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Backpacking this weekend.. any ideas?

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Backpacking this weekend.. any ideas?

Postby Splash » Wed May 01, 2013 7:29 pm

Hi Everyone,

I know it's short notice but I am planning on doing an overnight this weekend. I have reservations for Rancheria Falls but now with the low snow pack; I was thinking of going higher. Just getting in backpack shape so the 13 miles round trip is all I want; probebly should do less. I live in Sonoma County so the 5 hour drive to Hetch Hetchy is the max I want to drive which I plan on doing Friday night.I wouldn't mind doing a little fishing Saturday night where ever I end up. I have heard the snow pack is around 7,000 ft. Is this true? Anybody think of a good place; up highway 80,50,88,4, 108 or maybe I just do the RF hike.

Thanks ,

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Backpacking this weekend.. any ideas?

Postby bheiser1 » Wed May 01, 2013 10:10 pm

Hi - I was up on Smith Peak by Hetch Hetchy the weekend before last (the weekend of Apr 20). There was some snow on the slopes of the summit cone, just below the summit, but none on the actual summit, and none anywhere below that. The summit is around 7800 ft. Looking around it seemed like the snow line then was around the same elevation on other slopes in the area and (though it was harder to tell) in the distance toward the higher peaks as well.
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Re: Backpacking this weekend.. any ideas?

Postby Tom_H » Thu May 02, 2013 9:22 am

If you simply want to be out for a one nighter and don't want to drive too far from Sonoma county, you might think about some trailhaeads near Georgetown.

The Nevada Point Trail is 2 miles down to the Rubicon River and 2 back, but it is a steep workout. We never see anybody down there and it is gorgeous. The trailhead is at the center of this map: ... &t=t3&z=16

What appears on this map to be the trailhead is now a jeep road turnoff from the Rubicon Road and you go a couple of hundred feet to a parking spot. Parking is best here. From there, a jeep trail continues uphill another 100 feet to a second parking spon on a ridge top. That is where the actual trail now begins.

There are 3 good camping locations. Just as you get to the Pilot Creek bridge, you can boulder around some Class 4, really low class 5 stuff to the left and in about 100 ft. find a secluded level camp site. You can cross the Pilot Creek bridge and as you round the bend at the confluence with the Rubicon, there is plenty of level camping between the trail and river. If you continue to the old washed out bridge across the Rubicon, there are plenty of level camp sites, but they are in the sun. Both of these are right by the trail, but in that very few people ever use this trail, that probably won't matter.

A bit farther upstream on the Rubicon, the Hunters Trail to the Rubicon is less steep and about 5 miles in and the same out. I haven't been on it, but my friends were on it about 2 weeks ago and liked it. There is a little general store in Georgetown that is the only place where one can buy a little guide book with numerous rarely used trails in the area.
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Re: Backpacking this weekend.. any ideas?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 02, 2013 10:06 am

Just got back from yosemite yesterday. VERY HOT! It is hot and amazingly dry. Snow level is 8,000 feet. I did Pohono Trial from Wawona Tunnel to Dewey Point - NO snow at all. Then Yosemite Falls trail. Falls are already past peak. I think your trip is OK but prepare for very warm temps. Many of the small snowmelt gullies are already dry. In my opinion, if you are going to drive all the way to Hetch Hetchy, why not go to the Valley and go up the Merced River to Merced Lake as a rigorous overnight trip? The Merced is about peak flow (although not as much as a high snow year) and due to lower water levels, you should not have as much wading in Echo Valley as you would in a higher snow year. This trip has a lot more shade than your planned trip. I really think it is too hot to do Racheria Falls right now, unless it cools down a lot for the weekend.
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