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Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Backpacking and camping basics and other general trip planning discussion for the uninitiated. Use this forum to learn where to look for the information you need, and to ask questions, related to the beginner basics of backpacking and camping, including technique and best practices.
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Re: Ideas for taking my daughter on her first backpacking trip

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:51 pm

Hi Goonerick,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for taking the time to chime in and helping out a fellow
HST member with you personal experience. :thumbsup:
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 wildhiker » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:16 am

Another gentle alpine area that is good for children and not too far from you is the Grouse Lakes roadless area off Interstate 80 in the Tahoe National Forest. You take the Hwy 20 exit westbound down to Bowman Lakes road and then up that to various signed trailheads on the west side of the roadless area. I think the easiest is the Carr Lake/Feeley Lake trailhead. A short hike of less than 2 miles over a low pass takes you past Feeley Lake to beautiful Island Lake. Side trips to other lakes are possible from there. Since we have a cabin nearby, we regularly hike into this area and the trails are in good condition. Theoretically, since it is not an official wilderness area (maybe someday?), mountain bikes are allowed, but I haven't ever seen any on the trail to Island Lake. We took our kids here more than 25 years ago when the youngest was only 1.5 years old. He walked a bit, but mostly, we carried him. His older sisters (5 and 6.5 at the time) even carried small packs. I do have to warn you that this is a popular area for both day hikers and backpackers, so you won't have solitude.

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

Postby Goshawk » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:15 pm

wildhiker wrote:Another gentle alpine area that is good for children and not too far from you is the Grouse Lakes roadless area off Interstate 80 in the Tahoe National Forest. You take the Hwy 20 exit westbound down to Bowman Lakes road and then up that to various signed trailheads on the west side of the roadless area. I think the easiest is the Carr Lake/Feeley Lake trailhead. A short hike of less than 2 miles over a low pass takes you past Feeley Lake to beautiful Island Lake. Side trips to other lakes are possible from there. Since we have a cabin nearby, we regularly hike into this area and the trails are in good condition. Theoretically, since it is not an official wilderness area (maybe someday?), mountain bikes are allowed, but I haven't ever seen any on the trail to Island Lake. We took our kids here more than 25 years ago when the youngest was only 1.5 years old. He walked a bit, but mostly, we carried him. His older sisters (5 and 6.5 at the time) even carried small packs. I do have to warn you that this is a popular area for both day hikers and backpackers, so you won't have solitude.

-Phil


I've gone through same process recently, and I second Bowman Lakes nomination. The main downside where we stayed was cows rumbling with their bells on the other side of the lake at night. But distances are as easy as you want them to be, access is easy (from the Bay Area/NoCal), and elevation manageable.

for trip # 2 a year later if the first one goes well: the Desolation Wilderness near Wrights' Lake is good, although the climb to Grouse Lake was rather daunting for the kids in parts. Twin Lakes is probably better, less steep, although more popular
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