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Kennedy Meadows?

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Kennedy Meadows?

Postby fyton2v » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:51 pm

Hi All,

I am hoping to get up to the Southern Sierra on Sunday with my 2 younger kids for a couple days of easy backpacking (and fly fishing). I'm worried about the conditions with the amount of snow this year. Stream crossings may be ridiculous. Has anyone been up to elevations above 6000ft in the ranges above Lake Isabella? I'm thinking something out of Kennedy Meadows might work, but I'm still worried about the flow of the south fork of the Kern. Haven't seen it this early in the year so I don't know what to expect.

Also, any other suggestions for a not too high, not too far, eastside/westside trip would be appreciated. One of the kids is only 6 so it needs to be easy and safe... with fish.

Thanks all!



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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby homeranch » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:02 am

Right now the main Kern is running at 6-7,000 cfs, which is high and ripping. 16 people were rescued from the river around Memorial Day weekend.

I think that translates to the South Fork being high, too high for good fishing.

On the west side, the road to Lewis Camp Trailhead at 7300 feet roughly, is still closed.
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby tomcat_rc » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:59 am

Jerkey Trailhead was open last weekend. Little Kern and North Kern too high and fast for safe crossings and not good for fishing. Reports from friends who were at Long Valley attempting to pack into Dome Lands last week - they also were not comfortable crossing the SF Kern. They said without packs they may have tried, but it also was moving fast(translate as "no" with small children. They said fishing along SF Kern was general poor due to fast conditions, but were able to find small eddies and pools to catch a few during their multiday trip.

PM me and I can give photo links for NF areas that are less than 2 weeks if it helps.
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby homeranch » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:12 pm

Tomcat, thanks for that, I am going in to the Kern River on the 28th, I hope that the FS has the Lewis Camp Trailhead road open, or I will have to drive down to Jerkey. Nice to have the bridge over the Little Kern.

Can you tell me anything about the level of Mosquitoes?

Thanks,

Richard

A note on river crossings, they are worse than they look, if you have a moments hesitation about a particular crossing, heed that hesitation and don't cross. And a piece of brutal truth, if your kid gets swept away and you go in after him, there will be two body recoveries , not just one.

Fyton, you can probably pleasantly back pack up the PCT from Kennedy Meadows, stay on the right of the river, cross using the bridge if you need to, you can have a good trip, although the water is pretty high for good fishing.
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby tomcat_rc » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:55 pm

Pictures from last weekend:
http://tomcat-rc.smugmug.com/Sierra-Hik ... 7530_h5RY3

skeeters:
A few were awake and moving, but just starting to figure their mission in life. I expect that to change quickly over the next two weeks. I used some deet once - probably could have lived without it even then.
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby fyton2v » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:33 pm

Tomcat,

How were the road conditions on 22S82 and connected FS roads? It looks like traveling up that by Subaru and and looking for interesting primitive camping spots or hiking into the forest a ways could be an interesting option. Fishing can be secondary.

Any recommendations for an interesting destination in that area? Your pics were awesome. Thanks!
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby tomcat_rc » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:56 pm

OK I don't have my map with me to get road numbers.
If that is the LLoydMeadows Rd - It was in good condition all the way to the end of the trailhead. I did not take any of the spurs FS road so I can only report what I saw as I drove by - which I did not see any problem. Some others of our club hiked FOK on Sunday and also visited Peppermint Falls - both were in great shape. In fact I would highly recommend recommend a visit to Peppermint Falls with the youngen - morning light seems to be the best.
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby fyton2v » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:41 pm

22S82 is a FS road just above Johnsondale. According to the map I'm looking at, many of the back roads seem to be interconnected and a couple refer to Lloyd Meadow. One called Dry Meadow and Bean Cup seem to be closer to the Kern. I'm not familiar with the area there at all. Is there are well marked trail head that you can point me towards and how far is the hike to get to a decent place to camp near some potentially fishable water? If the flows on the Kern are really high maybe there are some tributaries in that area that could offer a good camping opportunity.

Sorry for all the questions!
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby homeranch » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:52 pm

I would say that all sierra streams are too high for successful fishing. A lake might be a better place to try.

Tomcat I could not bring your website up, the messages said that there was no server to host..

I am going in to retrace my Grandfather's 1934 pack trip, he and others did this trip for decades. I found his diary of the 1934 trip, you can read it at; http://wanderingthewest.com/kern/kernriverjournal.html
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby tomcat_rc » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:10 pm

The photo link works ok - maybe smugmug was happing a temporary internet nap.

There were several camping area(clearly marked) on the LLoyd Meadows Rd. Peppermint Creek Campground is one that comes to mind.

Fishing - why not stop in at one of the tackle stores in Kernville on your way up the hill for some advise. I find many of the locals are usually friendly and helpful - they need your business too.

I hope to backpack to some Eastern Sierra Lakes next weekend. This weekend it is peakbagging out of the Horseshoe Meadows area. Have fun everyone.
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby homeranch » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:20 pm

Your site worked this time, fun pictures.

Is there water at Jerkey Meadows? That might make a better first night camp for me rather than the trailhead if there is water.
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Re: Kennedy Meadows?

Postby tomcat_rc » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:18 pm

Jerkey Meadow - do not camp in the meadow - but plenty of flat camping spots around the meadow. The meadow was wet enough that we skirted around it to keep our boots dry. Small feeder trickles are coming in as well as various spots along the way to the Little Kern. Water should not be a problem. Only 2 miles to Jerkey Meadow and another 3 down to the LK Horse Bridge. If we had an extra day or two - a nice trip would be to push for Kern Lake and Little Kern Lake. A good day's push with backpacks would get you close to the LK Lake. Follow with 1.5 days to fish and camp at these lakes then start out - camp at Grasshopper Lake and hike out the following day. So much backcountry - so little time.
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