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Topic: Early July Rae Lakes or Evolution Valley, Issues?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Talus. Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 7:09 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I turn 50 on July 9 and I'd like to be in the Sierra somewhere to celebrate with my Wife.  How are the bugs in SEKI in early July?  How about issues with deep snow in an average year?  Any other issues I should consider?  Crowds don't really bother me as long as I can find a decent campsite.  Are permits tough to come by, and should I try for them as early as possible?

Thanks in advance for any and all comments.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 10:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Each year is going to be different, so I can only suggest that you wait and see.  Last year on July 5th we were in the Mono Creek drainage at about 9,000 feet, and we were above the snow level.  There were almost no mosquitoes because it was too early.

Two weeks later, the mosquitoes were the worst we have ever seen in 35 years of hiking in the Sierra.

This year we were at the same elevation farther north, and there was almost no snow at all, and the mosquitoes were bad but not brutal.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 10:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Depending on route ( say, from the east side over Paiute) high passes could easily still be snow covered, probably previous travelers would have somewhat made a route but following others tracks sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Mosquitos just below the snow line, where ever that may be, would be a challenge but choosing the right campsite and carrying a headset etc. can deal with most situations. Also whether it's your usual or not, carrying a full tent, or at the minimum the inner net for a floor less.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 12:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Of course Glen, at 11.9 K won't be all that different from either Muir at about the same elevation or Piute at 11.4

As said, a little soon to tell.

As to permits Rae Lakes loop is extremely popular and, IIRC, has particular restrictions.

http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/rae-lakes-loop.htm
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 12:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

They are predicting at least a mild El Niño this winter, which could mean heavier snows.  Keep an eye on it.  But depending on what you are willing to put up with. . . I used to hike with a friend who liked to cross the Sierra divide on the summer solstice each year.  We had some good trips, as well as some challenging ones!

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 1:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks guys and girls.  I don't mind a challenge, but I've never had to traverse much snow on steep trails so I'm certainly no expert.  Also not sure if I want to deal with mosquito-aggeddon on a "vacation" hike.  Any other Sierra suggestions where we'd still get the same type of scenery without bugs (still in early July)?

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 4:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Maybe look north of O'Shaughnessy Dam? Up that ways is classic early season country as it's lower in elevation.

OOH: OR Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne! a 35 mile or so route (White Wolf to Tuolumne Meadows) alongside some of the grandest water features around those parts, with options to head south once at Glen Aulin through the Ten Lakes basin if you wished depending on snow levels... Not the Sierra Crest but then locking into early July means higher elevations get chancy regarding snow...

Much depends on how far and for how long?
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 7:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We've got to do it in a week, including travel, so 4 nights tops.  We can handle 15 or more miles a day depending on gain.  Trips out of TM are reasonably easy to get permits for, no?

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 11:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would wait on permits until you know what the conditions are. I haven't had trouble getting permits at the last minute and you want to be flexible. There are a hundred places that would work for you.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2012, 9:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Talus. @ Oct. 03 2012, 7:00 pm)
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We've got to do it in a week, including travel, so 4 nights tops.  We can handle 15 or more miles a day depending on gain.  Trips out of TM are reasonably easy to get permits for, no?

Uh, no. Not easy. One of the most popular places to start a hike in Yosemite...

But, going on a weekday and being able to walk in the day before you want to start can help, if you can't get the reservations five months in advance.

Also TM is over 9000 feet so if it is a high snow year and you got those reservations, you won't be able to go. Some years the road doesn't open til mid July due to snow. That's the unpredictable part of it.

There is not a place in the Sierra exempt from mosquitoes in spring, if it's a normal snow year. Normal pattern is to expect them until late August. Which is why I am backpacking every weekend right now until the snow falls...


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2012, 12:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

An advantage to a Tuolumne centered plan is that off the top of my head there are twelve trailheads either in the meadows or along the Tioga Road (plus the two at  O'Shaughnessy) that offer entry into some grand and varied country of different elevation.

And you've got to start somewhere with route considerations... odds are you wouldn't get to Plan "L".

Though as mentioned in terms of yearly variation if you wanted to nail down the pre-hike campground the safest bet would be to get Hodgdon Meadow reservations as it's never seasonally closed: many of the Tioga Road campgrounds, even Tuolumne, can have their opening delayed by snow.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 1:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

By mid to late June, Kearsarge and Ray Lakes would have snow fully covering trails at 11,000' and above.  Passes will be somewhat of an adventure until mid July and sometimes later.  You should be able to find no snow camping below 11,000'...its just getting there.

And don't cha like sun cups and postholing just when you need to make that last mile quickly.

Great place to spend an extened July 4th weekend that includes a bday.  Go for it.

What side are you coming in from?  East from LA area or West from SF area?


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