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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:02 am
by AlmostThere
You missed that there is a BACKPACKER CAMPGROUND at the parking lot at Hetch Hetchy. You can stay there with your permit the night before...

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:38 am
by c9h13no3
AlmostThere wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:02 am
You missed that there is a BACKPACKER CAMPGROUND at the parking lot at Hetch Hetchy. You can stay there with your permit the night before...
^^^ winner

I've honestly never camped in the backpacker's campground, since I start hiking the same day I travel. :|

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:25 pm
by wildhiker
As AlmostThere points out, get to the Hetch Hetchy entrance station before the gates close (7 pm? 9 pm? check the www.nps.gov/yose website) on the night before and pick up your wilderness permit right at the entrance station to start the next day. Then you can camp in the backpacker's campground right by the trailhead for $6/person per night (bring the exact amount in cash). Alternatively, if you can't make it to Hetch Hetchy before they close the gate, then pull off on a spur dirt logging road in the national forest on the Evergreen Road and throw out your sleeping bag. I do believe the gate opens at 7 am.
-Phil

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:43 pm
by Douglas
Great thread! -- I have a Rae Lakes permit for June 24th and keeping a close eye (here, reddit, instagram, etc) on river crossing conditions while planning some potential Plan B and C options like others. I'll give the ranger station a ring a couple days out to see if anyone is making it across the South Fork river. I've backpacked in SEKI before (circle of solitude, whitney) and day hikes in Yosemite (half dome), but this will be my wife's first time hiking in California and I'd like to "wow" her on the experience. I'm looking into 4-5 day backpacking routes in Yosemite as a back up or any other 40-60 mile hikes that would be good for this June in the Sierras. Snow travel and elevation gain is fine... it's the impassable rivers that I'm trying to avoid. I imagine walk-up permits will be more competitive than usual by the amount of people re-routing their plans. Still considering an in/out trip to Rae Lakes regardless.

More options here to look into: http://doingmiles.com/hike-sierra/

A curveball would be avoiding the whole area and doing the Lost Coast trail instead with some additional Redwood hikes.

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:36 pm
by AlmostThere
Douglas, I hope you reconsider Rae Lakes -- there is too much snow at 7000+ feet to open roads, let alone go over Glenn Pass with your wife. You don't want to "wow" her by making her try to cross the Kings River without the bridge that washed out! It's way too soon.

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:54 pm
by Douglas
AlmostThere, I think you're right and I need that voice of reason as I often tend to push the risk factor. Tbh, what I see from PCT instagram posts over Forester, etc doesn't seem like a deal breaker amount of snow, but I know the rivers will likely be out of control even if planning a 7am ford. What might be your personal recommendation then for a 3-5 nighter next week in the Sierras (sorry, you may have mentioned in an early post)? I'm open to all the parks and wilderness areas. Driving from the bay area. Thanks!

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:03 pm
by Bishop_Bob
in 2017, I was way more wigged out by the creek crossings than the snow.

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:45 pm
by AlmostThere
Next week? You would be able to reach Florence (168) and go some distance along the San Joaquin. There is a bridge over the river, the trail travels into Kings Canyon NP - you may reach Evolution, and if the creek is still too deep -- you can walk up from the main crossing and potentially cross in the meadow where it widens out -- camp on the south side of it, then reverse course. Or, go a short ways up Goddard. I have hit snow halfway up but there are spots along the creek. Creek crossings near MTR are typically knee deep, cold and fast in spring but I have done them with a 15 lb crosscut in one arm. (We maintain the trail in early spring to help MTR)

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:57 pm
by Dashielle
I've got a 2 week trip out of the Mineral King trailhead starting on June 29th... anyone have any info or advice? We're heading up through bearpaw and over Elizabeth, then from Roaring River up Colby pass and down to the Kern, by the hot springs and back up to Morraine lake, Big Five and out over Sawtooth on the 13th of July. Everyone's got microspikes but I'm just wondering if any of you have any concern about this route at this time of year? Where are the problem spots you'd be thinking of?

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:02 pm
by AlmostThere
Dashielle wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:57 pm
I've got a 2 week trip out of the Mineral King trailhead starting on June 29th... anyone have any info or advice? We're heading up through bearpaw and over Elizabeth, then from Roaring River up Colby pass and down to the Kern, by the hot springs and back up to Morraine lake, Big Five and out over Sawtooth on the 13th of July. Everyone's got microspikes but I'm just wondering if any of you have any concern about this route at this time of year? Where are the problem spots you'd be thinking of?
There's still 12 feet of snow on Kaiser Pass, at 10k, and Elizabeth is 11k. Yeah, I'd be concerned... too much time above 9000 feet too early in the year unless you like postholing in mushy deep snow in the afternoon. I would find something lower, or wait later in the year, unless you like such prolonged snow travel. You'll climb into it, go steeply up it over Elizabeth, steeply down the north side where there will be more snow than on the south side, make your way somehow down the vertical headwall (the little unmaintained switchbacks will likely be buried) and then posthole down the canyon until you've (gradually) lost enough elevation that the meadows start to melt out. Cloud will be the reverse, gradually climbing in ever deeper snow until it gets steep.