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Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

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Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby Barry » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:06 am

I am hoping to get some suggestions for a midJuly trip with around 20 boys.

Easy access from the South Bay is a plus. I first thought with this long planning horizon the Desolation Wilderness is perfect. A little research indicates I would need to split the group due to permitting rules and mosquitoes may be horrendous. We have a couple of kids that are very sensitive.

Any suggestions on where to go? We could stay in the Bay Area but are planning a 30 miler close to home over labor day weekend. This is part of the training.

Thanks



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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:29 am

Twenty kids plus adults to accompany them is a huge group. Even if you split into two permits, having that many people in the wilderness is the opposite of a wilderness experience. I strongly recommend you split the group and go to two separate places or take two trips at differnt times. I realize this is logistically hard, but I think it would be worth the effort (the adults will have to go out twice- well, great if I were to get to go out twice!). There are some non-wilderness places that do not have group size limits, but as a practical matter, most of those are in the foothills where there is a lot of undergrowth and I doubt you could find enough tent spaces to accomdate that large a group.
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:39 am

I would take them to Point Reyes. The limiting factor there is campsite capacity and they have camps that have a max of 25.
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby DavePloessel » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:56 am

perhaps something out of mineral king?

Daily quota from min king towards timber gap is 25 people per day... However, you'd still have to break it up into 2 groups of 15 or less people per permit... Bit of a drive too..

I think you'll run into issues with groups larger than 15 most places, with good reason, IMO. Most back country camp sites are not designed for and can't really handle that many people at one time and you will need to break the scouts up/disperse them when you camp anyways.

That being said, good for you for getting your scouts out there. Maybe I just belonged to a suckey Troop, but all we ever did was car camp :-({|=

If you want to stay coastal, the silver peak/ventana wilderness areas in los padres NF have some great backpacking, and even have hot springs you can hike in to.
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:41 am

Hi Barry,

With your mosquito restrictions the Sierra is definitely out for July. Your group may
want to consider the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, Ventana Wilderness, Point Reyes, the
Ohlone Trail and Henry Coe will be to hot and dry by July. WD's suggestion about
breaking up the group is a good one since getting permits and finding a place that
can accommodate such a large group will be difficult.
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby oldranger » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:50 pm

Barry,

Please heed the advice of splitting groups. Furthermore please adhere to the spirit of the rule and not to the letter. How would you like to be a group of 2 people with a dozen scouts and leaders camped on each side of you resulting in 2 dozen people crisscrossing past your camp? Not exactly a wilderness expeience. Tehipite Tom and I experienced exactly that a couple years ago on the last night of a 3 night stay. They weren't rude or excessively noisey but certainly large groups have an impact on others experience.

As others have said, kudos for getting the kids out!

Mike
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby jimmeans » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:53 pm

I don't remember where it was, but I once ran across a scout troup that solved this problem by splitting into two groups and starting at the opposite ends of a shuttle hike. They were meeting some where in the middle to exchange keys, etc.
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby mokelumnekid » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:25 am

Hmmm...yeah mid-July is buggy most places. Here is one that can be done in three nights by kids of all ages, starts high and goes down hill the first day. It is in the Ebbetts Pass area where there is grazing, so impacts from people are not so much a worry. And the car shuttle is reasonably short and the drop off is on the drive in.

Drive to Highland Lakes (just west of Ebbetts Pass, serviced by a decent dirt and gravel road. Campgrounds but no services). Stay there for a night. next day, backpack *down* Highland Creek to Hiram Meadow or below. Camp there- very large meadow with old range cabin. Hike north out and up Weiser Creek trail until topping out at head of Marshall Canyon just east of Henry Peak, follow trail down into Pacific Valley where shuttle vehicle can be left on the way in.

One rub is that probably isn't 20 miles. Maybe start at Ebbetts Pass, hit the PCT to Highland Lakes then proceed as above. Lot's of possibilities. One thing is since there is a lot of volcanic rock in that area, there is more soil = lots of wild flowers.

Anyway just a thought.
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby Barry » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:30 pm

Thanks for all the great advice so far. I thought I would address some comments and clarify what we are doing.

We have a 10 mile trip already planned for Henry Coe in April. (Poverty Flat) The goal is to do Skyline-to-the-sea over four days around labor day. (That probably has it's own issues. Although I have personally done the trip, with a group over a holiday could be a problem. Haven't even looked into that yet.)

First of all, splitting the group into two would not be a problem. We wouldn't have enough adults for more than two groups. Two should make the group size fine everywhere with the possible exception of desolation wilderness. For example, I led a trip last fall into Emigrant Wilderness. We split into two groups with the stronger one leaving the trailhead an hour earlier and pushing further in to a different lake.

AlmostThere wrote:I would take them to Point Reyes. The limiting factor there is campsite capacity and they have camps that have a max of 25.


I looked into this a little before posting. It seems their is a very good chance of cold and foggy weather in midJuly??

DavePloessel wrote:
If you want to stay coastal, the silver peak/ventana wilderness areas in los padres NF have some great backpacking, and even have hot springs you can hike in to.


My understanding is it gets uncomfortably hot here in the summer. I had also looked into the Pine Ridge trail after seeing a glowing review.

maverick wrote:Hi Barry,

With your mosquito restrictions the Sierra is definitely out for July. Your group may
want to consider the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, Ventana Wilderness, Point Reyes, the
Ohlone Trail and Henry Coe will be to hot and dry by July. WD's suggestion about
breaking up the group is a good one since getting permits and finding a place that
can accommodate such a large group will be difficult.


Skyline-to-the-Sea does seem like the best choice for MidJuly. It is too bad the plan we came up with the boys calls for it in September.

jimmeans wrote:I don't remember where it was, but I once ran across a scout troup that solved this problem by splitting into two groups and starting at the opposite ends of a shuttle hike. They were meeting some where in the middle to exchange keys, etc.


This is a great suggestion if we find a suitable location.

mokelumnekid wrote:Hmmm...yeah mid-July is buggy most places. Here is one that can be done in three nights by kids of all ages, starts high and goes down hill the first day. It is in the Ebbetts Pass area where there is grazing, so impacts from people are not so much a worry. And the car shuttle is reasonably short and the drop off is on the drive in.

Drive to Highland Lakes (just west of Ebbetts Pass, serviced by a decent dirt and gravel road. Campgrounds but no services). Stay there for a night. next day, backpack *down* Highland Creek to Hiram Meadow or below. Camp there- very large meadow with old range cabin. Hike north out and up Weiser Creek trail until topping out at head of Marshall Canyon just east of Henry Peak, follow trail down into Pacific Valley where shuttle vehicle can be left on the way in.

One rub is that probably isn't 20 miles. Maybe start at Ebbetts Pass, hit the PCT to Highland Lakes then proceed as above. Lot's of possibilities. One thing is since there is a lot of volcanic rock in that area, there is more soil = lots of wild flowers.

Anyway just a thought.


This is an interesting idea and I will explore a little further. I have been to Highland Lakes and done day hikes out of there. Do you think it will have less of a midJuly Mosquito problem?
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby tim » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:47 pm

You may be better off switching Skyline-to-Sea to July and going to the Sierra over Labor Day. If you go north or south you can pick non-quota areas, but the main issue will be maximum group size, which ranges from 8 (Mokelumne) to 15 (Inyo). So make sure you check on that.

However, if you do want to go to the Sierra and still avoid the bugs, then I'd say go south, go no earlier than say the third week of July and hope for a continuation of the dry conditions. There are potentially good non-quota (or in a few cases generous quota) options in Golden Trout/South Sierra/Domeland/Owens Peak - most spectacular are the areas around Horseshoe Meadows but that may be too much of a long drive to the east side. Others can advise on options around the Kern River valley for example.
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:03 pm

As everyone notes, the group size shuts you out of Sierran Wilderness areas. If you still want to hit the Sierra from the S. Bay Area, my suggestion would be non-wilderness areas in the N. Sierra. For example, the Grouse Ridge, I-80 corridor region has many nice hiking destinations that you can use to string together a 3 night 20 mile trip. The Lakes Basin area also offers some good possibilities.

Mosquito problems in the northernmost Sierra will depend a lot on the weather at the time you go out. If it is reasonably breezy and not really warm at night, it won't be that bad, whereas if it isn't very breezy and the nights are on the warm side, it will be miserable no matter where you are in the Sierra. I am a total mosquito magnet, as are the other members of my family, so I am pretty sensitive to this too.
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Re: Advice MidJuly Scouts 20 miles 3 nights

Postby SSSdave » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:38 am

You ought to do some homework on coping with mosquitoes and simply target a lower elevation area that has less mosquitoes. I backpack in mosquito season every summer and receive few bites because I give them little skin. Probably not practical for young scouts due to limited clothing issues but even outside of the worst periods, one may pass through areas with them. So read this thread with considerable info and links:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7828&p=56829&hilit=mosquitoes#p56829

There are certainly a lot of lower elevation trails in national forest areas at least 10 miles long and not in wilderness. The problem is they are likely to be somewhat boring usually down in forest. Folks on boards like this are not aware of most of them for that reason.
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