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Suggestions for Base Camp in Kings NP

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Suggestions for Base Camp in Kings NP

Postby mschatz » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:20 am

Hello -

I am looking for suggestions on a good spot to set up a base camp in Kings NP. I will be with a group of 4 fairly experienced hikers/backpackers. Most of us have trekked around Yosemite quite a bit, but it will be the first time in Kings for everyone. We are looking for a camp near a lake that we can fish at, and would be a days distance (10-12 miles) from a trailhead. Once there, we plan on fishing and going on day hikes for 2-3 days before packing everything out.

I was looking at the Rae Lakes loop, but it seems like all of those lakes are more than a day in from the trail head off of Hwy 99. Same thing if we came in from Onion Valley. Any suggestions on how to get to Rae Lakes or a similar location within a day?

Ideally would be looking for a place that doesn't see a whole lot of traffic, although that may be difficult within only a day's hike.

From the "rules for requesting advice" thread:
What level of backpacking experience do you have?
Level 3- Numerous backpacking trips, some x-country travel

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 1 terrain/trail hiking
- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country

What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Forests
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography
- Fishing

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead? 4 days
How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers? 10-12 on day 1 and day 4
Did you prefer a loop or out and back trip? Prefer loop, but either is fine
Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in(Yosemite, SEKI
western sierra start or eastern start ect.)? Kings NP
Will you be hiking with a dog? No

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


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Re: Suggestions for Base Camp in Kings NP

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:01 pm

Kings Canyon doesn't lend itself to a mellow day 1, compared to other spots in the High Sierra. Dusy Basin via Bishop Pass is one option that fits your criteria, and you can dayhike into Barrett Lakes from there and some other spots, so this isn't a bad choice. For the off trail oriented, Lamarck Col may be an option, but this would certainly be rougher than Dusy Basin. For your criteria and accessing the same sort of country with more options, I'd consider Humphreys Basin-French Canyon.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: ... ayshi.html
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Re: Suggestions for Base Camp in Kings NP

Postby LMBSGV » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:36 pm

I agree with giantbrookie. Dusy Basin is gorgeous and if you camp at one of the lakes off trail, you'll have a lot of privacy. My suggestion for the easiest first day hike is one of the lakes west of the main lake by the trail where most people camp or if you want to go little further (it's all downhill) the lakes lower down to the west of the trail. Cross country is easy to either set of lakes and there are numerous great campsites. Knapsack Pass to Barrett Lakes, the other lakes of Dusy Basin, and down to LeConte Canyon are great dayhikes. The falls from Dusy Basin down to LeConte should be especially wonderful this year.

I also love Humphreys Basin. Muriel and Goethe lakes off Piute Pass (there is a use trail to Muriel) and the lakes to the north of the Piute Pass trail offer seclusion and easy cross country. You can dayhike down to French Canyon and around the basin.
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Re: Suggestions for Base Camp in Kings NP

Postby adam » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:02 am

I base-camped at the lower lakes west of the trail below dusy basin for a few days 3 years ago and didn't see anyone-- well, one guy walking through, but no other parties. On the way out we camped near the trail in Dusy Basin for a quicker last day, and while it was amazingly beautiful, it was a bit of a shock to have so many parties around after our previous peace and quiet.
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