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Topic: Looking for a trip in Northern CA< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 11:11 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My girlfriend and I are looking for a 3 night trip in the Sierra this summer. I don't know much about this area so I am looking for ideas. I am in my 50's and am a flat lander, she is more use to hills. We are looking for a moderate hike and don't need to scale 14,000 footers. We would be open to backpacking in to one location and taking day trips from there. I want to do some fly fishing for trout in streams and she would rather hike while I am doing that. The time frame is not set in stone yet. we are flexible  and could go some time between June and the end of September. The area we are thinking of is North and East of Grass Valley as we are going to stop and visit friends there, also West and North of Tahoe area. This is not set in stone either. I have the Falcon Guides"Hiking the Sierras" and "hiking the Northern Sierras" but find most of those hikes to be 2-5 miles. I am wanting more than that. We will be leaving out of the San Francisco area.  I am just looking for suggestions right now to get me thinking in the right direction so steer me away. Thanks

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 11:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From Grass Valley, you should look at the Desolation and Granite Chief Wildernesses.   Loch Leven Lakes are right of I-80 and would give you lake fishing and nice exploring.

The trails off Grouse Ridge (Bowman Lake Road or CA-20) are also a good choice.

And you could always just head over to I-50 and hike out of WRight's Lake into Island Lake, Aloha, etc.

lots of good places there


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 1:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks and I like your site.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 4:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

balzaccom has already covered your best bets in the general area you're thinking of. IMO, though, the best of the Sierra is south of Tahoe...and certainly the backpacking opportunities are much more numerous. One of the best areas for 3-day trips is Emigrant Wilderness, north of Yosemite; it's a longer drive, but the possibilities there are numerous.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Outamatches @ Apr. 04 2013, 1:14 pm)
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Thanks and I like your site.

Thanks!

As for Emigrant---we have a ton of trip suggestions on our website for hikes there.  But it's quite a drive from Grass Valley...

Wherever you go, be sure to post a few photos about your hike here...we love to see those!


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 4:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Check out the Sonora Pass area, where the PCT crosses the road. Highland Lakes USFS campground is a great trailhead. Bit of a drive, but absolutely worth it. Beautiful high country.

You'll need permits for most of the areas mentioned, and some can be challenging to score.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 6:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sonora Pass is going to be about four hours from Grass Valley.  In fact, Google maps says its actually EASIER if you go over the Sierra, and then backtrack down the east side.  

That's a lot of driving for the OP, who asked to keep driving to a minimum

And you can drive to Highland Lakes via Ebbets Pass, which is the next highway north--but it's also quite a drive from Grass Valley.  Same Google maps warning applies here.

Permits for Desolation Wilderness are through a pre-registration process, and there is a minor fee.  

Carson-Iceberg and Emigrant Wildernesses are free, and available at any Stanislaus National Forest office.  There is no trail quota on the trails in this region.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 7:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, we all have our favorite places.

I dislike the crowds in Desolation, and the area around Sonora Pass is higher and has a grander feel to me than the more northern Sierra.

Loch Leven is a good intro to the Sierras for kids, but I wouldn't choose it as my only trip to the Sierras.

A four hour drive (although it's not really that long) is nothing for what you get at the end of the road. And, yeah, I'd cross over to the east side and go down through Hope Valley and Markleeville to get to the Sonora Pass area.

That way, you can stop at Sorensen's for breakfast or lunch on the way!

Wherever they decide to go, it'll be pretty damn nice.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2013, 5:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Waterdog--not disagreeing with your appreciation of Emigrant WIlderness:  we hike there more than any other place.  But I was trying to meet the questions of the OP.

CHeck out our website, and you'll see a TON of hikes in exactly the areas you are recommending.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 07 2013, 7:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The OP wasn't too clear (to me) on driving limitations. Beyond leaving from SF and visiting folks near Grass Valley, they didn't really say if they'd object to driving beyond Tahoe/Desolation.

If they don't mind driving, and they want to fish, I'd recommend they think about hiking out of Bridgeport--Buckeye Creek, maybe. The fishing on the east side has always been more productive for me than the west side.

Nice problem to have: too many options. :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2013, 1:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I brought up Emigrant because IMO everything from Tahoe north is kind of boring and has extremely limited wilderness potential (except for Desolation, which is hideously overcrowded). There's a trade-off between drive time and backpacking potential; if the distance limitations are the more important factor for the OP, then it'll be some boring northern area, but it's worth mentioning the superiority of more distant places so the OP is fully aware of the trade-off.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2013, 1:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Try this backpacking guide:
https://www.wildernesspress.com/product.php?productid=16670

Kennedy Meadow would be roughly 182 miles, 3 1/2 hours from Grass Valley..... Tuolumne an additional half hour.

With San Francsisco an easy return from either.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2013, 3:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry I have not got back to some of your questions. First of all I am clueless where some of these places are that you are talking about and have to look them up. The only place we have been in CA is the Trinity Alps a couple years ago. We would like to stop in Grass Valley and see some friends and that is why I mentioned that area. A couple hours drive from there would be best but if we have to go farther we can. The two things we are looking for is some stream fly fishing and uncrowded areas. When we did the Trinity Alps we were out for 4 nights and only saw one or two people. I plan on talking with my girlfriend about some of these areas tonight and hopefully we can get a better idea on where we want to go. I am very thankful for all your help so far.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2013, 6:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Drive to Carr Lake Trailhead.   Camp at either Island Lake or Penner Lake.  Nice short backpacks from trailheads.  Scenic areas. No wilderness permit required.  Best after mid June.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea....ctid=50

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea....ctid=50

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea....ctid=50

Be sure to use the zoom + - tool and switch between the Topo, Map, and Hybrid tabs on the top right.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=39.40344,-120.63392&z=14&t=T


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2013, 1:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So we talked last night about all the options and we decided to look for areas north of Tahoe so we don't have to spend so much time driving. As we are heading out from Grass Valley we decided not to go so far south as some have recommended. I still want to trout fish in streams and we still want a 3 night trip. So if you can steer me in that direction it would be a big help.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 13 2013, 12:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK.  But much of what I suggested the first time still works. From Grouse Ridge (off Bowman Lake Road) you can hike down to a whole series of lakes, and they are all connected by streams.  Good fishing, easy hiking, and very close to Grass Valley.

IF you want to go for stream fishing full bore, nothing would beat the Feather River canyon--a bit of a bushwhack, but lots of nice fish in a beautiful river.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 13 2013, 3:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Outamatches @ Apr. 10 2013, 10:14 am)
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So we talked last night about all the options and we decided to look for areas north of Tahoe so we don't have to spend so much time driving. As we are heading out from Grass Valley we decided not to go so far south as some have recommended. I still want to trout fish in streams and we still want a 3 night trip. So if you can steer me in that direction it would be a big help.

I agree that the Bowman Lake Road sounds best. I have been going there the last several years in a row. Lakes and water everywhere and perfect summer weather, many options and NO permits are necessary. Just go at any time. There are places to park, such as Carr Lake or the Grouse Mtn. that are right next to the trail heads.

More options less than 10  miles away, if you want to take a short drive to the Loch Leven Lake area, just north of I-80.

Use a vehicle with good ground clearance. You don't need 4WD, but you might need good ground clearance for some of these unpaved roads.

Here are my trip reports for that area.

See here, here and here.


-Don-  SSF, CA


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-Don- South San Francisco, CA or Cold Springs Valley, NV (near Reno).
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 16 2013, 11:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So I have read your trip reports and found this area on a trip in a Falcon guide. I have not got a map of this area yet but if we start at Carr lake and go to Island lake and then up to Shot Gun lake and over to Upper Rock Lake down to Culbertson Lake and Lindsey lake can we get back to Carr Lake? Also is this possible in 4 days and 3 nights with some time to fish?

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 16 2013, 2:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You need to check out a map of that area.  (You can get free topos at Acmemapper.com)

I think you could do that whole hike in a day, and still have time for a bit of fishing.  I'm guessing that it's about ten or twelve miles, if you go cross-country down to Shot Gun Lake from Penner Lake.

Just to put that area into scale, I've hiked from the trailhead at Grouse Ridge to Glacier Lake and back in a day, and it was about ten miles total.

And a lovely hike at that!


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 16 2013, 2:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You need to check out a map of that area.  (You can get free topos at Acmemapper.com)

I think you could do that whole hike in a day, and still have time for a bit of fishing.  I'm guessing that it's a bit over twelve miles--fifteen at most, if you go cross-country down to Shot Gun Lake from Penner Lake.

Just to put that area into scale, I've hiked from the trailhead at Grouse Ridge to Glacier Lake and back in a day, and it was about ten miles total.

And a lovely hike at that!


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 16 2013, 4:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any stream fishing in that route?

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 16 2013, 9:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Outamatches @ Apr. 16 2013, 8:29 am)
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So I have read your trip reports and found this area on a trip in a Falcon guide. I have not got a map of this area yet but if we start at Carr lake and go to Island lake and then up to Shot Gun lake and over to Upper Rock Lake down to Culbertson Lake and Lindsey lake can we get back to Carr Lake? Also is this possible in 4 days and 3 nights with some time to fish?

The last time I was at ShotGun lake, it was almost dry. That is my least favorite trail of the area.  Middle Lake is nothing worth looking at either, IMO. You might want to consider taking the Crooked Lakes Trail, up the hill to Penner Lake and then down the hill to Rock Lake. The trail can be a bit confusing around Penner Lake to get down to Rock Lake. It can also get confusing on the way back near Crocked Lakes. It seems the main trail is the trail that goes to the west Crooked  Lakes lake, but it isn't.

Penner Lake is a beautiful Lake.

There can be a lot of people, espcally on a weekend, at Island Lake. But if you climb up the hill on the west side, you can get to my favorite spot, Hidden Lake where there's rarely anybody at all, even on a weekend.

I know some of the lakes have fish and some don't. I don't fish there, so  I am not the one to ask about the fishing.

-Don-  SSF, CA


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 17 2013, 9:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(balzaccom @ Apr. 16 2013, 11:23 am)
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I think you could do that whole hike in a day, and still have time for a bit of fishing.
"I think you could do that whole hike in a day, and still have time for a bit of fishing."

No way. It's a lot longer hiking than it looks like on the map. Lots of steep hills to climb up and such.

Glacier Lake from Grouse Ridge and back  is a nice day trip, if you get an early start. But to get to Cuberson Lake  from Island Lake will take a couple of days at least.

It's possible to see Cuberson Lake on the west side of Penner Lake, but you cannot hike down there that way.  That would require rock climbing experience and equipment).  BTW, I know that lake does have fish. At least I've seen people fish there, but most of the time you won't see anybody, but there is a cabin right by that lake.

I think you can even drive to that lake from Bowman Road.

-Don-


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 28 2013, 11:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well we did a great trip last week. We started at Carr Lake and headed to Glacier Lake the first day. We didn't get a very early start and it was in the 90's that day so a hot trip. We stopped at a lake on the way and had lunch. When we got to Glacier we set up camp and I checked out the lake for fishing. My GF decided to go for a swim and I figured if she could swim in it, it was to warm for trout. I was right. Later that night around 9 the fish started to rise out in the middle but no where near the edge where I could cast my fly to.  We did head up to a hill and watch a great sunset.
The next morning we headed for Penner Lake and met a number of people with fishing rods. I asked about the fishing and they all said the fishing was great just the catching was bad. The last little climb to Penner was a challenge for this old flatlander but I made it. What a nice lake, we set up camp and did some exploring around the area. We both took a swim and it was cool but not to cold. I figured the same thing was going to happen and it did but I gave it a good try just no hits. After dinner we headed up the hill a ways and watched another great sunset. It was a lot cooler that night and we both got a good night sleep.
The next morning we headed to Island lake as we needed to be out early the next day. We explored around that area and did some more swimming. The water was a little cooler but still way to warm for fishing. I watched the trout rise out in the middle again way out of reach of my fly rod. Back up another hill for more sunset watching. That night I decided to try some new tent pegs I bought. They are titanium and very small diameter. I did not know how they would work but wanted to try them. That night the wind came up and after about an hour of tent flapping they came out of the ground. I have a 6 moons tarp tent and it uses my hiking poles for tent poles. Well as you can guess it all came down on us. So in the dark I am setting the tent back up and finding rocks to put on top of the pegs. I just got it all done and crawled back in the tent and the wind stopped. I think it was a test.
The next day we hiked out and headed back to San Francisco. I was a great trip with some great views and nice trails. I did talk to a guy that said the fishing is only good in the spring and the fall. The rest of the time it is to warm, I guess I figured that out. We did see quite a few people but just in passing we were not close to anyone when we camped. I suppose a lot of people day hike that area.
Thanks for all your help on planning this trip.
I took some great pictures but I can never figure out how to do them on this site.


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