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3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

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3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby diesel » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:03 pm

I've asked for trip suggestions on this site in the past and got a lot of great ideas. So far, this season I did the grand canyon of the tuolumne river in 3 days, and just completed the Rae Lakes loop in 3 days. I'm in great shape, pack fairly light, and like to average 10+ miles per day. Decided I'd like to put together one last 3 or 4 day weekend trip, preferably a loop. I am NOT confident enough in my map reading skills to do any off trail travel, so everything should be on trail. The other thing is that since I'm planning this rather late and do not have a wilderness permit I'd need something that's not insanely popular (I realize that means yosemite is probably not an option and don't mind at all).

I was considering something in mineral king, since I've never been to sequoia, but it seems most of the spectacular loops i've read about take longer than 3 or 4 days to complete. My main interest would be big mountain scenery and seeing some beautiful alpine lakes. I'm looking for truly amazing, epic trips. I prefer to start higher (unlike the Rae lakes loop where it takes about a day to get out of the boring forested low elevation stuff), so I was also thinking perhaps the mammoth/ansel adams or elsewhere in the eastern sierras too would offer some interesting options.



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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:53 am

Hi Diesel

Don't count Yosemite out, the Northern Loop (40 miles) out of Bridgeport (Twin Lakes)
is beautiful country with a lot of beautiful lakes, Matterhorn, and the Sawtooth Ridge are
some spectacular displays of carved granite.
The other plus is solitude, unlike the more popular trails out of TM or YV.
Minarets are one of the show cases of the Sierra, but because of the easy access it
means a lot of people, though if you stay at unnamed lakes or on a ridge instead of
right next to the lakes like 1000 Is or Lake Ediza, than you can get solitude.
Solitude at Rae Lakes can be had if one stays up at Dragon Lake or 60 Lakes
Basin during the summer months.
You are not going to get loops starting from the east entering SEKI, especially with
4 days and no cross-country.
Bishop Pass into Dusy Basin is a great trip with demanding views of the Palisades, and
a whole bunch of lakes with great views to the west.
Big Pine area has great views of the Palisades form the east with beautiful emerald
green lakes, and the Sierra biggest glacier.
Sawmill, Baxter, and Taboose are long with up to 6000 ft elevation, so for 3 or 4
day trip, unless your acclimated and in great mountain shape I would stick with
Bishop Pass as my first eastern Sierra trip, even though it may be busy.
Minarets and Bishop Pass permits will be hard to get so you need to get to the Ranger
Station at least 1 hour before opening unless you plan to go on Mon, Tue, or Wed.
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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby diesel » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:31 am

Thanks, maverick. That was very helpful. I'd like to hear a bit more about the northern yosemite loop you're referring to. I ran a quick google search and it led me to a few trip reports though they were closer to the 50 mile range.

e.g: http://calipidder.com/wp/2008/09/northe ... mile-loop/

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... d_id=24146

looks amazing, nonetheless
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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:21 pm

Yes, you are correct it is 48 miles, but still worth doing especially if you could add
on extra day, unless you do not mind the 12 mile days.
The ponds near Finger Peaks near Burro Pass is a nice campsite with nice sunset views west.
The view down Matterhorn Canyon from Burro Pass is outstanding, you really
can imagine the glacier carving it out.
Smedberg Lake area is pretty as are Surprise, and Sister Lake.
The Seavey Pass is a favorite on this loop with its small pretty lakes scattered all over.
Kerrick Meadow is pretty nice, and Peeler Lake is really nice and makes for a good
last night spot.
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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby diesel » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:46 pm

Thanks, maverick. I'll definitely consider that one for a 4 day trip.

Based on your suggestions in the 5 night trip thread I was looking into this loop out of mineral kings as well. :

http://books.google.com/books?id=x9w0TE ... op&f=false

The elevation profile looks daunting, but based on our past experience seems we could handle it
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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:57 pm

Those are good, but neither Sawtooth, nor Black Rock Pass are really fun to
do the first, or even the second day out.
Going around towards Franklin is much more gentle, and allows you to acclimate
much better before getting to either one of those higher passes.
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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby miked » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:42 pm

I've heard sawtooth pass can be challenging, as there is no obvious trail. might wanna reconsider this route if you are not comfortable going "off trail," though someone correct me if I'm wrong
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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby tim » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:35 pm

How about Duck Pass to Purple Lake to Fish Creek (via Lake Virginia if you're ambitious) and over to one or more of the Silver Divide lakes? Come back via Minnow Creek to Iva Bell Hot Springs to Reds Meadow. You can get back to your car using the free Mammoth shuttle system. I'm doing a shorter (28 mile) version of this hike (just going down Fish Creek to the hot springs) over 4 days this weekend with my kids.
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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby diesel » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:35 pm

Mike, I'm sure sawtooth would be a challenge, but with 3 other hikers and a little advanced preparation, we should be able to figure it out.

Thanks for the suggestion, tim. Admittedly, that's an area I know nothing about so I will have to look into it further.
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Re: 3-4 days in late august...need suggestions

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:54 pm

Yes there is a trail up Sawtooth Pass, though very sandy at points(quick sand), much
easier to descend it.
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