the cutting edge in just about everything from green technology, superior IT stuff, and I hear they treat their employees well).

And now (OK this is a bit off topic) for a very brief brew review:
Bay Area and north standouts: Favorite brewpub: Bear Republic (Healdsburg). Multiple great IPAs/double IPAs. Great food. Don't miss the wild game specials and the best garlic-rosemary fries I've had (a side with any sandwich). Russian River Brewing Co. (Santa Rosa): with BRBC makes the twin towers of hops in Sonoma Co. Not quite the menu of BRBC, but good pizza. Brewer/owner Vinnie Cilurzo is a legend for good reason--nice adventurous Belgian ales in addition to cutting edge over-the-hop West Coast brews. Moylans and Marin Brewing Co. (Petaluma and Larkspur, respectively in Marin County). same owner, different brewers, superb West Coast IPAs and other brews. If they have any of their top hoppy brews on hand pump (ie cask conditioned) you have to have it--amazing. Slight edge to Marin because their pub food is way above average. San Francisco: Toronado. Not a brewpub, but arguably the most famous pub on the West Coast. Any beer enthusiast I've met in another country who found out I was from California inevitably asked if I've been to Toronado. Its reputation is deserved. No food (can carry in from neighboring establishments), but huge tap list of micros plus some hard-to-get imports. Huge Belgian beer list. More SF: Magnolia. Top cask conditioned beer and brewpub in Bay Area and very good food, too. Good mix of traditional UK style brew and West Coast stuff. More SF: 21st Amendment. Very good food (one the best side salads ever with their sandwiches, for example), plus serious brew and top-of-the line IPA/DIPA. Oakland: The Trappist. Serious Belgian-dedicated pub. Hayward: The Bistro. Center of the universe for Hop Heads. My former local (when I lived in the Bay Area), and I still regularly visit the place. Only 12 taps, but they are quality. Great festivals. Southern Cal: Best breweries are in San Diego. Any of the Pizza Ports (Port Brewing) are well worth visiting including the fabulous Carlsbad and Solana Beach ones. There is a big rivalry between the north Bay and San Diego for most over-the-top IPA/DIPA. Ballast Point and Green Flash are also among the amazing San Diego scene with phenomenal IPAs. Unfortunately San Diego is a long way from the High Sierra. The Bay Area works out better in that regard. Should you find yourself in Pasadena, don't miss Lucky Baldwin's in old town. Somewhat like Toronado with food. By the way, I am in fact sipping on beer as I'm posting this.
Last edited by giantbrookie on Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby amigo » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:43 pm

Wow, what an extensive brew pub report. Thanks very much. This is really good to file away until I head to CA. Now I'm really thirsty! Hmm, maybe I should do a brew pub hopping (pun intended) trip instead ;)
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Re: Planning trip - suggestions

Postby TehipiteTom » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:35 pm

amigo wrote:San Fran -> Yosemite -> drive down the 395 ->

Only Southern Californians use the definite article in front of highway numbers. Civilized humans do not.
;)
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