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High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

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High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby Shhsgirl » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:43 pm

Calling all veterans of the HST: We are hoping to do it from west to east in early September. If we have a dry year, can anyone give an educated guess on water availability along the trail? Sure appreciate any and all advice.



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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby rlown » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:10 pm

What route are you doing? You don't get water this year until a storm door opens.

It'd be nice if you shared your plan so we can pick it apart. :)


do you mean this route?: http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/h ... -trail.htm
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby Shhsgirl » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:14 pm

Oops, sorry for not being more specific. Yes, the route you linked--starting in Crescent Meadow and ending at Whitney Portal. We are going to take it very slowly over ten days. Just wondering if anyone who knows this trail knows if water supply is year-round ( i.e., at least one lake/river per day that doesn't ever go dry), or do you have to rely on streams or lake outlets that may be dry by then. Probably smarter to go earlier, huh, but not everyone can make it earlier.
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby rlown » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:39 pm

It's too early to tell. I'd bet on the dry side and you have to plan around lakes for water or stream fodder with a filter. Alot of mileage on that trip per leg.

No storms, no water.. Simple as that.
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby Shhsgirl » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:00 am

Our person who could only go in Sept. just canceled, and we will never forgive her, but now we can go earlier, so we probably will. Thanks for the reality check!
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby dandcroberts » Mon May 19, 2014 7:31 am

Hi, just wanted to comment on time of year to do the HST…my husband and I started the HST at Crescent Meadow with the destination of Nine Lakes Basin on August 9th two years ago. It was unbearably hot. The ground we pitched our tent on at Mehrten Creek held onto so much heat through the night it was like sleeping in an oven…much of the trail is exposed especially coming out of Hamilton--again baking hot. Bear Paw Meadow was sweltering even in the shade with not a breeze. August is also a VERY busy time on the trail. Boy scout packs galore. Lake Hamilton was like a mini- Yosemite valley--overcrowded, with the rangers directing us to the last possible campsite up away from the lake. Water was not an issue for us but of course this year will be different with respect to streams and rivers. Word of warning--there is no viable campsite at Buck Creek although "Sierra South" says there is on page 129. Just Plenty of water to cool down in and then move onto Hamilton, but you better get there early to choose your site. We did love staying in the Nine Lakes Basin above the Heart shaped lake which you can see from the Kaweah Gap. It would make a great place for you to layover on your 10 nighter to explore the lakes of the Basin. In short…I recommend you stick with Sept.Enjoy! CRoberts
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby maverick » Mon May 19, 2014 10:13 am

Hi Dan,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for chiming in to help a fellow member out, though I have
to disagree with your statement:

Word of warning--there is no viable campsite at Buck Creek although "Sierra South"
says there is on page 129.


Plenty of us have stayed here in the past, where you have a bear box and a cool creek
at you disposal, and no crowds, unlike Bear Paw or Mehrten.
Here is 1 of many threads in which members recommend Buck Creek:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9905&p=74621&hilit=buck+creek#p74621
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Mon May 19, 2014 5:08 pm

I have been on the HST at all times of the year including October and water is not an issue on it. I never carry more than 2 liters of water and it's plenty enough.
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby dandcroberts » Mon May 19, 2014 7:53 pm

Re this posting about my warning of an unviable campsite at Buck Creek..:

Plenty of us have stayed here in the past, where you have a bear box and a cool creek
at you disposal, and no crowds, unlike Bear Paw or Mehrten.
Here is 1 of many threads in which members recommend Buck Creek:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9905&p=74621&hilit=buck+creek#p74621


I am not talking about the campsites at the bridge. I am talking about the NO flat ground, no privacy, all brush, no rock, no kitchen area next to the creek way before the bridge. If you want to put your tent on 45 degree angle with any number of people coming by to get water while you try to find a place of privacy to do your thing in the brush..then go for it. I am pushing on to better sites.
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon May 19, 2014 8:11 pm

Everyone has a different definition of a "campsite". I had a wonderful night at Buck Creek, set up on the top of a huge flat rock downstream (the regular campsite was taken). With a bit of creativity and willingness to get off the trail a quarter mile or so and do without some creature comforts, I can always find a "campsite" almost anywhere in the Sierra. I carry two collapsible water containers, so I do not even need to be near a water source. And when I do a trip with a bivy sack, I can literally camp anywhere. There are lots of campsites along the trail but the smaller side streams are dry late season. Word of warning- you cannot access water at the bridge between Bearpaw and Hamilton Lake. You have to take a use-trail upstream until you can access the stream. I personally would prefer early September (after Labor Day) to earlier. Once school starts, the crowds really thin. And it is cooler.
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Re: High Sierra Trail- Water Supply in early Sept.?

Postby lensman137 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:54 pm

I'll be lake hopping from August through October, just to be on the safe side. It's a drag, but better than nothing.
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