What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

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Harlen
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What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by Harlen » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:30 pm

Now that our Wilderness Permit (for 9/13-20) has been cancelled and returned to us, we are brainstorming for alternative areas. We were leaving from the Bishop area, so immediately considered the White Mountains, but are not sure about water availability up there. My buddy Carleton has long spoken of the remote beauty of the Warner Mountains in Northern Cal.? This is migratory bird season now, so we also wonder if this might be a great time to visit Goose Lake, in hopes of seeing a lake full of Snow geese? I guess the trick is to find a smoke-free area. Are the Trinity Alps in the smoke?

Please let us know all of your secret spots for backpacking. Thanks, Ian and desperate friends.








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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by druid » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:03 pm


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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by CAMERONM » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:06 pm

Sorry, no secrets. The smoke map is just amazingly terrible everywhere. I would say that you should be flexible and ready to leave for someplace that clears up the day before you leave. Several years ago I drove up 395 with all my Harrison maps looking for clear air. I kept going a long distance until things looked better in Yosemite. Then half way into my trip, a fire erupted near Tioga.
https://fire.airnow.gov/?lat=34.0262911 ... 99&zoom=10
Apparently there is no way to hide from global warming.

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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:11 pm

I personally am planning to day hike for the next few times out. Locking yourself into one location seems risky when things are changing day to day. There's fires everywhere, all over the state. A shift in the wind direction makes air quality terrible really fast. Not to mention the risk of new fires setting your car on fire or cutting you off from civilization.

I suppose you could keep your trips short, and your decisions last minute. That's probably your best bet at avoiding a smoke out.

FiresBro.PNG
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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by wildhiker » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:02 pm

Central Nevada is not too far from Bishop, and, at least at the moment, not in the heavy smoke as seen on satellite. Be aware that you will be completely on your own out there with likely total solitude.

Three mountain ranges in central Nevada are particularly interesting and high, although I have to admit, the last time I hiked out there was in 1977:
Toiyabe Range - The Arc Dome wilderness area in the south is >100,000 acres. A few trails, lots of open country high up for cross-country. If you have two cars, you can do the Toiyabe Crest trail, which runs about 50 miles from Kingston Canyon in the north to the top of Arc Dome (then exit down the North or South Twin River to make a reasonable car shuttle).
Toquima Range - the modest-sized Mount Jefferson Wilderness in the central part of the range has the highest peak in central Nevada (over 12,000 feet) with large plateau of alpine tundra on the top. Suitable for a one or two night loop from the east side (Pine Creek, I believe?).
Monitor Range - The Table Mountain Wilderness in the central part of the range is also about 100,000 acres. It is a volcanic table slanted to the west, and cut by streams into interesting rimrock gorges. The high part is a series of giant aspen groves - especially nice at the end of September when they turn color. Fishing is apparently good in the main streams.

-Phil

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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by Harlen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:09 am

druid, that is a very scary satellite image!! Thanks for the advice-- Phil, those look like some great options. I'm familiar with the Snake Range, and the Ruby's, but these are new and closer. Cheers, Ian and friends.

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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by Matthew » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:30 pm

This won't help you, Harlen (in Bishop), but the Lost Coast is appealing right now. No smoke and no heat. Either the King Range in the North or the Sinkyone area in the South. Last time I was there, the Sinkyone had no quota or permits. The only limitation with Sinkyone is that with cliffs and vegetation, there are limited tent spots at the obvious shore access areas (Little Jackass, Bear Harbor), but Wheeler has more sites. Wandering Daisy has a great trip report for this area.

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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by SSSdave » Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:16 am

Not much for backpacking, the Redwood Coast areas will offer more chances for a smoke free cool experience over the next several weeks for those with time to spend. Yes all those places do have minor backpacking but the better experiences are day hiking in the forests and also relaxing along the coast shores. May receive days of fog. Swimming in the Smith River and Redwood Creek plus fishing too. In any case, late summer is IMO the least interesting time of year to visit these areas as for those that have already done so. I much prefer May when it is most green and flowery.

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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:15 am

To those saying the Lost Coast, there is a fire burning just East of there. Off shore winds (like we have today) create some pretty bad air quality there. Shelter Cove has an AQI for 200ish this morning.

The Warner mountains & southeastern Oregon currently have the best air quality. But the winds will shift and that will change.
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Re: What are Some Ideas for Alternatives Backpacking Areas?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:37 am

Conditions are changing hourly so it is hard to guess where to go days from now. The BLM part of the Lost Coast (north of Shelter Cove) does require permits and has quotas. For most, the long drive to Warner Wilderness is really not worth the effort. I would be more inclined to watch the air quality data and do short trips close to home when conditions are right, in areas that do not require a permit. But, many Wilderness areas are closed now. Perhaps time to enjoy photos of your previous trips with a bottle of wine!

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