Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

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tgeorge1792
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Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by tgeorge1792 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:46 pm

Hi everyone:

I'm traveling to SEKI at the end of August. I am backpacking for 3 nights. I have permits for the Twin Lakes trail, which goes to Twin Lakes, Ranger Lake, and Lost Lake. I'm also debating doing the Lakes Trail up to Pear Lake. Lots of other trails have reached their quotas, so it's kind of down to those two options. Does anyone have any advice on which is 'better'? By better - I pretty much mean more spectacular scenery, opportunities to do quick peak bags on layover days, or explore other cool sights / sounds of the area. I'm young/fit and also don't need complete solitude, if that's a consideration. Let me know if you have any advice! Of course open to other options as well, but would need to be a trail I can still get a permit for.

Thanks!!

Tony George








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maverick
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Re: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by maverick » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:24 pm

Hi Tony,
Welcome to HST!
Pear Lake can be a zoo, only once one gets into Tablelands, does one get solitude, and do the views really open up, especially as you head out to Moose Lake or the edge of TBL above Big Bird Lake, which is what makes this a prime location, but you need some crosscountry experience to do this. Lost Lake may be better suited, which is one of the prettiest lakes, with a trail to it, on the western side of SEKI. Both locations have bear boxes. From Lost Lake you can go visit Sheep Camp Lakes, which is an easy crosscountry excursion, and Ranger Lake that has a trail to it.
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Re: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by tgeorge1792 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:42 pm

Thanks Maverick! Just one note - wasn't saying that I need complete solitude, we are fine with some folks. I find sometimes that people's definition of a 'zoo' is like 4 other groups. Where I'm from in LA that's empty! But understand your point. Anyway, your notes are good ones and I will chalk it down to one vote for Ranger Lake / Lost Lake and that area. I understand that can also be reached from some Jennie Lakes trails as well, apparently.

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Re: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by maverick » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:09 pm

I have been thru there before for 1 night, on a Fri due to late start, there was 12 people there, then a group of 12 NOLS, or Outward Bound teenagers, showed up later in the afternoon, talking about being overcrowded, and the solar toilet was trashed, someone brought music, ridiculous. Hiked down to the ranger station, but he was out on patrol. :
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by AlmostThere » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:32 pm

The Lakes trail requires you to be in designated campsites only unless you hike beyond Pear Lake. The campsites get full on weekends. It is indeed a zoo, and the animals are all partying and jumping in the lake. The groups are I think lying to the permitting office about their group sizes because the legal group size is 15 and I have seen way larger groups jamming themselves into campsites there.

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Re: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by balzaccom » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:53 pm

The views from Silliman Pass and Ranger Lake are wonderful....and probably fewer people.
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Re: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by mort » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:22 am

Hi Tony,
I also recommend the Twin Lakes trail. Twin Lakes is over used, it has a toilet too. I was there the first week of June. We camped on the pass. It's only about a mile beyond Twin Lake and there is a good creek close to the trail up to about half way to the pass.
Mt. Silliman is an easy climb from the pass. There was a stock trail, still visible in places. The views of the Great Western Divide are impressive. You can easily identify Mt. Brewer - the highest and most symmetrical. You can imagine the Brewer expedition seeing it for the first time in 1864 and needing to get to the top. Ranger Lake is warm - excellent for swimming. We had enough of a breeze to survive the mosquitoes. Lost Lake seems to get fewer visitors. The south west end of Ranger Lake has a notice that it is closed to camping for restoration. That's where the big packer site was.
Have a great time.
Cahoon Meadow
IMG_0382.jpg
Mt. Silliman from Silliman Pass
IMG_0308.jpg
-mort
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Re: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by limpingcrab » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:42 pm

Well you can’t really make a bad choice from there. Lost Lake, like Mav said, is absolutely beautiful. Pear lake is a cool hike and has more of a high Sierra feel but anywhere with a toilet and a ranger station isn’t my thing so I have some bias.

One spot that gets overlooked is called Little Lakes, just NW of Mt silliman. It’s cross country but you just follow the creek and it’s pretty simple. From there you can day hike to the ridge for views, silliman, or even over to lost and twin lakes. (Twin lakes seems to always have a deer that likes to chew on salty things like trekking pole handles)

Anyway, it’s all a beautiful area, here’s a pic from Little Lake on the way to climb Silliman.
59E9D45D-04BD-4685-8C3C-145CA3E1BF9B.jpeg
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Re: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by ischenck » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:07 pm

maverick wrote:I have been thru there before for 1 night, on a Fri due to late start, there was 12 people there, then a group of 12 NOLS, or Outward Bound teenagers, showed up later in the afternoon, talking about being overcrowded, and the solar toilet was trashed, someone brought music, ridiculous. Hiked down to the ranger station, but he was out on patrol. :

I was just at Moose Lake last weekend with my girlfriend. We arrived at around 4 pm and had complete solitude until around 7 pm when 12 Outward Bound teenagers came charging down to the lake and set up camp right by us. I've never encountered so many people off trail! I know 12 is the limit for cross country travel in SEKI, but it still seems like too many people in one group for these high altitude areas.

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Re: Sequoia - Backpacking Destination Advice Needed

Post by tgeorge1792 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:19 pm

Hey everyone - thanks for these replies. We just got back from our trip on Sunday. Was spectacular! Blue skies, very little smoke/haze, no mosquitos, and warm lakes. We camped one night at Twin Lakes, then two nights at Ranger. Did one day hike to Lost Lake. We were in a spot on Ranger Lake that had beautiful 360 views of all the ranges in the area. My only advice to anyone that reads this is you HAVE to go past Twin Lakes over Silliman Pass or you are really missing out. It's a bit of a climb, but absolutely essential, in my opinion. Wish we could have kept going and going. But alas it was only 3 days. I wish I could figure out how to attach images here!

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