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Topic: SEKI-Sequoia-Kings Cyn, Advice needed ASAP< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 1:51 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Planning a trip POSSIBLY to Sequoia and Kings Cyn in a couple weeks.  Going somewhere to cool off from the current record breaking Las Vegas heat wave and prefer enough unique attractions for about 7 to 10 days is the gameplan.  

We usually car camp and pitch tent at campgrounds, but feeling kinda reluctant to drive 8 hours to Sequoia/Kings Cyn as Lodgepole and Dorst campgrounds are completely sold out mid July.

The majority of campgrounds in Sequoia/Kings Cyn are first come-first served and would hate to drive all the way up there, gambling whether or not we are able to find a decent place to pitch our tent every night.  It would really suck to drive all the way up there and tell my son we have to sleep in our car.  A hotel or cabin is not in our budget, tent is the only option.

Just trying to keep an annual tradition of taking my son camping, this year for his 13th birthday.  Every July I take him somewhere camping here on the west coast/southwest.  It is HOT here and need to get away into the forest to cool off and enjoy a change of lifestyle/scenery.

We have camped Grand Cyn, Lake Tahoe, Coeur d'Alene, Glacier Natl Park, Jackson Hole, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Zion, all over Colorado...now looking for a great destination via road trip and came up with Sequoia/Kings Cyn, as Yosemite is way too crowded.  If somebody has other suggestions travel by car from Las Vegas, I am open to suggestions; ideally a bit of encouragement about Sequoia/Kings Cyn.

Also I might add, although we prefer it, we are not set in stone on campgrounds, as we are ok with backpacking if there are worthwhile loop trails that are not too steep of a climb/advanced.

Ideally we would like to park somewhere around Giant Forest and backpack in for a few nights and the other area of interest is to park around Grant Village to backpack in for a few nights.

Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 3:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Try recreation.gov for Sierra, Inyo and Seqouia National Forest campgrounds? Both from the east and west they offer some very nice access to the Sierra.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 3:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can't sleep in your car in the parks anyways - they'll throw you outta the park.

But, there are other opportunities in the national forests, and there's dispersal camping (free) along the NF Road going out to trailheads for Jennie Lakes Wilderness....


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I remember driving past several campgrounds in the National Forests between Kings Canyon and Sequoia. I would check into some of them.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(EGreno @ Jul. 01 2013, 4:03 pm)
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I remember driving past several campgrounds in the National Forests between Kings Canyon and Sequoia. I would check into some of them.

Those campgrounds you refer to are the same as all campgrounds in SEKI with the exception of Dorst and Lodgepole campgrounds; they are all first come first served campgrounds and that is the concern.  

So looking for suggestions on backpacking trails we cam pitch tent that are somewhat close to the 2 main areas: Giant Forest and Grant Village.

Thanks in advance for more replies.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On recreation.gov a search of Sierra, Inyo and Sequoia National Forest/Monument all retrieved reservable campgrounds, a number of which had availability on a randomly chosen july 17 for 5 days.

Fish Creek for example was completely available...
http://www.recreation.gov/camping....=Search

For some nice hiking the ones in Sierra along Beasore Rd. above Bass lake might be worth looking at. If you can be flexible the availability calendar will show where there are reservable sites at whichever campground takes your interest.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 4:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jul. 01 2013, 4:48 pm)
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On recreation.gov a search of Sierra, Inyo and Sequoia National Forest/Monument all retrieved reservable campgrounds, a number of which had availability on a randomly chosen july 17 for 5 days.

Fish Creek for example was completely available...
http://www.recreation.gov/camping....=Search

Fort some nice hiking the ones in Sierra along Beasore Rd. above Bass lake might be worth looking at.

Thanks for the tip, saw that website and there are only 2 campgrounds within these parks that accept reservations, both (Dorst and Lodgepole) are sold out.

We have no interest in any other area except SE-KI, preferably near the 2 areas previously mentioned.

Looks like we will try to research trail descriptions (nps.gov) that are close to each area and get a wildreness permit once we arrive since it is too late to reserve ahead of time, and of course try our Vegas luck on some of the first come first served campgrounds.

Anybody with good recommendations of novice trails for backpacking near Giant Forest and/or General Grant?

Thanks in advance.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 5:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

FWIW Sequoia National Forest adjoins Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks , the only difference being a line on a map, as does Inyo National Forest on the East where everything west of the Sierra Crest is either Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Park while east of the crest it's Inyo NF.

It'll be a nice time to be there. Have fun.

Wilderness Press has been publishing great Sierra hiking guides since the sixties so their Top Trails for Sequoia and Kings Canyon is a good bet for lighter hiking, there's also a more comprehensive hiking guide for further afield in the parks.

https://www.wildernesspress.com/product....&page=1

https://www.wildernesspress.com/product....&page=1

Mike White is the author of the best Yosemite hiking guide around (IMO) so his Sequoia and Kings Canyon work should be solid.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 01 2013, 10:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

too frustrating, think I will just say **** it this year we're not going anywhere

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 12:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How is it frustrating?

JENNIE LAKES WILDERNESS. Free dispersed camping anywhere along the Big Meadows road, which is all in NF. Backpacking without permits in the wilderness area. If you cross into the park you need a permit from the park. You won't be lonely in Jennie, but it's a beautiful place to climb a 10,000 foot peak (mitchell) and visit some quite scenic lakes. Fair fishing for rainbows and brooks in Jennie.

They start giving out unclaimed previously-reserved permits for park destinations at 9 am. I'd go to the visitor center at Grant Grove, ask for Redwood Canyon, do the easy backpack there. Or ask for Alta trail to Panther Gap (don't forget to take plenty of water). Or ask for Lodgepole to Twin Lakes. Or ask for Lakes trail to Emerald/Aster, which is ALWAYS first come/first serve.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 8:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wouldn't give up on the trip.  It is absolutely worth it and although I don't have the extensive travel experience, the Sierras are my families favorite place in the world.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 1:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not gonna give up, just frustrated as there is so much involved in planning a trip.  I'm a single parent 24/7/365 of my son who will be 13 in two weeks and it is very overwhelming.


As every summer the trip begins with me laying down the ground rules...
"It has to be within 12 hour drive.
No $ for flights, no $ for hotels, no $ for restaurants.
We will be driving, camping in a tent and eating over a backpacker stove.  So look on a map where Las Vegas is and chooses a few places where you want to go this year."

The destination selection is made and then I ask him why he wants to go there.  What is there to do?  Are there enough exciting things to do for a full week to 10 days?  Make a list of all of your interests at that destination.

This year he mentioned SE-KI for the largest trees, Moro Rock looked cool, some caves, etc.

Then we plan where all of the sites he wants to see are in relation to campgrounds.  Three main areas of SE-KI are narrowed down.  No interest in driving everyday back n forth to attractions/sites of interest.  so a few days in Giant Forest, a few days in Grant Forest, a day or two around Cedar Village.

then the campground search from the nps.gov website shows there are only 2 camprgound that take reservations.  All othere campgrounds are first come first served.  Lodgepole and Dorst campgrounds are booked up/sold out, unless we want undesireable campsites and move tents every morning and spend a few hours everyday packing up, unpacking, setting up, etc and finally going to visit the attrations/sites of interest.

Too much of a hassle to do that, so now we are down to backpacking.  Daily quotas maxed out on several of the trailhoods of interest.  One can make reservations with 2+ weeks notice for wilderness permits but we are within the 2 week time frame as we plan to start vacation next week.

So just the like the campgrounds, the backpacking permits for trailheads are first come first served.  We live in Las Vegas.  We learned the local secret that Sin City was not built on winners, hence don't gamble!  It is such a long drive to and from that I have to do because I am without another driver just to gamble on if we are going to spend much of our trip wondering where are we going to sleep tonight or tomorrow night, wasting time setting up camp and unpacking on a daily basis and long hikes and long drives when we just want to relax and see the sites of interest at our leisure.  so that is the looooonnng story, lol, of why this is frustrating.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 2:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A trailhead with no limit:
http://goldentroutwilderness.wordpress.com/sequoia....it-lake

"Permits issued by Sequoia National Forest

Long Meadow Trail (Mountain Home trailhead): Moderate climb. First campsite - Summit Lake in Sequoia National Park(7.6 miles/12.1 km) No entry limit."

http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/traildesc.htm#CP_JUMP_117993
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 2:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jul. 02 2013, 2:06 pm)
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A trailhead with no limit:
http://goldentroutwilderness.wordpress.com/sequoia....it-lake

"Permits issued by Sequoia National Forest

Long Meadow Trail (Mountain Home trailhead): Moderate climb. First campsite - Summit Lake in Sequoia National Park(7.6 miles/12.1 km) No entry limit."

http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/traildesc.htm#CP_JUMP_117993

Always good to have options if we are stuck, thanks

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 2:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The quotas are rather large so I'd head to the wilderness office with a list. One I like for a reasonable out and back (though loops are possible) is Crescent Meadow out on the High Sierra Trail for perhaps out as far as Hamilton lakes, awesome views of Angel Wings and the high crest holding Kaweah gap in a  wonderful, though popular, alpine bowl. The issuing rangers always have suggestions as well.

One thing I don't know is if Sequoia and Kings Canyon have the system that Yosemite has where people with valid wilderness permits for the following day get to stay that night before and the night after in some effectively  "no limit" campgrounds for $5, in that park they're called "backpackers" campgrounds and are a nice convenience for backcountry visitors.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/bpcamp.htm
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 2:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If the west side doesn't work for you, the east side of the Sierra has quite a few Forest Service campgrounds up the roads going west out of Bishop, Tom's Place to mention a few.  Might check what are available.  I don't know if you can reserve.

If interested I'll provide more info. You can get to SEKI but it is over a 11k'+ pass and 6 miles.  But it is a bit closer to you than the west side of the Sierra and most of the crowds that go with it.

The east side valley is around 6'000 feet and is not quite as hot as LV but would be close.  Lots of overnight camping 3-6 miles in.  Most have lakes within a 4 mile hike and options to explore some good scenery as a day trip the next day(s).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 3:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Anyone visiting Sequoia NP without a campground reservation might drive north on SR198 General Hwy out of the park and into Sequoia National Forest to this junction with 14S11 at the crosshairs:

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.69846,-118.87619&z=15&t=T

The paved road quickly becomes a high quality dirt/gravel road and one can disperse camp anywhere along it.  People more often camp Where the road is near streams.

Instead of driving all the way to SEKI to escape the heat, closer are southern areas of the Eastern Sierra in the Inyo National Forest Whitney Ranger District.  A whole world campground and dispersed camping, hiking, and backpacking where you are more likely to find walk up non-reserved national forest campsites.  Do your homework then come back and ask questions.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/inyo/recreation

http://www.fs.usda.gov/activit....ctid=29


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 5:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If that is your routine, then you might want to start it sooner, so reservable campgrounds still have some choices.  Nothing wrong with planning next year's hike as you begin the drive home from this year's.  

Death Valley over his Spring Break, or Xmas break.  Lassen for the Summer trip.  Redwoods, Rky Mt, Yellowstone, are all within 12 hrs.  Y and RM would need reservations for sure, but I doubt Redwoods.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 6:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sequoia's campgrounds were available for reservation six months ago and IIRC that's generally the case. So if there's a strict aversion to the first come campgrounds, which I've generally found to have space even in Yosemite when I arrive during the week, then those are the parameters....
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2013, 11:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm just going to show up the night before we start our five day backpacking trip. I bet I get a campsite in Lodgepole without a hitch, like usual.

The backup plan is always Big Meadows, but never had to go there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're coming from Vegas? Why make this thing so difficult, just go to the East Side somewhere near Big Pine or Bishop. You should be able to find a campsite outside of Bishop, though avoid a Saturday or Friday arrival if you are able. You can probably still find reservable sites on recreation.gov.  Many great dayhikes and overnight hikes near Bishop, Big Pine, Lone Pine. Get to the ranger office in Bishop early and you should be able to score an overnight permit for somewhere nice, or go ahead and reserve one online. Hike up to Sabrina Basin if you like fishing. Backpack into Dusy Basin. Its wonderful.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 2:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ogg @ Jul. 09 2013, 12:29 pm)
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You're coming from Vegas? Why make this thing so difficult, just go to the East Side somewhere near Big Pine or Bishop. You should be able to find a campsite outside of Bishop, though avoid a Saturday or Friday arrival if you are able. You can probably still find reservable sites on recreation.gov.  Many great dayhikes and overnight hikes near Bishop, Big Pine, Lone Pine. Get to the ranger office in Bishop early and you should be able to score an overnight permit for somewhere nice, or go ahead and reserve one online. Hike up to Sabrina Basin if you like fishing. Backpack into Dusy Basin. Its wonderful.

While your suggestions for the east side of the parks are appreciated, we have zero desire to go anywhere in the park except the west side, specifically the Giant Forest in Sequoia and the Grant Village area in Kings Cyn.

Leaving tomorrow night and have a pretty good grasp on what we are planning, thanks to Barnes and Noble.  Wonderful books and maps.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 2:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you to all who replied with suggestions and recommendations.  We leave tomorrow night

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 4:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Which books and maps did you get?

If you happen to find yourselves with some time on your hands Mineral King is a very scenic place and Silver City resort has terrific pies!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 4:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jul. 09 2013, 4:23 pm)
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Which books and maps did you get?

Excellent book by Falcon Guides called Hiking Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks..detailed hikes including illustration.

National Geographic Trails Illustrated topographic map of Sequoia and Kings Cyn National Parks...includes nearby preserves, parks and forests.

These two sources along with what many of you have been kind enough to share, along with a USA road atlas has turned into a wealth of info.

Thanks again


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 8:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Don't forget to give us a trip report when you get back.  Have fun!

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 10 2013, 12:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like Falcon, still like Wilderness Press better as they're more comprehensive but Falcon has greatly improved. Their wildflower book for the Sierra is very nice.

I use NG's maps for planning and the Yosemite quarter sections are a reasonable scale for most hiking and they contain a lot of extra intro. For off trail wandering I like the detail of the USGS sheets, plus they are (IMHO) works of art.
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