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Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

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Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

Postby windknot » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:48 am

Have any of you crossed (or know if it is possible to cross) the NF San Joaquin River at Sheep Crossing as early as May? I imagine runoff will be high at this time, but never having been in this area and not knowing how big of a river it is in this stretch I'm wondering whether or not it is possible to cross over to Snake Meadow from the Mammoth trailhead.

I would also really appreciate any experience people have had in accessing the Mammoth trailhead or just generally hiking in this area this early in the season.

Thanks!
Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/



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Re: Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:53 am

The crossing should be no problem, as long as the bridge hasn't been washed out.

Getting to the trailhead...that could be a little trickier in a year like this. The road is usually open by Memorial Day, but often not until then.
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Re: Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

Postby windknot » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:50 am

Thanks Tom! That was just what I needed to know. I saw the name Sheep Crossing and didn't even imagine that there could be a bridge there. I might be planning a Memorial Day trip into that area but wanted to make sure it was even accessible first.

Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:17 pm

windknot wrote:Thanks Tom! That was just what I needed to know. I saw the name Sheep Crossing and didn't even imagine that there could be a bridge there. I might be planning a Memorial Day trip into that area but wanted to make sure it was even accessible first.

Matt

Again, no guarantee on the road--this isn't a crazy big snowpack year, but then winter isn't over yet. By early May, Sierra NF (North Fork ranger station) should have some idea of whether it'll open by Memorial Day.
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Re: Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:22 pm

I went in from Granite Creek Campground in 2008 in the first week in June. I went over the "Nitch" and found the crossing of the East Fork challenging. Cora Creek was insignificant. I stayed on the high trail and ran into lots of snow. I crossed at Hemlock Crossing on a huge bridge. The San Joaquin was significant! I would not have wanted to wade that! There were bear tracks at Hemlock crossing. I continued up to Twin Island Lakes and Ritter Lakes but did not go lower to Sheep Crossing.
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Re: Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

Postby EpicSteve » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:03 pm

I've never been to Sheep crossing, but I'm pretty familiar with the general area. More often than not, the road is open by Memorial Day, especially if you approach from the North Fork/Sierra Vista Scenic Byway side, rather than the Bass Lake/Beasore Rd side. But calling the ranger station is a good idea. Also, the Sierra National Forest Road Conditions webpage http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sierra/recreation/recreports/roads.shtml is usually updated in a timely manner.
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Re: Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

Postby windknot » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:28 pm

Great, thanks for the info guys!

Matt
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Crossing the NF San Joaquin (Sheep Crossing) in mid-May

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:59 am

I have been there early season. If you can drive across the creek on the concrete "bridge", then it is an easy drive to the TH. The Sheep Crossing bridge should be there: It is high above the river. There is a nice camp there, an old Native American camping ground. In one spot there is a flat expanse of rock with 10 or more mortar grinding holes.
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