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Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

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Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby xshift28x » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:37 am

Looking to do a 4 day 3 night loop trip incorporating kearsage pass. I'd like to hike and fish. Our group consists of two moderate skill packers and two novice packers. Any info would be great.



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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby Mike M. » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:42 pm

xshift,

Given the short time you have available, a true loop trip doesn't seem feasible. If I were going in via Kearsarge and only had three nights available, I'd head over Glen Pass and into the Rae Lakes Basin. That's a two-day hike for intermediate hikers and you'll have to reverse direction to get back to your car. You could make Rae Lakes in one day, but that would be pushing the envelope for a group not yet trail hardened and coming from sea level. Rae Lakes is gorgeous (but crowded in high season) and offers lots of day hiking possibilities. Too bad you can't add one more night to your itinerary.

Another option would be to stash a car at the Baxter Pass trailhead and exit at Baxter Pass, which would give you a semi-loop. Bighorn sightings are common on that route, but it's a long slog down to the car.

Mike
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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:51 pm

The only loop trip in that area is the Rae Lakes Loop and it is not feasible in 3 nights
especially with newbies. As Mike wrote Rae Lakes is a good destination, if their a lot
of people than go up to Dragon Lake for some solitude. With that said, this may be a
bit much for someone new, and don't forget someone in your group may not be able
to handle that much altitude in a day with out acclimating.
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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby schmalz » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:54 pm

Are you deadset on Kearsarge? Based on the amount of time you have and the fact you are taking some inexperienced people with you, I'd recommend a loop up the north fork of Big Pine instead.
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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby xshift28x » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:42 pm

are there any good trips of this length around south lake out of bishop?
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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby Mike M. » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:17 pm

are there any good trips of this length around south lake out of bishop?

There's great hiking out of South Lake but you don't have enough time for a genuine loop trip.

The best nearby loop trip for the time you have available is out of North Lake, over Lamarck Col then over Alpine Col and back to North Lake via Piute Pass. But I would not recommend this strenuous cross country route for newbies.

You could do an "almost loop" from South Lake to North Lake via Bishop Pass, Muir Pass and then out Lamarck Col, but again, this is a strenuous four-day hike not suitable for novices.

Another option would be to hike over Piute Pass and do a loop involving Puppet Pass or Steelhead Pass (both cross country passes), then back to Piute Pass (on trail) via French Canyon and Hutchinson Meadow.

Why not set up a base camp in the Sabrina Basin and explore the nearby lakes?

Another easy out-and-back option, out of Mosquito Flat, is to hike over Mono Pass and explore the high basins on either side of Mono Creek.

In all these options, the limiter here is how few days you have available. More days would make for a happier trip!

Mike
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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby kpeter » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:22 am

With novice backpackers, I would take Mike's advice and just do a pack into Sabrina Basin. There are a number of nice dayhikes to do there and it is some of the prettiest country you will find in the Sierras. With three nights you will not run out of places to explore and things to do.
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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby oldranger » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:25 am

xshift......

Consider a w side loop. One I know well is Sunset meadow to Ranger Lakes, Silliman Pass, JO Pass and back to Sunset Meadow. Th is about 8,000, high point about 10,000. Great views of Great Western Divide.

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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby xshift28x » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:33 am

oldranger wrote:xshift......

Consider a w side loop. One I know well is Sunset meadow to Ranger Lakes, Silliman Pass, JO Pass and back to Sunset Meadow. Th is about 8,000, high point about 10,000. Great views of Great Western Divide.

Mike


Mike,
Could you break it down how you would do it day by day. I'm not really familiar with the area. Also, how bad will the mosquitoes be around the first week in August?
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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby Mike M. » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:53 pm

Also, how bad will the mosquitoes be around the first week in August?

Mosquitoes should not be a problem this year in early August due to the dry winter and early melt-off.

Mike
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Re: Looking for a 4 day 3 night loop trip

Postby tim » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:16 pm

If you're keen on the East side, then Cottonwood Pass to Cottonwood Lakes (or vice versa) is a good 4 day loop. Go over Cottonwood Pass to Chicken Spring Lake (easy 4 miles on day 1, but the altitude makes it seems further). Day 2 go to Lower Soldier Lake then up to camp in Miter Basin (the last bit is easy off trail). Day 3 go over New Army Pass to Cottonwood Lakes then Day 4 back down to Horseshoe Meadows.

Or the other way round: first night at Cottonwood Lakes, second night at Lower Soldier Lake, third day a day trip to Miter Basin and fourth day hike out via Cottonwood Pass. That way round gives more time to explore Miter Basin but makes the hike out on the last day a bit longer.

It should all be fine for beginners (I did most of it with my 10 year old twins), so long as everyone is OK with the altitude. My photos from Miter Basin: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6526
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