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What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby snusmumriken » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:15 pm

I think KPs list could use a few more Yosemite entries so here comes mine.

Vogelsang ..... Here are two different trip ideas that start at the Rafferty TH in Tuolomne and heads up towards Vogelsang.

This first one I have done parts of, researched extrensively, daydreamed about, but not yet completed. It incorporates Red Peak Pass which several others have mentioned, and also goes through beautiful country that is far enough from any trailhead that you will have much of it to yourself. Most of it on trail, with a few short off trail portions to get to specific destinations.

Day 1. Tuolomne up Rafferty, past Fletcher Lake and Vogelsang HSC to beautiful little Vogelsang lake just below the pass.
Day 2. Over Vogelsang Pass, down and then up the side trail to Bernice Lake. Spend the rest of the day either relaxing or day hiking off trail to the tarns and lakes above Bernice.
Day 3. Back down to the main trail, hang a left at the junction, continue on the high trail to the Lyell fork of the Merced River. A couple of miles up the fork you will get to Ansel Adams favorite camping spot, or so legend has it, and maybe that is correct as Mt Ansel Adams is here.
Day 4. Enjoy a morning of photography in this special place and then head back to the trail and then leave it again to go to Harriet lake.
Day 5. Back on trail, past Triple Peak Fork, spend the night at either Red Devil lake or Edna Lake.
Day 6. Over Red Peak Pass to Lower Ottoway Lake.
Day 7. Long day all the way out to Glacier Point.

My other Vogelsang trip is an exploration of the lakes and peaks around Vogelsang. The trail miles is probably 25 or less, could be done as an overnighter, but would be much better as a week :nod:
Here are some of the lakes: Fletcher, Vogelsang, Townsley, Hanging Basket, Ireland, Emeric, Bernice, Babcock, Gallison, and Booth. Last summer I just went up there without a set plan, and spent a few days exploring different lakes and peaks, it was heavenly.



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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby maverick » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:16 pm

- Northern Yosemite Loop out of Twin Lakes
- Rae Lakes Loop with side trip into Sixty Lakes Basin
- Mineral King Loop, Mineral King>Franklin Pass>Little Five Lakes>Black Rock
Pass> easy class 2 up to Columbine Lake>exit out Sawtooth Pass/or from
Little Five Lakes go up Big Arroyo> Kaweah Gap>Hamilton Lakes>Timber
Gap>Mineral King
- Red Mountain Basin
- Blackcap Basin
- Pioneer Basin out of Mosquito Flats
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby kpeter » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:02 am

Thank you all so much, you have been terrific! I will pour over these suggestions, buy the recommended books, look through the corresponding trail reports, and then come back here to post my ten year agenda.

I so appreciate the time you took to answer my open ended question!
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby Tom_H » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:41 pm

When I was young, I liked it when I could say my group didn't see another soul the entire time. Now that I'm almost 60, knowing I will see others makes me feel a little safer. I am going to recommend a route that will encounter other people, but one of which you have seen a tiny portion before. Do you like lakes? How would you like around 30 lakes in one week?

Day 1 Near Echo Summit, take the water taxi from the marina at the lower end of Echo Lakes to the upper end of Upper Echo. You start out from a fairly high elevation. It's not a bad first day to the little plot of land in between Tamarack, Ralston, and Cagwin Lakes.

2 From there, depart for Lake of the Woods. Going north from there, you find a number of small lakes to visit if you choose on the way to Aloha. Aloha itself might be a good second day camp or hike up to Le Conte for a little isolation and more view.

3 Next pass Heather and Susie on the way to Gilmore. The climb of Tallac is a nice side trip.

4 On to Dicks Lake with a possible side trip to Half Moon.

5 From Dicks, take the use trail by Fontanilis and follow the stream exiting it as it cascades down the face of a pluton. This is not hard hiking and it is only a few hundred feet of extremely easy cross country at the foot of the granite through a level forest until you rejoin the PTC. From there, continue to Upper and Middle Velma (as well as another lake with no name on my map).

6 Now climb to Phipps Pass and down to Phipps Lake.

7 Pass Grouse, Rubicon, unnamed, Stony Ridge, and Shadow, (possible side trip to Hidden) on the way to Crag Lake. There are some nice secluded flats near the SE corner.

8 Pass Genevieve and exit at Meeks Bay, Tahoe.

If you like fishing, many of these lakes are good. You also could complete this same route in fewer days or stretch it out as desired.
Last edited by Tom_H on Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby cgundersen » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:26 am

Hi kpeter,
You've definitely got enough suggestions here to keep you busy for a decade or more, so I won't bore you with any more suggestions. However, since I did notice that you appear to have signed up for the July "Search for Larry" that Maverick is organizing, I'd be happy to share stories on that long ignominious climb that is the Taboose Pass trail. I know that both Mav and Larry waxed poetic about that route (Kathy W, too), but for me, any distractions will be welcome.

The other thing I noticed in the preceding posts is that Lambertiana's query to SSSDave about his photo looks pretty spot on to me. If that's not Mt. Kaweah and its northern neighbors, then I'm completely confused.

cg
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby jfnr » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:45 pm

I really enjoy going out of Edison. There are several options out of this area. The road to Edison lake is an adventure all its own. If you have time there are some great spots to pull over and get out your map and Identify peaks in the area and get a good lay of the land. I always give myself one night @ the VVR to have dinner and hang out at the burn barrel. I have met really interesting people from all over the world there. It is so nice to be around like minded people in such a great environment. I have done several trips out of this area. My favorite is Seven Gables Lakes basin via Bear Creek trail and East Fork. There are several great options for day trips out of this area. My favorite so far has been Bear Lakes basin. Heck, I like it so much I am going back this year. Also, I have never had any issues getting permits for this area, I always apply early. If you go to Bear Creek trailhead, it helps to have 4WD. This could save you a couple of miles. Check it out !
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Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne!!!

Postby shuteye » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:52 pm

I'd like to add my two cents for a very well known classic, even though It's already been discussed. After years of preferring the more out of the way trek--we loved this one, from Glen Aulin to White Wolf. So many water features, including spectacular Waterwheel, and swimming all day. We camped alone not far from a waterfall of some sort every night. Easy, mostly downhill trail (the direction we chose) except for one 3000' climb getting out. Passed only six parties going the other way at height of season. Getting a reservation for a wet season but arriving after the possible flooding is apparently the trick. I guess we got lucky. Beautiful granite walls everywhere, but much of the hike is along the forested riverside. Lots of wildflowers.
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:37 pm

Hi Shuteye,

Welcome to HST!

Shuteye wrote:
Easy, mostly downhill trail (the direction we chose) except for one 3000' climb getting out.


That's a big except for some folks. :D
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby shuteye » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:06 pm

Thanks, Maverick.

Yes, you're right, a big Except--

And we were pretty beat at the end of that climb out of the canyon. That was our fourth night. But we were so fresh the first three days along the river--we had plenty of energy to explore, and fool around--I think if I ever did the trip again, I would do it the same way.
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby hurricaniac » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:07 pm

go in at Rancheria to Tehipite Valley, then go up the Middle Fork Kings to the JMT


Beware on this one, I believe the bridge across the MF Kings downstream from Simpson Mdw has been out for several years. Google Earth shows nothing across the river at that trail crossing. See photo below from a post on another forum (credit to an anonymous hiker).
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby hurricaniac » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:12 pm

I was 54 when I crossed the Sierras in winter on backcountry skis from Shepherd Pass to Giant Forest on the Sierra High Route. We (foolishly) carried 70lbs. of gear.

I would do it again, it was the trip of a lifetime.

Looking west from Coppermine Pass:
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Re: What are the best Sierra hikes I have missed?

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:29 am

hurricaniac wrote:
go in at Rancheria to Tehipite Valley, then go up the Middle Fork Kings to the JMT


Beware on this one, I believe the bridge across the MF Kings downstream from Simpson Mdw has been out for several years. Google Earth shows nothing across the river at that trail crossing. See photo below from a post on another forum (credit to an anonymous hiker).

You definitely don't want to crsoss where the bridge used to be. There's a much better ford well upstream, closer to the head of Simpson Meadow. (Difficult in high water; shouldn't be too bad this year, in mid summer or later.)
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