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Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry campin

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Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry campin

Postby abhijitaparadh » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:02 pm

Hi,

We are planning our first backcountry camping trip. We are seasoned day-hikers but somehow always stayed away from spending a night in wilderness.
This year we have made resolution to complete at least a couple of backcountry camping trips. This is our first trip to see how we cope up.

The tentative plan is :
1. Sat 7/16 :
5am : start from SF bay area to Loon lake trailhead.
10am : start hike to Rockbound lake.
2-3pm : Reach Rockbound Lake and set up camp.
4pm onwards : Enjoy the scenery/cook/swim etc.

2. Sun 7/17 :
6am-9am : Sunrise, breakfast etc
9am : Pack up camp and leave back to Loon Lake trailhead.
1pm : back at Loon lake
6pm : back in SF bay area.

I know people do this as day trip, but we want to keep a lot of time to setup camp and get settled in the camp.
Hence the leisurely plan.

I read that the distance one way is around 6.5 miles. from Loon lake TH to Rockbound lake. Is that correct?
Will the trail be snow free by mid july?

Any other suggestions?

Also, we plan to rent backcountry camping gear for this trip. So any suggestion regarding that are also welcome. We already have all car-camping equipment. But I guess that is useless for backcountry camping.



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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby Brien » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:16 pm

Just my 2 cents, I find starting late in the morning can make for a hot hike. If you can come up the night before and leave early you'll probably find it a more pleasant hike with less people on the trail too. Enjoy!
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby maverick » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:17 pm

I read that the distance one way is around 6.5 miles. from Loon lake TH to Rockbound lake. Is that correct?
Will the trail be snow free by mid july?


6.7 miles but who's counting. :unibrow: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/ ... rdb5292408

You should be fine by mid July, check this board, and the Desolation Wilderness Conditions board: http://desowv.org/component/trailconditions/?Itemid=26

Any other suggestions?


In that area or in the Sierra?

Also, we plan to rent backcountry camping gear for this trip. So any suggestion regarding that are also welcome. We already have all car-camping equipment. But I guess that is useless for backcountry camping.


Maybe listing what you have, would make it easier to give you a more complete list, without duplicating what you already may have.

PS Moved your post into the Backpacking/Camping 101 section, read some of the threads in this forum, and if afterwards you have questions, please do ask.
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: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby abhijitaparadh » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:24 pm

Brien wrote:Just my 2 cents, I find starting late in the morning can make for a hot hike. If you can come up the night before and leave early you'll probably find it a more pleasant hike with less people on the trail too. Enjoy!



Thanks Brien.
Yes I know hiking around noon is not pleasant experience. But its really not possible for us to reach there a day before.

This trip is more for us to get acquainted with the backcountry camping gear. (for a multi day backcountry trip that we are planning in september.)

Is the trail quite exposed? I was counting on it having some shadow sections.
Also, since we just have to go around 6.5 miles, I figured we can take enough stops if it gets too hot.

Also is there any site which gives elevation profile for this trail?
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby abhijitaparadh » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:32 pm

In that area or in the Sierra?



Anywhere is fine.
Just that it should be doable in a weekend from SF bay area.


Maybe listing what you have, would make it easier to give you a more complete list, without duplicating what you already may have.


We have pretty basic gear.
Coleman 3 person tent, Coleman one burner stove and Coleman sleeping bags with sleeping pads.
Please let us know if you know any place in SF bay area where we can rent backpacking gear. I know REI has the facility, but havent found anything else apart from REI.
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby gary c. » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:27 pm

Sports Chalet also rents gear but I would recommend sticking with REI. I think your chances are better of finding knowledgeable clerks at REI.
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby balance » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:50 pm

Greetings abhijitaparadh

Congratulations for making the move to overnight backpacking. As for gear, no matter how much experience you have, you'll probably wind up carrying something you don't need, and finding out there are things you wish you would have taken. No worries; that's just the way things go.

Looking back on when I started, I think my biggest mistake was trying to go too far in one day. Even if you're only 3-4 miles up the trail, you'll feel like you're a million miles from the urban environment. It can change your outlook.

The best source of information for planning a hike in the Sierra Nevada comes from two books: "Sierra North" and "Sierra South". They provide a good idea of what you can expect on the trail, elevation, campsites, etc. They give you information about trails you might not have considered, which can help get away from the crowds. Cross country routes are also included. I've used these many times for the basic outline of a trip, and then add my own variations. Sometimes I tear out the specific pages and take them on the trip. Along with map and compass, the information is often useful.

If you want to get further off the beaten track, "The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes and Trails" goes into much more depth.

Peace.
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby FeetFirst » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:32 pm

Desolation Wilderness is a perfect destination for a quick weekend backpacking trip from the Bay. I'm curious why you've picked Rockbound Lake though? Don't get me wrong, it's a great hike, but not the most scenic in the area. Also, the drive up to Loon Lake from highway 50 actually takes longer than something like Echo Lakes TH, which is within striking distance to Lake Aloha, Desolation's crown jewel. Sure, you'll see less people at Rockbound, but it's also within earshot of the famous 4x4 Rubicon Trail and I promise you'll hear the roar & groan of trucks well into the wee hours of the night.

For a quick one night trip I recommend Echo Lakes TH to Lake Aloha. Or, Twin Lakes TH, at Wrights Lake, to Twin & Island Lakes.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby abhijitaparadh » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:40 am

balance wrote:Greetings abhijitaparadh

Congratulations for making the move to overnight backpacking. As for gear, no matter how much experience you have, you'll probably wind up carrying something you don't need, and finding out there are things you wish you would have taken. No worries; that's just the way things go.

Looking back on when I started, I think my biggest mistake was trying to go too far in one day. Even if you're only 3-4 miles up the trail, you'll feel like you're a million miles from the urban environment. It can change your outlook.

The best source of information for planning a hike in the Sierra Nevada comes from two books: "Sierra North" and "Sierra South". They provide a good idea of what you can expect on the trail, elevation, campsites, etc. They give you information about trails you might not have considered, which can help get away from the crowds. Cross country routes are also included. I've used these many times for the basic outline of a trip, and then add my own variations. Sometimes I tear out the specific pages and take them on the trip. Along with map and compass, the information is often useful.

If you want to get further off the beaten track, "The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes and Trails" goes into much more depth.

Peace.


Thanks for the suggestions.

I will definitely take a look at those books.
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby abhijitaparadh » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:44 am

FeetFirst wrote:I'm curious why you've picked Rockbound Lake though?
For a quick one night trip I recommend Echo Lakes TH to Lake Aloha. Or, Twin Lakes TH, at Wrights Lake, to Twin & Island Lakes.

Couple fo reasons I chose Rockbound lake
1. Permit for Rockbound lake is still available online for our dates
2. We wanted a hike around 6 miles so that we can test our endurance of hiking with a heavy-ish pack. We are planning for TI lakes loop in September where we would be walking around 8 miles on Day 1 with a heavy backpack.

I will definitely look at the options that you listed and see if permits are available for them.
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby abhijitaparadh » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:47 am

gary c. wrote:Sports Chalet also rents gear but I would recommend sticking with REI. I think your chances are better of finding knowledgeable clerks at REI.



Thanks Gary.
I will also look at Sports Chalet.
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Re: Rockbound lake in Desolation - first time backcountry ca

Postby FeetFirst » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:50 am

abhijitaparadh wrote:1. Permit for Rockbound lake is still available online for our dates


Yeah, reserved permits for Loon are much easier to get than some of the more popular trailheads (e.g. Echo, Twin Lakes). If you have reservations for Loon, it's still worth checking at the Pacific Ranger Station on your way up (Highway 50 just past Fresh Pond, north side of highway: https://goo.gl/maps/qnJCgNq6ePQ2 ) since they keep some for first come and they deal with a lot of cancellations. If you don't nab one you can always fall back on your original reservations. Have fun!
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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