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Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip

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Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 11, 2019 03:21PM
Any good recommendations? Looking for 5-7 miles a day ideally with some good views. I’ve been doing research but there’s just so many options it’s overwhelming. Would definitely be helpful if anyone has some good suggestions to look into. Thanks
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 12, 2019 07:29AM
In Yosemite? Those are all the most popular trailheads: Cathedral Lakes, Little Yosemite Valley, Young Lakes, Ten Lakes Basin, Rafferty Creek to Lyell or vice-versa, etc. Or through hike from Sunrise, Cathedral, Rafferty or Lyell into Yosemite Valley. All are great. Take the one that has space on the trailhead quota for your date.

Outside Yosemite? Check our website: backpacktheSierra.com. it has a ton of suggestions, including good starter hikes.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 19, 2019 05:40AM
Hello!

I have the same question, but would welcome suggestions leaving from the Chilnualna Falls Trailhead.

We will be entering the trailhead on Thu, Aug 1 and departing Sat, Aug 3.

I am thinking that we could hike up to the top of the falls and make a base camp for both nights.

Day One: ascend to the top of the falls. Hang out. Enjoy the views/water
Day Two: ?? Looking for a "light pack" day where we can get good mileage and perhaps have an "objective" (e.g. summit Bunea Vista peak?) Could also be as simple as checking out Meadows/Lakes.
Day Three: descend

Anyone have any great itineraries they can share?

Thank you!

AGT
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 19, 2019 07:23AM
I wouldn't recommend Chilnualna Falls as a good starter hike. That is a steep hard trail without a backpack. With a backpack, you'd be suffering.

Once at the top, you don't really have great options, other than camping along the creek. The nearest lakes is Grouse Lake, but that's pretty far for a three day beginner trip.

The falls are beautiful, but this is nowhere near my first choice for a newbie backpacking adventure...



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 19, 2019 08:26AM
Sorry - should have clarified: our group are not newbies. Maybe a little old (!) (41-42), but we've got good experience with backpacking (NOLS graduates, etc.). I am assuming the backpack in (and out) will be an uphill slog, and the downhill will be a little painful.

Given that this is the permit we have (to enter at the Chilnualna Falls trailhead, would you recommend any other itinerary that's less suffering?

Thanks in advance for any help!

AGT
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
July 11, 2019 03:45PM
The title of the OP included the word "beginner." That's why I described the Chilnualna Falls trail as a slog. I've done it with less experiences hikers, as well as with kids, and both groups thought that the upper section was hard work---and that's without a backpack.

For AGT, with his "older" 40 year old friends who have done NOLS, I can't imagine it would be a problem. The only issue on this hike is the crossing of the creek up high.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 19, 2019 08:41AM
Quote
balzaccom
I wouldn't recommend Chilnualna Falls as a good starter hike. That is a steep hard trail without a backpack. With a backpack, you'd be suffering.

I'm actually a bit surprised to hear that...when I first started going to Yosemite 20 years ago, this was one of the first "outside-the-valley" hikes I ever did and I was impressed at what a relaxed climb it was. Granted, I never did it with a backpack but, except for the steep (and wet) stairs near the lower falls (easily bypassed by taking the stock trail around them) and maybe the final ascent to the top of the falls, I've always considered this one of the better "bang-for-the-buck" hikes which takes you past raging rivers, through a bit of woods and a nice meadow and then what I recall as a fairly gentle climb up a fairly long stretch of switchbacking trail. I liked it enough that I repeated the hike at least 3 or 4 times after that initial ascent. The last time was at least 5 or 6 years ago so maybe I'm minimizing the difficulties in my memory and, as I said, I've only day-hiked it so can't attest to lugging a full pack up there. From what I've read on this board, I think you're a much stronger hiker than I am so just surprised with your assessment of it as steep and hard without a backpack.

I've only done a bit of exploring from the top of the falls but I think that's probably the bigger concern with the 3-day itinerary proposed here. The one time I planned to go further up along the creek (in May after a pretty heavy winter), I couldn't even find a place where I was comfortable crossing (and, IIRC, you DO have to get across the creek to go much beyond the upper falls). Based on what I've seen looking at maps, I'd have to agree that it could be something of a slog to any meaningful Day 2 "destinations."
avatar Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 19, 2019 10:47AM
A - 41/42 is old? sigh

B - slog? sigh

C - I agree w/DavidK. To falls is pretty nice w/ not a lot of steep. After that... it varies.
I've done it many times. First time was just dayhike after doing Maripose Grove to the
old Museum. So not that difficult imo.
Also did almost exact same as what bper is asking. Camp near top of falls... next day..
I think... I don't think it was same day... dayhike to top of BV Peak and back.
Loved it.
So, imo. It's Yosemite. It's all good. You could do obvious loop and check out all
the lakes around the way... in Aug there should be no issues really. Other than it's
quite a bit of up...
BV Lake and Royal Arch are v v nice. Others are … to each is own...
Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 19, 2019 01:19PM
This is amazing feedback. Thank you!!

AGT (a.k.a. an old guy smiling smiley )
avatar Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 26, 2019 07:17AM
fwiw... I took a peek at my track from BV Peak...
It was over 3000 ft. climb and over 15 miles.
It was a nice dayhike.
We camped on the left leg at about 7000 ft. in the woods.
(it was an Old Dood plop n drop spot)
smiling smiley
So add about another 600 ft if you coming from near top o fallz.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 26, 2019 07:19AM
omg. Just reread...

Less suffering?

hehehehehehe!

(uh... stay home? )

tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
July 09, 2019 07:38AM
Thank you for the update!!

I am looking at the map now and think that we have two options for Day Two:

1) Top of Chilnualna Falls to Grouse Lake and maybe Crescet Lake - looks to be ~5 miles one way, so ~10 miles out and back. 2000 feet elevation
2) Go for Buena Vist - as you said, a big day: 8.4 miles one way, so ~17 miles out and back. >2500 feet elevation

Guess we will have to see how the crew is feeling. With light packs, would be a nice big hike.

Last question: any tips for a great campsite at the top of the Falls? I am assuming we'll fgure it out, but wasn't sure if there were any secrets smiling smiley

THANK YOU for all the great info.

AGT
avatar Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
July 09, 2019 10:31AM
If EYE was taking someone... I would take them to Royal Arch or BV Peak.
I wouldn't take them to Grouse or Crescent unless I wanted to hear them grouse.
tongue sticking out smiley

Then again... sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind.

We were in the BV area boating some Chilly lakes a few weekends ago...
And, call me crazy, but I simply loved it.

Anyway, I'd recommend …
a) explore Chil Falls and Creek area...
b) go for it and dayhike BV Lake and/or Peak
c) take your pack and camp next night at BV Lake
d) don't bother with Grouse (trail is NOT maintained there)
e) If you want to see a lake becoming a meadow … check out Crescent

It's all good. Enjoy it. Enjoy what you see. Leave no trace.
Maybe it's not "spectacular" but you can make it spectacular.

BV Peak view from when eye dew:




Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
July 09, 2019 05:06PM
BV Peak still under snow, no?
I still have to get back to walk BV Crest after my failed attempt in 2017, due to persisting snow.
avatar Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
July 11, 2019 08:06AM
I don't think you failed in one bit. You did just fine.

Horse looked clean from zoom last week.
BV maybe not as much...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
July 11, 2019 10:22AM
Good point. We did fail to walk BV Crest... but we had a blast walking other places instead - not a fail.

The only true fail is staying home on the couch smiling smiley
Re: Good 2 night/ 3 day beginner backpacking trip
June 12, 2019 01:33PM
don't know anything about the physical abilities of your "beginner". when my kids were young, I chose to take them in a day (Seville Lake, North Fork of the Kings). do a challenging day hike, then exit. after the drudgery of hauling a pack for the first time, the layover day hike, unburdened, was exhilarating for them, and the hike out, predominantly downhill, seemed relatively easy. the trips were fun and inspiring, and backpacking wasn't as hard as it first seemed. having a beginner have a strong first experience is worth a lot. I guess this approach leaves you with even more options, but difficulties getting a permit will winnow the field.
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