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Re: Is there any way to get out to lake Eleanor with the current Rim Fire closures?

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hey guys, long time. Work picked up out of no where the past few months and I haven't had the time to do much of anything so I haven't been around the compuer much. But I'm hoping thats soon to change. Me and some friends were talking and we were thinking it would be neat if we could get out towards the cherry lake/ Eleanor Lake area. I Know that Eleanor its self doesn't sit in the closure but I have no idea if any of the roads out there are open or if there is any way to get out there. I know some of you guys have been up to the cherry creek area this year so I was curious if any one knew if there was some way to get out to Eleanor, and if so what would be the easiest/best way to do it.

Thx guys. Happy hiking!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2014 06:25PM by randomsteve95370.
avatar Re: Is there any way to get out to lake Eleanor with the current Rim Fire closures?
August 21, 2014 07:05PM
Go in from Hetch Hetchy via Miguel Meadow. Follow the old road bed all the way to Eleanor. Check out Gravel Pit Lake which has a trail sign posted about 10-15 minutes before Miguel Meadow. You will also pass the burned down Ranger Cabin at Miguel. If you cross the Eleanor Dam and follow the trail around the north side of the lake and go to the park boundry you'll find that Cherry is a short hike away. It's about 6 miles to Miguel Meadow and about 12.5 miles to the shore of Cherry.

Old Dude
avatar Re: Is there any way to get out to lake Eleanor with the current Rim Fire closures?
August 21, 2014 09:47PM
Was at Eleanor with this old guy earlier this year... and then later with the wife whom with
then went on to Kibbie...
The northern trail from the dam to the campground on the north side had extensive fire damage.
Plenty of deadfall to contend with there... but the campground is intact from what I saw
(we didn't poke around there due to well... my penchant for getting off the trail... and
exploring towards Kibbie)
I highly recommend exploring the south side with a really really great beach... and checking
out Frog Creek cabin.. which they saved. The hike is well worth it to give an idea of
how the fire moved and what damage is out there. It's not all devistatated as some may think.
There are many pockets of no damage. And Kibbie was all but spared.
Unfortunately the cabin and barn and outbuildings... all were torched. Interesting to see
the old cabin remains including melted mirrors and such.

Have fun...

Chick-on is looking at you!
Awesome I knew there had to be someway of getting out there still. We have a decent number of people who have been wanting to go camping lately, some of which are hikers some are not so I was thinking it would be nice to find a place semi easy to get to and setup camp so that the none hikers could mill around but still have something to enjoy while the hikers head out and do day hikes. Eleanor was a main idea of mine because the Cherry campgrounds were one of the places we would go to for this kind of trip, and because its only a few miles out to cherry creek, kibbie ridge, other lakes and meadows, ect to be able to day hike out to for a few days in a row.

That brings me to the question of how that road is out there?Mrcondron say its an old road bed, so does that mean its an old road no longer taken care of? Or is it just your average forestry road? Basically would cars with low clearance and 2 wheel drive be able to make it out there given enough time (I.E. driving slow enough) Or would Higher clearance Jeeps, and trucks with 4x4 be required? Not to worried either way (As long as the road isn't completely trashed anyway) but its something to take into consideration before you drives 2hrs to get out there only to find out your car isn't gonna make it. tongue sticking out smiley

One other thing. Roughly how far out would you say Kibbie is from the campground on the South side of Eleanor, and would it be a feasible day hike from said campground?

Thanks again guys, this is the kinda stuff that not to many people know about which makes it hard to find out.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2014 10:32PM by randomsteve95370.
avatar Re: Is there any way to get out to lake Eleanor with the current Rim Fire closures?
August 21, 2014 11:41PM
It is an old actual road that was used during the time that Eleanor Dam and O'Shaughnessy Dam were built but taken out of service decades ago. It is now the trail that runs from O'Shaughnessy Dam to Eleanor Dam and it is maintained as a trail but no way can a car travel on it. It's in the wilderness area so even if it were drivable it would not be allowed.

It's about 7 or 8 miles from Eleanor to Kibbie depending on which side of Eleanor you start from and which route you take. It's about 2000' of elevation gain. If you camp at Frog Creek then the hike to Kibbie will be maybe 2 miles longer.

Old Dude
ah ok, thats what I thought. I didn't believe that there was a road out there anymore but I thought maybe the forestry station out there had a road I didn't know about. Sounds like it won't work for the big camping trip that I was thinking about using it for as there would be people who would not be up for any kind of hiking, but I am definitely going to go out there with my hiking friends for sure now that I know there is a trail to out there. That and Kibbie lake has been on my list to see for quite some time.

Being that Eleanor won't work out for a larger camping trip with non hikers, would you happen to have anything in mind for something that would work? I'm looking for some place either on highway 108, 120, or 4, someplace with some kind of water near camp (I.E. lake or river), we would need to be able to drive in at least within a few hundred feet of where we would be camping, and it would be nice if it was a little more remote and less used then something like a yosemite campground.
avatar Re: Is there any way to get out to lake Eleanor with the current Rim Fire closures?
August 22, 2014 09:54PM
You can get remote or solitude or lake or river but you cannot get all three anywhere you can drive to. A lake or river with good car camping close will have a lot of people.

Consider Yosemite Creek Campground. It may be quite now that school has started. There is plenty of hiking from there and the creek is close with pools here and there.

Old Dude
avatar Re: Is there any way to get out to lake Eleanor with the current Rim Fire closures?
August 23, 2014 07:23AM
If you're willing to give up the solitude part, there's campgrounds and hiking around Lake Alpine on CA-4 (haven't camped there but I've stopped for a swim a few times). Around Tahoe, I've enjoyed car camping at Bliss State Park - you're camping a considerable distance from the highway, giving a sense of quiet. Nearby Emerald Bay State Park gets you closer to hiking, though really both are close - Eagle Falls/Lake and Bayview trailheads for Desolation Wilderness are nearby, a relatively short drive gets you to Fallen Leaf Lake (haven't camped there yet) and nearby Mt. Tallac trailhead. The views from Tallac are awesome. These places fill up with reservations though.
Thx for the suggestions guys I appreciate it very much. When I said remote/less used I just ment something less like say Pinecrest lake campgrounds that have been 100% full all year so far and have campsites like 4ft apart with nothing in between. Obviously you have to give up the solitude of backpacking when you you get the convenience of being able to drive down there. I'm going to give those spots a look for sure.

Doing a little bit poking around yesterday I ran across Utica. I've never been there myself but it looked like a neat lake, I know people like to kayak there but I've got no idea how the camping is. Anyone ever camped or hiked around Utica or Union?

Edit. Being the stupid person I am I just realized how close Lake alpine is to Utica hahaha. Well I'm still curious about if anyone has every hiked or camped around utica but lake alpine looks really nice.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2014 12:11AM by randomsteve95370.
Re: Is there any way to get out to lake Eleanor with the current Rim Fire closures?
August 28, 2014 11:17AM
I stayed at Aspen Campground off 120 recently, had a nice campsite along the creek. Most of the sites are large. It's just above Lee Vining. Also the campground at Saddlebag Lake is good for hiking, it's first come first serve, so there is a certain amount of luck involved.

Lake Alpine is nice also, especially if you ride a bike- mountain or road bike.
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