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Sequoia & Kings Canyon - Campsite research

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Re: Sequoia & Kings Canyon - Campsite research

Postby stewarth » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:01 pm

dprice1 wrote:Did a 2017 loop with 12 Scouts that started on your route#3. We had no issues with campsites (we camped alone at Sugarloaf and Ranger Meadows) until we hit the HST at buck creek where we squeezed in with a solo HST hiker. We leave early, go fast and light so as to arrive early at campsites and that usually insures site options at planned campsites. Great hiking for the boys!


Awesome to hear. and certainly agree on arriving into camp early is the goal. We'll have a Hike Patrol made up of our older more capable Scouts assuming we don't get permits for Rae Lakes.

Q1, how many days and what sort of mileage did you avg?
Q2, we're thinking of adding in a visit to Tamarack Lake for a night once we make it over Elizabeth Pass before head to Buck Creek. If you went straight from Ranger to Buck Creek it comes back to my first question...how did you go on miles per hour?

Thanks

Stewart



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Re: Sequoia & Kings Canyon - Campsite research

Postby oldranger » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:21 pm

stewarth wrote:
oldranger wrote:
stewarth wrote:Having worked in the area for 9 seasons I would still recommend Sunset Meadow as the point of departure and finish point over Big Meadow. The diversion to Jennie lake is fine but retrace the spur and return to Sunset Meadow.


Mike, I see the Rowell Meadow TH which is the TH I think you're suggesting. There is a access road 13S14 near Sunset Meadow to this TH, if I'm right. Our plan was to camp at Big Meadows which is at 7500' altitude to help acclimatize, with one hiking patrol departing from here also.

Here are some additional questions as I really appreciate your input based on experience, but also would like clarity.

Why are you suggesting Rowell Meadow over Big Meadow TH?
If we did loop around to Jennie Lake via the JO Pass, are you suggesting we back track to JO Pass and head North via 30E11 trail back to Rowell Meadow TH? Our preference is to hike established trails, versus go cross country. Although if you know of trails/routes not mapped....I'd be open to hearing the ideas.

Regards

Stewart



Sunset Meadow/Rowell TH start enables you to avoid camping at Rowell Meadow, one of the most mosquito infested places I have ever visited in the Sierra. Not just for a month or so but from June thru Labor Day. Also simplifies auto logistics. If you do the route clockwise getting to Seville lake in a day is doable and you can quickly bypass Rowell. If your last night is at Jennie lake, return to J.O. Pass and take the trail to Rowell and the TH. For a little compass practice a couple hundred yards after crossing Gannon Creek you can take a northerly bearing and cut off some mileage going off trail over easy terrain before hitting the last mile and a half of trail to the TH. Other offtrail shortcuts are between Seville and lost lakes and between lost and ranger lakes. These are routes where you need map and terrain reading skills more than compass skills because a straight line won't work.
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Re: Sequoia & Kings Canyon - Campsite research

Postby wildhiker » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:33 pm

I hiked from Rowell Mdw TH through the Sugarloaf Valley to Deadman Canyon and up to Elizabeth Pass (and then back the same way with a detour to Seville Lake) just this last September. Here are my ideas about campsites on that route. Rowell Meadow has plenty of large sites, but others warn about the mosquitoes (not bad in Sept). Heading east, I only saw a couple of small sites below Comanche Meadow (where the bear box is). However, a couple of miles further downstream there is a wonderful large campsite with bear box at Sugarloaf Meadow, plus other camping opportunities on this bench of scattered jeffrey pines. You can also get up on the shoulder of Sugarloaf easily for some views. There are some sites further east at the crossings of Sugarloaf Creek and Ferguson Creek where you could probably squeeze in. Plenty of room at Roaring River ranger station. Heading up Deadman Canyon, I didn't see any good campsites at Ranger Meadow itself, but there is roomy camping below it at the gravesite and more opportunities above Ranger Meadow. I camped at Seville Lake on the way back and there is plenty of room - plus plenty of people!

For your alternative #1, you could start at Wolverton instead of General Sherman Tree and easily make Alta Meadow the first day with an amazing view of the Great Western Divide. Lots of roomy campsites with views at Alta Meadow in the fir trees on the slight ridge heading south from where the trail crosses a low saddle to reach the meadow. You have to back-track then to Mehrten Meadow to continue on to Hamilton Lake.
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Re: Sequoia & Kings Canyon - Campsite research

Postby oldranger » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:44 am

wildhiker wrote:I hiked from Rowell Mdw TH through the Sugarloaf Valley to Deadman Canyon and up to Elizabeth Pass (and then back the same way with a detour to Seville Lake) just this last September. Here are my ideas about campsites on that route. Rowell Meadow has plenty of large sites, but others warn about the mosquitoes (not bad in Sept). Heading east, I only saw a couple of small sites below Comanche Meadow (where the bear box is). However, a couple of miles further downstream there is a wonderful large campsite with bear box at Sugarloaf Meadow, plus other camping opportunities on this bench of scattered jeffrey pines. You can also get up on the shoulder of Sugarloaf easily for some views. There are some sites further east at the crossings of Sugarloaf Creek and Ferguson Creek where you could probably squeeze in. Plenty of room at Roaring River ranger station. Heading up Deadman Canyon, I didn't see any good campsites at Ranger Meadow itself, but there is roomy camping below it at the gravesite and more opportunities above Ranger Meadow. I camped at Seville Lake on the way back and there is plenty of room - plus plenty of people!

For your alternative #1, you could start at Wolverton instead of General Sherman Tree and easily make Alta Meadow the first day with an amazing view of the Great Western Divide. Lots of roomy campsites with views at Alta Meadow in the fir trees on the slight ridge heading south from where the trail crosses a low saddle to reach the meadow. You have to back-track then to Mehrten Meadow to continue on to Hamilton Lake.
-Phil


Actually there are two large sites at Ranger Meadow, neither obvious from the trail and both on the east side of the creek. #1 as soon as you get to the lower end of Ranger Meadow, cross the creek and then go down always. Lots of flat areas and probably a campfire ring or two. #2 about 1/2 way up the Meadow there is a grove of trees on the east side of the Meadow. There is a campsite over there as well.
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