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Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley

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avatar Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 01:32PM
I looking for an easy backpacking trip in Yosemite that is also scenic. I need it to have as little elevation gain as possible, especially steep gain. Something like the mist trail from the bridge to Nevada Falls is definitely out. Small inclines are not too bad, but I also need to keep the daily mileage minimal (trying for no more than 5 miles per day).

Additionally I want spectacular scenery. I need to keep the trip as interesting as possible. Hiking through a forest for 5 miles won’t cut it.

I’m trying to put a trip together for my “out of shape” son. I’m hoping to find something that he will find interesting and motivate him to get in better shape and give him a love of nature.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

smileys with beer
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 02:09PM
The hike to Cathedral Lakes is pretty easy.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 02:32PM
A trip to Glen Aulin while the river is still running well can be very good.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 02:36PM
May Lake
Rancheria Falls
Lower Cathedral
Glen Aulin
Polly Dome Lakes
Kibbie Lake
Yosemite Creek (you can start from the campground)

In no particular order.

Can you just keek him in da butt?

Best of Luck



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 02:42PM
Quote
Hitech
I looking for an easy backpacking trip in Yosemite that is also scenic. I need it to have as little elevation gain as possible, especially steep gain. Something like the mist trail from the bridge to Nevada Falls is definitely out. Small inclines are not too bad, but I also need to keep the daily mileage minimal (trying for no more than 5 miles per day).

Additionally I want spectacular scenery. I need to keep the trip as interesting as possible. Hiking through a forest for 5 miles won’t cut it.

I’m trying to put a trip together for my “out of shape” son. I’m hoping to find something that he will find interesting and motivate him to get in better shape and give him a love of nature.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

smileys with beer

A bit of a drive but from the Lake Eleanor Dam over to Frog Creek is an easy hike. While it's not the most spectacular (spectacular, easy, short, interesting can't be used in the same post by the way) it is interesting, flat, short, and allows for lots of milling around the the lake shore. There is a ranger cabin at Frog Creek and some old man-works to explore. Camping areas are well shaded. Fishing is good but with some spawning restrictions.

If you are looking at multiple days out there are trails out of Eleanor which would allow for days hike from Frog Creek.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2013 02:46PM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 02:42PM
As my kids were growing up I had to come up with those exact types of trips to be sure the adults and the kids had fun.

Spectacular scenery can be found anywhere in the park but one good choice,without a whole lot of elevation gain you might try is Tioga Pass Rd. to North Dome. From here, you can retrace your steps or you can extend your trip along the rim in either direction to the top of Yosemite Falls or the other way toward Watkins.

Another intro trip would be to set up camp at May Lake for a couple of nights and day trip from there. The hike to the top of Mt Hoffman from there is steep but short. It would be a great goal!

Good Luck!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 03:42PM
Here's my two cents worth. For a beginner backpacker, avoid the higher altitudes on the first try. Pick a route where you can stay more than one night at each campsite, so you can do day hikes from there unencumbered by the big pack.

My favorite beginner route is described here: http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,31243,31496#msg-31496

Another which I used with friends who brought their Downs Syndrome daughter was to start at Glacier Point. Hike down to Illiouette Creek and follow the trail upstream a ways and camp there. Do some day hiking the next day, including the easy peak next to Mt Starr King. Then on to Little Yosemite Valley. The day hike from LYV was Half Dome (no permit required back then) but if you can't get a permit, do your day hike to Clouds Rest or hike the trail up along the Merced River. Finally, hike out downhill to Yosemite Valley. if you can't get someone to drop you off at Glacier Point, remember that there is a bus up from the valley.
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 03:42PM
Take the water-taxi over Saddlebag lake and camp in 20 Lakes basin. No real distance at all, several lakes, no big elevation changes and yes, the scenery is indeed spectacular!
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 07:18PM
Hmm, to Elizabeth Lake maybe. Take the "Reymann Pass" south to Nelson Lake. Or cool lake with beach front property near saddle between Johnson/Rafferty (nice place to refart). You pass lots of goodies: Unicorn, Cockscomb, etc.

This message will self-destruct.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 06:59AM
Me tinks my advice of giving da kid a kick in da behind is better.

(you can't camp at Elizabeth... )
(and the kid would kick YOU in da butt for trying to drag him up and over the crest)
(and all the way to Elizabeth is in da woods)

But hey, I did find 3 more Boundary Markers this past wkend
tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 10:16AM
Quote
chick-on
Me tinks my advice of giving da kid a kick in da behind is better.

(you can't camp at Elizabeth... )
(and the kid would kick YOU in da butt for trying to drag him up and over the crest)
(and all the way to Elizabeth is in da woods)

But hey, I did find 3 more Boundary Markers this past wkend
tongue sticking out smiley

I've seen many photographers camp at Lizzy lake for the sunrise reflections. Should have some photos of their tents up that prove their guilt. The gain from TM isn't too bad ~1000 feet.

Btw: You work? Seriously? You don't work! hahaha. Let's hijack every thread, why not. Benchmark this: gra ha ha smiling bouncing smiley
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 10:25AM
He is 16. Based on how much fun he had scrambling around at the base of the falls I'm hoping I can get him more interested with some of the spectacular views in Yosemite.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 10:51AM
Quote
Hitech
He is 16. Based on how much fun he had scrambling around at the base of the falls I'm hoping I can get him more interested with some of the spectacular views in Yosemite.
If you can, have him bring a friend. My kids started backpacking pretty early, but by the time they were 16 they really didn't want to hang with me as much...they just want to be with their buddies. Having a friend along made the trip much more enjoyable for them...and me.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 11:05AM
I do plan on letting him bring a friend if he wants to. It will depend on him and his friends. grinning smiley
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 01:13PM
Like MOM said, you can encourage things but you can't force it. We encouraged our son to try things that we like to do and we were lucky that he likes most of the same things. Not every kid is going to enjoy the same things as their parents do, heck you don't see me playing poker with buddies like my dad liked to do but I did play golf with him. Find something that both of you enjoy doing together and also do some compromises. Expose him to learning to appreciate the scenery but also be willing to do some boulder scrambling. If you take along a friend, they can boulder scramble while you take in the scenery. The most important thing is that you are doing something together.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2013 01:14PM by parklover.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 11:04AM
Quote
Ohnivy-Drak
Quote
chick-on
Me tinks my advice of giving da kid a kick in da behind is better.

(you can't camp at Elizabeth... )
(and the kid would kick YOU in da butt for trying to drag him up and over the crest)
(and all the way to Elizabeth is in da woods)

But hey, I did find 3 more Boundary Markers this past wkend
tongue sticking out smiley

I've seen many photographers camp at Lizzy lake for the sunrise reflections. Should have some photos of their tents up that prove their guilt. The gain from TM isn't too bad ~1000 feet.

Btw: You work? Seriously? You don't work! hahaha. Let's hijack every thread, why not. Benchmark this: gra ha ha smiling bouncing smiley

U funny. (cereal-lessly... good one)

That's pretty pathetic with camping at Lizzy Lake.

(and... I just got paid for typing this)

Winning



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 07:36PM
I agree with Jayabrams re the idea of hiking off of Tioga Road towards the Valley rim. Pretty flat, you get to the edge and it's crazy views, and you can either loop back to where you started, or else hike down to the valley and take the bus back up. One possibility would be to start at the quarry and head to Mt Watkins Mt Watkins Easy Off Trail. From there you can head down Snow Creek or loop over to Indian Rocks and the top of Yosemite Falls and down.
Depending on the time of year, you might need to carry extra water. Yosemite Creek and Snow Creek will likely be flowing well into the summer, who knows about the rest.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 12:07AM
Quote
Bearproof
I agree with Jayabrams re the idea of hiking off of Tioga Road towards the Valley rim.

It doesn't quite fit with the requirement of "Hiking through a forest for 5 miles won’t cut it".
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 08:38PM
Hah, you might as well throw "solitude" from people in on this mythical list of places to go. Haha chick-on had to me took Kibbie to get me to respond...

Anyways, I'd vote for Kibbie (only 700 feet at the beginning and then flat) or
Eleanor (basically flat the whole way in) or since you may have 2 vehicles:
Yosemite creek campground and then down into the valley to the other car. The views from the falls or the easy dayhike to el cap are quite spectacular. And going from the campground it's all down hill.

For those that are interested, I was in the canyon below Kibbie last weekend (went in from cherry dam since the gate is locked) and it was perfect weather til the rain came Sunday morning. Partial snow coverage, but it's not that deep. On Friday it got up in the mid 60s and was just about perfect.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 06:56AM
Quote
oakroscoe
Hah, you might as well throw "solitude" from people in on this mythical list of places to go. Haha chick-on had to me took Kibbie to get me to respond...

Anyways, I'd vote for Kibbie (only 700 feet at the beginning and then flat) or
Eleanor (basically flat the whole way in) or since you may have 2 vehicles:
Yosemite creek campground and then down into the valley to the other car. The views from the falls or the easy dayhike to el cap are quite spectacular. And going from the campground it's all down hill.

For those that are interested, I was in the canyon below Kibbie last weekend (went in from cherry dam since the gate is locked) and it was perfect weather til the rain came Sunday morning. Partial snow coverage, but it's not that deep. On Friday it got up in the mid 60s and was just about perfect.

Waiting for the "great trip report" reply.
Ah... wutt da heck

Great Trip Report

(not)

Hey turkey. Pictures darnitall! Why? I know you're upset about raven's and all.
But, cmon dewd. Why I gotta beg?
Seriously.. though... to be honest... these post drive me bonkers.
Well... not as much as asking for loads of advice and then posting nothing.

Anywho... here's an idea... how about a picture of that Za you baking?
Out der in da backcountry. It'd drive CHI Za guy goofy with envy.
(note to self : follow thru on bringing Pizza and Twinkies to backcountry
for faux toe ops)

Anywhox2... Have fun out der man
And thanks for whooping my GB Packers behinds.
(the pain is just nearly subsiding)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 12:29PM
You're absolutely right, Mr. Chick-on. I owe you and everyone else here who posts pics that get me through those long days & nights at work an apology and thanks. First of all thanks for putting up all those great pics that keep me motivated at the daily grind. And secondly, I apoligize for not putting some pics up. My excuse this time is that I had been in this little canyon before and didn't want to carry a camera since I was carrying all the cold weather gear (which i was quite happy I had brought when the temps were in the mid 20s the first night).


So I don't have any pics of this trip, but give me a couple of days and I will look through my old pics and see if there is something that I think people will like to see. I'm on nights the next 7, so I'm like a walking zombie right now. I don't think I have any pizza pics, but that just gives me an excuse to look through old harddrives, or carry the stuff to make pizza for the next trip.

Also, if you want a nice little cross country route, when you take the trail from Cherry towards Eleanor/Kibbie, go up the trail until the creek crossing and then cut left (west back towards Cherry) up the little 200' bump and it drops you down by the creek into a spectacular little canyon. You can follow that creek all the way back up (by a beautiful falls and pool) and eventually meet up with the Shingle Springs to Kibbie trail.

Yeah, umm sorry about that game. It could have been worse, you could have rooted for the Niners in the last super bowl. I met up with my buddy (who doesnt watch football) at the Sykes Hot Springs trailhead in Big Sur on the Monday morning after the game for a trip. He took one look at me sitting sullenly at the trailhead with red bleary eyes and says "Rough game huh?"
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 01:40PM
Alrighty oak. Thx for the reply.

If you are talking about hiking up Kibbie Creek.. yeah... that is pretty sweet granite bowl.
(I know I posted a picture about that area before).
Also last year hiked the boundary from Eleanor TH area all the way up ... looking for some
elusive boundary markers...
Lots of great stuff there... was gonna ask you if you ever did that ridge north of Kibbie and
west of Kibbie Creek. Never did get around to that baby yet... maybe this year...

o... it was a balmy > 40 degrees Saturday night where I was at.

Have fun man



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 02:09PM
I like boulder scrambling too. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out Hopefully I can give him at least a sense of wonder about nature. Give him the opportunity. What he does with it is up to him.

Thanks again everyone. I have plenty of ideas now. Now I just have to do my research. Thanks again for getting me started. smileys with beer
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 09:57PM
Ahh yes, I remember looking at your gps track of that trip and laughing that it showed you walking on the water on Eleanor Lake.

I haven't worked up Kibbie creek, I would like to follow that up to Many Island Lake. I did follow the other unnamed creek that we called "not Kibbie creek" and that was another pretty canyon. As you can tell, I really love that area of the park. At the end of the month I'm gonna take yet another shot at Edith.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 06, 2013 07:07AM
Quote
oakroscoe
Ahh yes, I remember looking at your gps track of that trip and laughing that it showed you walking on the water on Eleanor Lake.

I haven't worked up Kibbie creek, I would like to follow that up to Many Island Lake. I did follow the other unnamed creek that we called "not Kibbie creek" and that was another pretty canyon. As you can tell, I really love that area of the park. At the end of the month I'm gonna take yet another shot at Edith.
By up Kibbie Creek... I was assuming that is where you went last weekend.
Eleanor towards Kibbie Lake via the trail that crosses Kibbie Creek... and then
up Kibbie Creek. There is some great granite up the creek up to Kibbie Lake.
Anywho. Yeah... we're way off topic...
Best of Luck on Edith



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 04, 2013 08:59PM
Don't know how "out of shape" you mean by "out of shape"...probably the easiest overnight backpack in the park would be up the Lyell Fork from Tuolumne Meadows, no epic views, but you'd be looking up at some nice scenery, and for miles its almost completely flat.

I like the other suggestions as well.

One note...

Quote

(trying for no more than 5 miles per day)

I don't think any backpacks meeting your criteria would be more than one night, unless you wanted to pick something where you hiked in, camped two nights day-hiking in-between (Katy's suggestion seems like a possibility here).

Edit: as long as we're mentioning options just outside the park, going up-river from Leavitt Meadows is a thought in autumn when the aspens are turning (and assuming a reliably dry forecast, I've been snowed on multiple times in this area). Roosevelt/Lane lakes are about 3 miles in, Fremont lake another 4 or 5 beyond.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2013 09:06PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 07:06AM
Bear Lake in Emigrant

Chain Lakes via Quartz Mtn is easy...

There's got to be a million other options outside the park.

Stuff near SEKI?

Maybe basilblop will chime in when he's back from Alohaland.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 06:37PM
Quote
chick-on
Bear Lake in Emigrant

Chain Lakes via Quartz Mtn is easy...

There's got to be a million other options outside the park.

Stuff near SEKI?

The hike to Chain Lakes is pretty much forest (disqualifying factor, above), but its not far, and the reward is pretty nice.



Seems to me a lot of stuff around SEKI is either forested (e.g.: Roads End to Pleasant Valley) or not flat enough (I'm using < 1000' climb as a criterion here - by that standard Yosemite's Cathedral Lakes and Katy's 20 Lakes suggestion would certainly work).

Quote
chick-on
Maybe basilblop will chime in when he's back from Alohaland.

Wow...wonder if we were on the same island.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2013 06:38PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 06, 2013 07:00AM
Yeah. Chain is mostly wooded with some decent views along the way for a bit...
Don't know about near SEKI... haven't done much of anything there other than
Tehipite Dome area. Paradise Valley in SEKI. Wow. Pretty disappointed last
year... probably due to sensory overload from rest of trek on SHR and Muro Blanco.
Been up that-a-way a few times now... but never in super high water... gotta do that.
Anywho. Hitech got his work cut out for him. It may be too late in the game.
At 16... gonna be hard. Dad probably not too bright in his eyes at this point.
And, if anything like me, he is chasing tail (and not catching any) sad smiley
Another option is obvious... take him car camping... and dayhiking where you
live and get him to enjoy hiking... if doesn't enjoy hiking... then it's probably
a lost cause... I hope not though.
Not sure where Basil went.. my guess is Oahu or knowing him Kauai Na Pali Coast...
the entire thing... in a day.

Best of Luck HiTechie

Tom: tank for the photo links... spent a lot of time on Hawaii in years past...
may Chritmases in a row... but you can say it with me... Yosemite is Better tongue sticking out smiley
(ok... we don't go there anymore b/c mom and pop quit going)



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2013 07:01AM by chick-on.
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 10, 2013 11:41AM
Quote
chick-on
Not sure where Basil went.. my guess is [...] knowing him Kauai Na Pali Coast...
the entire thing... in a day.

Guilty as charged... Me thinks the pink bird knows me too well :-)

Pics later...
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 07:11AM
Yeah, the required distance to go before camping is usually 4 miles from the trailhead. If you do not mind elevation, Saddlebag Lake with the ferry at the start is about dead easy as you'll get.

Mono Pass to Sardine Lakes is a bit uphill on the way out but not hard to do. The trick on hills is to just slow down. (You can't camp until you're at Sardine - inside park boundary it's still within 4 miles of the trailhead). Mono and Parker pass area is scenic and historical too as there are mines to look at and old cabins, and we have found arrowheads.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 07:16AM
You can camp once you are outside the park boundary at Mono Pass.
It's 4 miles from Tuolumne Meadows. And 1 mile from any plowed road.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 07:32AM
Quote
chick-on
You can camp once you are outside the park boundary at Mono Pass.
It's 4 miles from Tuolumne Meadows. And 1 mile from any plowed road.

Which doesn't disagree with what I was trying to say and worded poorly.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 07:37AM
You said this:
Quote
you
(You can't camp until you're at Sardine - inside park boundary it's still within 4 miles of the trailhead).

I said this:
Quote
me
You can camp once you are outside the park boundary at Mono Pass.

So, yes, you are correct. It doesn't agree with what you said.
You don't have to go all the way to Upper Sardine. You only have to be just ouside the
park boundary. When you are there you are outside the park boundary and water
does not flow into the Dana Fork. You are greater than 4 miles from Tuolumne Meadows..
You are greater than 1 mile from any plowed road.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 07:40AM
Quote
chick-on
You said this:
Quote
you
(You can't camp until you're at Sardine - inside park boundary it's still within 4 miles of the trailhead).

I said this:
Quote
me
You can camp once you are outside the park boundary at Mono Pass.

So, yes, you are correct. It doesn't agree with what you said.
You don't have to go all the way to Upper Sardine. You only have to be just ouside the
park boundary. When you are there you are outside the park boundary and water
does not flow into the Dana Fork. You are greater than 4 miles from Tuolumne Meadows..
You are greater than 1 mile from any plowed road.

And as I recall, there are no sheltered campsites and it's rocky as heck, and you are not supposed to camp close to those cabins, which leaves Sardine Lakes as a pleasant and acceptable options.

Plus there are wild onions growing in the green area with which to cook your fresh caught trout.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 07:49AM
I'm not arguing with you. I'm just stating the facts ...
Well.. I could tell you we camped legally outside the park boundary... in a nice
little flat spot next to some nice trees that was sheltered.... far away
from Summit Lake and other clowns with their dogs and tents... and
far away from the cabins... which are pretty much in or on the park boundary.
But sure, I'm certain Upper Sardine is nicer.
Happy now?

You'll probably hate that I would say to Mono is mostly in the woods...
and not hugely scenic.... but... from Mono to Parker and within the basin
is very scenic.

Ok... time to go to work...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 09:36AM
Wow, I knew I'd get some ideas from people here, but I never thought I'd get so many great ideas. Thanks a lot. Now I have some research to do. grinning smiley

Anyone have a few pictures handy of some of these routes? I'll look through what's already been posted here before. but if you have it handy that would be great.

As for how out of shape, WAY out of shape. I could just kick him in the butt and he would do it. However, he wouldn't enjoy it and that would defeat the purpose. His only backpacking trip so far was two years ago. We hiked down a trail equivalent of the mist trail from vernal falls to the bridge (but in the forest). Stayed at the river for several days and hiked back up the trail. It took us about 2.5 -3 hours to hike out (I had over a 75lb pack on the way out, don't ask...) and he was able to do it. But, he didn't like it and is not interested in going again. I want something easier and more interesting. He has been to Yosemite valley and we had a grand time playing at the base of Yosemite falls and Bridalveil falls. I'm hoping that the breath taking views in Yosemite will inspire him.

Thanks again. This is a huge help.
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 10:17AM
How old is your son? That could be a factor in how to get him interested in enjoying the outdoors.
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 12:05PM
As a Mom of 20 year olds, my take is that you can and should certainly encourage a love of nature. But you can't force it. My two kids have been taken to almost every national park in the west, including Alaska. We have hiked and seen all sorts of wildlife. We live near some pretty good places to hike on day trips. I took the kids to the High Sierra Camps with their cousins, similar ages, with spectacular weather and scenery, plenty of food and warm beds.

The result? My son complains....what. Yosemite...again!! He complains that he got mosquito bites, FTLOP.

My daughter wants to go to Yosemite on every break from college and cannot wait to go backpacking on the John Muir Trail this summer. She loves every ground squirrel and marmot she sees.

Son is not going. What are you going to do...
Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 01:08PM
Quote
Hitech
I’m trying to put a trip together for my “out of shape” son. I’m hoping to find something that he will find interesting and motivate him to get in better shape and give him a love of nature.
smileys with beer

Some reasonable suggestions except that you cannot afford to select anything but sure gold else your son is likely to never want to try it again. Much like the husband or boyfriend that makes a first attempt getting their resistant gal to please try it just this once. Get it wrong with an unpleasant experience and that's it.

So AlmostThere's suggestion of Saddlebag into 20 Lakes Basin is by far the most certain sure thing. Take the ferry to remove the boring first mile and then just about anywhere you choose to stop will have spectacular scenery, have water, and have fishing. Everything beyond the south end of Stealhead Lake is legal camping. Just wander off from the trail out of visual sight to make a camp. Don't worry about the distance to where you stop possibly being just a mile or two because after making camp if you have unspent energy there are endless places you can then explore.

Also don't do a trip before late July or mosquitoes may be unpleasant. And for Plan B, in thunderstorm weather CANCEL and car camp and day hike Tuolumne Meadows.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.98531,-119.29243&z=15&t=T



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2013 01:13PM by DavidSenesac.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 05, 2013 04:45PM
Hitech,

I second David's suggestion regarding Saddlebag Lake. Take the water shuttle across the lake and hike around the trails,lakes and ponds at the north end. There is spectacular scenery there (above 10,000' altitude--includes year round snow fields on north slopes) with limited walking. Another suggestion inside Yosemite is after taking in the views from Washburn Point and Glacier Point stop at the trailhead for Sentinel Dome and Taft Point/The Fissures about 2-3 miles back on Glacier Point Road. Both trails are 2.2 miles out and back starting at the same point. Sentinel Dome trail is the better of the two so start with that one in case he craps out on doing the second one. Sentinel Dome is a very easy climb and rather limited elevation gain en route. The views are well worth it.

My first thoughts were also a kick in the butt but recognize the realities of stubbord teens. If he does not take to the easy stuff just described he's never going to graduate to the slightly more challenging hikes. Small moves! Best of luck.

Jim
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 06, 2013 07:22AM
He is willing to go. I didn't even have to talk him into it. grinning smiley
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 06, 2013 04:22PM
In the Sierra, I wouldn't schedule the trip until August. The reason: mosquitos.

Doesn't matter how beautiful the scenery is or how easy the hike is, if there are bloodsuckers hovering around you every step of the way, or worse pestering you while you're at your camp trying enjoy a meal or some downtime. And while a good insect repellent will keep the bites to a minimum, it's still not a lot of fun if there are clouds of mosquitos to deal with.

It's kind of late in the season, but easy overnight backpacking trips can be found any many of California's desert state and national parks during the winter months, late fall, and early spring. Just need an appreciation for the beautiful desert scenery, though.

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avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 06, 2013 06:34PM
Desert backpacking also requires a willingness to carry all one's water, which seems like a large burden given the 'mostly flat' criterion.

Pt. Reyes' Wildcat Camp offers designated site walk-in camping (w/ piped water and outhouse), about 5-6 miles in. If one goes from Palomarin then the scenery is mostly spectacular (mostly forest from Bear Valley). Only issue would be reservations are hard to come by (other backpack camps are less likely to fill up but not as nice, though "Coast" is only 2 miles in from Limantour.
avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 06, 2013 08:21PM
Quote
ttilley

Desert backpacking also requires a willingness to carry all one's water, which seems like a large burden given the 'mostly flat' criterion.


Understood. Which is why I only recommend an overnight (not multi-night) camping trip in the desert during the cool winter season, where only a minimal amount of water would need to be carried in. Also, unlike Yosemite, most desert parks require a far shorter distance to hike in before one can (legally) set up camp. At Joshua National Park for example, one only needs to be a mile from the road.


Quote
ttilley

Pt. Reyes' Wildcat Camp offers designated site walk-in camping (w/ piped water and outhouse), about 5-6 miles in. If one goes from Palomarin then the scenery is mostly spectacular (mostly forest from Bear Valley). Only issue would be reservations are hard to come by (other backpack camps are less likely to fill up but not as nice, though "Coast" is only 2 miles in from Limantour.


That's an excellent suggestion. Not sure where HiTech lives, but camping by the coast does offer a lot of advantages for novice backpackers.

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avatar Re: Easy but scenic backpacking trip ideasgrinning smiley
March 06, 2013 08:39PM
SF Bay Area. I will have to look into that also.
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