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Recommendations for late march trip

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Recommendations for late march trip

Postby pez_leon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:08 pm

Hello:

I'm looking for recommendations on Spring activities around Bishop. Some friends and I are getting out for a trip in late March and were hoping for suggestions. We all love backpacking but would also be happy to car camp. All of us are high Sierra enthusiasts, but we know that no roads or trailheads will be open that early. We're all level four hikers (comfortable with extended cross country) preferring to stick to class 2 with backpacks or 3 without.
At the moment we're considering car camping somewhere in the Owens valley and soaking up the hot springs, the little towns, the Alabama hills, and whatever hikes are open at lower elevations. Maybe we'll drive up to snowline and play around there. However, if there was some great backpacking trip that would be open then, we'd be interested. We have summer experience in snow travel and snow camping, but are aware this is a very different season.
Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

James



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Re: Recommendations for late march trip

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:18 pm

James,

Are you requesting place outside of the Sierra, the reason for asking is that you posted this into the Beyond The Sierra Nevada forum? If you meant to inquiring about something in the Sierra let me know and I will move your thread into the Backpacking/Hiking/Camping forum.
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: Recommendations for late march trip

Postby pez_leon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:29 pm

Maverick,

Thanks for the reply. I wasn't sure if Bishop and the White Mountains would count as "Beyond" or not, and I am also open to suggestions of hikes elsewhere. Please move as you see fit. Thanks!

James
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Re: Recommendations for late march trip

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:48 pm

How many days?
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: Recommendations for late march trip

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:05 pm

A neat early season hike/snowshoe is to go up to the Stone House on Tuttle Creek. It will depend on how close you can drive/ condition of the road.

Owens River Gorge.

If you like to play around on rocks, go out to the Buttermilks.

Convict Lake - trail around it, very impressive.
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Re: Recommendations for late march trip

Postby pez_leon » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:51 am

Thanks for the tips!
We're driving in on Friday and leaving Tuesday morning, so we've got about 3.5 days. Very excited to look in to these recommendations.
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Re: Recommendations for late march trip

Postby seanr » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:06 pm

Accessible via Ridgecrest, Olancha, Lone Pine, Big Pine, or Baker, have you considered Death Valley NP? You could visit there for a lifetime and not run out of places to explore. It is a gem for hikes and scrambles of varied distances. You'll find a variety of peaks, ranges, valleys, colorful canyons, slot canyons, dunes, salt flats, craters, natural bridges, interesting flora, mining ruins, tourist areas, and backcountry areas. There are some nice campgrounds and some backcountry car/backpack camping opportunities. Also, you may have heard that the wildflower display is spectacular this year. This site provides a good overview:
http://www.panamintcity.com
http://www.panamintcity.com/recommendat ... hikes.html

With the ability level of your group, there are endless backpacking and hiking opportunities, but most involve carrying your water.

The Cottonwood-Marble Canyon loop is nice and had running water when I was there a couple weeks ago. A high clearance vehicle helps for this one.

Additionally, the canyons of the Grapevine Mountains are spectacular. There are difficult dryfalls in some, but loops and lengthy trips can be made via bypass routes. I've personally experienced Titus, Fall, Palmer, Red Wall, and Rock Nettle. Here's a taste of Red Wall a couple weeks ago, the last hike of 7 adventure filled days (I haven't sorted through my other pics yet, but the superbloom was more prolific farther south): https://goo.gl/photos/NN25BF94NEzrLCQNA

Besides the canyons I mentioned specifically, there are plenty more throughout the region. If it is unusually warm down low, there is a lot to do at middle to high elevations.
The Panamint Range has some easy backpack trips with water and/or snow.

Anyway, I visit the Sierra several times per year, but I tend to visit DV once or twice per year in February-early April (I'd consider Nov.-Jan. as well if it fit my schedule better). I'll admit that I couldn't resist the pull of the Sierra instead last late winter, but that was only because of a heatwave in DV and unusual Sierra hiking opportunities presented by the record low snowpack. Also, I was willing to hike many miles through the snow to experience high terrain and wanted to get out in the snow before it all melted. This year is more normal, so I will likely be back for a second DV trip soon.
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