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Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

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Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby Clubb » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:46 pm

So my daughter will be 5 in August and I'm gettin pretty excited about taking her backpacking with me this summer. She's been car camping and on plenty of day hikes. She's a great little hiker.

For our first outing I'm thinkin a 1-2 mile overnighter. Ideally, a lake setting with fishing opportunity. Maybe somewhere we could even build a little campfire for smores. Basically, a cool spot to take a little one.

I live in Carson City, NV, but dont mind driving a bit to get to a trailhead. Ideas?

Thanks.



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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby ndwoods » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:02 pm

Hm....I took my 3 yr granddaughter to Cathedral Lakes in Yosemite. A few Neccos helped her up the hill.:) And she got to lead back down the Budd Lake trail by following the ducks on the way out.
I think my other suggestions would all be on the west side...
Have fun....I started my kids at 4 and 5 and my grandkids at 3...:)
Dee
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby paula53 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:20 pm

The hike into May Lake is very easy. It should be an adventure for a 5 year old.
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby jessegooddog » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:57 am

I doubt campfires will be allowed again this year with our ongoing drought, you will need to check before you hike.
The 20 lakes Basin off 120 is lovely for kids, the water taxi across Saddlebag and little elevation change would be a great intro. Someone else had a TR with small children; they camped at Greenstone, the first lake, and dayhiked the rest. An easy drive from Carson City, and just outside the park so dogs are allowed.
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby balzaccom » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:16 am

Even closer to home would be Round Top or Winnemucca Lake off Carson Pass. Each is a little a mile or two from the trailhead---and nice alpine location.

Here's Winnemucca:

Image


And here's Round Top, a half mile further along

Image

Don't worry---these were taken in October after the first snowfall, your experience will be less icy!

You should also consider Granite Lake off Blue Lakes Road near Carson Pass.


Image

Or Roosevelt or Lane Lakes out of Leavitt Meadows, near 108

Image

And when she wants to hike a bit more than two miles, there are many more opportunities!

We have trip reports on all of these trails on our website in the destinations section
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby LMBSGV » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:13 am

We took our son to May Lake when he was 3 and he loved it. However, this was in September, after the High Sierra Camp was closed and we were the only people camping there. For his first trip at 2 years 9 months, we took him up Lyell Canyon to the junction. I"ll second the 20 Lakes Basin suggestion. Also, Little Lakes Valley is a great place to backpack with children.
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:43 am

Granite Lake in Mokelumne Wilderness is a great kid-friendly destination. 2 miles in, ~500' of gain. Beautiful spot, lots of easy rambling in the area. Took my son there for his first 2 backpacking trips.
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:01 am

Little Lake Valley would be the perfect place for you. Very easy hiking, usually see
small kids doing day hikes with their parents there all the time. Good fishing, and the
scenery in outstanding. http://WildernessApertures.com/img/s10/ ... 9537-6.jpg
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby Tom_H » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:45 am

You can drive south on 395 to 108. Entering at Leavitt Meadows is very flat and a short distance to Roosevelt and Lane Lakes. It is also a short distance to Secret Lake and Poore Lake. A friend had good fishing luck last spring at all locations, particularly Poore.

WD will tell you that it's a bit sandy in places and you will encounter evidence of stock animals. These do not bother me. I enjoy the area.
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby Ska-T » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:04 pm

Before you go either know in advance your daughter's response to altitude or read up on acute mountain sickness (AMS). I took my son and daughter to Little Lakes Valley for their first backpacking trip when they were 4 and 7, respectively. My son got altitude sick the first night. The parking lot for that trip is about 10,000 ft. I found out later that my son is OK going from sea level to 7,500 ft the first day, another 1,000 to 1,500 ft the 2nd day, and by the 3rd day he is OK with the higher Sierra altitudes.

Years later my friend took his son and wife to Little Lakes Valley for their first backpack. His son got altitude sick and to a lesser extent, the wife. So, be informed, be aware that your child may have limits, and be ready to drop elevation.

That said, all the kids enjoyed their experience, caught fish, and still backpack (in my family's case, 22 yrs later).
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby Clubb » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:24 pm

Thanks for the responses! Some great options to think about.
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby Goonerik » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:22 pm

Just wanted to second (or third) the suggestion of Little Lakes Valley. Took my family (daughters 6 and 10 at the time) on their first backpacking trip here and it was perfect. Very little elevation ganin. Although it can be crowded, there is a lot of "bang for your buck" on this hike in my opinion. In the span of about 2 miles you pass by 5 or 6 real nice lakes. Maybe that's why it's so popular. We ended up at Chickenfoot Lake and the crowds thinned out a lot back there.
But as others have said, parking lot/trailhead is at 10,000 so altitude sickness can be an issue.
We came from Phoenix, stayed the night with family in Bishop and then headed up to Little Lakes in the morning. No problems with altitude sickness.
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