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Most remote location in the sierra?

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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby lostcoyote » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:49 pm

there's a good cross country route that leads north from colby lake and eventually crosses the GWD to get into the upper kern basin just south of thunder mtn. pretty remote - but close to the cloud canyon trail.

then;ale 2 miles west of observation peak seems pretty lonely... tho it's about 2 miles south of the JMT along palisade creek


what's the view like from the woodworth tarns looking up the enchanted gorge? is rambaud pass relatively easy (anyone here been over it?)



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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby John Dittli » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:11 pm

Skied through there in '95, don't remember the pass as anything but a good ski.

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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby dave54 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:46 pm

Why is it defined as 'distance from road'?

There is lots of corporate forest land around here that is well roaded according to the map. However, the roads are gated or blocked to restrict access. The company employees only seldom visit the area, and as a result there are tens of thousands of acres that get less visitor use than many wilderness areas.

Don't set your sights low when seeking remoteness and solitude.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:54 pm

My own definition of "most remote" is similar to others who would say that truly remote is a function of the time spent to reach a place hiking from the car with more "points" awarded for off trail, given that one can hike for many miles on a trail and find oneself next to a packer party, but this cannot happen with off trail travel. Straight line distance, while easily quantifiable off maps may not necessarily reflect trail hiking distance (and time) and certainly not off trail distance. Just in looking at maps, it appears to me that the furthest (in straight-line distance) from a road is somewhere in the Middle Fork Kings drainage possibly Goddard Creek upstream of Simpson Meadow. I think one can swing arcs and find a spot that is straightline-distance further from road than Tunemah in that region, although I'm just eyeballing this off of a map.

For my own "most remote" I think of this in terms of distance and degree of difficulty of off trail hiking spent to reach a destination plus the overall hiking time spent getting there. By this definition, I'd rank Red Spur Lakes no. 1. The shortest off trail route is from the Kern-Kaweah R. and that is a fairly long off trail approach (although not horribly hard). I'm no John Muir, so others here may be faster (Maverick, Mokelumne Kid), but getting to Red Spur lakes in 2 days from anywhere would be a titanic effort for me (more than I'd care to break off in two days). The Dumbbells have quite a good cross country effort required but it wouldn't be quite as epic as trying to get to Red Spur in 2 days (2 very hard days but not as hard as the 2 to get to Red Spur--I'd try it were it not for the many places I'd like to stop on the way in). The remotest parts of Goddard Creek and Enchanted Gorge would, for me, fit into a similar (to Dumbbells) "very hard two days" to reach but not as hard as getting to Red Spur in two days.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby John Dittli » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:38 pm

That's what I came up with, just east of Tunamah; too far south and you get into the arc from the South Fork Road.
I'm in complete agreement about different perceptions of "remoteness"; I should have titled the topic "furthest point from a road", as I was looking for a simple cartographic fact.
"Remote" is a state of mind and physical condition. Dumbbell Lakes feels remote unless you happen to be there when someone is doing it as a dayhike. Lower Cathedral Creek is only a few miles from the road and it feels VERY wild. We got out from Red Spur Lakes in a pretty easy two days over Carillon Col but still, it felt pretty remote. My guess is the meadow at the end of Ragged Spur is less visited than all of them!

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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby lostcoyote » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:36 pm

>>>"Remote" is a state of mind<<<

to this, i completely agree.

for me, feeling as if one is in a remote location has quite a bit to do with feeling isolated from the rest of the world - meaning [for me personally] no people around either. physical distance from trails helps but in the example below, not nessessary

i have been through ionian basin a number of times. i never really felt isolated there but while at tunemah (and even at tehipite which has a trail), i did feel a sense of isolation.... and that's a psychological state of mind based on feelings of being alone with nobody else around.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby LMBSGV » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:25 pm

Love the photos, especially #2, which seems me like a photographic Japanese print. I'm another of the "state of mind" folks when it comes to remoteness. A couple of days of true solitude (seeing no other people) when I'm solo and I fall into the sublime serenity of wilderness.

I recently spent 4 days without seeing another person in the off-trail parts of 9 Lakes Basin (I was going to Kaweah Basin and broke the big toe on my right foot, which prevented me from making it over Pyra Queen Col). With my movement limited, I found the opportunity to sit and take in my immediate surroundings a wondrous experience. The fact there were probably hordes of unseen people making their way up and down the High Sierra Trail a mile or so away only enhanced the sense of solitude.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:54 am

John Dittli wrote:We got out from Red Spur Lakes in a pretty easy two days over Carillon Col but still, it felt pretty remote. My guess is the meadow at the end of Ragged Spur is less visited than all of them!
JD

I had forgotten Carillon Col. Going out of most remote destinations (such as Dumbbells, Red Spur) is generally easier than getting in because of the net elevation loss (and lighter pack). I'd bail Red Spur in 2 days to Crescent Meadow (say Red Spur to Hamilton, then out from Hamilton) if my schedule forced me to, but I wouldn't want to try that going in. My wife and I bailed Dumbbells with one super easy day (to Amphitheater) followed by one spectacularly epic one (Amphitheater to South L. via Knapsack), but if the ease of hiking was the primary consideration we could have split this more 50/50 and made it a fairly easy hike out. I hear you about folks dayhiking into Dumbbells. We saw a group coming in from Lakes Basin while we were in Dumbbells. Never actually met up with them, though (just saw them in the distance coming through the pass).

As for the most remote feel, Red Spur and the basin downstream of Tunemah certainly have a nice remote feel (the latter may be my all time favorite), but the most remote feel I can remember was in parts of the "Bermuda Triangle" (trailless NW Yosemite). The north side of Kendrick Creek (instead of the more traveled south side) to Edyth is part of this, as well as the more accessible, but equally seldom visited, "Emerald Staircase" (string of unnamed lakes and lakelets downstream of Little Bear et al.) had the most remote feel of any places I've been to. The thick brush is what adds to the off trail degree of difficulty in these parts and probably reduces the visitation still further compared to other remote off trail destinations that don't require the same level of bushwhacking. Kendrick Creek upstream of Edyth would no doubt be in that category and then some but I haven't been there.
Last edited by giantbrookie on Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby John Dittli » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:41 am

giantbrookie wrote: Red Spur and the basin downstream of Tunemah certainly have a nice remote feel (the latter may be my all time favorite), but the most remote feel I can remember is in parts of the "Bermuda Triangle" (trailless NW Yosemite). The north side of Kendrick Creek (instead of the more traveled south side) to Edyth is part of this, Kendrick Creek upstream of Edyth would no doubt be in that category and then some but I haven't been there.


Cool that you mentioned these places. We wandered around "lower Tunemah basin", I got that same feeling as you there (as well as other secrets). It also coincidentally, is very close to furthest DNR. Also, we did a trip into the Kendrick area for the first time this summer (never been that far west up there). Very much enjoyed parts of the Yosemite Boundary "trail", probably the most remote I've ever felt in the Sierra on trail.

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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby Cross Country » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:35 pm

Referring to this as "a state of mind" is interesting and fun to think about. For me it had something to do with my age, how many people were with me and who they were (to me), and their competency level to hike out if something happened to me and I weren't able to guide them. I felt much more anxious when off trail with my son(s) than by myself, and being alone is a little scary.
Red Spur Lakes area (I didn't quite reach Red Spur Lakes) seemed very remote, more so than Goddard Canyon. Both times I went to South Goddard we saw people and that's why.

When I was on Kendricks Creek above Edyth I had only slight fealings of isolation. I was relatively young. I was with 5 other people, 1 of which was more competent at the time than I.

Once at Cirque Lake I was solo and felt very alone because I hadn't seen any one in 3 days and was fairly certain I wouldn't see anyone the next day either (I didn't).

At Dumbbell Lakes I was afraid for my 2 sons, Jim-16 and Mike-11. Those Lakes are fun to walk around and explore. They're easy and interesting. My boys didn't always want to go with me and whenever I left them I was afraid (for them) that something would happen to me. We were on a shuttle trip and at Dumbbell they could'nt have gone back over Dumbbell Pass. There was a snow cornice. I felt more confident hiking up Observation Peak because Mike went with me.

I felt the most isolated on the Tunemah trip because Mike and I were doing a loop trip and until we got to the trail in Blue Canyon I feared for Mike-12. On a loop trip Mike would have to go somewhere he hadn't been, and off trail. His map reading skills at 12yo were not up to that. We went to Tunemah because the year before at the Obs peak summit, in the register an entry stated that "he" had just come from Tunemah where there were large Rainbows.

At Edyth (Edith) Lake one could feel isolated. I rarely felt that way there because I found (and ducked) an easy route in and out. Also you can hike out in one day and most people using my route would do so every time. I did so only once, because I almost always wanted to stop for the afternoon and fish and camp at Laurel Lake.

For me, remoteness certainly is a state of mind along with other factors less important.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby Hoovertime » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:16 pm

Sept. 14-17 I went on a BP trip to a remote place in the Sierra. I was checking out a Topo earlier this year when I saw a lake that appeared to have all the attributes of a great fishing lake. It was off the beaten path, on the way to nowhere, hard to get to, appeared deep and seemed to have a relatively flat inlet stream= good for spawning.

I tried to get info on the lake (Google, books, this website, p.m.) What I got was zero, zilch, and nada. It's nice there are still some places around with the element of the unknown. I wouldn't want to spoil it for the next person who seeks info on it so I will refer to it as: 6.5 kilometers west of the northernmost of the 2 lakes that makes deposits to both sides of the Sierra.

I arrived at the lake around 5 pm September 15th and started fishing. I began to move to a different place when I noticed a brown bear and her black cub headed right towards me about 70' away. She noticed me and changed her course and went away from the lake, up and around me thankfully. I fished for a half hour Saturday and from 6:45 a.m. to noon the following day. Never saw a fish in the lake, never saw a fish surface feed, never had a nibble. Didn't use a fly and bubble, because they're was almost always a chop on the lake. Used a number of different proven lures without any luck.

I checked out the inlet streams, none of them were currently even making it into the lake. The continual upslope wind forces all the small rocks and sand to the inlet side of the lake, creating a berm almost a foot tall in some places, completely preventing the streams from reaching the lake. The inlet streams still had water, saw no fish in them, but I did see a large frog.

I'm guessing there's at least a 90% chance there's no fish in the lake; even so, I very much enjoyed the experience of being there.

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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:59 pm

When I first moved here about 15 years ago I bought a set of maps of the Sierra and noticed that there were few trails on the Mt Goddard map. So I did a 16 day trip from North Lake over Lamark Col and around Davis Lake to Martha Lake, then into the Ionian Basin. At Chasm Lake I decided to peek down the Enchanted Gorge and curiosity got the best of me and I ended up going down the enthre thing, bivying half way up Goddard Creek and circling back to Chasm Lake via the lakes north of Scylla. I had alredy been out about 10 days and saw few people so by the time I did the Enchanted Gorge it felt like a long ways from anything. The confluence of Enchanted Gorge and Goddard Creek is pretty remote. The lakes on the west side of the Black Divide are also difficult to get to.

Another area that is remote but not nearly as far from trails is the confluence of Mattehorn, Regulation and Virginia Creeks. Hooper Peak is supposed to be one of the most difficult to reach peaks in Yosemite.
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