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Which Sierra Trailheads?

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Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby East Side Hiker » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:22 pm

Just last night I was thinking of Sierra roads and trailheads. Of course the Sierra roads are very beautiful, but their importance to most of us most of the time is for access to trailheads.

So I was thinking hard about this, surrounded by piles of maps, and though I am a hard core East Sider, I believe that the best trailhead in the Sierra is the Hwy 180 Roads End at Zumwalt Mdw. There are so many different loops that can be done from there, from the "freeway" loop over Glen Pass to hard core loops involving x-country routes.



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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby Shawn » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:37 pm

It sure is a classic -
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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby SSSdave » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:20 pm

Which Sierra Trailheads...

ok I'll bite..

Which Sierra Trailheads...makes most drivers turn around and go back and park on the paved road?

Why that would be the Bear Diversion Dam Trailhead. There are much more difficult 4WD trailheads, but the those only turn around a few hard core jeepers. No this trailhead turns more around because even 2wd vehicles drivers think they will be able to cope. Until they take on the first rutted pitch.
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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:21 pm

SSSdave,

I've driven to Bear Diversion Dam and seen cars there I could not believe made it in, including an old VW van and a Lincoln Continental.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:39 pm

A LC, darn that must have been a site.
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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:08 am

A pretty sizable number of my trips over the years have either left from or come out at Roads End, so that may count as my favorite. (Always the Monarch Divide, though--never east or south.)

Otherwise, my favorite trailhead area is good old EdiFlo; there's just a tremendous range of destinations easily accessible from the trailheads there, from the Silver Divide to the Mono Divide to Bear Creek country to Evolution Valley to Goddard Canyon to the LeConte Divide.
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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby Trailguru » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:10 pm

Definitely love Roads End. So many opportunities!! I haven't really been around Flo/Thomas Edison Lakes area but that area is dotted with so many lakes!!
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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby texan » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:59 am

I like the area around Florence/Edison Lake a lot. There are a lot of lakes and streams in the area. I really like the Bear Creek area a lot.

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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:47 pm

There are a lot of early season opportunities off Hwy 88 and I-80; and many of the west side mtn entries; try Hwy 89 too, especially north of Truckee.
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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:36 pm

I like Road's End and I do like the large number of options therefrom but one does have to work a bit to get to the first lake, so it is great for serious hikes but not for shorter hikes with beginners.

Because scenery and such right of the gate, plus the options available, I like North Lake. Lamarck Col is probably my favorite gateway to the Mt Goddard country and one is over Piute in a flash to get into Humphreys Basin. There is a reasonable mix of challenging and easy alternatives from there.

Little Lakes Valley is high on my list because it starts out so high and while the trailed options out of there are fairly limited, a bit of fairly easy cross country opens up wonderful possibilities: whether going to Lake Italy or going to Spire Lake and environs, and there are lots of short beginner options, too.

I've always had a soft spot for Convict Canyon because of the stunning colors combined with the rugged cliffs and narrow canyon. Add in the cross country options (esp. to Ram Lakes) and this trailhead has a lot to offer.

South Lake is another east side favorite of mine that has some short hike options, but it also opens the door to many other distant possibilities in addition to kicking off right out the gate in high country.

My favorite fishing trailhead is Glen Alpine. Lots of easy-to-reach home run options from there.

Finally, I have another favorite that is not a trailhead because no trail starts there--this is Hoffman Mtn. of course. A launching point for the trips of dreams that lets one start the trip off trail and save lots of mileage and time is certainly a special one.
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: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby Cross Country » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:28 am

My favorite was Roads End for the reasons mentioned above. I went on about 25 trips from there of 4 to 8 days, but only took 4 with my son. By the time I started BP with him I had been to nearly everywhere from there I could cover in 4 to 8 days (there are lots of them), except 2. They were Arrow Peak Lake and Woods Lake. We went to those 2. He always wanted to go places to where I had never been. This nearly eliminated this trailhead for trips for us. Like me he loved to explore and always wanted our trips to be exploring trips for both of us.

After hiking from Paradise Valley to Woods Lake in 1 day, 8yo Mike is sleeping heavy and late, with the sun in his face the next morning. Mike actually liked "death" marches. I never did.

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Re: Which Sierra Trailheads?

Postby BrianF » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:18 am

One of my favorites is Horseshoe meadows, since it is the closest high sierra trailhead to my home. A few times every summer/fall I drive up there a on a weekend night , sleep in my truck and get a great dayhike in the next day - climb Cirque or just wander around cottonwood lakes basin. Another favorite one for that is North lake, I love to dayhike into Humphrey's basin!
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher
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