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3 day 30 or so mile backpacking trip...any suggestions?

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3 day 30 or so mile backpacking trip...any suggestions?

Postby miked » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:15 am

A buddy and I spontaneously decided we'd like to get up and head to the mountains this Monday, and so now I've got to start planning and figure out the game plan. So far we are thinking that we'll be hiking for 3 days, maybe four. We're both young, in good shape with some backpacking experience (level 2 on your scale), comfortable with 10-13 mile days, so let's make 28-35 miles is the sweet spot we're going for. I've been to Mineral King, and done the Rae Lakes Loop, but have not done much on the east side nor have I seen much of the yosemite high country (except the valley, half dome, and lyell canyon).

Scenic Lakes and big mountain scenery are always nice. We'd like to keep this on established trails to keep things simple- neither of us have strong navigation skills. Where would you suggest we go this week? We'll obviously just get a walk up permit wherever we go, but I'm assuming this is not going to be an issue at all, especially since we're going on a weekday. loops are always a little nicer than out and back trips

We're driving from the bay area, so I was leaning towards something in yosemite, but pretty open.



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Re: 3 day 30 or so mile backpacking trip...any suggestions?

Postby tim » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:09 pm

The Duck Pass to Iva Bell Hot Springs to Reds Meadow is a great 30 mile loop out of Mammoth. In three days you could go to Pika Lake on a short Day 1, to the hot springs on a longish (but almost all downhill) Day 2 and then out in a reasonable Day 3.

See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5344 for our trip last summer.
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Re: 3 day 30 or so mile backpacking trip...any suggestions?

Postby balzaccom » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:26 pm

On terms of easy permits and great scenery, look at Emigrant Wilderness. You could leave Crabtree Cabin and head to Bucks Lake and back, have lots of great fishing, and see a wonderful part of the Sierra.

But with that time and distance, you could also hike the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne....Illihouette Canyon...or Leavitt Meadows up to the "girls lakes" Dorothy et al.

Lots of great choices!

We've got notes on all those hikes on our website
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: 3 day 30 or so mile backpacking trip...any suggestions?

Postby miked » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:32 am

Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

3 possibilities I was looking at earlier today when looking over my maps....

1. big loop starting at Cathedral Lakes, heading down to echo valley, merced lake, up lewis Creek (with a short side trip to bernice), and then out via rafferty or lyell canyon to toulumne meadows.

2. smaller loop: lyell canyon down lewis creek towards vogelsang, then looping back around via fletcher creek trail and back out via rafferty. would include side trips to bernice and ireland lakes on this route.

3. JMT from Tuolumne meadows to agnews meadow. This looks great too, but just a little confused about the car shuttle logistics

if you want to weigh in on any of these ideas, it'd be much appreciated.
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Re: 3 day 30 or so mile backpacking trip...any suggestions?

Postby balzaccom » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:47 am

Check out the blog on our website----we just did the Lewis and Fletcher Creek loop about ten days ago. Nice hiking, lots and lots of skeeters. Hopefully they are slowly dying out.
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: 3 day 30 or so mile backpacking trip...any suggestions?

Postby no2haven » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:51 am

miked wrote:Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

2. smaller loop: lyell canyon down lewis creek towards vogelsang, then looping back around via fletcher creek trail and back out via rafferty. would include side trips to bernice and ireland lakes on this route.



I did Tuolumne -> Ireland Lake (up via Lyell Canyon, and down via Vogelsang HSC and Rafferty) as an overnight loop last year. Great area with lots of nice views, especially across to Mt Conness and northern Yosemite once you get above treeline. Tuolumne to Ireland Lake via Lyell Canyon was a pretty long day for me, and I think the mileage from the split to the lake is about a mile longer than what they claim on the map - maybe a 13 mile day total. Camping near the split would shave a few miles off that, but I didn't see any water there (though there's a creek on your way up out of the canyon so you could stock up). If you keep going over the ridge there are a few lakes, but I remember that area being really windy and open with sparse trees for windbreaks.
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