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Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

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Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby ulu » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:19 pm

I'm doing the trip fm Lodgepoe to Whitney, and I am being shuttled to Lodgepole. Since I'll be getting in after 3:30, I will have to stop by the wilderness office on the morning of the trip. I just found out that they don't have trialhead camping there for backpackers, so I was wondering what the options of overnighting on or near the trailhead are if the campground is full?



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Re: Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby KathyW » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:24 pm

Lodgepole Campground. That or just start hiking the day you get there and you won't need a place to camp near the trailhead.
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Re: Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:01 pm

You could always drive over to Big Meadows: plenty of free camping all along the Big Meadows road, including maintained free camp grounds.
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Re: Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby tim » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:21 pm

Lodgepole takes reservations in the summer (unlike most other SEKI campgrounds). It is often full, so book in advance.
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Re: Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby cgundersen » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:22 pm

Or, go luxe and stay at the Wuksachi Lodge?????
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Re: Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:25 pm

There are no maintained free campgrounds at Big Meadows.... There is also a stretch of road where the official campground is also the only place to camp legally.

Pullout camping on the way up to the Buck Rock lookout would be nice enough - it would be up out of the meadows and creek bottoms.
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Re: Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby lostcoyote » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:06 pm

another option is to pick up your permit,
drive to the trailhead,
and hike in 3 miles to the first stream crossing.
(if you can do that before dark)
Last edited by lostcoyote on Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:14 pm

AlmostThere wrote:There are no maintained free campgrounds at Big Meadows.... There is also a stretch of road where the official campground is also the only place to camp legally.


Well, as of last year there were "official" campgrounds (with the regs boards and everything) that are free along the Big Meadows road. The camp sites are well defined, SOMEbody is maintaining them, rules are posted, and they are free, so call it whatever you like.
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Re: Overnighting at the high sierra trailhead

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:21 pm

Assuming by shuttle you mean public transportation, and that you MUST pick up your permit at Lodgepole in the AM, the best logistically is to camp at Lodgepole Campground. It has a separate tent only loop where lots of folks camp before backpacking. I bet if the campground is full and you just ask to double up with someone and pay them half the fee, they would agree to it. It is a HUGE campground and I bet someone would cancel a reservation too. I like Lodgepole campground. There is a good little store and showers.

If you have a car then there are more options. Call and see if you can pick up your permit the day you arrive. I came in late once and even though the official permit station at Roads End was closed, the ranger up top at the visitors center gave me a permit once I explained that I REALLY needed to get a 5AM start up Copper Creek Trail. I do not know the regulations at Lodgepole, whether you can pick up your permit in the afternoon. If so, then you still have 4-5 hours of daylight to get on the trail and camp on the trail.
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