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Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby Ikan Mas » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:08 pm

Here's a post of one of the lakes out of the Carr/Feely TH. The names are coded to confuse the rifraf. PM me if you can't figure them out.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6619&p=45800#p45800



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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby neil d » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:20 pm

Hey Strollin. I seem to recall that you are in the same neck o' the woods as me (Rocklin/Roseville area). I second the suggestion for the Grouse Ridge area of the TNF. I've been up there hiking with my kids, and hope to do a backpack this summer.

There are lots of access points, but Carr Lake is a good choice. The hiking from there is relatively flat, and lots of lakes within just a few miles. No fire restrictions, and not terribly crowded. Lack of moving water is the only bummer, but the lake fishing is supposedly decent to good, although I have not been able to crack it in my time up there.

Another option: two summers ago, I took my son (then 7) on his first backpacking trip up Wolf Creek near the East Carson. Perfectly flat, fun playing along the water, again no fire restrictions. It was October, so the fishing in Wolf Creek was pretty lousy, but the East Carson is right there. We didn't fish it on that trip, but I've had epic days on that river the past.
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby murphtron » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:24 pm

I've compiled a list of trips I've done with my kids. Some are more adventurous than others. It's all in this google map.

http://goo.gl/maps/I1kFB
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby Tom_H » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:21 pm

They aren't west slope, but would be easy for kids and give you the water you want:

Eagle Falls on Emerald Bay of Tahoe to Eagle Lake. It's really crowded though.

Leavitt Meadow to Roosevelt Lake and Lane Lake with The West Walker River right there as well. It's short and flat, not going to tire them out and good chance you'll have some solitude.

No fires at Eagle Lake; don't know about Roosevelt. I built fires when I first started backpacking 45 years ago. Truthfully, they're dirty, smokey-trigger asthma, take a lot of work and extra cleaning. The grime left behind from cleaning pots and pans after cooking on a fire draws small rodents and insects to campsites; that includes chipmunks that carry fleas that carry Yesinia pestis i.e. Bubonic Plague-no joke. Modern stoves are so much faster, cleaner, easier. For the nostalgia of a fire, a candle lantern really is almost as good. Ethically, fires are not a good thing. It depletes the natural decomposing timber, scars the rocks and ground, and creates a danger of setting off forest fires. I understand that people who car camp are used to the romantic notion of a fire and those type campgrounds usually have fire pits and you bring your own wood. Very few backpackers build fires any more. I truly do not intend to be unkind in saying this, nor do I mean to be offensive, but fires are just not part of the modern wilderness ethic. You will be amazed at how much easier life without a fire actually is. Best wishes for a marvelous experience with your family. I hope it is a trip your children will remember forever.
Last edited by Tom_H on Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby dave54 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:31 pm

You did not put a distance/driving time restriction on your request.

So I offer Lassen Volcanic NP and area, particularly the east 1/2 and adjacent Caribou Wilderness. The terrain is flat to rolling with a zillion lakes and cool geology for a kid (lava flows of bizzare shapes, black and red sand beaches, rocks that float :) ).

Downside: the sandy trails can be a bit more tiring to hike in for a child, and massive mosquitoes early in the summer.

Upside: A lot fewer people than the central Sierra.

I admit I am partial to the area. Some local bias. :D

Another spot that comes to mind is Silver Lake trailhead near Quincy. Hike into Gold Lake (there are two Gold Lakes in Plumas NF, this one is in the Bucks Wilderness). Camp the first night at Silver Lake after the long drive, then head to the smaller Gold Lake the next day.
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby ndwoods » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:45 pm

Nobody has mentioned Kibbie Lake....took my granddaughter there when she was 4....:)
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby kpeter » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:01 pm

1. A very popular first time backpacking destination is Round Top Lake off of Carson Pass, or WInnemucca Lake. You can do a loop, allow a day layover to scramble to the top of Round Top. It gets fairly windy at Round Top and that keeps the mosquitoes away. I think it is only 2 1/2 miles from Woods lake, 3 1/2 if you start at the pass.

2. I took my daughter last summer on a trip out of the Wrights lake trailhead off of Highway 50. There are several excellent choices from there. We went over the Rockbound Pass which might be a bit much for a first trip, but Maud Lake or Twin/Island Lakes are more manageable possibilities.

3. Kibbie Lake is also an excellent choice from the Shingle Springs trailhead near Cherry Lake. It is probably the most scenic of these possibilities from my own tastes. It also helps that it has the advantage of being available and mosquito free earlier than higher elevation destinations. Of course, if you hit any of them just wrong they can be buggy. Kibbie is 4 1/2 miles and not all of the approach is scenic--there is a burn area. And the road from Cherry Creek dam to the trailhead is very rough, although I have gotten a passenger car over it.

Frankly, there are a couple of trips very close to the road in Yosemite/Mammoth that are faster to get to for me (Bay Area) than many of the west side trailheads. Those would open up a lot of possibilities depending on your driving concerns.

Note: I frankly don't remember anything about fires. I haven't had a fire in decades, and so I don't tend to notice specifically where they are legal.
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby bytwerk » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:28 am

My own favorite is the Little Lakes Basin out of Mosquito Flat. Instead of camping at Long Lake, head over the easy bump to the south of the outlet to camp at the unnamed lakelet. The hike in is easy, and there are pleasant and easy day hikes.
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby Fishon » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:43 pm

Weaver Lake in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness. Good distance for first timer kids.

Have fun.
It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming. -John Steinbeck
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby Kris » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:01 pm

Winnemucca lake from Carson Pass of hwy. 88 (near Kirkwood). I used to take my daughter there (she's since graduated to longer hikes!). It's approx. 2 miles from the TH. Nationally know for the wildflowers on both sides of that pass, it's a great destination. Small creeks along the way. The lake can fish well for brookies to good 10-11" or so. Ive never flyfished there, but theres some shoreline on the eastern side of the lake and if you dont mind wading some you'll come into fish. Great hike and destination for kids. Easy hike up to summit elephants back or hike to some other nearby lakes.
~We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time.

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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby balzaccom » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:02 am

Somebody mentioned Bowman Lake road here...you can drive up to the fire lookout on Grouse Ridge, and from there you can hike, all downhill, to about ten different lakes. The first one is barely two miles from the trailhead. The advantages of this route are that:

1. The kids can see some of the lakes from the beginning---so they know where they are headed.

2. The uphill is all on the way out, when your packs are empty.

3. There are enough lakes that you can either day-hike or continue on to explore the area at your leisure.
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Re: Looking for a good 1st trip for kids

Postby paula53 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:00 pm

I second the Leavitt Meadow to Roosevelt Lake and Lane Lake with The West Walker River trip for children. I took my sons on an overnight trip, we visited Secret Lake, then Roosevelt & Lane Lakes. They are close together. Good campsites are nearby. The only thing to watch out for is that the packer station comes through on horseback trips and supply trips. My sons enjoyed looking at the horses & mules and talking with the friendly guides.
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