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Returning to the Sierra after 30 years!

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Re: Returning to the Sierra after 30 years!

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:31 pm


Welcome back to the Sierra and welcome here! What a story. As others have said, I believe you will in fact find the Sierra every bit as wonderful as you have left it. I have been hiking continuously there since 1965 and I think it is fair to say that not too much has changed in the backcountry. Some frontcountry towns/cities may have grown and changed but the roadless areas have changed little.

Regarding the trip suggestions with 3 to 5 yr old kids, I second Little Lakes Valley. Even though a week there might be a bit confined for grown ups, this will be fine for young kids, since you really don't want to go very far or gain too much elevation (my kids are 4 and 8--they were 2 and 6 when they took their first backpacking trip).
Another good option is the area out of Virginia Lakes out of Bridgeport. The first lake (Blue) is under 1 mi and the next one Cooney is about 1 mi from the car, and one can wander further and explore. Nice scenery and fewer folks than in Little Lakes Valley or the trunk trail going to Duck Pass out of Mammoth which is another one that has some good short distance options. The Grouse Ridge area north of I 80 is a North Sierra option that has some nice short distance backpacking options with room to explore.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: ... ayshi.html

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Re: Returning to the Sierra after 30 years!

Postby withoutatrace » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:47 am

Thanks for the suggestions! I will look into Little Lakes Valley, 20 Lakes Basin, as well as the Mono Pass Trail to the Fourth Recess--I kinda like the sound of the HUGE waterfall. I guess I need to clarify a few things--the FIRST trip will be with kids, but then those with kids won't be able to stay as long as the rest of us so after the first one week trip, we will pack out and say goodbye to those departing and then my son and I and possibly 2 grown daughters who will still be on college break will return into the high country for a second long 2 weeker--altogether different place. So in essence there would be first a one week trip with small kids; then a 2 week without small kids. Man I tell ya, I'm getting excited just talking about it lol!

Also, I didn't notice any particular thread heading for just discussions on gear. Does it matter where I ask my questions on gear? Since I have been out of the loop for such a long time, I know a lot of things have probably changed so I would appreciate your input on bags, packs, trek poles, water filters, stoves etc. There's a plethora of information on the web, but of course one never knows what works and what doesn't--the input of those well acquainted with the subject is much more useful. Thanks again for all the info, it's much appreciated.

P.S. I read with much laughter the thread on the "Backcountry Meeting". That was just great! I know y'all had a super time!
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Re: Returning to the Sierra after 30 years!

Postby Timberline » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:38 pm

withoutatrace wrote:I will look into Little Lakes Valley, 20 Lakes Basin, as well as the Mono Pass Trail to the Fourth Recess--I kinda like the sound of the HUGE waterfall.

Howdy, WOAT,
I heartily second (3rd? 4th? whatever) the suggestion to head over Mono Pass to the upper recesses, especially 4th recess lake and Pioneer Basin. Absolutely superb scenery from the basin looking back at the Sierra Crest, and the lake is a total charm. That would be a welcome return experience for sure! :D

Looking forward to a trip report with pix!

Happy trails.
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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