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Most remote location in the sierra?

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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:22 pm

So Keweah Basin wins big over Tunemah. The thing about Tunemah is that you are on a big trail all the way to Blackcap Basin so only have 7 miles of off-trail. Also is pretty much one big up push, whereas to get to Keweah, you have to go over passes or down to the Kern and back up.


Unless of course one heads up from the Rockslide Lake area, and then the time spent off-trail is short to get into Kaweah Basin, but getting to that point does takes quite a bit of trail miles.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby Hobbes » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:53 pm

Daisy, I calculated 27.2 miles from Shepherd to Kaweah basin: Shepherd - 10, Junction Mdw - 11.7, Island lake - 5.1.

You guys are gonna laugh, but one of the most remote areas pretty close to civilization is Versteeg lake (lake 3645 under Mt Tyndall). The only reason I knew about it was a couple of references in the HST fishing forum by a poster by the name of Ozark Flip:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2295

I guess it's possible to come over the Tyndall/Versteeg mount from the Williamson bowl, but the easy way is to hike up from the Wright lakes. The thing is, not many people head into WLB - mostly because of Shepherd - and the ones who do are heading south toward Wallace/Wales/Tulainyo. But, if you head up towards Versteeg, there aren't any use trails, and definitely not any campsites @ 12k.

Shepherd is 10 miles, WLB another 3 over Rockwell, then just over 1 mile to Versteeg. This is what it looks like:

Image

I caught a couple of golden/rainbow hybrids in the 8-9" range. I didn't stay long, but it's good place to get a fairly quick shot (you can do it in 1 day) of very high Sierra.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:45 pm

I guess it's possible to come over the Tyndall/Versteeg mount from the Williamson bowl, but the easy way is to hike up from the Wright lakes.


Have used Tyndall Col to access that area from Williamson Bowl before, rocky class 2, if Williamson Bowl and the upper part of Wright Lakes Basin was on my itinerary, then Tyndall would be my point of access, otherwise Rockwell Pass would be the choice.
You are correct, that part of Wright Lakes Basin gets very little usage, the small chain of lakes between the two outcroppings of Mt. Barnard to the west, see even less, did not see any sign of human activity there. ;)

My personal pick is still Red Spur Lakes, until I feel the remoteness that was experienced there, it is still at the top of my list.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby alpinemike » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:32 pm

I'm fairly sure it was mentioned before but if we are going by feel of remoteness and not by any objective metric then the confluence of Disappearing Creek and Goddard Creek is a close 2nd for me. When I was there with Rogue 2 years it truly felt like I was in the heart of the most remote trailess area in the Sierra. Number 3 is the area and lakes below Rambaud Pass to the west. I wouldn't be surprised if those lakes see only a couple parties a decade. To get to them from either side is quite a march and from the west.. Forget about it. I wish that hillside on no one.

Of course as Rogue said earlier... Nothing beats the number one spot of the lake on the Ragged Spur. Closed in by the walls of the Ragged Spur and the Enchanted Gorge below. You know.. if you go there.. You'll be the only one to go there potentially the entire decade or who knows half century!
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:55 pm

Alpine Mike- have to agree that the confluence of Disappearing Creek and Goddard is very remote feeling. To add to the anxiety, I was there on a day excursion that turned into an 18-hour day-hike and was benighted. But, I actually met two fellows there! They were somewhat lost and one had a sprained ankle. We did not talk much because we were on opposite sides of the river. After I met them, I went upstream until dark before I built a fire and spent the night. It is not the distance but the fact that there is NO WAY in or out of that spot without extremely difficult terrain.

Hobbs - I fished Versteeg Lake. Hooked a few large fish but never was able to land one.

I conclude that fishermen are some of the most adventuresome folk out there and will go to any length to get to a lake with big fish. Therefore, a lake with big fish may not be visited much by the general public, but you can bet plenty of fishermen have been there. Now, places like Alpine Mike mentioned, fewer would go. The confluence of Disappearing Creek and Goddard, however, is in several guidebooks, so is visited more than you would think. Another key to remoteness is to stay away from anything mentioned in a guide book. Other places that get visited more than you think are base-camp areas for popular climbs.

As for overall remoteness, the longest I have been out solo without seeing a person was 8 days. The more days you are out and see nobody, the more remote it feels. Funny thing was that when I finally did see people in the distance, I purposely avoided them because I did not want to talk to anyone. It would have spoiled my trip!
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby Tom_H » Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:32 am

It isn't in the high country, but bush-whacking down the Moke is pretty isolated.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby creekfeet » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:31 pm

I'm of the opinion that remoteness is a state of mind more than anything. To me Roaring River country feels about as remote as anything else. I went up the West Fork of Ferguson Creek a couple years ago, and it felt like the kind of place that doesn't see footprints to often. In terms of accessibility, even though the General Sherman Tree is only a mile away, the Marble Fork Canyon downstream of Lodgepole has some spots that feel way off the beaten path. There are swimming holes out there that can only be accessed by swimming through certain choked out sections, and for it's worth they're the best swimming holes I've ever come across in the Sierra.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby limpingcrab » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:12 pm

And there are lots of fish in there too, creekfest!

Definitely some epic swimming holes once you get beyond the reach of the casual swimmers coming from the picnic areas.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby rcymbala » Sun May 14, 2017 11:16 am

Paradoxically, some of the places where I have felt the most remote, the most isolated, and farthest away from a road are in ... John Muir Wilderness, in spite of the fact that the entire length of this 907 square mile wilderness (650,000 acres, 100 miles long) parallels highway US 395 which is less than a mile away, or at most a few miles away. I go there a lot, because it is only three to five hours from the greater Los Angeles region (I can get there in 3.5 hours on a motorcycle).

Pinyon-P1110355.jpg


Regarding "feeling of remoteness," once I leave the road, it is possible to get the feeling that nobody has ever been here before, and for sure I'm not going to be seeing anyone today. There is one isolated, trail-less canyon after another for 100 miles from north to south! I consider Lubken Creek just south of Lone Pine to be the southern-most "big" canyon.

Pinyon-P1110383.jpg


These canyons are steep. Inside a John Muir Wilderness Canyon the feeling of being totally surrounded by cliffs and mountains gives the feeling of remoteness a new... feel. This wilderness is just East of SEKI (Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park). The boundary is the Sierra Crest, which means the west side of the wilderness goes right to 14,000 feet and sometimes a bit higher.

Pinyon-P1110394.jpg


Taking a look at the standard 7.5' topographic maps, look at those crazy topo lines. Notice that in addition to the major canyons that turn into creeks that drain into Owens Valley, there are hundreds of little side canyons. Get up in one of those, especially when the approach into the major canyon from US 395 is difficult, and you'll be in "the middle of nowhere." You won't see anybody, ever. Well, except yourself.

Pinyon-P1110398.jpg


Lastly, the visuals are absolutely stunning. Looking up and away, there may be a vista across Owens Valley to the Inyo Mountains, and maybe some sierra wave clouds. Look down, and the terrain is unbelievably beautiful with living trees, dead trees, rocks, plants, more rocks, .... amazing.

Pinyon-P1110366.jpg


Hands down, John Muir Wilderness is the most remote location in the Sierra. The trouble with locating one single most remote location from a road .... is that posting about it will attract MORE people to that spot, which will detract from the "feeling of remoteness." I like this Wilderness because it is so close to US 395 and in an hour I get the feeling that civilization is really, really, really far away. The more hours I put into climbing up a canyon towards the Sierra Crest, the more that feeling multiplies.

Pinyon-P1110377.jpg


Happy trails! Those photos are from 2004 in Pinyon Creek, just south of Onion Valley. Hundreds of people in Onion. Nobody but me in Pinyon!

I hope High Sierra Topix folks will focus more on this gem in the future, particularly because it is ALL off-trail ... no trails. zero. zip.
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Re: Most remote location in the sierra?

Postby Cross Country » Mon May 15, 2017 10:20 am

Daisy wrote:
As for overall remoteness, the longest I have been out solo without seeing a person was 8 days. The more days you are out and see nobody, the more remote it feels. Funny thing was that when I finally did see people in the distance, I purposely avoided them because I did not want to talk to anyone. It would have spoiled my trip!

I'm a normal social person and didn't really like solitude. I'm from a species of animals (primates) from whom the vast majority of us like company. Dogs are similar. Cats are basically solo.

I almost always like to talk to a BPer I met (they're good people) but not always. I can relate to part of what Daisey said. One time I was alone for 5 days. When I got to Chamberlain Lake on Memorial Day I expected to see people and there were two groups. The road that people use to disembark to Chamberlain (cross country would take me back to my car about 4 miles down the road. I wanted to get a ride and that's the only reason I went to talk to them. After that I went to be alone and eat my lunch. Noting this I thought that I now had a better idea of what makes hermits. I believe that being along for an extended time does something strange to ones mind.
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