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Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

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Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:04 pm

So we all know the Sierra Nevada is the best mountain range there is, period.
We also know the saying "a bad day in the sierra, is still better than a great
day back in civilization".
We all talk about the prettiest this, the best fish in that, what about the
least desirable destinations.
Are there any places that just did not live up to the hype from others?
A place that you would rather avoid, but have to go thru just because there
is now way around it?
Let's hear about your least favorite places in the sierra, the where's, and the why's?
I do not care for LYV, just to many people, to noisy, and this is really magnified if it is
my first trip for the season, I really have to zoom right thru it.
Plus it is not the prettiest location either.



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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby The Other Tom » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:18 pm

Wow ! This thread promises to be, well, controversial. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder doesn't think Lyle Canyon is all that spectacular. Not ugly, just not the best views. It doesn't have "character". No grand views, no lakes, no high peaks, too many packers going through. All IMO, of course. Please, no flames for my opinion.
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Re: Worst Sierra Destinations

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:36 pm

I'll tend to agree Tom, especially the lower parts are boring, as are parts of
Kern Canyon especially from Junction to Upper Funston, dry, dusty, and not
any great views, though the views from the HST on the way up to Chagoopa
down the Kern are great, and the Hot Spring makes up for the lack of views
for some.
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby markskor » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:10 pm

Heading south of the Devil's Postpile - JMT, there is that flat, dry, dusty, burnt out section...Always glad when I get past it.

Also, trail out of Mono Meadows, heading up towards Illilouette Creek, a good 7 miles of nothing but horse flies.
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby balzaccom » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:14 pm

KIbbie Ridge, with its endless deadfalls over the trail, is no fun. But there is a great view of Cherry Lake at one point...and once over Styx Pass things get really interesting.

Also Illilouette Canyon through the burned section isn't much fun either. But it leads to Ottoway Lakes...which are heavenly.

So i've listed two areas that aren't great...but they do lead to heaven!
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:03 pm

Oh yeah I forgot that section of the JMT, your absolutely right on with that Markskor!
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby copeg » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:55 am

Agree about that section south of Devils Postpile, dry, dusty, burnt, ugh. Other places I try to avoid are mostly due to the number of people, having to step aside every minute to squeeze past other hikers or select a campsite surrounded by people: Little Lakes Valley and The Whitney Trail are two that come to mind. I love the scenery in both, but simply due to the hoards of people I will avoid in high season.
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby sirlight » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:53 am

I am sure that I will get a ton of flak about this one, Mt. Whitney has been the least desirable for me. Yes, the views are spectacular, but the crowds of "non-backcountry" people made it unpleasant. Everyone at the top was whipping out their cell phones and trying to make calls. It was just not what I had imagined. My entire trip on the HST was a blast. Then I hit trail crest and it was all down hill (so to speak) from there. Still, if you are a hiker, it's a must do at least once.
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:38 am

No flak Sirlight from me, I think Whitney is way over rated, there are peaks near by, and
further north that have much better views, with absolutely no people.
The only 2 times that I climbed it was to finish the JMT, and I will never do it again.
Now Miter Basin to the south, and Wallace Lakes to the north I would visit again any time.
Let me add the trail between Vernon Lake to Tiltill Valley, which is right up there as being
one of my least favorite too.
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:32 am

Lotsa low hanging fruit here. Like the Miguel Meadows trail (and if you have not heard of it=u know why). I imagine the trails south of Siberia Pass and east of the Kern are pretty dull. One of the reasons I have never been all that interested in the PCT is too many stretches of boring. I actually liked the Illilouette Canyon (twice), though not all of it. It has a nice tranquil quality to it, good for the first day of hiking, and its on the way to good things. There is more I am sure if I thought about it, but still I would trade here for there.
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby quentinc » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:05 pm

A great topic (and one of the rules has to be no flak for answers one doesn't like :) ).

Mav, I'm glad to see your comment about Kern Canyon, since I was roundly voted down for dissing the section of the HST that travels through the dust, mud and gravel up to lovely Junction Meadow (aka, Junction Dust Bowl). I also find the appeal of the concrete bathtub known as a hot springs a complete mystery, but I know others disagree.

We've previously detailed the horror of the Pine Creek trail, with its knee and ankle-breaking high steps and loose gravel. That and the HST through the Kern are two trails I will never do again without a gun pointed to my head.

One stretch that I hate is hard to avoid, though: In addition to the burnt out section of the JMT (which at least has an excuse, because it burned), I've always dreaded the stretch north of the Florence Lake junction, which switchbacks endlessly up a dry, sun-tormented and ugly slope. (I also dislike the stretch from Florence Lake to the junction.) But this route does lead to Marie Lake and many beautiful things.

I actually like Whitney, despite the cell phone crowd, but in the future I think I'll do it only via the mountaineer's route. I did enjoy climbing Muir on my HST trip this summer, though, so that would still be worth a detour.
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Re: Least Desirable Sierra Destinations

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:57 pm

I too Q have never seen the appeal of the hot springs, but as you said, some
folks love it.
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