Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar
marjolijn
Topix Novice
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:38 pm
Experience: N/A

Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by marjolijn » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:28 pm

Hi,

summer planning has started :)

my sister, her husband & kids are coming to visit this summer and I can't wait to take them to the sierra! We'll be going for 2 nights in mid-August. I'll have a ton of logistics to figure out, but I'm really looking forward to introducing them to the adventure of backpacking.
I've set my sights on Lake Aloha because it's beautiful & fun to explore and hang out, it's a short enough hike (and a quick bail-out) and a good base for a day hike.

I'm trying to decide which permit zone would be best for my group of 7 (4 adults & 3 kids). Zone 33 probably has more obvious campsite options (mainly in the wooded area to the south-east of the lake?) But I really prefer camping out in the open, and I've read that the south-west side of the lake is really nice... Are there good group options in zone 27 or 39 ? (38 is gone)

Would we have to worry about mosquitoes at that time of summer (=look for exposed vs sheltered sites) ? Any other things to keep in mind?

I'd appreciate any recommendations!
marjolijn








User avatar
alpinemike
Topix Expert
Posts: 415
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Reno, NV
Contact:

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by alpinemike » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:07 pm

While I have personally never camped in zones 27 or 39 I would imagine there are plenty of sites scattered throughout the lake, but zone 39 I believe is a better bet since from what I remember zone 27 is typically rockier and has less flat areas. Zone 33 is where a lot of people typically camp, since it has the most classic views looking at the Crystal Range. The wooded area southeast of the lake is a good bet for most camping. I've seen many people camp there.

During most years Mid-August is relatively free from mosquitoes... but this is not a normal year, considering we have more snow than we've had in decades (in most areas that is). I went through Lake Aloha in August of 2011 (another very large snow year) and there were some mosquitoes around time. Depending on what exactly happens through Spring and early Summer you might have to contend with a lot more mosquitoes and maybe even some snow in shaded areas. Snow lasts a very long time in Haypress Meadow. Sights in the open would be better for mosquito protection since they will typically stay out of the open but if they do you have the wind on your side to blow them out.
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
maiathebee
Topix Regular
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:59 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Alpine Meadows, CA
Contact:

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by maiathebee » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:50 pm

You're going to want Zone 33 for the classic views. The sunset behind and morning alpenglow on the crystal range on the southwest side of the lake is really beautiful and if you are camped on the west side you won't get to see that because you'll be between the lake and the crystal range. Also, there isn't a maintained trail around to the other zones, so if you have kids, staying near the main trail is probably a good idea. Here's a trip report from a trip that included a night camped in Zone 33 in case that helps you make your decision.
oh hey! you're reading my signature.
that's nice. want to check out my blog?
here it is: plutoniclove.com
ig: @plutonic_love

User avatar
FeetFirst
Topix Regular
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:35 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by FeetFirst » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:35 am

Image

Both zones 33 and 39 would be fine. 39 is pretty much on granite slabs, but there's plenty of "out in the open" camping on granite slabs or decomposed granite with smaller slabs around on 33 too. I'd actually recommend 33 over 39 because it gives you more options/space. Zone 39 is small and can start to feel a bit crowded as most people camp at the South end of the lake. Furthermore, if skeeters are bad 33 has some areas that you can get up above the lake just a bit to hopefully catch a breeze and mitigate their attack. In zone 33, the area between the trail and Lake Le Conte has some open benches with grand views and lots of space with easy access to both Le Conte and Aloha.

Image
2016 winter/spring

Image
Not a bad spot to watch the sunset

Image

Image
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.

User avatar
neil d
Topix Regular
Posts: 175
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:46 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by neil d » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:18 pm

I agree with the input thus far, zone 33 is the one to get. There are spots all along the eastern shoreline. I think the better ones are closer to the south end of the lake as you go further north the PCT gets closer to the lake, so you are more aware of trail traffic. As you approach the lake from Haypress Meadow, look for obvious use trails branching off towards the lake. That area has a great mix of large, flat, sorta shaded campsites with water and mountain views. And as alpinemike pointed out, there are areas to camp with a bit of elevation to catch the breeze.

We took six kids aged 6 - 13 last summer, and everyone loved it. It is a great first trip, especially with the boat ride. The climb up to Haypress can be challenging for kids, so just make sure they drink fluids and go slowly if needed.

User avatar
larree0
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:36 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by larree0 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:35 am

There are many small lakes between the trail junction and the West side of zone 33 that I think would be more kid friendly. The first one is about ¼ m W of the junction. However getting around all those lakes tend to make getting to the one you want a bit of a challenge. As others have noted, its all off trail over mostly open granite. It will help if you have a gps w that area on it, but with the snow pack this year, there may be snow as well as water to navigate around. There are camp sites near (too near, in some cases) most lakes, some are too small for a group of 7. There are several large flat sites on the S end of Aloha itself too.. Hope this helps, it's a beautiful area but crowded on weekends for sure.

User avatar
marjolijn
Topix Novice
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:38 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by marjolijn » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:04 am

thank you all for your input, I'm glad I asked this question here! Beautiful photos and trip report too...
Unfortunately I left it a bit too long, and when I got back to the reservation system all permits for zone 33 were gone, so zone 39 it is - for now. I might check at the SLT ranger station the day before our trip to ask if it's worth it trying to grab first come first serve permits for zone 33 on the day, but I guess either zone will be great anyway. I might go up there by myself in July to scout a little too.
I know it can get busy at Aloha, but for kids used to hiking and camping in Europe I don't think it'll be too bad :) (We're going Thursday to Saturday) I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this case.
Hope you all have a great sierra year!

User avatar
ERIC
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Posts: 3251
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: between the 916 and 661

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by ERIC » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:56 am

Be sure to come back and give us a trip report! :)
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix

User avatar
sanjose
Topix Novice
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 7:46 pm
Experience: Level 1 Hiker

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by sanjose » Wed May 03, 2017 7:51 pm

A follow on question on the Lake Aloha area. Anybody have an guesstimate on how early in the season this trip could be done with 10 year old kids? Could it be done fiest week of June? And would mosquitoes be a big problem in mid July?
Thanks for any insights!

User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Posts: 3125
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Experience: N/A
Location: Fresno
Contact:

Re: Lake Aloha with kids: where to camp?

Post by giantbrookie » Wed May 03, 2017 8:20 pm

I think 1st week in June will be too early this year. Mid to late June will be best. Mosquitoes are hard to predict even if an area is soggy. If it is reasonably breezy (usually the case around Aloha) you'll be OK.

By the way, I realize it is a bit more work to get there, but if you want a nice campsite with some seclusion, I'd opt for zone 27. If you are coming from Glen Alpine you still have to skirt that western shore before you get to the nice slabs with flat spots on the western part of the S shore.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 9 guests