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seeking dayhiking route in N Cal

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Re: seeking dayhiking route in N Cal

Postby tim » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:55 pm

Sunrise Lakes is probably the nicest (but most popular) backpacking spot (maybe 1.5 hours from the parking lot). It is about 15 mins off the direct route to Clouds Rest. In addition there is a tarn right on the route, almost half way to Clouds Rest (just under 2 hours from the car), which still has plenty of water and some obvious camping spots. The views didn't look quite as good there, but its more convenient if you want to drop your stuff on the way.

I think at this point in time you may be able to do self registration for a backpacking permit at the Big Oak Flat entrance (not clear to me if that is for anywhere in the park or if you need to go to Tuolumne Meadows for trailheads in that area).

The Yosemite site says to call to check on the Tioga Pass road but DOT says it is open. There might still be some snow at one or both of the above sites, but note that the tarn is roughly 300ft lower (a bit under 9000ft) compared to Lower Sunrise Lake



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Re: seeking dayhiking route in N Cal

Postby adornowest » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:10 pm

Thanks everyone, for the tips. We did Cloud's Rest this weekend. The views are spectacular. The rest of the hike, however, besides Lake Tenaya, was a bit routine. (In the Half Dome vs Cloud's Rest debate, I would cast my vote for HD, even with its teeming crowds, for the sheer splendors of waterfalls.) It seemed, however, pretty easy for a 15 mile hike, with a few climbs spread out throughout the hike. Being something of an acrophob, I was worried about the ridge to get to the summit, , but unless you want to seek out something more risky, you can easily avoid exposures of more than a 10 foot drop. Still enough to do major harm, of course, but the ridge is not a narrow knife's edge with immense 5000 ft drops if you make a misstep. You'd have to put yourself on the edge of the ridge to have even a shot at anything near that sort of drop.

If you are in the area, I also recommend the May Lake / Mt. Hoffman trail, which has both a pretty lake and spectacular views without too much effort.
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Re: seeking dayhiking route in N Cal

Postby dave54 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:44 pm

Other options for dayhiking:

Deer Creek in Lassen NF. About 1/2 hour above Chico on Hwy 32. Trailhead is the red bridge on 32. Hike downstream, the trail follows the creek.

From Red Bluff -- Hwy 36 E towards Lassen Park:
From Paynes Creek area you can access several trails in the Antelope Creek watershed adjacent to the Ishi Wilderness.

Continue to Mineral for the Mill Creek Trail. Follows Mill Creek downstream towards the Ishi Wilderness. Crosses a dirt road called Ponderosa Way at Black Rock and continues in to the Wilderness.

From Mineral: NF Road 17 north to the trailhead to Heart Lake. Lassen Peak towers above you the whole way. You can continue if you wish to Brokeoff Mountain, but this is more than a day hike.

About 20 minutes past Mineral is a small resort called Child's Meadows. Just past the resort on Hwy 36 is the spencer Meadows Trail. Climbs and follows the ridge north and enters Lassen Park, connects to their trail system. Or connects to a few unmaintained and hard to follow trails on the NF just south of the Park (my favorite kind of trail :D ).

These are all in a different geology than the Sierras. The basalt, dacite, rhyolite, etc formations produce some bizarre hoodoos and odd shaped formations. The tree colors aren't bad, either.

The Highway 32/Deer Creek canyon corridor has a campng restriction -- developed campgrounds only. The rest of the area is open to dispersed camping.

The ishi Wilderness is low elevation so is more or less snow free all winter. A few cold storms may limit access for a few days but the roads clear quickly once the storm passes and the sun returns.


Just north of Red Bluff, off of I-5, is the BLM Sacramento River Bend area. The Yana trail follows the Sac River from the town of Bend to Jelly's Ferry. Trail stays passable all winter. Another short but all-season trail is the Iron Canyon Trail off Hwy 36 about 5 miles from Red Bluff. Loops to a bluff overlooking the Sac River.
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