1-2 Night Sierra Trip Help

Ben Miller

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2018
Messages
6
Hi Everyone,

Need some help. Recently moved to CA (LA-area) and am looking to for a 1-2 night trip in the Sierras. Aiming for early June (8-12th ish).

Me: Experienced backcountry light/ultralight. Know the Winds/WY/MT/ID well, and have done off-trail backcountry in the Wrangells (can check my post history on that). I'll be carry most of our gear, etc.

My Partner: Day hiker but has never backpacked before. Can do 10-15 miles with 2000ish elev. gain without a pack. She'll have a pack for this trip, but I'll be carrying most of our weight.

As you can guess, this is my "I hope you like backpacking as much as I do" trip. I want to show her big granite and cold lakes. I'm just not knowledgeable about the Sierras. Not sure what's snowed in, and what would be a good short trip for us.

Any suggestions?
 

fossana

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
660
She's unlikely going to have fun driving from LA as a first time backpacker and doing 15 miles at altitude, so I've noted hikes where you don't have to go far for incredible views and that have higher elevation trailheads (and less gain). Your best bets are Little Lakes Valley (toward Morgan Pass), Bishop Pass (however far you want, potentially into Dusy Basin), Sabrina Lake (Sabrina Basin), and Saddlebag Lake (20 Lakes Basin). There's likely to be more snow the further you go north. Saddlebag Lake is still closed, for example.

You'll need also need a backcountry permit: https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233262/registration/detailed-availability. Some areas also require bear canisters.

Also, it's Sierra.
 

Janice

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.
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
734
I have no suggestions for hikes, but if possible I recommend doing at least a few training hikes with some weight in her pack. Even though you'll be carrying a lot of the load, it can still be helpful for her to have a feel for the pack and know if there's any discomfort that can be addressed ahead of time, either with shoulders/hips or feet in boots that aren't used to having extra weight pushing on them.
 

wsp_scott

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.
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
1,021
I'd aim for Cottonwood Lakes if you can get a permit. I don't know if the gate will be open that early or if you'd have to walk the road for a bit.
It looks like the lakes are ice free https://apps.sentinel-hub.com/senti...1-11-01|2022-05-29&atmFilter=&showDates=false

Another possibility is Matlock Lake out of Onion Valley. You could camp at Matlock Lake and have fun poking around or you could dayhike to the top of Kearsarge Pass and maybe down to Kearsarge Lakes if you are feeling strong.

Looks like permits are available for both Cottonwood Lakes and Kearsarge Pass for your time frame.

I haven't been to any of @fossana recommendations, but they are all classic locations in the Sierra.
 
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