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Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

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Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby kevmc » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:00 pm

I am looking for a 4 to 5 day backpack trip somewhere in the sierras. We are level 1-2 backpackers, and comfortable with level 1 or maybe level 2 terrain. Not so into river crossings.

We are mostly interested in Lakes, Forests and Fishing. Ideally, each day would be 4 to 8 miles with campsites somewhere near streams or lakes to fish in. Probably need a loop unless there is transportation available such as the shuttles in Yosemite. Our last trip was Tenya lake to the valley via Clouds Rest and half Dome to give you an idea of what we are comfortable with.

We are planning to go the first part of August. I am looking at a permit for Glen Aulin but so far I have not been successful. If I don't find a better solution, we will probably go for a FCFS permit in TM and either backpack around sunrise, cathedral or Volgesang but I would much rather be able to plan my trip beforehand

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.



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Re: Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:32 pm

I would take him to Dinkey Lakes. More lakes and streams than most other destinations, some golden hybrids and rainbows and brook trout to catch, no permit issues. We've been up there in September and still found wildflowers.

Also, Saddlebag Lakes loop - same as Dinkey, a little more alpine, beautiful and great place to take kids who can't do tons of steep climbs or miles. Also easier permitting. Plus a ferry across Saddlebag Lake if you don't want to walk around it.
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Re: Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby oldranger » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:04 pm

Well have a couple of options planned for TM. You can do a loop up to Vogelsang and have a choice of
2 THs. My preference would be to do the loop clockwise and first day go up Lyle Canyon to the Ireland/Vogelsang cutoff. That is a piece of cake for a first day and would give you plenty of time (with an early start to tease some trout out of the river. The next day would be a grunt of 1800 ft. of vertical but assuming you have now spent at least 2 nights at elevation you should be able to handle going from Lyle Canyon up to Ireland lake. The 3rd day would be another piece of cake heading to Evelyn where the fishing is usually somewhat spotty. But on day 4 do a layover and hike over the ridge to Townsley and Fletcher lakes or up to Vogelsang Lake. I would avoid camping near Vogelsang unless you are able to get a reservation for dinner and/or breakfast. Then you might find it convenient to camp nearer to the HSC. Day 5 would be almost all downhill (Raferty Creek trail) to TM. Given that I like to fish I could easily spend 3 nights in the Vogelsang area.

An area with quotas that are seldom filled is the ranger Lakes area in SEKI. Not quite as "high Sierra" as Vogelsang but not an area I would ever worry about a reservation (except Jul 4 and labor day weekends). It would be possible to do a loop from the Sunset meadow trailhead that would meet your specifications.

Neither trip has scary stream crossings.

Mike
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Re: Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby tim » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:37 pm

I would highly recommend the Duck Creek to Reds Meadow loop that I did with my 9 year old twins last summer (first week of August). See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5344

Its pretty easy to get permits, works well as a loop (using the shuttles in Mammoth) and has great hot springs as an incentive at the end of day 3 (the nicest hot springs in the Sierra in my view). You even start higher than you finish, meaning 1500ft less climbing. It was our first trip of more than 3 days and worked well - we did it over 5 days, which means all the days are 5-7 miles (31 miles total).

Only one river crossing of note, across Fish Creek (usual ford is at Second Crossing). I'd suggest crossing higher up where we did it (at the end of the second day) and going up the Minnow Creek cutoff trail - the river is very calm (with a sandy bottom) at that point and there is a nice campsite on the other side. It only came up to just over the kids knees. That was the only time the boots came off - all the streams either had log crossings or could be jumped across.

We didn't fish, but saw people fishing at Pika Lake/Duck Lake and saw lots of fish in Fish Creek. Fishing would be right next to the campsite the first 2 nights. and quite feasible the 3rd night (within a few minutes walk). For the last night if you want more fishing you might want to split the hike out differently than we did and camp at Island Crossing.
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Re: Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby maverick » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:57 pm

Since you indicated Lakes, Forest, and Fishing as your main interest, and big
mountain scenery was not on your list, I would second OR's loop out of Sunrise
or Horse Corral Meadow.
There are some beautiful lakes, forests, and good fishing on this loop.
Seville Lake, and Sheep Camp Lakes (off-trail) are pretty lakes, and Lost Lake is
simply gorgeous, and not very visited.
Seville Lake, Lost Lake, Ranger Lake, and JO Pass Trail/Twin Lakes Trail Junction have
bear boxes.
By the way, what were you planning to visit/see in the Glen Aulin area?
No Lakes, unless your were planning to go up to Young Lakes, Mattie, or Virginia Lakes.
Fishing should be good in parts of the Tuolumne River, and the run-off should still be
pretty good with all the snow, though July would be better for the falls.
By August you shouldn't have any creek crossing issues if you were planned to go up to
Young Lakes.
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Re: Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:30 am

There's Horseshoe Mdw, The Lundy Pass Trail out of Saddlebag, trails out of Mosquito Flat, Leavitt Mdw, trails starting from Carson Pass or Woods Lake, trails starting from Ebbitts Pass...
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Re: Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby LMBSGV » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:46 pm

I concur with all the other suggestions. One other one I have, a west side entry, is going out of Granite Creek and doing the Isberg Pass, Post Peak Pass loop in Ansel Adams Wilderness. My wife and did it way back in 1980 in three days and loved it. A couple of caveats: the crossing of Granite Creek this year will be a wade in thigh-high water. It's not particularly difficult (my son did it at age 6 with parental help - it was waist high for him), but I know some people don't like those kind of crossings. Also, the skeeters between the Granite Creek crossing and Cora Lakes this year will probably be especially bad. On the plus side, Isberg Lake, the area around Isberg/Post Peak passes, the hike past Porphery Lake, and Post Creek are wonderful. I don't know about fishing on this route. Also, if you have extra time, a side trip to Joe Crane Lake and/or McClure Lake are highly recommended. Getting a permit should not be as difficult as some of the other suggested routes.
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Re: Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby oldranger » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:11 am

Re: Fishing in Granite Creek Lakes

There are some lakes with lots of brookies and others with mixtures of brook and rainbow. Don't bother with Porphery Lake though the rock there is really cool. The upper Isberg lakes may not have fish either but I met a cute pika there once.

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Re: Trip Recommendation for me and 12 year old son

Postby East Side Hiker » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:56 pm

It just occured to me - on the west side, what about starting from the Clark Fork off Hwy 108? There are bears to watch out for, but there may be opportunities, and the country is somewhat gentle.

Who can tell about the snow conditions in the future now - its raining in the Bay Area as I write - but there are nice trails out of Pacific Valley (Hwy 4)
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