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Logistics question for upcoming trips

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Logistics question for upcoming trips

Postby Buford » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:41 pm

Hi all,
I am planning 2 trips this year and need some advice.

Mineral King-Timber Gap-Redwood Meadow-Bear Paw Meadow-Hamilton Lakes-Kaweah Gap-Little 5 Lakes-Big 5 Lakes- then out over Sawtooth Pass or Franklin Pass

Lodgepole-Twin Lakes-Stillman Pass-Roaring River-Deadman Canyon-Elizabeth Pass-Bear Paw Meadow- then out along the High Sierra Trail to Crescent Meadow or up seven mile hill and out at Wolverton.

My questions are mainly logistics questions. I can start one trip on Thursday August 22 and one on Saturday September 7th. I would arrive and camp the night before each time. I would like to do the Lodgepole trip 1st, but this may not be the easiest logistics wise.

1. What are the chances of Arriving Friday September 6th in Mineral King at ~7pm and getting a campsite at Cold Springs, preferred, or Atwell? This is after labor day. I assume arriving Wednesday August 21st would make it easy to get a site at Mineral King? I really don't want to drive all the way up that road and get shutout.

2. If I do the Lodgepole "loop" 1st, I can take the shuttle back to my car. If I do the Lodgepole loop in September, the shuttle will not longer be running. How easy is it to hitch from Crescent Meadow to Lodgepole? Scenery wise, is it better to take the trail from Bear Paw Meadow to Crescent Meadow, or Bear Paw Meadow to Wolverton?

3. I have seen many trip reports on this site and others for these trails. Any advice on sidetrips or camp spots?

I'll post up trip reports here when I get back.

Level 2 experience. Only prior trip in the Sierra Nevada or any mountains was the Rae Lakes loop last year.
Mainly level 1 terrain. Locally, I have no problem scrambling up the canyons in Anza Borrego that are mainly class 2. I am not interested in any cross country passes.

Main interests
Big Mountain Scenery
Lakes
Big Views

Thanks



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Re: Logistics question for upcoming trips

Postby RooPhillip » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:55 am

Buford, check your PMs...
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Re: Logistics question for upcoming trips

Postby Saltydog » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:54 pm

I haven't been in or out of Wolverton, but I can't imagine that it can beat the trip into Crescent on any score. You will have been gazing up and down over the Kaweah for some time, but that trail has new eye candy around every twist and turn, Besides, do you really want to get to Mehrten with an easy 5 mile cruise left, and then have to go up and over, into the woods?: I wouldn't
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Re: Logistics question for upcoming trips

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:25 pm

I always go out through wolverton. Love the views from the alta trail, and it is cooler hiking.

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Re: Logistics question for upcoming trips

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:29 pm

1. You should not have any problem getting a site at Cold Springs or Atwell
Campground, AT has 21 first come, first served sites, and CG has 39 + 9 walk-in
sites available.
http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/atwell.htm
http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/cold_springs.htm

2. Both Crescent Meadow and Wolverton are nice, but by the time of your trip
it will be dry and depending on the time of day, warm/hot, so would take
the Wolverton option. Plus if you need to get back to Lodgepole it is just
less than 2 miles by trail.

3. Can't recommend campsites or side trips because you have not indicated the length
of each trip, or how many miles a day you are comfortable with.
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Re: Logistics question for upcoming trips

Postby Buford » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:04 pm

Thanks all for the info so far. I know it will be dry up there.

I guess I left out distances and time.

A side trip(s) of 1-5 miles are what I am interested in. Something that doesn't require serious routefinding/navigation. Some easy non technical cross country is ok. Based on the Rae Lakes loop trip last year. I plan on the trips being 4.5 days and 40-60 miles. 12-16 mile days are about right.

From previous trip reports it looks like Big Bird Lake or some exploring of Nine Lake Basin would be within my ability and distances for the trips. I was looking for other similar side trips. I know both are somewhat off trail.

For the Mineral King loop, what are the pros and cons scenery wise of Lost Canyon and Sawtooth pass vs. Soda Creek and Franklin Pass.

Maverick, awesome photos on your website. They make me want to visit all of those places.
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Re: Logistics question for upcoming trips

Postby tomba » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:56 pm

I didn't find Big Bird Lake that nice compared to areas nearby: Tableland, the two lakes (10435' and 10360'+) between Tableland Pass and big Bird Lake, Deadman Canyon, Elizabeth Pass.
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Re: Logistics question for upcoming trips

Postby alpinemike » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:14 pm

I just finished a trip that started at Lodgepole and ended there after 11 days and over 110 miles through Deadman and Cloud Canyons. I would definitely recommend going up Elizabeth Pass from the North and not the South...the South side is irregularly maintained and actually the trail is quite non existent for at least a mile and a half..I found myself losing the trail going downhill quite regularly. It's also steeper and more brutal from the south than it is from the North. Your trip description shows you going from the North so I definitely recommend that. I also believe there is a shuttle from Lodgepole to Crescent Meadow and from Lodgepole to Wolverton. There is a large and very extensive shuttle service in Sequoia National Park. Hope that helps.
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