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Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

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Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby pork50 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:06 pm

This past summer, we went on a backpacking trip into the Emigrant Wilderness via Crabtree. this year, we are going to kennedy lake. We plan to go early august, fish the middle fork, here is my expiereince guidelines.

What level of backpacking experience do you have?
Level 1- Minimal hikingComfortable
Level 2- Some backpacking trips, using trailsComfortable
Level 3- Numerous backpacking trips, some x-country travel
Level 4- Comfortable with trail and/or x-country travel

What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with?
- Class 1 terrain/trail hiking-Comfortable
- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country
- Class 3 terrain/pass/x-country
- River crossings
- Snow travel/Glacier crossings

What is your main interest?
- Lakes
- Forests
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography
- Fishing

- Climbing

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead?
4 nights/5 days

How many miles did you want to do a day? three to three and a half
Is there a particular area in the Sierra that your most interested in(Yosemite, SEKI
western sierra start or eastern start ect.)doesn't matter, anywhere within a 5hr drive from bay area
Will you be hiking with a dog?maybe


I have a plan to kennedy lake and back,
1st day, stop at kennedy creek (3.5mi)
2nd day, kennedy creek to kennedy lake (3 mi)
3rd day, no hiking, fishing kennedy lake/ kennedy creek area
4th day, 3.5mi to kennedy creek.
5th day, 3 miles, out.

Any other suggestions to other areas with those guidelines would be appreciated.

Pork50



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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby balzaccom » Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:22 pm

Can I ask why only three miles a day? Most of us on these boards would figure that we could hike that in a couple of hours, at the most. If you leave the trailhead at ten a.m., you're at camp by noon...and that leaves a lot of the day to sit around camp. Not that sitting around camp isn't nice....but your total trip here is about 13 miles, and a lot of people would consider that perfectly doable as a day hike. My wife and I are not mileage fanatics, but we usually figure that we have to get at least five miles beyond the trailhead to avoid the masses of dayhikers...

Are there other areas where you can do this? Yep. Take a look at some of these--which more or less fit your criteria:

Grouse Ridge off Highway 20 below Donner Pass to a wide range of lakes there.
Loch Leven Lakes off Highway 80
Five Lakes Basin out of Squaw valley
(If you are willing to go five miles on the first day, there are TON of destinations in Desolation Wilderness, off Highway 50 west of Tahoe: Lake Silvia, Lyons Lake, Island Lake, etc.
Lake Winnemucca and Round Top Lake out of Carson Pass--Round Lake too
Noble Lake and Kinney Lakes out of Ebbetts Pass.
Sword Lake above Spicer Reservoir in the Carson -Iceberg Wildernesss
Roosevelt Lake in the Hoover Wilderness
In Emigrant, you could hike from Crabtree to Grouse Lake, and then to Chain Lakes
In Yosemite you won't be able to bring your dog...and you will have to camp four miles from the road...But Cathedral Lakes, Polly Dome Lakes, May Lake would all work...May Lake is less than three miles.
Fernandez Trailhead above Bass Lake would take you to Vandeburg Lake and beyond...
There are a number of destinations in the Dinkey Lakes area as well..although that may be pushing your five hour drive limit from the Bay Area.

There are trip reports on all of these, plus a lot more on our website...
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby paul » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:19 pm

There aren't any really great campsites along the route to Kennedy Lake that I can recall, and even if you like to take it easy, going from Kennedy Lake to the trailhead is a pretty easy day since it's all downhill. So I'd figure on either having one day less, or staying a second day at the lake. As far as anything else to do or explore from Kennedy Lake, if you are comfortable with a little semi off-trail stuff, you can hike up to the saddle that goes over into Kennedy canyon and the view is nice from threre. I say semi off-trail as there is a use trail (not maintained or official) that goes that way.

Another thing I'd think about is a completely different idea, which is starting from Giannelli trailhead. More options in terms of the lakes you can get to easily; less elevation gain; and you are not on the main horse-packer's route, which Kennedy Lake most definitely is. Plus you have nicer views on the hike in in my opinion. Check it out.
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:13 pm

Kennedy Lake is not a nice place once the cattle grazing begins. And even before each season's grazing, it has a lot of grazing impact remaining from years past. Also once you get to Kennedy Lake there is just the one lake to fish. Even in late season there are a lot of swampy meadows around Kennedy Lake. If you still want to go to Kennedy Lake, check with FS regarding the grazing status.

Emigrant Lake is a lot nicer and there are many lakes to go to. It can still be crowded and also is highly impacted by horse travel, but at least the ground is not covered in cow pies. I agree with others- you certainly should be able to do more than 3 miles a day. When I go to Emigrant Lake I do it in a long day- but it is rigorous. Two days would be much better.

Another option is to go in Levitt Meadows. There is a good trail and little elevation gain and many lakes to choose from.

For lots of lakes, easy access and fair fishing, how about Desolation Wilderness?
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby pork50 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:34 pm

Thanks all for the input.We are for sure looking at other places, however my dad's back is not in a good condition, so to suit his needs we decided on a small distance per day. Deso is for sure a good option to consider, and all of the ones balzaccom stated are good too. We still have a lot of time to decide, will keep posted on decisions. One of the reasons I was drawn to Kennedy lake was because of the browns, which ive heard there are an abundant amount in the creek and lake itself.
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby rlown » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:37 pm

One Idea would be to make sure your dad works on his back during the off season to build up some strength. It doesn't matter how far you plan to go if your back doesn't last a day.
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby pork50 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:48 pm

This may be outside of five Hour driving range, but I've heard bubbs creek is good?but I don't know about hiking distances though.
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:30 am

pork50 wrote:This may be outside of five Hour driving range, but I've heard bubbs creek is good?but I don't know about hiking distances though.


Good for someone who can climb some switchbacks, if you're talking about the trail from Road's End out of Kings Canyon. Not sure that falls under the OP's definition of good. It'll take more than 3 miles to get to a camping spot and possible more elevation gain than he might want.

Emigrant would make a nice trip. I'd suggest going in and base camping, then dayhiking around. You could rent a mule at the pack station and make it real easy on Dad's back.
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby pork50 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:10 am

We could probably push it to around 4 to 4.5 a day, and 5 on the first day. Day hiking after establishing a base camp would be good too, but we cant to that at kennedy lake so if we do that then we'd go to emigrant but at different parts. We would prefer a trail that follows a river/creek with a good amount of fishing, so thats why kennedy meadows/lake came to mind.
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby balzaccom » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:14 am

"One Idea would be to make sure your dad works on his back during the off season to build up some strength. It doesn't matter how far you plan to go if your back doesn't last a day."

"Emigrant would make a nice trip. I'd suggest going in and base camping, then dayhiking around. You could rent a mule at the pack station and make it real easy on Dad's back."

These are BOTH excellent suggestions
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby pork50 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:45 pm

So we are going to try Kennedy lake as a three day trip, but I'm really going to push my dad into getting into physical condition for a longer trip into emigrant
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Re: Kennedy Lake Aug. 2012?

Postby justm » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:05 pm

I made that hike a couple of years ago in late Sept. It's a beautiful hike and not very difficult. I wished I could have had more time to fish Kennedy creek. I saw alot of great spots to fly fish. It's a beautiful creek with lots of pocket water, fast boulder water and calm stretches. The lake itself is very pretty, set amongst towering peaks. If you wait till fall, the place is covered with aspen, so bursts of yellow are everywhere. There is very little in the way of camping at the lake. Even in late fall, the meadow is very wet ( you will get your shoes soaked) One side of the lake is exposed wet meadow, the other is steep and rocky, with only a few very small sites cut into the rocky slope. It's best to find a spot along the creek before you get to the lake. I didn't fish much, but saw trout in the creek. Hope this helps !
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