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Trail suggestions for a quick 3-4 day backpacking trip

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Trail suggestions for a quick 3-4 day backpacking trip

Postby lauralai627 » Tue May 14, 2013 1:59 pm

Hello! Two friends and I are hoping to do a quick backpacking trip over Memorial Day weekend. We can leave early Friday morning and spend three nights on the trail before heading home on Monday night.

We've gone on several trips (including North to South Lake and Rae Lakes Loop) and are at about Level 3. I think we'd like to stay on trail for this one and would like to avoid any major snow or high water crossings. We're looking to do 8-10 miles a day, ideally in a loop, and are mainly interested in big mountain scenery and lakes.

We'll be coming from San Francisco and are up for driving up to 6-7 hours if needed, though closer would be nice too! Our favorite spots have been in the Eastern and Southern Sierras but we're open to wherever is free of snow - perhaps in Yosemite? Desolation?

Does anyone have any trail suggestions? Please do let me know if I can provide any additional information.

Many Thanks!



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Re: Trail suggestions for a quick 3-4 day backpacking trip

Postby Tom_H » Tue May 14, 2013 3:29 pm

This Loop: off trail, lakes, isolation:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7904

Or, start at Meeks Bay on Tahoe, go up Meeks Creek, Phipps Pass, south on PCT, through Velmas, Fontanilis, Dicks Lake, Eagle Lake, out at Eagle Falls on Emerald Bay. Plenty of opportunity for 1 of you to hitchhike back to the car on Hwy 89. You'll pass a dozen or so nice lakes. On trail (though I'd go off trail to climb the dome rock where the stream out of Fontanilis comes cascading down-very easy short Class 2 off trail hike) but likely to see many people, especially in Velmas.

Map: http://caltopo.com/map?id=7N66

Or, loop out of Glen Alpine Spring near Fallen Leaf Lake: start from Glen Alpine and head toward Susie (a side trip goes to Gilmore, possibly climb Mt. Tallac, then back to Susie). From Susie to Heather, to Aloha, to Lake of the Woods, back to PCT, then back to Glen Alpine:

Map: http://caltopo.com/map?id=0G7P
Last edited by Tom_H on Wed May 15, 2013 2:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Trail suggestions for a quick 3-4 day backpacking trip

Postby Tom_H » Wed May 15, 2013 8:12 am

Another Loop: Eagle Falls at Emerald Bay to Velmas, Fantanilis, Dicks Lakes; return via Bayview Campground. Short walk along Hwy. 89 back to the car. Again, cross country along the stream that enters Upper Velma, following it upstream as it cascades down the dome after its egress from Fontanilis.

http://caltopo.com/map?id=2U2M
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Re: Trail suggestions for a quick 3-4 day backpacking trip

Postby lauralai627 » Wed May 15, 2013 11:52 am

Thanks Tom! These look like great options!
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Re: Trail suggestions for a quick 3-4 day backpacking trip

Postby tim » Wed May 15, 2013 10:08 pm

Note that Tahoe through Yosemite have the most remaining snowpack of this very dry winter. Eastside and further south (e.g. SEKI) will have less snow. Devil's Postpile is supposed to be open on May 25 for Memorial Day weekend - very early this year, and the photos on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/devilspostpile) suggest the valley is already free of snow. However, if they really do open on Saturday that might not be ideal for your planned start on Friday.

We're going to SEKI - just going up Woods Creek to Paradise Valley. You've left it too late to book permits in advance for SEKI but you will certainly find some decent options there. Seville and Ranger Lakes for example. Or out and back along the High Sierra Trail to Hamilton Lake (though that has a few stream crossings) - Bearpaw Meadow was already accessible at the end of April. Even Lakes Basin might be feasible by then. See http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm for trail conditions
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