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Suggestions for 10 Day Sierra trip Late May

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Suggestions for 10 Day Sierra trip Late May

Postby jacob » Wed May 16, 2012 2:26 pm

I’ve been reading highsierra for a while and finally signed up. sorry my first post is a question but I’ll definitely start helping out where i can

Turns out I have some free time over the next couple weeks and I’m planning to do a solo 10-12 day, 50-150 mile trip somewhere in the sierras starting this weekend may 19th. I’m having a problem finding trails that arent going to still be too snowy and i’m looking for some help.

I’m not too picky about where but I have limited snow experience and would rather not bring crampons or ice ax if possible so less snow is definitely better. I’m in LA so closer to there is preferable but It’s no problem driving farther if its worth it.

Supplementing my diet with fish would be great so a trip that had fishing for all or most of it would be a big plus.

Ive been on a lot of hiking/backpacking/climbing trips and I’m comfortable with x-country travel. I’ve done 20 or so miles a day in the mountains but I’m totally fine with a shorter, lazier trip where i camp more as well. A loop trail would be better but an out and back is fine and possibly even a few shorter linked hikes.

I’ve thought about the Rae Lakes loop but im not sure about snow conditions right now and its a little shorter than I’d prefer.

Any suggestions that people have would really be appreciated. Hoping that the low snow cover this year will allow this but we’ll see.

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Re: Suggestions for 10 Day Sierra trip Late May

Postby Jimr » Wed May 16, 2012 3:41 pm

You may want to consider the link below.

A trip up the Kern from Johnsondale bridge into the low interior may be fun as well. The river is probably still flowing too high for good fishing. I don't know.
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Re: Suggestions for 10 Day Sierra trip Late May

Postby maverick » Wed May 16, 2012 4:51 pm

Hi Jacob,

Welcome to HST!
I think it is a bit early to do a major 10-12 day (150 miles) trip without encountering
some major or a least some snow.
Rae Lakes will not be thawed, Glen Pass will not be easy, plus for 10-12 days it is
to short unless one included 60 Lake Basin and Gardiner Basin, or adding the East
Lake, Reflection Lake, and Sphinx Lakes via Longely Pass route, and most of
these places will still be blanketed with snow, lakes will be frozen, and a cornice will
still be present on Longley.
One place would be northwestern Yosemite where there are several lakes you
can visit out of the Hetchy or Kibbie Lake area. There are several TR's posted from
previous trips here on HST, just use the search feature, and see if this area appeals
to you, but you will have to deal with some snow, creeks, and flooded areas.
Southern Yosemite has some areas too, but conditions will be similar to the
northwestern parts.
Your best bet would be to wait till next month for things to open up a bit
more giving you more opportunities, but with that will come with more skeeterz and
more dangerous river/stream crossings.
Sure one could go up the Kern or go up to Cottonwood Lakes and beyond into Miter
Basin, but your looking for 10-12 days (150 miles) worth of travel, unless you can
stay in one certain area for 2-3 days before moving on to another, than these trips
will be too short, and adding on another basin or two to these trips will definitely
involve some snow travel for sure as they gain in elevation.
For example Kathy W posted some shots from the Taboose area, but one cannot
surmise what the conditions are like down towards the JMT, Bench Lake or Upper
Basin. Pinchot Pass and Mather Pass will require a lot of experience with an ice axe
and crampons. Lakes Basin, and Amphitheater Basin will still be blanketed in snow
and lakes frozen, so you would be confined to a rather small area which may be fun
for 4-5 days but that's it.
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Re: Suggestions for 10 Day Sierra trip Late May

Postby SSSdave » Wed May 16, 2012 8:18 pm

No way. Still too much snow in any shady areas above 9k, especially forest. After all its just mid May. If you want to see that for yourself, go to a NWS site's satellite page at midday on any clear sunny day and bring up the central California 1km visible image. All that white atop the Sierra is SNOW. If you don't know what you are looking at bring up this topo in another window.,-118.55896&z=9&t=R

Thus you are going to need to be content instead with a few shorter out to the snowlines and back out type trips at middle elevations. Besides the snow there is the issue of high stream crossings.
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Re: Suggestions for 10 Day Sierra trip Late May

Postby Hobbes » Thu May 17, 2012 8:29 am

jacob wrote:Turns out I have some free time over the next couple weeks and I’m planning to do a solo 10-12 day, 50-150 mile trip.

Hmmm, coming from SoCal, want to fish (and cook your catch ie campfires below 10k), and want to avoid early-season high passes & heavy snow: GTW.

It may not be enough to provide over 5-6 days and/or 80 miles of travel, but it's definitely the place to go in spring.

The standard loop is over CW pass to Big Whitney, then follow GT creek down to Volcano or Kern, then (partially) backtrack to Ramshaw/Templeton, then return via either SF Kern or B!tch pass to Trail pass.

If you wanted to extend the loop, you could head further down to Strawberry or even Monache, and then follow the PCT back to Trail or CW pass.

Because this part of GTW is **not** part of the Cottonwood drainage (eg CW lakes & creek), it's not subject to the 7/1 restrictions.

For $10, you can pick up the Tom Harrison map and be on your way this weekend.
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Re: Suggestions for 10 Day Sierra trip Late May

Postby schmalz » Thu May 17, 2012 12:53 pm

SSDave - Care to link me to that satellite imagery you are talking about. I can't seem to find it.
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