Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

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hanmarta
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Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by hanmarta » Mon May 29, 2017 4:37 pm

Hello everyone! I hope you can give me some advice about planning a backup permit for Aug.

I have a permit booked for Ediza/TI Lakes July 9th for a 2 night, 3-day backpack and had planned to drive up to Yosemite post-trip for some sightseeing. Given that Tioga Road will probably (?) be closed then, I am considering getting backup permits for mid-August. I was really excited about the Lake Ediza trip because the scenery looks stunning and it had all the things I was looking for in my first Sierras Trip: lakes and peaks. Can anyone recommend a good alternate in August that would have similar sights (camping at a lake with a peak in view sounds dreamy)?

Here are my stats:
– I'm from AZ so haven't done a lot of high-elevation hikes. I've summited Humphrey's (over 12k ft) with no problem but backpacked an 11k ft peak where I did get altitude sickness
– Coming from the desert, I have pretty much no experience crossing big flowing creeks and I would like to avoid that if possible (bridges and logs are ok). Same goes for snow backpacking. :paranoid:
– I've done maybe 16 backpacking trips but all have been on-trail. Most have been in AZ. One was in Oregon's Jefferson Park.
– Mileage: I've done up to 13 in a day but I don't mind a more leisurely pace. I usually like to do a short mileage exit day if possible.

I hope I gave you enough info.

I did look at a few of the recent post asking about backpacking trips and got a few ideas from there but wasn't sure if those options were good replacements for Lake Ediza/TI. I did find Fern Lake to Ashley Lake but was concerned about creek crossings especially with the amount of snow this year. Sabrina Lake? Hilton Lakes looks nice but the bear warning is a little concerning — is it a big problem there particularly?

Anyway, thank you so much for any feedback!!








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balzaccom
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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by balzaccom » Tue May 30, 2017 7:58 am

I don't recall any creek crossings on the way to Ediza... I think there are at least logs for your convenience.

Right now Yosemite is estimating that Tioga Road might be open by July 4 weekend, and that is over 9500 feet. Ediza will have some snow, but if it were me, I would go ahead with that trip. You can always camp at a lower elevation on the way to Ediza. The whole area is quite lovely.

In August just about everywhere below 10,000 feet should be open in the Sierra. Yes, there will be snow, but it won't be impassible or impossible, and most of the trails can be followed thanks to intrepid hikers who have left their footprints to follow.

Of course the high passes will still be snowy--but you don't cross any of these to Ediza, for example. Other spots with great views and lakes would include Thousand Island Lake or Garnet Lake in that same area, Young Lakes or Cathedral Lakes in Yosemite, Little Lakes Valley, etc. Lots of choices.
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hanmarta
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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by hanmarta » Tue May 30, 2017 12:00 pm

balzaccom wrote:In August just about everywhere below 10,000 feet should be open in the Sierra. Yes, there will be snow, but it won't be impassible or impossible, and most of the trails can be followed thanks to intrepid hikers who have left their footprints to follow.

Of course the high passes will still be snowy--but you don't cross any of these to Ediza, for example. Other spots with great views and lakes would include Thousand Island Lake or Garnet Lake in that same area, Young Lakes or Cathedral Lakes in Yosemite, Little Lakes Valley, etc. Lots of choices.
Thanks balzaccom for the great info.
YES, the choices are overwhelming!! Even with a lot of the permits snagged up. For August I would have just planned Lake Ediza again but for the permits. I am hoping to go with a slightly larger group, 6 total, so a walkup permit wasn't really in the cards.

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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by Ballpeen » Tue May 30, 2017 12:50 pm

Sabrina basin is a very solid choice. I've also been to Hilton Lakes, and while they are nice once you get there, I didn't find the trail in very interesting.

Pine creek trailhead may also have availability. Its a steep trail but Granite Park is beautiful.

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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by maverick » Tue May 30, 2017 1:22 pm

Hi Hanmarta,

Welcome to HST!

I too would highly recommend staying with you originally planned trip, even if you push it back into Aug, but be prepared for the mosquitoes. The views of Ediza, are some of the best in all the Sierra. :nod: : viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15386
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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by waninggibbous » Tue May 30, 2017 3:53 pm

Hi Hanmarta!

I have the same trip planned for July 5th and my experience level is very similar to yours, AND I too am from AZ! I actually just climbed Humphreys last weekend to get a little snow experience (lost trail about 7 times and wished for desperately for spikes or crampons!). My worries for the TI/Ediza loop are more centered around the opening of Minaret Vista Rd/Postpile Rd. I haven't been able to find any updates except that the Inyo website estimates a 7/15 opening. Have you heard anything different? I planned to start at Agnew Meadows TH. Anyone else have any predictions?

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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by hanmarta » Tue May 30, 2017 5:03 pm

waninggibbous wrote:I have the same trip planned for July 5th and my experience level is very similar to yours, AND I too am from AZ!
I saw your earlier post! The feedback you got was definitely helpful to me in researching a plan B. I agree, not really knowing the area and conditions it's so hard to plan. That's why I was thinking it might be easier to just push the whole trip back to a warmer date.

I have not heard anything about Minaret Vista Rd/Postpile Rd. closures but I did see how much snow was still up there and the Tioga Road delayed opening gave me enough pause to seriously consider a plan B. I wish I had checked sooner like you did so more permits would be available! But I am sure I will find something good.

Snow hiking Humphreys, that is really impressive! Even without snow it gets a little tricky finding the path at the top. I did it last summer and was hoping to go again in a couple of weeks — hopefully the snow will have melted by then!

I hope you find a good alternate. :)

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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by waninggibbous » Wed May 31, 2017 7:25 am

We have a mid-July trip planned from Tuolumne Meadows and I'm not too worried about Tioga Rd at this point as most have said it's probable that it will be open by early July. Will probably just scrap the Minarets trip until next year if the road isn't clear. If you have the ability to do something in August, you have more options than I do. Good luck and have fun!

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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by Pietro257 » Wed May 31, 2017 11:33 am

If you go to Lake Ediza in early July, be prepared to be ravaged by mosquitoes. The wetter the Sierra is, the more mosquitoes there are. The big hatch that usually occurs in June will occur in July this year due to the historic winter snows.

One other thing about Ediza: The Forest Service instructs everyone not to camp on the south side of the lake, but I have never been to Ediza without seeing campers there. To get to the north side of Ediza where camping is allowed, you have to walk around the south and west sides -- in other words, walk around most of the lake. In normal years you can cross the outlet stream and go directly to the north side, but this year the outlet stream will be too high, especially in July.

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Re: Early Aug alternate to Ediza trip in July?

Post by maverick » Wed May 31, 2017 11:54 am

The Forest Service instructs everyone not to camp on the south side of the lake, but I have never been to Ediza without seeing campers there.
This is very true. :(
Illegally camping to close to the lake is another big issue on the southern end, sometime right on the trail, really. :\ The last time I made enough noise about it that they did moved their campsites. :nod:

We all need to speak up, diplomatically if possible, to stop these violations in the future, the wilderness does belong to all of us!
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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