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Re: Suggestions for late march trip

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Suggestions for late march trip
June 12, 2015 03:57PM
Hey Folks!

Was looking at my calendar for next year and it seems that I'll only be open for any sorts of backpacking in late March. Bummer since Tioga won't be open so was wondering if you guys had any suggestions for a trip around that time of the year? I did Happy Isles--> LYV --> and went up the Merced river for a bit this year during march and enjoyed it.

Was thinking of doing Happy Isles --> Clouds Rest (MAYBE camp up there since it's out of season-pending on your guy's approval...) --> Cathedral Lake --> Back?
Or
Happy Isles --> Clouds Rest --> May Lakes/ Mystery trail north of May Lakes --> Trek back towards Cathedral Lakes --> Sunrise --> Back

I will have about a 8 days free. Thought about doing the above plan and driving south to SEKI and doing the Redwood Canyon trail in the NF.

Looking forward to your inputs!
Thanks,
Kevin



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2015 03:59PM by KevinD.
avatar Re: Suggestions for late march trip
June 12, 2015 04:27PM
Quote
KevinD
driving south to SEKI and doing the Redwood Canyon trail in the NF.

The road is unlikely to be open that early. Especially if we get the El NiƱo that's being predicted.
Re: Suggestions for late march trip
June 12, 2015 04:35PM
March next year? It really depends on how much snow we get next winter. In a normal to wet year you may have 100% snow coverage from near Clouds Rest all the way to May. (In even normal years May Lake can have several feet of snow where the High Sierra Camp is into June...) You may be fine with that, but if you want to avoid snow, there are lower-elevation options: Hetch Hetchy, the Emigrant from Cherry Dam, or Redwood Mountain or Meadow* in Sequoia all come to mind. It could be a challenge to put together an 8-day snow-free trip that early, and in snow (snowshoes), 8 days may get you only as far as you'd cover in a few days in summer. Don't be fooled by the "winter" trip reports we've been posting here this year--this was an exceptionally dry winter. Go back to reports from the winter of 2010-2011 for what you might get in a wet year.

* Per Eeek's comment, the road to these trailheads may not be open in March. You'll have to start Redwood Meadow from Hospital Rock instead of the Buckeye Flat road end, and if you can even drive the Generals Highway, you may have to walk the spur road to the Redwood Mountain trailhead--but the distances are short enough you can probably make Sugar Bowl or the Hart Meadow area in a day.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2015 04:38PM by basilbop.
Re: Suggestions for late march trip
June 12, 2015 05:14PM
Quote
basilbop
March next year? It really depends on how much snow we get next winter. In a normal to wet year you may have 100% snow coverage from near Clouds Rest all the way to May. (In even normal years May Lake can have several feet of snow where the High Sierra Camp is into June...) You may be fine with that, but if you want to avoid snow, there are lower-elevation options: Hetch Hetchy, the Emigrant from Cherry Dam, or Redwood Mountain or Meadow* in Sequoia all come to mind. It could be a challenge to put together an 8-day snow-free trip that early, and in snow (snowshoes), 8 days may get you only as far as you'd cover in a few days in summer. Don't be fooled by the "winter" trip reports we've been posting here this year--this was an exceptionally dry winter. Go back to reports from the winter of 2010-2011 for what you might get in a wet year.

* Per Eeek's comment, the road to these trailheads may not be open in March. You'll have to start Redwood Meadow from Hospital Rock instead of the Buckeye Flat road end, and if you can even drive the Generals Highway, you may have to walk the spur road to the Redwood Mountain trailhead--but the distances are short enough you can probably make Sugar Bowl or the Hart Meadow area in a day.

Thanks for the input folks! Forgot about the El Nino predictions! Hmmm I've already been around Hetchy a few times and wouldn't mind doing it again. Rancheria Falls was nice! Never done the Emigrant from Cherry Dam...Very interested in this one! When you say Emigrant, do you just mean the wilderness area or a specific trailhead?

Thanks!

Kevin



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2015 05:15PM by KevinD.
Re: Suggestions for late march trip
June 12, 2015 07:44PM
I mean the Emigrant Wilderness. It's what would be the Shingle Springs (Kibbie Lake/Trail) trailhead in summer, except in winter you have to start from the dam. Lake Eleanor and Kibbie Lake make good destinations, as does some of the lower-elevation terrain north of Hetch Hetchy.

It all depends on how much snow there is, and that can change significantly from one week to the next. Best to be flexible and be prepared!
Re: Suggestions for late march trip
June 12, 2015 08:39PM
Quote
basilbop
I mean the Emigrant Wilderness. It's what would be the Shingle Springs (Kibbie Lake/Trail) trailhead in summer, except in winter you have to start from the dam. Lake Eleanor and Kibbie Lake make good destinations, as does some of the lower-elevation terrain north of Hetch Hetchy.

It all depends on how much snow there is, and that can change significantly from one week to the next. Best to be flexible and be prepared!

Looking at some TRs of this trail...wow! Looks gorgeous! It will definitely be at the top of my list for a winter trip this year! Will be doing the PCT Oregon section this august and would love to catch some snow in Cali after it!
Much appreciated!

-Kevin
Re: Suggestions for late march trip
June 13, 2015 06:31PM
Quick question regarding Kibbie Lake and Hetch Hetchy. How are the conditions there during the July time? Might have some weekends open during July and would like to do some overnighters. Was considering trying to get a walk up for Clouds Rest/Sunrise Lakes or May Lake as an alternative. How difficult are the walk ups for those two?

Thanks!
Kevin
avatar Re: Suggestions for late march trip
June 16, 2015 06:49AM
Sunrise and Happy Isles walkup... expect to not get a permit... or expect to waste
an entire day b/c you will need to get next day...

w/r to March. If you have not seen... you should look for a couple of TRs that
I posted from March and April timeframe ... Matthes Lake and Merced Lake.
This year wife and I went to Bernice... in February... and over Vog Pass..
and have never seen anyone beyond LYV in previous years... and this year...
there were people trying to walk over us at Merced Lake HSC.
So... please... do not plan on anything this year... typically you will have
much issue getting to Merced Lake via the Merced River trail then...

If you want links and such I can put them here.

Also well into May in typical year there will be snow on Clouds...
and most ppl won't want to go over it...

Again, I have a few pix if you like to see... but regardless...
a hike up to Clouds area / Pinnacles ... always do-able in March
and you may be a bit surprised at how much / little snow there is...
(south facing)

Have fun planning



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