Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking | High Sierra Topix  

Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

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.

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby tim » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:55 pm

If you want to go early (say before July 4) then I would consider going out and back to Iva Bell hot springs starting from Devils Postpile (though last summer Devils Postpile didn't open until mid June). It is an easy 2 days to get there (12 miles) and a really wonderful destination. Midweek/early season it is likely to be pretty quiet as well. The trail stays low (all below 8000ft) but has great views and mountain scenery. There aren't any major unbridged stream crossings on that bit of the trail either (though you might get your feet wet once or twice).

We did the loop via Duck Lake last summer - another really good trip, but probably one for mid-late July at the earliest: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5344



User avatar
tim
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Bay Area
Experience: N/A

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:34 am

If you wait for the snow to clear, Horseshoe Mdw has many opportunities. Start high. But there are a lot of people. Like Mosquito Flat - lots of opportunities, start high, but a lot of people.
User avatar
East Side Hiker
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby bigcountry951 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:44 pm

So I guess, since we have concerns about the skeeterz, we should wait until June when the skeeter thread starts before we decide on which trail to take. All of your ideas sound great!
User avatar
bigcountry951
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:05 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:44 am

If you don't mind people, consider one of two places, if you can get a permit - Mosquito Flat (out of Tom's Place) or a trail out of June Lake (like toward Thousand Island Lakes). If you do Mosquito Flat, a meal and beer at Tom's Place can't be beat (but there's a lot of people). And think about Leavitt Mdw, off Hwy 108 - though dusty and sometimes hot, there's really a lot of opportunities from that trailhead.
User avatar
East Side Hiker
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:44 am

I went up the Gem Lake trail last year. Here is a photo of Waugh Lake June 29. There will likely be more snow this year than last year, unless we get a very warm spring that melts it off. To get to Thousand Island Lake from the Silver Lake entrance you have to go up a lot of north facing terrain that will be very snowy. If you want to go to Thousand Island Lake, it is better to go in from Devil's Postpile, River trail. Last year there were plenty of dry campsites on the north shores of Gem and Waugh Lakes but the trail was often very flooded. It was not hard to find, just had to wade through water and mud- if you do this route you will "just get your feet wet" into backpacking in more ways than one!

Image
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 3233
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:59 pm

Mosquitos will be a problem for a long time this summer.
User avatar
East Side Hiker
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby bigcountry951 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:46 am

East Side Hiker wrote:Mosquitos will be a problem for a long time this summer.



We are starting to realize that, and may be drastically changing our expected hike dates. So it seems the skeeters typically are bad between June and August? How about September or October?
User avatar
bigcountry951
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:05 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby Mike M. » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:33 pm

Skeeters like standing water. Generally speaking, skeeter season follows the receding snow line. This year, we're likely to see skeeters at least into early August in the high country, depending of course on high quickly the snow melts. I would not hesitate to plan a trip due to mosquito concerns -- come prepared and plan to camp in areas with good drainage, thereby minimizing the potential to be pestered by the ornery critters. High water is another matter, but my bet is that most stream crossings will be manageable by early August, if not before.

September, especially after Labor Day, is a great time to visit the high country. Although the days are shorter, you will see some fall color, there are very few people on the trail, and the nights are usually cold enough to kill off any mosquitoes.

Mike
User avatar
Mike M.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 9:50 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby whrdafamI? » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:54 pm

Another thing that you might consider would be to rent or borrow the equipment. If you or your wife find that backpacking is not your thing you are not left with a lot of gear that you can't recoup all your money on. I have seen this very situation happen with other people so it is a possibility.
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

Get busy living or get busy dying.
User avatar
whrdafamI?
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:31 am
Location: Ontario, California
Experience: N/A

Re: Eastern Sierras First Time Backpacking

Postby East Side Hiker » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:17 pm

You could just do the South Fk of the Kern. If you just want a first taste of backpacking, and don't care about beautiful lakes (which will be snow bound early on), and it has to be early, go up the PCT from Walker Pass.

You could also consider hikes in the Inyo Range, or Panamints, or somewhere out there - Piper Wilderness.
User avatar
East Side Hiker
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 am
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to Backpacking / Camping 101



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest