Late September Trip Ideas

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Tonydavid
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Late September Trip Ideas

Post by Tonydavid » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:03 pm

HI. My brother and I are looking for ideas for backpacking trip in the Sierra the last week of September.

We would really appreciate your suggestions and advice.

We are in our 60's
Experienced backpackers (level 3)
Prefer trail hiking (class 1)
Our main interest is photography
4-5 day at something around 5-7 miles a day depending on terrain
Prefer not to climb under 2000 feet gain in a day
Would like to camp by lakes
Loop or out and back (only 1 car)
No dog
Have hiked Agnew to Tuolumne meadows and McGee Pass and Duck Pass
Open to Yosemite, west or eastern start (coming from the south).

Thanks so much. Looking forward to your responses.








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c9h13no3
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Re: Late September Trip Ideas

Post by c9h13no3 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:22 pm

Leaves will just start turning in late September, watch CaliforniaFallColor.com, but usually the Hilton Lakes trail out of Rock Creek/Mosquito Flat is the first to turn colors. But other than high elevation aspens, everything else will look kinda tired. I'd aim for rocks & water type scenery.
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Tonydavid
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Re: Late September Trip Ideas

Post by Tonydavid » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:42 pm

Thank you for your reply.

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Tonydavid
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Re: Late September Trip Ideas

Post by Tonydavid » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:44 pm

I am hoping to get additional input and suggestions.

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Harlen
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Re: Late September Trip Ideas

Post by Harlen » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:58 pm

Hello Tonydavid,

I have 2 suggestions: One is a very nice loop trip beginning at Twin Lakes, out of the town of Bridgeport. You can head up Robinson Creek, cross the easy pass west of Peeler Lake, and then travel through the fascinating, open Kerrick Meadows in a far corner of Yosemite NP. The circle trip takes you back via Rock Island Pass (easy). We have always thought this area to be remarkably scenic, and therefore photogenic for you guys. The forest is very diverse; there are those meadows, with lovely winding streams running through; and impressive cliffs, and even a turquoise pond.

However, if you guys are coming from way south- as in San Diego, then you probably won't want to drive way up to Bridgeport. Another favorite area, where you could easily spend 4-5 days is the North Fork of Bigpine Creek. It's quite popular, so you can expect more company there, but it is full of lakes, and dramatic peaks of all description. Some of the lake waters are different colors, and very interesting. The largest of the Sierran glaciers are also up in that drainage, with the craggy Palisades for a backdrop..... and I'll bet someone here would say that Bishop Creek- over Bishop Pass- and into Dusy Basin and around is an even more scenic hike??? You guys can't lose in the Eastern Sierra!

(I'll bet that both of these routes are less than 20 easy miles, so you would have time to wander around shooting pics.)

Best of luck to you both, Ian.
Last edited by Harlen on Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Late September Trip Ideas

Post by SSSdave » Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:28 pm

Late September most serious photographers will be along the Eastern Sierra below usual backpacking destinations, working aspen groves, car camping.

Northern cold fronts occasionally move across the Sierra Nevada in late September with that less likely further south. And that sometimes includes dustings of snow at elevations above 10k. More dangerous would be east side trailhead entry going over the Sierra Crest.

Cottonwood Creek basin has many lakes and is indeed far south with just a day to reach any lakes. With 4 or 5 days, one could semi-base camp at a couple lake locations. Another destination would be the Independence Creek basin out of Onion Valley. Given a certain clear fair weather forecast one could cross the crest to Kearsarge Lakes.

Late September 2018:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/2018_Trip_C ... 18-10.html

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Re: Late September Trip Ideas

Post by wildhiker » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:32 pm

Here are a couple of nice trips I have done at the end of September that might work for you. Everything depends on whether we get big fires in California in late summer like the last few years, and if so, where the smoke blows in the Sierra. The good news is that with such a big snowpack and late melt, there should still be lots of water in streams at the end of September this year.

1) Yosemite - Clouds rest area. We did a two night trip in 2013 out of Tenaya Lake up to Sunrise Lakes where we camped for two nights. Did a day loop up to the top of Clouds Rest one day, and another loop (1/2 cross-country) to Mildred Lake and then over to the John Muir Trail and back via the Sunrise High Sierra Camp area. The view from Clouds Rest is spectacular. For a longer hike, you may be able to do a one-way from Tuolumne Meadows down to Yosemite Valley, leaving your car in the Valley and using bus service up to the meadows to start. Yarts.com says they are running their daily bus from the Valley over Tioga Pass daily through Oct 31 - they leave the Valley at 5 pm and make a stop at Tuolumne Meadows at 6:45 pm - just about sunset. This only works if you start your hike by Sept 22 - the last night that the Tuolumne Meadows campground (and thus the backpacker's campground) is open. Or, if the concessionaire's hiker bus that runs from the Valley to the meadows in the morning is still running (check their website), you can just go up in the morning and start hiking the same day. By the end of September, you should be able to get a wilderness permit for Cathedral Lakes (direct route to Clouds Rest and on to the Valley) or Rafferty Creek (longer route, but you see more high country).

2) Sequoia-Kings Canyon - a loop from the Big Meadows road through the Jennie Lakes Wilderness, Kings Canyon Park, and Sequoia Park. We did a three day loop in 2014 from the Rowell Meadow trailhead with camps at Lost Lake (quite spectacular mountain cliffs) and Jennie Lake. A more leisurely trip could add camps at Seville Lake and Twin Lakes. Again, by late September wilderness permits should be available easily.

-Phil

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Tonydavid
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Re: Late September Trip Ideas

Post by Tonydavid » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:50 am

Harlan, SSSDavie and Wildhiker.....thank you so much for the detailed and extremely helpful suggestions. You guys are a blessing. Thank you!

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