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Backpacking destination with kids

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Backpacking destination with kids

Postby hjldennis » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:24 am

Hello all,

In July, my wife and I finally got the backpacking gears out from the storage for the first time since we had our children, now 7 and 9. We went to Mammoth out of Reds Meadow and did an overnight trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. We never knew the Eastern Sierra had so much to offer! Our only previous real experience in the region was hiking Whitney a couple of times. Well, we want to try something out of Bishop or Lone Pine, and are faced with so many options. So here we are.. :)

Here are some basic info: Date - Labor Day weekend

1. Backpacking Experience: Level 2- Some backpacking trips, using trails (with one overnight experience for the kids, 7 & 9)
2. 2 nights 3 days covering 5-10 miles total (kids have done 10 miles, 3000+ gain day hikes, but I want to go easy especially due to altitude)
3. FIshing opportunity preferred. I am new to fishing but we had so much fun at Sotcher Lake in Reds. Only experience is with Power bait.
4. Campfire is preferred but not that important.
5. Less crowd is preferred but not that important. Scenery and the route is more priority this time.

How will the temperature be like? I saw some pictures of lakes with snow fileds.

Thanks!

Dennis
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby maverick » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:51 pm

Hi Dennis,

Welcome to HST! Don't worry about any snow, period. Forget campfires this year
fire danger is too high and not allowed this year in most areas. Labor Day = Crowds.
Most places out of Sabrina or South Lake and also North Fork Big Pine offer numerous
beautiful lakes with fantastic scenery.
Use the search feature to read some of the TR's to these places like these for example:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9640&start=0
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9842
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: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby hjldennis » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:10 pm

Wow, those are two great trip reports that I want to do both! I guess the one out of Sabrina might have more people? We have to get the permit on Thurday (15th) afternoon for Friday hike, if we get there in time. Or we have to get it on Friday for same day hike. I hope we get to have some choices...

Thanks for the reply. This is a great site with wealth of resources - perhapse too much for a newbie :paranoid:
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby hjldennis » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:24 am

It looks like the nearest campground (for car camping) to Sabrina or South Lake is still a few miles away from the trailhead. Is there a campground (car camping) near Little Lakes Valley trailhead? We're looking for a trail where we can begin backpacking from our "base camp" where another family will stay back and camp. We will be in a small 24' RV and preferably don't want to drive to the trailhead. Any sugesstions?

Thanks!

Dennis
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby bluefish » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:51 am

You can get closer in Rock Creek Canyon RV camping, but not by much. As you really need to acclimate to the altitude for a night before backpacking consider leaving your friends to camp down canyon, while you spend the night at Mosquito Flats at 10K and hit the trail in the morning. Mosquito Flats is for the purpose of acclimation for backpackers and free with the required wilderness permit. LLV is an easy 4 miles in to Gem Lakes or Chickenfoot. Great scenery, great fishing in numerous places (albeit mostly small) . Not that hard to go over Morgan Pass to fish Morgan Lakes, also. A good place for kids. It's an in and out, not a loop, but with all the little fishing side trips and things to see, you won't even notice. I've been in there a bunch and never, never does it grow old. If you want some adventure- off trail over the ridge into the Treasure Lakes from Gem Lakes - 2 lakes have Goldens.
Warning- there'll be people- any easy hikes will have them. You'll need reservations pretty soon.
Take the kids to the Rock Creek Resort to Pie in the Sky- excellent pie as a reward for the hike.
You can also plan a decent trip in the length you propose in the Hilton Lakes- also out of Rock Creek.
Try to get up at least to French Camp Campground to acclimate before you go.
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby austex » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:18 pm

RCL has RV sites first come first served up by the lake.(not real nice; but a stroll to the lake.) Tamarack Lakes TH is right there in the parking lot. M.Flat is a further drive up the cyn past the pack station and yes there is a hiker (no RV overnight) campground there. East Fork has over a 100 very nice some by the creek most shaded campsites; but a drive to the TH. Shuttle the over nighters to the M. Flat TH for a overnight acclimation camp and then RV back to the campground? No known cell service so arrange a pick up in advance. If I were there I'd offer a hitcher a ride down the cyn; I've done it before. (Up to you) Sue's pies are to die for. $7-$8 a slice but VERY popular. \:D/ Usually sell out by 3p.
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby hjldennis » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:31 pm

Thanks for your suggestions. We are trying to get to Lone Pine by Thursday afternoon before the ranger station closes and obtain the wilderness permit for the following day (Friday). We would like to have some target combinations of trailhead & base campground and hope that there are available spots. Once we get the permits, and possibly campsite availability, we will head on to the campsite and secure a site for the weekend. BTW the other party will not join us until the the next day afternoon after we've already left for backpacking. That's why we wanted to set up the camp and RV so the other family can just come and use our RV. Sorry that I didn't make our plan clear =)

Our RV is small enough that we have not had much trouble fitting into a regular campsite parking almost everywhere, so we don't have to stay in RV campsite. I think if we cannot find the close enough campground then we will pitch our tent, drive the RV to the trailhead, and have my friend pickup the rv later in the afternoon back to the campsite, and have them pick us up on Sunday morning. Things would be simpler if we didn't take the rv but the other family REALLY wanted to stay in rv, being a first time camper and by themselves until Sunday =) Or we can hitch a ride, but I am not sure for the family of 4.

I heard cell phone works around Sabrina. No reception around Little Lakes Valley? or Big Pine Lakes? Communication with the other party is one thing, but I am SUPPOSED to be working on Friday. HAHA=)

And yes, we will have to try that pie!
Last edited by hjldennis on Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby austex » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:53 pm

Have not been to Sabrina this year; don't know. But at least ATT drops at the top of French Camp. About a mile from 395. Have fun!
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby hjldennis » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:01 pm

Any favorite sites in Rock Creek?
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby austex » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:05 pm

Iris Meadow and Big Meadow...
East Fork: http://www.campsitephotos.com/campground/East-Fork
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby hjldennis » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:18 pm

Thanks you all for your inputs! I narrowed it down to 3 spots based on your inputs. In the order 1) Little Lakes Valley, 2) Lake Sabrina and 3) Big Pine Area.

Any ideas on chances of getting 4 permits on coming Thursday at around 4pm for the following day which is Labor Day Friday? It is difficult for this "newbie-to-area" to plan out a trip for a single destination, yet trying to do so for 3 possible itineraries... I already feel at 10,000 ft with light headedness =)

Thx
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Re: Backpacking destination with kids

Postby tim » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:44 am

Why not consider Cottonwood Lakes (or Cottonwood Pass to Chicken Spring Lake), then your friends can stay at Horseshoe Meadows with you? It sounds like you are coming from the south so this would be closer. it also has the highest quotas for walk-ins and as a fallback you can go up Trail Pass (to Chicken Spring Lake) which has no quotas at all.
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