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Re: May 25 Backpacking Ideas

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May 25 Backpacking Ideas
April 24, 2008 09:59AM
Hi!

I am planning on 5-7 days backpacking trip on the week of May 25.

1) I really wanted to do Rae Lakes loop in Kings Canyon. But when I called NPS for permit they said that there is lot of snow now and the trail may be burried. Does anyone has any idea whether its feasible to do the Rae Lakes loop end of May?

2) Other options are:

Valley --> Snow Creek --> Yosemite Falls --> El Cap --> Valley

or

Valley --> Little Yosemite --> Merced Lake and back

I would appreciate if anyone can give me further suggestions and comments.

Regards

ABM
avatar Re: May 25 Backpacking Ideas
April 24, 2008 11:15AM
As I recall, the Rae Lakes loop trail essentially hits 12k elevation at its highest point - I don't see you getting through there at the end of May.

Another loop to consider: Tuolummne Meadows to Glen Aulin to Pate Valley to Ten Lakes to Tuolumne Meadows. This is about 55 miles and should be possible at the end of May. However, you will probably have to contend with some flooded trail areas (west end of Glen Aulin & Pate Valley) and a fairly challenging creek crossing after dropping down out of the Ten Lakes area.
avatar Re: May 25 Backpacking Ideas
April 24, 2008 12:18PM
The Rae Lakes area is notorious for a single bear that managed to break into previous models of the BearVault before the BV350/400 came on the market. The same models that aren't allowed near Rae Lakes are still OK in most of the Sierra. In any case, if you've got (or are renting) any BearVault canister, just crank it on tight and the security of the lid shouldn't be an issue.

I've got the NG Trails Illustrated Sequoia/KC map. I always wondered if it would be feasible to get to the Rae Lakes area from the east via Inyo NF. The standard park map shows two trails coming into Rae Lakes and Charlotte Lake (via Onion Valley and Kearsarge Pass) from the east. Of course this runs into the same high altitude problem.

Re: May 25 Backpacking Ideas
April 24, 2008 12:32PM
szalkowski wrote:

> As I recall, the Rae Lakes loop trail essentially hits 12k
> elevation at its highest point - I don't see you getting
> through there at the end of May.
>
> Another loop to consider: Tuolummne Meadows to Glen Aulin to
> Pate Valley to Ten Lakes to Tuolumne Meadows. This is about 55
> miles and should be possible at the end of May. However, you
> will probably have to contend with some flooded trail areas
> (west end of Glen Aulin & Pate Valley) and a fairly challenging
> creek crossing after dropping down out of the Ten Lakes area.


y_p_w,

Thanks for the reply.

Last year during Memorial Day Weekend I hiked Happy Isles --> Cloud's Rest --> Tenaya Lake as a day hike. Found lots of snow after Cloud's Rest and infact got lost for an hour near Sunrise Lakes junction.

How much snow do you I ll encounter at Pate Valley and Ten Lakes. I want to avoid snow camping if possible.

Regards

ABM
avatar Re: May 25 Backpacking Ideas
April 24, 2008 03:48PM
abm wrote:

> y_p_w,
>
> Thanks for the reply.
>
> Last year during Memorial Day Weekend I hiked Happy Isles -->
> Cloud's Rest --> Tenaya Lake as a day hike. Found lots of snow
> after Cloud's Rest and infact got lost for an hour near Sunrise
> Lakes junction.

I remember getting lost someone around the Sunrise Lakes trail. Just couldn't figure out where the trail was, and there was no snow. Found my way though. And my pack kept on slipping because the waist belt combined with the weight wouldn't stay on with my narrow waist.

Last Memorial Day I was in Tahoe. Made for an interesting day hike around Desolation Wilderness. I abandoned my original plan (not feasible) but came across several ice-covered lakes. On the way back I came across a lost kid who was separated from his HS ROTC group going up Mt Tallac and completely lost without a map or compass. I brought him to my car and drove him to the nearest pay phone where we called for help. I then had an interesting story to tell at the blackjack tables.

Nothing quite like getting lost. In 2006 I had gotten lost after making the summit of Mt Tallac (like the kid I got out). At least I had a (street) map with trails and compass, although a real topo map would have been better.

Re: May 25 Backpacking Ideas
April 24, 2008 12:14PM
There are also some nice trips to be had out of the Chilnualna Falls trailhead on Memorial Day or thereabouts. It's a good early-season area, very pretty, although it takes a day to get to the expansive scenery. Buena Vista Lake and Peak is a nice second-day target, and then you can ad-hoc as you like. Chilnualna Falls itself is gorgeous in May.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: May 25 Backpacking Ideas
April 24, 2008 09:46PM
abm:

(1) All of the snow at Pate will be of the liquid variety. (Watch out for the alligators: http://youtube.com/watch?v=RalwWz-TgxI&feature=related)

(2) Ten Lakes is generally around 9-9.5k, so that is presently a toss-up depending on the weather during the next month. Suggest that you monitor the Tioga Pass webcam to see how the spring melt is progressing around that elevation and make your decision accordingly.
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