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Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack

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Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 07:27PM
Hello all:

Some GREAT information here on this site I only found within the past week. Here's my quandry. My father and I are planning a spring backpacking trip for next week. we set everything into place about nine months ago, for Desolation Wilderness. A good hike up to Gilmore Lake, and some dayhiking. Then Mother Nature brought a record snowpack that makes some of those areas impassable without crampons, etc.

So, now I'm looking for a backup. I'm scheduled to hike The Lost Coast Trail next week, BUT I'm one to always choose mountains and gushing waterfalls over the ocean. So, I'm leaning on some expert advice from you guys. I work in the media so I know the issues with the Tioga Road still being closed. What I don't know is what other trails are open with limited to no snow, for a possible backcountry trip next week. We are looking for anything we can find that would allow us to hike 10-30 miles and spend one or two nights in the backcountry, while seeing some of the great beauty that Yosemite has to offer.

So, I turn to you. What can you offer as suggestions? Does anybody have an up-to-date trail reports?

Thanks in advance for any help. We would head out on Thursday of next week if possible.

I look forward to your assistance.

best

Brian
avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 07:46PM
Here is a trip in Kings Canyon that I can recommend:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,36703,36779#msg-36779

Also, if you go to the lower elevations of Sequoia (down by the Three Rivers entrance), you can do a nice hike following the Middle Fork of the Kaweah. You would start out at Buckeye Flat or Hospital Rock (if the gate to Buckeye is still closed). I can give you more information on that route if you are interested.
Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 08:03PM
Quote
szalkowski
Here is a trip in Kings Canyon that I can recommend:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,36703,36779#msg-36779

Also, if you go to the lower elevations of Sequoia (down by the Three Rivers entrance), you can do a nice hike following the Middle Fork of the Kaweah. You would start out at Buckeye Flat or Hospital Rock (if the gate to Buckeye is still closed). I can give you more information on that route if you are interested.


Szalkowski:

Great info. I am definately interested in the hike in Sequoia if you can pass along that info.

Brian
avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 08:35PM
Quote
slosh2400
Quote
szalkowski
Here is a trip in Kings Canyon that I can recommend:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,36703,36779#msg-36779

Also, if you go to the lower elevations of Sequoia (down by the Three Rivers entrance), you can do a nice hike following the Middle Fork of the Kaweah. You would start out at Buckeye Flat or Hospital Rock (if the gate to Buckeye is still closed). I can give you more information on that route if you are interested.


Szalkowski:

Great info. I am definately interested in the hike in Sequoia if you can pass along that info.

Brian


I'll email you with a trip description/significant photo comments and link to my photosharing site for the last trip that I did to both places.
(May not happen until tomorrow.)
avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 08:50PM
Why not put here for all to enjoy?

Brian, do The Lost Coast. It's purty darn kewl.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 08:52PM
A lot of Illiouette basin is free of snow now.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 09:15PM
Here's a link to photos of the Lost Coast. It starts here, on the south end:

http://www.californiacoastline.org/cgi-bin/image.cgi?image=7812&mode=sequential&flags=0&year=2002

Just follow this northward until here:

http://www.californiacoastline.org/cgi-bin/image.cgi?image=200901921&mode=sequential&flags=0&year=2009

(or go in the opposite direction)
avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 07:46PM
Quote
slosh2400
So, now I'm looking for a backup. I'm scheduled to hike The Lost Coast Trail next week, BUT I'm one to always choose mountains and gushing waterfalls over the ocean. So, I'm leaning on some expert advice from you guys. I work in the media so I know the issues with the Tioga Road still being closed. What I don't know is what other trails are open with limited to no snow, for a possible backcountry trip next week. We are looking for anything we can find that would allow us to hike 10-30 miles and spend one or two nights in the backcountry, while seeing some of the great beauty that Yosemite has to offer.

You'll definitely find mountains on the Lost Coast...they rise very steeply from the coast because the San Andreas fault makes an almost 90 degree bend into the Ocean there. The southern part (from Shelter Cove) is more heavily forested along the coast, grassy areas are more common along the northern area (from Mattole). The entire area is spectacular (make sure you recognize Western Poison Oak!).

On a 10 to 30 mile hike in the Sierra I'd expect snow. But...snow on the ground and warm daytime weather can really be pretty enjoyable if you're ready for the snow. You didn't post anything about your experience to let me say more on this point.

I hiked to Rancheria Falls from Hetch Hetchy the weekend before Memorial Day, no snow at all. That was a one-night hike, about 6 or so miles. Memorial Day Weekend was cold, so any reports you read from then until the present time should be applicable for your trip. The forecast is looking nice, if that helps.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2011 07:47PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 07:59PM
Quote
slosh2400
Hello all:

Some GREAT information here on this site I only found within the past week. Here's my quandry. My father and I are planning a spring backpacking trip for next week. we set everything into place about nine months ago, for Desolation Wilderness. A good hike up to Gilmore Lake, and some dayhiking. Then Mother Nature brought a record snowpack that makes some of those areas impassable without crampons, etc.

Yeah - I tried that once on Memorial Day weekend. Snow was manageable, the pass between Susie Lake and Heather Lake was snowed in such that snowshoes would be needed if I wanted to get to my original target of Lake Aloha. I saw some backpackers coming through, and they had snowshoes strapped to their packs. I did make it to Gilmore Lake.

There was also a lost kid who found me just past Gilmore Lake after getting outpaced by his group at Tallac, but that's a story I've told on other occasions.

And the most interesting sight I've ever seen in a designated wilderness area - although it wasn't that Memorial Day hike I mentioned.

avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 08, 2011 07:32AM
Deja-vu all over again. wink

y_p, I coulda used a cold one after getting atop Ta-lock only to see 500 screaming kids:




Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 07, 2011 11:21PM
slosh2400 >>>"... while seeing some of the great beauty that Yosemite has to offer"

Your questions are similar to several others this last while on hiking web boards. In other words, you want some Sierra place to backpack out to with usual mileage that is still going to deliver the big High Sierra experience. Those two requirements are incompatible because the snow level is about 6k and the High Sierra is above that. There are places one can hike shorter distances in lower and mid forest elevations. Places that are interesting though won't deliver the usual backpacking experience. Places to see something different. Places like the Preston Falls trail, along the Merced beyond Hite Cove, Poopenaut Valley. Lake Eleanor, Garlic Falls. For the creative offtrail backpacker determined to backpack somewhere, there are many low elevation trails and jeep roads. Crack open any USGS topo at 3k to 5.5k elevations, especially in our river and stream canyons and do some homework.

David Senesac
http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2011 11:21PM by DavidSenesac.
avatar Re: Help with Last-Minute Backcountry trip despite record snowpack
June 08, 2011 07:37AM
Everything has something different to offer. Embrace it.
I often chuckle when peeps say trail xyz wasn't great... then say a trail
such as to Lower Cathedral is the best ever (one of 1000 examples).
Yosemite is a LOT of forest. Many many many trails are a lot of
forest walking. When it is hot out ... that is good.
Anyway, Has Brian done Lost Coast already?
If not. then imo he should do that.
There is actually quite a bit of stuff that has little to no snow now.
I mentioned one. Merced all the way to Washburn and beyond is another.

Lost Coast is nice though:

(there is a person in this photo)



Chick-on is looking at you!
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