New to the Sierra

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SuKi
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New to the Sierra

Post by SuKi » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:03 pm

Hi guys,

I'm fairly new to California and am looking for some destination advice for the upcoming summer. I know, it's a long way off, but I'm currently on a deployment, and well, I've got to occupy my time somehow, and planning a summer full of adventure seems like just the ticket.

I'm an avid day hiker, routinely 20+ miles, in all seasons and weather. I almost always hike with my dog, Lily, a 70 LB Plott hound who handles mountains better than me. She loves car camping, hiking, beaches, water, and outdoors. I'm fairly new to backpacking, just one four day trip in the Spanish Sierra Nevada up to MulHacen. That is also about the only experience I have at altitude, a modest 11,500 ft. I don't know that a plethora of weekend one night camping trips out of a backpack really counts as backpacking.

I can navigate fairly well, and enjoy off trail hiking. I will most likely only have one summer in the area, so I plan to make the most of it in terms of time spent in the mountains. I plan on at least a long weekend a month, two or three 5 or six day treks, and one three week trek (hopefully starting at Whitney Portal or possibly Independence, and traveling the boundary of Kings Canyon NP until meeting up with the JMT, and exiting at June Lake bypassing Yosemite. Not really a need to take 20 days, but I plan on lots of layovers and side treks to really enjoy my time at a leisurely pace).

Any suggestions on areas with spectacular big mountain views, beautiful grassy meadows beside amazing lakes, or just a favorite little gem that you love, I would really appreciate some input. Or if there is a long, dog friendly trek, (is Kings Canyon tolerant of dogs?). As I implied, I've not been in the High Sierra yet, but will have quite a bit of time to explore this summer and put some new found photography skills to the test.

I appreciate the input guys,
SuKi








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rlown
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Re: New to the Sierra

Post by rlown » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:45 pm

I'm taking my yellow lab Simba out of North lake to Humphreys basin and then over to French basin in late June '19. He hasn't been backpacking before, so this will be an "experiment." John Muir wilderness is a good first start for him to see what he does. He has a quilt, a closed cell foam pad, a check leash, a pack and a training collar in case we get into trouble. Dog food needs to be in the bear can, so that starts to become problematic, weight-wise.

John Muir Wilderness rules: https://www.sierrawild.gov/wilderness/john-muir/

NPS doesn't allow dogs, so keep that in mind with the planning.

Also consider an inside tent restraint as the Plott hound (and yellow labs) hear and smell things very well. I did another tent test with Simba last night, and I didn't zip up the netting. He heard something and bolted right under the rain fly :) I got his leash, zipped up the netting and the fly, and he was ok, but I had to hold the leash.

Harlen will probably add and if you look at his dog experience with Bear, (search for his stories) It would help you.

Desolation wilderness is pet friendly as well.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado ... ev7_019062

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SuKi
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Re: New to the Sierra

Post by SuKi » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:47 pm

Lily is alright with the tent, but like Simba, she needs to have the interior zipped up. Lily also has a dedicated quilt, although no pad. She may get a closed cell lightweight, something that I can add to the outside of her pack. I saw Harlens latest "Bear Basin" TR and thouroughly enjoyed it. I am trying to get a handle on utilizing the search function efficiently on here.

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c9h13no3
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Re: New to the Sierra

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:56 pm

If you're planning trips now, these are the dog friendly places that would require reserving permits ahead of time. Obviously if you're willing to enter on days other than Friday or Saturday, it's easier.

- Whitney Zone
- North Fork Big Pine Creek
- Kearsarge Pass
- Desolation Wilderness to Lake Aloha areas
- Mosquito Flat trailhead
- Shadow Creek, High Trail, Minaret Lake, and maybe Duck Pass in the Mammoth Lakes area
- JMT out of Devil's Postpile
- Bishop Pass, South Lake
- Cottonwood Lakes

So as they say in the military, hurry up and wait (for summer).

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balzaccom
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Re: New to the Sierra

Post by balzaccom » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:49 pm

The other option would be to look at places like the Hoover Wilderness, where dogs are allowed (on leash) and where permits are easy to get (no trail quotas in many areas.) Lots of great places to explore there--just about every trailhead between the June Lake Loop and Monitor Pass has a nice hike...

You can see a lot of those hikes on our website, if you check out the link in my signature line
Balzaccom

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: New to the Sierra

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:26 pm

I am confused. How do you travel the "boundary" of Kings Canyon NP from Whitney Portal? Once over Trail Crest you enter the park. That "boundary" is a ragged 5th class mountaineering ridge.


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c9h13no3
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Re: New to the Sierra

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:20 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:26 pm
I am confused. How do you travel the "boundary" of Kings Canyon NP from Whitney Portal? Once over Trail Crest you enter the park. That "boundary" is a ragged 5th class mountaineering ridge.
The thread title is "New to the Sierra"... and maybe his dog can send 5.easy solo?

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levi
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Re: New to the Sierra

Post by levi » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:54 pm

SuKi wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:03 pm
(hopefully starting at Whitney Portal or possibly Independence, and traveling the boundary of Kings Canyon NP until meeting up with the JMT, and exiting at June Lake bypassing Yosemite. Not really a need to take 20 days, but I plan on lots of layovers and side treks to really enjoy my time at a leisurely pace)
I think you mean: starting at Onion Valley (Independence) or Whitney Portal, traveling OVER the boundary of Kings Canyon NP until meeting up with the JMT, then taking the JMT north until you can exit around June Lake. (Obviously "traveling the [eastern] boundary of Kings Canyon NP" is unreasonable since it follows a class 5 alpine ridge, as WanderingDaisy explained).

If my assumption about this plan is correct, you should reconsider where you enter to avoid Sequoia/Kings Canyon NPs, because dogs are not allowed in National Parks. Instead, you could enter at North Lake (near Bishop), hike over Piute Pass to meet up with the JMT, and hike up the JMT to Gem Lake/June Lake for your exit. This route would be 90 miles of the JMT, all in national forest wildernesses where dogs are allowed, and still enable you to hike part of the route you were considering.

If my assumption is incorrect and you DO want to traverse one of the highest alpine ridges in the continental US, well, you are not only superhuman but you have a super dog :)

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SuKi
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Re: New to the Sierra

Post by SuKi » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:59 pm

Well Wandering Daisy and Levi, that was the plan to do just that, travel the eastern boundary of Kings Canyon. Emphasis on "was" :derp: . As i said, and as c9h13no3 mentioned, i know very little about this area and am in the planning stages, hence this thread. I do appreciate the heads up. Sekihiker thanks for the condensed list of trip reports with dogs, super helpful. And c9h13no3, the hurry up and wait always sucks, but at least it gives time to plan for a safe and successful trip. I do appreciate the feedback from everyone.


SuKi

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