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[Yosemite]

Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Postby jgaffney » Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:56 pm

I have been planning a trip out of Cherry lake for July. I would spend the first night at Cherry lake after driving from the Bay Area, then hike to Kibbe Lake, Many Island Lake, Boundary Lake, then back down Kibbe Ridge to Cherry Lake.

Everything went to hell today when I phoned the Groveland Ranger Station. First, I can't get a wilderness permit in advance. I can call the day before I want to enter the wilderness and hope that the quota is not filled. The ranger said that they start taking calls at 8:30 am, so "just keep dialing."

Then, I find out that the campground on the west side of Cherry Lake is mostly full for the date that I want. The ranger told me that there are first come, first serve sites, and dispersed camping south of the lake at "Cherry Burro Sites" which I couldn't find on CalTopo's forest service map. The Cherry Valley Campground website says there is wilderness "boat-in" camping on the east side of the lake. Is anyone familiar with these?

I don't mind the dispersed camping. I don't need a picnic table, fire pit and restroom. I just need access to water. If I can't get the wilderness permit for Kibbe Lake, I will head to Lake Eleanor first, then up to Kibbe Lake, then back to my car. I just want to camp by a lake and go fishing! Is that so difficult?
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Re: Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:22 pm

So, you want to go to Lake Eleanor and camp without the permit? Sounds like a great way to get a fine, given there's a ranger station there.

Yes, it's all changed, everywhere, with the permits. I spent a lot of time on the national forest websites. Emigrant permits have gone online, getting one was effortless when I went a few weeks ago. But going into Yosemite from Cherry is the quota'd trailhead, with a 24 hour call-ahead. And I'd bet you it's going to have the phone on constant busy. I've gotten permits for Shingle Springs before without issues, but it seems like absolutely everyone is going crazy to backpack these days.

I'd day hike Eleanor to fish and then go back around Cherry to camp up Cherry Creek outside the wilderness boundary. Or just get a permit for Emigrant, go out to one of the lakes out there. Crabtree and Gianelli are probably open.
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Re: Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:20 am

Another option is to camp at The Pines, which is literally next door to the Groveland Ranger station, and right on your way to Cherry Lake. And might even enhance your chances of getting a walk-up permit...since you'll be right there.

We were told there were no walk-up permits in SEKI...but when we asked one of the wilderness rangers in the station, she admitted that she could probably find a way to get us on the trail if we wanted...
Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963
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Re: Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Postby jgaffney » Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:13 pm

AlmostThere wrote:So, you want to go to Lake Eleanor and camp without the permit? Sounds like a great way to get a fine, given there's a ranger station there.


Maybe I need to be more explicit for you literalists. No, I would not enter the wilderness without a permit. I know better than that. If I can't get the Kibbe Lake permit, I'll try for a Lake Eleanor permit for the first

Emigrant my fallback, though. I like the area around Gem, Deer and Wood lakes.
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Re: Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:30 am

jgaffney wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:So, you want to go to Lake Eleanor and camp without the permit? Sounds like a great way to get a fine, given there's a ranger station there.


Maybe I need to be more explicit for you literalists. No, I would not enter the wilderness without a permit. I know better than that. If I can't get the Kibbe Lake permit, I'll try for a Lake Eleanor permit for the first

Emigrant my fallback, though. I like the area around Gem, Deer and Wood lakes.


I enter the wilderness without a permit all the time... leaving again the same day. I used to day hike with a backpack but stopped because rangers never believed me when I told them I wasn't spending the night. Lots of people go overnight without a permit. There seems to be a prevailing attitude of "there aren't rangers anymore" especially in the national forest. So yes, I bring it up on Forums often, to post in public that this idea is wrong.... Not necessarily because I think the poster is thinking this way, but I've seen that too.

We spent the night in Emigrant camping near a ranger who was checking everyone's permit and enforcing the 1 night stay limitation at Bear Lake, in fact. She also looked at my fishing permit and bear canister. I'll keep sticking that up in public for everyone to see, including lurkers who have bright ideas on how to just "go anyway."
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Re: Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Postby jgaffney » Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:23 am

Well, I gave up on Kibbe Lake and the Groveland Ranger Station. They wanted me to call in the day before, starting at 8:30 am, to get a permit. The ranger said, "It will be busy, so keep dialing." Instead, I went online and got a permit for Emigrant Wilderness.
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Re: Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 16, 2021 8:32 am

I'm sorry to hear that... it used to be easy to head in from Groveland. Too many people. Hopefully they won't change the Emigrant rules.
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Re: Cherry Lake - Kibbe Lake

Postby jgaffney » Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:14 pm

I don't know how much of that was because I was hiking out of Cherry Lake, or because I was going to enter Yosemite. But, the bottom line is that the hassle wasn't worth it. I had a great time in Emigrant Wilderness.
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