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Topic: June Backpacking in the Sierra Nevada< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 13 2014, 10:10 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From a former Californian:  My regular backpacking grounds now are the Beartooths in Montana, but this year we are sitting at about 150% of normal for the snowpack.  It might be well into July before I can get into the high country in which I backpack and fish.  I've read that the Sierra are at a little over 30% of normal at the moment.

So I am looking for early season alternatives.  I used to do a lot of backpacking in the Emigrant Wilderness and northern Yosemite some 20 years ago, but have only been back once in recent years.  Do you think that these areas--higher elevations between 9-10,000 feet--will be mostly snow free this year by the third week of June?  I was thinking of going in at Leavitt Lake, Leavitt Meadow, or Sonora Pass and doing loop past Tower Peak  and working back to the Twin Lakes area.  Any estimates of when the lakes up there will be ice free would help a lot because I travel solo and fish.

Thanks for your help.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 14 2014, 2:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On a normal year, middle of June (Father's Day) the eastern Sierra have snow covering trails at 11,000'.  

This year has all the indications that the snow level will be considerably less hence the trails will be visible higher.

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/  check out Eastern Sierra Back Country Guide

Probably all of the trail heads from the southern east side e.g., Piute Pass, Kearsarge Pass, Cottonwood Lakes, etc will have snow at the passes but not the approaches.  Just follow foot prints over the pass.  

Lakes under 11,000' probably are mostly ice free by then, if not I've scooped 10" trout out of the way when crossing outlets.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 14 2014, 4:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's a light year but not amazingly light:
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/snow/COURSES
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 14 2014, 8:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That said, a lot of Emigrant Wilderness is well under 10,000 feet.  Only the Sierra Crest there reaches that elevation.  You could have a lot of fun in the Cherry Creek drainage and never get over about 8,000 feet.  And the scenery is stunning.  

The real worry in that area is the water level in the creeks. If they are roaring, you will have to go to plan B...

We have lots of trips on Emigrant Wilderness on our website, if you want to see the photos...


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 12:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the responses--

It looks like I'll have a number of options in June.  And I do have a healthy respect for early season stream crossings.  I would rather stay high and cross passes with snow fields.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 16 2014, 11:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....1170415

That is a link to some more info on eastern Sierra trail heads.  Also a bit of a map that show lakes at end of a 6-10 mile first day.  You can match the lakes up with the other links to see what might be available.  Herds of mosquitoes in June so fish might be hungry if they can get to surface water.


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