Home A - Z FAQ Bookstore Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps Lodging About Search
CalHotels.US--online reservations now CalHotels.US Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed. Click Here For Yours!
Hotel photos, maps, reviews, & discount rates.

U.S. Hotels in California (Yosemite, L. A., San Francisco ), AL, AK, AR, AS, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, FM, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, NV, MH, MP, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, PW, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI WA, WV, WI, WY

[Yosemite]

Lower Elevation Hikes

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere outside Yosemite National Park

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby pagirlontherrocks » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:49 am

Hi all. Looking for some recommendations for a 2-3 night backpacking trip in SEKI, Sierra, Inyo or the like starting this Saturday/Sunday 10/1-2.

Saw that it's going to be pretty chilly above 9k which has thrown a hammer at my previous plans to start at the Sabrina Lake trailhead. What are some options that will start lower/stay a little lower? I've been to Yosemite Valley a couple of times, but will be with my bf, who has not, so would also consider a trailhead that starts in that area. We could be at a permit office early on Sunday for a walk-in starting that day. It's the bf's first time in the Sierra altogether, so would love to have some scenery with a wow factor but without freezing him entirely :)
pagirlontherrocks
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:07 pm

Lower elevation isn't going to cut it. It's winter. Hetch Hetchy, one of the lower elevation places to backpack, is forecasted for 40F at the lake -- it will feel five degrees colder, if not more, simply because it's winter. I have been at sea level (Point Reyes) in winter -- you could have ice skated on the trail.

You are going to get cold. Layers, good sleeping bags and pads, a hot water Nalgene, hot food and drinks, and a nice warm hat are the only hope. Alternately you could go stay in one of the "heated" tents in Yosemite Valley and day hike -- I quote it out because the interior stays in the low 50s, and still manages to feel chilly, rather than the 25-35 degrees it can be outside.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby Phil » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:20 pm

Kind of Hetch Hetchy-ish...

You guys could still park on the road up at White Wolf, hike the first day to the top of Morrison Creek. Next day to Pate Valley. Then back up and either to Morrison again or back out. Got some Wow! factor, easy peasy distances, big climb back though.

Trailheads out of the Valley all ascend quickly.

Oh just freeze him. You'll establish the hierarchy of the relationship for years to come.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 897
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby pagirlontherrocks » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:33 am

Teehee. "Just freeze him."

I was totally prepared for temps in the 30s - we both have sleeping bags with ratings to 15 or lower. But getting into the 20s at night - I think we'll be maxing out. The last time I was in Yosemite in mid-October, it had snowed the week before at elevation, and the week I was there was back in the 80s in the Valley, so you just never know at this time of year!

I should have added that we are flying into LAX (ridiculously cheap flights that couldn't be passed up!), so I've been trying to look south of Yosemite, and really only started considering the valley when I saw the forecast. Hetch Hetchy area would quite the drive. I don't know SEKi all that well - sounds like Mineral King is all high country, so to be avoided. I know Mammoth Lakes and Bishop area fairly well, but again, starting pretty high.

As of now, the plan is to car camp the first night at 7600 feet and see how it goes........
pagirlontherrocks
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby robow8 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:35 am

How about the Lakes Trail in SEKI?
robow8
Very frequent poster
Very frequent poster
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:39 am

The Lakes Trail is going to be just as cold as everywhere else.... Pear Lake is at 9000 feet. The Watchtower trail closes when it ices over.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby Phil » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:36 am

I've got to spend a few days is Southern Ca, and had a few more to spare, so I thought I might drive and bring my pack for an overnighter or two.

I know nothing about it yet, but I know there's the Angeles National Forest, the mountains around Santa Barbara, or the other I was thinking of is our newest National Park, Pinnacles, more mid-state. I hear the latter is incredible, and it's lower elevation and it's not too close to LA, so that's probably my first choice. The whole idea just occurred to me yesterday, so I know nothing yet, but I'm going to start doing a little research today.

These might be something you're interested in, too, if you're not really into or equipped for colder conditions in the Sierras.

And if anyone knows anything, I'm all ears.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 897
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:53 am

Pinnacles is best in spring -- when the green pops and the flowers go nuts, and the temperatures are nice. However, if you intend to see the entire cave in Bear Gulch, late October is when they open it up, because the bats are not breeding. And watching a condor fly over your head is pretty cool. You can combine it with Carrizo Plain with the bloom in March, and get a good idea of what California was like before we ruined it with development. Sans California Grizzlies.

As for Los Padres NF wilderness areas, double check with the rangers. The entire Ventana is closed down tight due to the Soberanes fire, and the southerly wilderness areas haven't been immune - there was a fire in Sespe that closed down part of it and ruined all the trail work we did there last year. Got to go re-do it, I guess.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby Phil » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:11 am

Thanks AT. I've never been big on SoCal, so it's way, way off my radar.

With Pinnacles, what are we talking about for area, mileages, terrain, sites, and water availability? Any weird regulations?

We've had all these big fires up here by me and Balazaccom. Just when you think it's all burned over, whatever hasn't seems to find a way to light up and find enough to keep going. The sound of air tankers overhead is getting to be almost daily.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 897
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:14 am

There are only 30 miles of trails at Pinnacles and there is no backpacking allowed. You camp at the campground on the east side of the park to spend the night -- it's a nice one, though, with quieter sites on the back loops away from the RV sites at the front. Since it's a park now, they charge a fee per car like all the other parks, and of course no dogs. I take an umbrella -- lots of exposed trail. Doing the high peaks loop is pretty neat tho and Chalone Peak is a good place to see condors. They sit around on the roof of the fire lookout a lot.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1697
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Lower Elevation Hikes

Postby Phil » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:53 pm

Sounds nice. Thanks AT. I haven't car camped in a long time, so it might be kind of fun. And I can actually cook over a campfire for a change. Go to Vons and get a steak. Check out the area for another visit in spring.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 897
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca


Return to Hiking & backpacking outside Yosemite National Park

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests