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advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

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advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby mediauras » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:11 am

Hi. This is my first post here (after lurking and learning for a while), and before asking for advice I just wanted to say what a great site and community this is. I've been out of backpacking for a while -- marriage, career, and kid-raising got in the way :) -- but am working hard to set up this summer as a backpacking extravaganza. This includes taking my 6 yo son on his first trip. Sometime later in the summer, I am taking him on a 4 day trek to Emigrant most likely, but it looks like my wife and 4 yo daughter may be on the East Coast next weekend so I'm considering a short weekend overnighter (or two-nighter if we're lucky) with him. So I'm wondering if there are any suggestions for a nice site (near water), at most 3 miles from TH, within 3-3.5 hours of the Bay Area.

Many many thanks.

charles



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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:25 am

Point Reyes. Just watch out for Poison Oak and ticks and you'll be fine.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby mediauras » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:28 am

Thanks. I should clarify, looking for something in the Sierras.
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby no2haven » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:36 am

Haven't been up to Kirkwood since the begining of April, but the Carson Pass area was looking pretty bare back then. If it has melted out, there are several short hikes to lakes. These tend to be quite popular, but maybe its early enough in the season that you won't have much competition. Otherwise, a month ago the snow line was ~6k feet, so you might have to stay pretty low to keep dry.

If Sonora Pass opens, another good option might be Leavitt Meadows on the east side of the pass. Several quick lakes you can get to without creek crossings and it has flat hiking. All the pictures I've seen of the east side show the snow line >8k feet so you should be dry there.

Otherwise, if he's never been to Yosemite now's a good time to show him the Valley with the waterfalls going. Camp in/outside the park and then let him get drenched up the mist trail. Nevada and Vernal falls are something else in spring run-off.
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby SSSdave » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:02 pm

Stay away from any usual advice for trails up into snow country and instead stay below 4000 feet. A 6 year old is not going to want to go very far and will be just as happy as long as water is nearby. The below falls are 4.4 miles but there are also a few places to tent at the half way point.

Preston Falls. Not in wilderness so you won't need a permit. Now early May, very pleasantly green and lots of wildflowers, birds and bees, with pleasant temperatures . So a short drive, 4.4 miles one way, 300 feet of uphill, 2500 feet above sea level trailhead. Don't touch the occasional poison oak beside the trail and keep watch on your son any time you let him near the water.

http://www.rei.com/guidepost/detail/cal ... falls/6135

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.87963,-119.94830&z=15&t=T
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby mediauras » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:40 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. As much as I would like to head to higher elevations, lower is probably better right now.

Preston Falls sounds perfect for this trip, much appreciated. And I guess there are plenty of decent camp sites near the falls, or even starting before if we get up there a little later in the day on Friday (we'll be moving at a pretty leisurely pace)?
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby tim » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:41 pm

Not quite backpacking, and a bit further away, but I can highly recommend Kings Canyon - its opening Friday and the first weekend is pretty deserted at the campground (no store, so take all your food with you). I took my kids (including my 6 yr old) last May and it was great. The walk alongside the river from Roads End (2 miles each way) to the Bubbs Creek fork is beautiful, and Boyden Cave makes for another fun experience while you're there.

Alternatively, if the Tioga Road is open by the end of the week (quite plausible), you could go up there for some day walks and camp outside the park on the East side in Lee Vining canyon. That will be really spectacular.
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby balzaccom » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:06 pm

Preston Falls is a good idea--but it can be a bit swampy this time of year.

You might look at the Carson Pass area--there are some very short hikes (under two miles) that will take you to lakes up there. The only question is whether they are iced out yet or not. Check with the rangers on that one.

You could also look at Lost and Sword lakes in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. If you can leave from County Line trailhead, those are only about three miles in.

We have a whole section on our website of early season and starter hikes, in the destination pages.
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby snusmumriken » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:38 pm

Just in case you decide that the Sierras are too far a drive for this weekend...

A really easy, and I mean really easy, backpacking trip to do with a kid is out of Tennessee Valley road in Marin. One mile hike from the parking lot is Haypress camp. http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/o ... vities.htm

Permits are free and there are usually other families camped there with kids. Just the fun of backpacking in, setting up camp with Daddy, running up and down the gentle rolling hills, and watching the stars come out at night is fabulous for a kid. If you want more of a hike, go down and enjoy the beach at the end of the trail.

I took my kid and some of his friends here several times when he was little. Particularly for a first time ever backpacking with kids trip it is nice to know that if things are not going well its a quick hike to the car and then a half hour drive back to the city.
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby mediauras » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:47 pm

Thanks for the replies, very helpful. I'm pretty set on a little backpack adventure though. My son is only 6 but is quite a camper, and we've had some good experiences canoe camping and remote dispersed car camping. The boy is ready for the next step! My 4 yo thinks she is too, but, besides a trip to coastal camp at Pt Reyes in June, she's going to have to wait another year.

@balzaccom -- We were in touch over email a few weeks ago... I had asked you for advice on a summer trip for my son and I. Thanks for chiming in here. I'll give Lost Lake a look, maybe even Bear Lake.

I haven't spent much time in the Carson Pass area, besides skiing at Kirkwood. I may have to give that a hard look too. Can't imagine there would be many people this early in the season.

So many choices here -- a good problem to have.
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby mediauras » Thu May 03, 2012 10:00 pm

I think we're heading to the Clark Fork. Carson Pass destinations are still covered in 3 feet of snow, and the road to the County Line TH is still closed, until week after next. Thanks again for the help. My 6 yo is stoked!
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Re: advice on weekend site/ close to bay area

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Fri May 04, 2012 10:36 am

Please post a trail report when you return. I have a friend headed up to the Sierra at the end of May and I had suggested the Clark Fork as a possible destination.

Have a good time!
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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