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Best time for fewest bugs?

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Best time for fewest bugs?

Postby Jedi5150 » Sat May 29, 2010 7:22 pm

Hello all, I recently returned from a motorcycle trip around the Eastern Sierras and decided I've got to get back there on foot to do some more exploring. I've tried using the search function and was inundated with results that weren't what I was looking for.

My question is this; What is the best time of year to hike the Ansel Adam Wilderness while coming across the least amount of bugs? ;) In specific, I am interested in camping at 1000 Island Lake and the vicinity. I will be backpacking with a dog. I love the great outdoors but nothing ruins a trip for me faster than bugs. My poor pooch also gets completely miserable with mosquitos (she's not super fond of yellow-jackets either...don't ask me how we figured that out :( ).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or info.



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Re: Best time for fewest bugs?

Postby kpeter » Sat May 29, 2010 8:27 pm

Traditional wisdom is that mosquitoes are bad for about a month after snow melt. Sometimes July is thought to be a bad month in the high Sierras because snow usually melts in June. However, this varies a lot with the size of the snowpack, elevation, and local conditions. This year we may have a late snow melt and thus bugs that persist later in the season.

I have always found August to be relatively bug free. I will be at 1000 Island lake in the last week of July, and this year I am worried that it might still be buggy then.

Sadly, September is said to be a great month for avoiding bugs, but because I am a teacher I never get to backpack then.
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Re: Best time for fewest bugs?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat May 29, 2010 8:30 pm

September. Late September this year. It is really beautiful then - cannot remember the name of the ground cover, but it turns red- really nice. Also if you can hit the Aspen color, you will get fantastic photos. Just plan on colder nights- expect frost. Nice thing is that it is not crowded with people either. Check weather reports as brief storms sometimes occur in late September. Another thing most people do not consider -- you can enter via Silver Lake - Gem Lake - Waugh Lakes and loop back out on the higher trail. This is a good alternative - costs less too - no bus expense. I've done both - either is a good choice. By the way, I think the most scenic lake is Iceberg Lake - if you want to see this lake too, best to enter from Postpile.
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Re: Best time for fewest bugs?

Postby Jedi5150 » Sat May 29, 2010 8:59 pm

Thanks very much for the advice Kpeter and Wandering Daisy! That is exactly what I was hoping for. I rode past Silver Lake last week...still an awful lot of snow right now. In fact, riding over Hwy 89 it was 21* Farenheit at noon and then began to snow for the next hour or so as we rode. :eek: I don't think the Sierras are done with winter just yet. hehe

September/ Fall would work just fine for me. I'm fortunate that my work schedule gives me three days off each week and one four day weekend per month. Without even burning any vacation time.
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Re: Best time for fewest bugs?

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:28 am

One can always find places in the Sierra where mosquitoes exist from the time snow melts in late spring until fall temperatures kill them off. Most years there will be few mosquitoes along the River Trail by mid August though this year that may delay into late August. Squeeters will be found at any of the permanent forest seeps and stagnant ponds in August although dragon and damsel flies keep their numbers low during day hours. Now up at Thousand Island and other lakes the situation is different. I've experienced lots of mosquitoes during the last week of July. Most years there will be lots of squeeters until mid July when they will start to slowly diminish through mid August. But wet years including this year that again may delay a couple three weeks. During dry years the process may start in early July and by late July there are few.
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