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Topic: Vegas in June< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2014, 9:04 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I will be in Vegas for work the third week of June and plan to take the entire week prior as vacation. I will be picking up a friend at the airport on Tuesday evening and we will be doing Zion and Bryce. So that gives me Fri night- Tuesday evening to work in some solo stuff. I know it will be blazing that time of year. I solo'd the west rim of Zion four years ago during this time and it was well over 100 each day but I actually found it pretty bearable as long as I kept hydrated. I am looking for suggestions outside of Zion or Bryce within a 6ish hour drive of Vegas. My initial thought is Coyote Gulch but I'm wondering if the temps will make it miserable. I suppose I could also go west into California. Possibly even Kings Canyon/Sequoia. I will be traveling alone (unless one of you are in :) ) so I will be looking for an in/out. Thanks!!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2014, 9:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bishop is 6 hrs 18 minutes... Or less depending on route.

Hit the Sierra and stay cool.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2014, 9:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

HSF - You once directed me to a campsite on Snow Creek Trail in Yosemite and to this day it may be the best campsite I have ever been to so I hold your advice in high regard. :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2014, 10:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're welcome! That is a wonderful site isn't it?

It's not me who'd be doing the driving but you did mention heading west.

The eastern Sierra would be glorious then. A better fit to the realities of the calendar I'd suggest.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2014, 11:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am already sold. For whatever reason I just thought it was further away. Maps actually says Bishop is a shade over 4 hrs. I would have all of sat, sun, Mon, and leave on Tues.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 12:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's even better. I just did a quick thing on my phone, 4 hours on those roads would be easy.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 8:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Alternatively, Mount Moriah, east central NV. Solitude, sense of remoteness.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 10:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think I am going to base out of Bishop. First thought is maybe Bishop Pass/Dusy Basin/ Le Conte Canyon. I will have three full days and three full nights. I wouldn't be against spending two nights in a single camp and just dayhiking/exploring a full day but I am totally open to local advice. Any thoughts? Also, can someone recommend a good guidebook on the area or a particular map that may be better than others? Thanks!!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 11:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wilderness Press offers good California Sierra books.

This is a fairly recent one:
https://www.wildernesspress.com/product....&page=2

Another would be their Sierra South, honed and refined over many editions:
https://www.wildernesspress.com/product....&page=2
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 1:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh and for planning purposes, with the trail mileages between junctions nicely displayed, I like the Tom Harrison maps, there's a specific Bishop one btw.
http://tomharrisonmaps.com/locationmap.html

Though for on the ground navigation I'm still in the 1:24k USGS topo camp.

The Harrison Sequoia/Kings Canyon, just catching Piute Pass on it's top edge, is also available as a smartphone app.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 3:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

HSF - Any thoughts on a route/lessons learned/best camping areas?
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 3:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bishop Pass faces north so at that elevation be at least mentally prepared for some snow travel. Also at that time of year be prepared for the mosquitos that specialize in snowmelt and the sunscreen needs for high elevation UV. One mid-June over Piute, sunburned behind the knees, sunburned under the chin, sunburned on the underside of my nose and sunburned ears..... snow reflects 90% of incoming UV.... so when on snowpack you're standing on a  giant tanning bed.

Were you to get blocked out of Bishop Piute Pass would be another option. Desolation Lake's environs and Humphrey's Basin overall is nice.

The TH quotas are at least partially available on recreation.gov.

Some dates have been filled but there are openings.
http://www.recreation.gov/entranceDetails.do

One surprise off that page: bear containers are required. Odds are available from the permit issuing office but it would be prudent to check.

One thing to keep in mind: at the crest of Bishop pass you'll be close to a vertical mile higher than that Snow Creek campsite.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 4:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks! I have a bear container and will be bringing it and permit secured. :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The eastern Sierra trails are generally shorter and the terrain (not necessarily the trails) is steeper than on the west side.  The trails also start much higher - saving a little more effort to quickly get someplace spectacular.

The down side is that since they start higher and go higher still, they are generally snow free much later than the west side trails.

If base camping out of Bishop, you have many day hike opportunities that would get to the first night location if you were back packing.  If doing these as day hikes rather than overnights, it is more pleasant to pick a reasonably priced motel for a hot bath and nice bed after a breakfast and dinner on the town before tackling another trail the next day.   Great overview of places to spend a lot more time next visit.

It is early in the season for most hikers who prefer end of July. Usually mid June the trails above 11,000' would be snow covered.  This year will definitely be a lot different considering the Sierra have about 1/3 the snow pack.  But still chancy especially if going over passes.  There will be snow on the passes, but you can follow the footprints of those before you.

Bishop:
  Bishop Pass from South Lake is a favorite spring day hike for introduction to the Sierra for visitors.  You can expect snow shortly after Long Lake with normal winters.  If backpacking and permitted you can do what you described, and even up to another pass - Knapsack Pass with an easy class three cross country - to look into the Palisade Basin and the west side of some spectacular 14ers.  You can do other exploration there by following the contour southwest from Bishop Pass.  OR day hike down the big ditch to La Conte Ranger Station from Dusy Basin.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.09825,-118.54579&z=14&t=T

North Lake and Piute Pass already mentioned and there is Sabrina Lakes and above for day hiking.   All off the same major access road.

Big Pine:
If you day hike up (tough day - better over night) to Big Pine Lakes from Big Pine (a few miles south of Bishop) you can see the eastern side of the Palisades that you saw from Bishop Pass and the largest glacier in California. It is a worthy place to spend time if snow free.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.12775,-118.52759&z=14&t=T

Independence:
Kearsarge Pass down to Kearsarge Lakes for lunch from Onion Valley

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.76969,-118.33984&z=14&t=T

Below Onion Valley a dirt access road takes off south to Shepherd Pass Trail on Symmes Creek.  Starts at 6,000' but is my favorite early season (end of May) SERIOUS day hike up to Anvil Camp.  Could overnight at Mahogany Flats and then explore up toward Shepherd Pass and two 14'rs Williamson and Tyndall in the snow.  The Shepherd Pass trail has a surprise 500' dip and recover just over the initial ridge.  Of course, same going back.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.70084,-118.31044&z=14&t=T

This trail is the express to the High Sierra with a north loop exit over Kearsarge Pass to within a few miles of your car.  Better when you have the time to spend exploring in the Kern River drainage.

Lone Pine:

Mt Whitney Portal 22 mile round trip for a day hike.  Probably would be a risky chance to get a day pass as a walk up.  Very little chance for an overnight permit as a walk up.

Cottonwood Lakes from Horseshoe Meadows starts at 10,500' and up to 11,000+ for the lakes and two large cirque drainage and lakes.  Good view looking directly up the southern exposure of Mt Langley at 14,000+ from Cottonwood Lakes.  Over night here and stumble up Army Pass and Langley the next day.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=36.48438,-118.20482&z=14&t=T


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 7:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great info!!! Thanks! I will look it all over in detail.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 03 2014, 10:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

SPeacock - Big Pine looks amazing. I may try to incorporate a night below Temple Crag into the trip.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2014, 11:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

https://maps.google.com/maps?f=....&q=http

A bit long but it shows all of the SNOWTEL measurements in the west.

Big Pine, Glacier Lodge used to be a nice place to spend some time.  It burned down decades ago and has since been rebuilt.  Had the best restaurant around.  Fresh!!! trout almondine from their own ponds, caught minutes before you were expected to get back from the lakes.   The road up to the trail head traverses a very nice example of a lateral moraine.

You will need a permit if staying over night up there.  You pick it up in Independence.  Popular places, reserve early and often.

Get an EARLY start and keep it slow as it is a bit more than a simple moderate trail.  Crampons, tho not necessary, might keep you upright while walking on the Sierra Cement - very consolidated snow.  Trek poles will provide some assist in snow covered and slippery trails.  You are right on the cusp of there being snow cover there....11,000' +-  during 'normal' winters.  

Lone Pine/Bishop trailheads are about a 5 hour trip from LA area as a reference to your road trip.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2014, 8:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Probably 200 fleece (or equivalent) and a Precip rain/wind jacket might be sufficient for an average day up there.  A regular mountaineering parka is good as well. 20F bag certainly and you can expect snow if precipitation is in the forecast.  Family was caught in a rare 4ft drop of it on Father's Day weekend up in that vicinity.  DEET of course and as HSF has cautioned, a good supply of high UV rated sun block if you plan on not being a crispy critter.

Have fun up there.  A lot to do in the Sierra any time of the year if you are prepared and fit.   You've certainly picked a scenic area and a passel of 14'rs as well.


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