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Vermilion Valley Resort Ferry - First come first Serve?

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Vermilion Valley Resort Ferry - First come first Serve?

Postby mountainLight » Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:43 am

In July we are planning to Hike out of Lake Thomas Edison and were hoping to get a head start using the backpacker ferry at VVR. Has anyone here done that before? Do i need to make reservations? Does it fill up or can I just show up and expect to get on?



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VVR

Postby Take-a-Hike » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:14 am

We've done it two separate occasions, including a 4th of July weekend.
No reservations reqd. holds quite a few including packs, and dogs. Most folks I've seen on it are about 25. They get a lot of day hikers over 'n back. The only problem w/ferry is departure time of 9:00am. Not conducive to those who want an early start. It probably wont hurt to call them and chat if you're uneasy, but getting ahold of them may be an adventure in itself this time of year especially. We played phone tag a lot last year. We stayed there doing a nite-b-4 type of arrangement around the 4th just to ease travel and get a nite of acclimatization. The road in is another adventure...so allow your self plenty of time. I've seen wider goat paths.
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Postby mountainLight » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:36 am

Yeah i have done the road before and hiked out of the area, just never the ferry. My friend got his break fluid to boil, not a good thing, on the way up there to meet me. Imagine that road without breaks fun fun. :) Everyone survived but this year he doesn't want to drive :) go figure.

Thanks for the info.
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Postby Steve Bearman » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:06 am

I have taken this ferry a couple times. My advice about Vermillion Valley Resort is to just trust the process. If you show up, they will get you across. They seem to be more of a "take care of whatever is needed at the moment" kind of place, not a "plan and schedule everything meticulously" kind of place.

Another interesting option, depending on where you are hiking to, is to start at the Bear Creek Diversion Dam trailhead, a couple miles south of Lake Edison and a couple miles down a gnarly 4-wheel drive road. I don't have a 4WD vehicle, so my wife and I showed up at Vermillion Valley and asked if we could pay one of their guys to drive us up to the trailhead and drop us off. Apparently they do this fairly often, and the price was reasonable, though I don't remember how much. The hike up Bear Creek was really lovely and involved many swimming breaks!
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Postby hikerduane » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:40 pm

Pooch and I were drying off after a swim on the north shore on some rocks. Did you see me wave when you went by? Oh, wait a minute, that wasn't my arm waving. Whoops! We had just xc hiked down from the Graveyard Lakes. Not a good thing the last 100 yards.
Piece of cake.
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Postby mountainLight » Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:59 am

Thanks Steve, "just trusting the process", seems to be the way of the Sierra anyway, so that sounds great.

Regarding Bear Creek, year before last we hiked into Bear Lakes Basin, and wanted to start it from Bear Creek but couldn't get a permit. Ended up leaving from Bear Ridge (the ridge between edison and the creek), cost us a few extra miles but worked out ok.
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Postby BSquared » Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:29 pm

Their departure times are definitely to be taken with a grain of salt! This is probably not much of an issue if you're itching to leave at the crack of 9:00 from the dam end, but if you're arriving at the Mono Creek end, best get there a half-hour early or so (the lake there is warm and very swimmable, at least in August). They tend to leave after all the people who were there waiting get on the boat, even if it's several minutes before their scheduled departure time.
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Postby mountainLight » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:13 pm

Hmmmm ... thats not good news. On the day back we plan 12 miles to catch the ferry. It would suck to get there to find a bunch more miles to get around the lake because the ferries gone.
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Postby Take-a-Hike » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:36 pm

Not to worry...last August wife 'n I hiked from Wilbur May Lake, around the Indian Lakes, up'n over a pass, (map not in front of me, can't remember,), and down the JMT about 13 miles all together, up 1000 feet, down 2,000, and made it there by about 3:30. It was a long trek, we hoofed it right along, but had plenty of time to visit at the landing, take our shoes off and wash off in the lake. It was a busy day, they'd been running extra boats to carry over forest service/trail laborers, rangers, etc, and the ferry was still pretty full of b'packers, day hikers, etc. We sat next to a group who'd been back in the 4th Recess, muled in, walked out, w/out their packs, of course. They must have been quite the liberators, as we first ran into them along side the creek where the trail comes in to the JMT from the Recesses and they were not too bashful about their lack of clothing while in the water. :nod: I didn't complain, but after my wife blackened my eye, I couldn't see much more. :angry:
IN any event, if two over 50 types can make it, I'm sure you'll be fine. And you hit the motivating factor on the head...if ya don't make it ya get to look forward to trying to beat the boat back on foot. !! :lol:
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Postby BSquared » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:25 am

I agree with take-a-hike, twelve miles should actually be a very easy day, on the way back.

Back in my day (ahem...) I think people were a LOT less shy about skinny-dipping in the Sierra. Am I just dreaming of the "good old days," or do other old-timers think this is true?
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Postby Strider » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:20 am

You also don't see a lot of hitchhikers anymore, either. I feel sorry for kids these days. Between HIV, violence and crappy music, it just can't be much fun anymore.

And they certainly shouldn't be exposed to people our age skinny-dipping!
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