loop options: High Sierra Trail and...

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: loop options: High Sierra Trail and...

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:49 pm

I doubt one week would make much difference, but if you could push it 2 weeks, you would have less snow, easier stream crossings, but likely more mosquitoes. Why not put the later date as your first choice, and then list the earlier dates as second and third choices? Others may comment, but I do not think your chances of getting a permit are reduced if you list the later dates as first choices. You may call and ask exactly how the quotas are actually filled.

On your original date you would have more snow. If the "tunnel section" of the trail above Hamilton Lake were still drifted over you simply could not get past safely. But that would be quite rare. The other crux is crossing the Kern at Junction Meadow. It can be quite difficult earlier in the season. Later is better for this. I have never crossed this earlier than in August.

I have gone to Keweah Gap in late June twice and it was not a problem. You may have to walk on snow above Precipice Lake and have some snow on Elizabeth Pass, but nothing you could not do. If by odd chance the earlier date would not work, you could try to get a first-come permit. It is not that hard, but you need to get to the permit office by about 11AM and willing to go out that same day. In that case, you would likely make it to Mehrten Creek, or Nine Mile.

Hard to tell this early. All depends on the speed of the melt. If it is a cool spring and melts slowly, the early July date would not be ideal. But, earlier melting has been the trend over the last couple of decades, even when the peak snowpack is high.

Here is a web site that will let you "watch" the snow melt.


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Re: loop options: High Sierra Trail and...

Post by potatopants » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:03 am

Thanks for the details on what I might expect! I think going to push it back to the last week of July.

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Re: loop options: High Sierra Trail and...

Post by fpb56 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:20 pm

Expect lots of mosquitoes 🦟 this year, even mid July. I’ll be going up Lewis creek and over Volgelsang Pass around the 20th. I expect a lot of snow still

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