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Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:16 am
by dustybottoms21
Thanks for the intel. Just in case we end up needing to switch our plan at the last second, I went ahead and ordered a trails map of emigrant wilderness and a few others.

The map contains...

Carson-Iceberg, Emigrant, and Mokelumne Wilderness Areas [Eldorado, Humboldt-Toiyabe, and Stanislaus National Forests] (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map)

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:33 pm
by dustybottoms21
My map came in the mail today. Emigrant looks fricking amazing! So good that I'm wondering if we call an audible now and just do that. With the lower elevation I'm assuming we can do this in early June, maybe even late May right?

Starting at Crabtree Trailhead and doing a loop around Buck Lakes looks like it would be pretty awesome. Tons of water and fishing opportunities and campfires are permitted. Based on what I'm reading online, it doesn't sound like it's very heavily used either.

And getting a permit doesn't look tough either. Just apply, no lottery system. Would there be fewer mosquitos here as well?

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:39 pm
by c9h13no3
dustybottoms21 wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:33 pm
My map came in the mail today. Emigrant looks fricking amazing! So good that I'm wondering if we call an audible now and just do that. With the lower elevation I'm assuming we can do this in early June, maybe even late May right?

Starting at Crabtree Trailhead and doing a loop around Buck Lakes looks like it would be pretty awesome. Tons of water and fishing opportunities and campfires are permitted. Based on what I'm reading online, it doesn't sound like it's very heavily used either.

And getting a permit doesn't look tough either. Just apply, no lottery system. Would there be fewer mosquitos here as well?
A lot to unpack here.

1) The Emigrant in the opinion of most is less of a destination than Yosemite, Sequoia, or the Eastern Sierra. There is good fishing, and lots of exfoliated granite. Sorta like the Gunks in your neck of the woods: a fine destination that I’m not sure I’d get on a plane for. The most famous thing about the Emigrant might be the whitewater rafting on cherry creek.

2) Don’t apply for a permit to the Emigrant. Just call 1-2 days ahead and have them leave a permit in the box for you. It’s way, way easier than a National Park.

3) Yeah, the lower elevations allow you to go earlier in the year. I took two trips there in May last year. The Sonora Pass road reliably opens to Kennedy Meadows for the last weekend in April: the start of fishing season.

4) The Emigrant mosquitoes are legendary. They’re a bit overblown, but I grew up in the swamps of North Carolina so I’m used to mosquitoes. They’re pretty bad for California, though, and if you time it wrong it can be a bummer.

REI takes people to the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, Tilltil Valley (from Hetch Hetchy), and Half Dome in the early season if you want ideas that they can sucker people into paying $1K per head for.

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:23 pm
by dustybottoms21
Interesting. Some pros, some cons. It sounds like we're going to get skeeters no matter where we go. Definitely not looking forward to that part of the trip!!!

So would the scenery on this loop pale in comparison to my plan from Rowell Meadow? I watched a few backpacking vids of this hike on youtube and those lakes looks gorgeous. But would my original plan still be even better?

Short of the Alaskan wilderness, I don't think I would ever pay for something like that.

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:02 pm
by c9h13no3
dustybottoms21 wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:23 pm
Interesting. Some pros, some cons. It sounds like we're going to get skeeters no matter where we go. Definitely not looking forward to that part of the trip!!!

So would the scenery on this loop pale in comparison to my plan from Rowell Meadow?
It all depends on what you like. Look at some pictures, only you can decide.

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:52 am
by wildhiker
Emigrant Wilderness out of Crabtree trailhead has much more open granite, but lower relief overall, than the Silliman Crest area that you would reach from Rowell Meadow, which is more forested. Be aware that the many creeks in Emigrant can be very difficult to cross if you are there at the peak of snowmelt. Because there is so much bare rock, the melt all just runs off at once rather than soaking into the soil. Crabtree is indeed a popular trailhead and you will find lots of people in the first 5 miles at least.
-Phil

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:41 am
by dustybottoms21
Got it. Makes sense.

So going back to the original plan of starting at Rowell Meadow TH, is the permitting process opened on March 1st? If so, where do I obtain one? I know it's outside of the NP, but the majority of the hike will take place in Kings Canyon. I don't see the trailhead listed as an option on the SEKI permit process, but I assume this is because the starting point is outside of the park.

Can you guys point me in the right direction to the permitting process?

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:02 pm
by AlmostThere
True that Rowell is not a park trailhead. However, you will get a permit from the park if your route takes you out of Jennie Wilderness into the park. Park quotas are for Sugarloaf, JO Pass or Belle Canyon which include multiple Jennie trailheads - the park permit is for the entry point, not the trailhead specifically, multiple THs will get you to the entry point on the park boundary. The SEKI Wilderness trip planner answers all your questions.
https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/ ... inal-3.pdf

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:26 pm
by dustybottoms21
Thanks. Does that mean for us to enter and exit on the rowell meadow trailhead, and backpack through SEKI, we can apply for permits using any of those 3 locations you mention above? Or am I still not getting it?

Re: Backpacking SEKI in June

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:14 pm
by AlmostThere
If you intend to start in Jennie and go to Twin Lakes or Lodgepole JO Pass is the logical choice. Start in Jennie and head toward Seville Lake etc and you are in Belle Canyon quota. Start in any part of Jennie and cross the park boundary heading toward Comanche Meadow and I think that is the Sugarloaf quota. It's determined by which trail you are on. If you don't want to go over Silliman Pass take one of the other two routes, you can start at Big Meadows, Marvin Pass, Rowell, even the trail from the highway across from Stony Creek Campground. The permit doesn't restrict you to a trailhead.