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Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Rancheria Falls Trip in April on 01/20/2009 17:40:24 MST Print View

Ok good folks of the Bay Area and beyond. Since we are having a great turnout for Point Reyes on January 24th, I thought that I would put this into your brains to think about prior to our trip, and then discuss this weekend.


What about a Rancheria Falls overnighter in April? The hike is a little over 7 miles each way, it is below snow line and usually the falls are starting their magic into Hetch Hetchy. There are plenty of spots to camp at in Rancheria Falls and the last time I checked there was no quota on this trail. Even better, those that would like to come up the Friday afternoon before could camp at the trailhead. Those campgrounds are always empty and could provide ample space for a group of hikers. Thinkin out loud here folks. Discuss.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Rancheria Falls Trip in April on 01/20/2009 18:04:40 MST Print View

Shamelessly pawning off my photos here.

If anyone is interested in seeing what the area looks like, please see the following link.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=16066

The early shots shows the backpacker's overnight campsites, which I think are something like $5 per person.

Also, there is a view of the dam, which is the trail head for getting the Rancheria.

If I have the time off and the wife gives me the holy okay, I would be willing to go.

Ken...thanks for starting a bit of a movement to round up our fellow BPLer's to enjoy these trips.

-Tony

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Rancheria Falls Trip in April on 01/20/2009 18:15:54 MST Print View

No problem Tony. That is exactly what I am trying to do. Hopefully I can trick most of you into a week long trip in SEKI this summer.............

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Rancheria Falls Trip in April on 01/25/2009 18:10:05 MST Print View

Here are some photos of the area that we would be going to:

Photos are from Aug 2005 & Early May 2006 (These are of the raging waters)

1st Family Backpacking Trip

View Along the Edge

Misty Bridge

Rush of Water

Campsite Rancheria

River Under the Bridge

The Long View

Jeff on a Rock

Edited by Valshar on 01/25/2009 18:20:30 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Rancheria Falls Trip in April on 01/27/2009 16:17:58 MST Print View

Folks what about the third weekend of March or the third weekend of April? Just thikin out loud. For those that are interested, please put your 2 cents in. I am open to either weekends. I would however, like to guage interest on this hike. I am going regardless, but would love as many as my new hiking friends to come along as well

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
rancheria - one vote for march or ... on 01/27/2009 19:03:24 MST Print View

just peeked at my weekend job schedule & 3rd weekend march i'm okay but 3rd weekend april looks like i have a job to do.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
March on 01/29/2009 16:33:19 MST Print View

3rd week in March works for me.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Rancheria in April on 01/30/2009 19:37:19 MST Print View

I'd like to suggest April on the theory that Spring should be further along, perhaps spring vegetation also further along, etc. Must it be the third week? Fine by me, but I note that Cary cannot make the third week. How about the fourth weekend, or the second weekend?

My other reason is that April would leave time to take a nice Feb or March backpack somewhere around the Bay Area -- perhaps try to choose a trip with good wildflowers. Rather than introduce noise into this thread, I'll start a separate thread for that. I presume we would be talking about more or less the same collection of people, though.

Ken -- you said "Henry Coe??? Ohhh no. Man that place can get hot and those trails are sooo up and down."

My answer is "Not with proper planning". Temperatures are pretty reasonable in the Spring, and you can remove a lot of the up-and-down by going in from the South entrances, such as Hunting Hollow. See a longer description in the other thread when I post it.

Which reminds me -- what sort of distance and total ascent per day does this group find reasonable? What sort of effort do you see the SEKI trip you mentioned taking, Ken?

-- Bob

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
When, abstractly, IS the best time for the trip? on 01/30/2009 21:49:59 MST Print View

Actually, as I think of it, does anyone know when is the best time to visit Rancheria Falls?

The following makes it sounds as if March is dubious, April OK, and May would be better -- perhaps a mid-May weekend to avoid Memorial Day. I would hope that crowds would not be outrageous pre-Memorial Day.

Does anyone else have better information on the best time for the trip? How flexible are our dates (I know Cary cannot make 3rd weekend in Apr. Perhaps later would be better for him.) Note that Tony's very nice water shots were taken in early May.

I googled for the best time and found this excerpt from Jeffrey Schaffer's book:

Best Time: The road to Hetch Hetchy trailhead can open in April, but if you are after the two waterfalls and the wildflowers, May and June are best. ... The Rancheria Falls camping area is acceptable from May through October, July and August perhaps being the best months, since mosquitoes are gone ...

-- Bob

(http://books.google.com/books?id=caxUGZhJECoC&pg=PA213&lpg=PA213&dq=what+is+the+best+time+to+visit+Rancheria+Falls%3F&source=web&ots=QbEV-mSxZi&sig=YAKsyEvr814mNR6vgAKfKSIEslY&hl=en&ei=fdCDSbGVEZmMsQPyo5B4&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result)

Edited by blean on 01/30/2009 21:57:43 MST.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
rancheria & other stuff on 01/30/2009 22:13:07 MST Print View

if april, 4th is best, 2nd weekend might work as 2nd bet for me, 3rd is out

i'd be willing to go to coe in march instead if we do rancheria in april

i'm thinking about doing something in the sierra foothills in february - not sure yet if i can swing a weekend off though

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Rancheria Falls Trip in April on 01/30/2009 22:56:29 MST Print View

Is there any snow on the ground now? Will the falls be going at all? Headline in our paper today... Worst Drought Ever! Love living in California!

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
falls/snow on 01/30/2009 23:58:39 MST Print View

i'll bet a big box of wine the falls will be going

so, now you are bringing the wine to rancheria then, right ;)

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Schedule? on 02/03/2009 17:21:52 MST Print View

Are we getting anywhere on the schedule for this (Rancheria) trip?

My only concern is that I would like to know the schedule, so I can schedule the Coe trip to be non-conflicting. Not sure how far ahead I have to reserve at Coe -- Spring is its big season.

Also, if anyone else is interested in that trip, please post (in that thread). Current proposal is Kelly Lake 9.4 miles, 2633' ascent in, and 7.5 miles, 1508' ascent out. Suggestions for alternative routes or destinations, still welcome.

-- MV

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Schedule? on 02/03/2009 19:35:44 MST Print View

Anytime in April would work. I do know that a few have other obligations at the end of April so let's try to keep this in early to mid April???


Ken, no snow on the trail. The elevation is 4000 feet and I have been doing this trip for 7 years now in April and the snow is always at around 6-7000 feet.

Bob, April is by and away the best time to do Rancheria Falls. They are going at full force and they are a sight to see. The other upside is that the weather is still mild at this time of the year. Summer time the trail can get to in and around 90 degrees and makes for a miserable day. As I mentioned to Ken, April has no snow on the trail and the falls are great. They do have backopackers campgrounds available at the trailhead and if anyone wished to come up on a Friday, you would have a place to sleep.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Schedule? on 02/03/2009 19:40:08 MST Print View

oh and sorry for not posting anyting on this folks. My computer at home is having problems and I have had to post this on my work laptop. How does the first or second weekend work?

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: Re: Schedule? on 02/03/2009 21:44:05 MST Print View

Either weekend works for me.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
April on 02/04/2009 11:05:11 MST Print View

It sounds like the first 2 weeks in April are the time to go. Less people, more water!

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
April on 02/04/2009 11:36:25 MST Print View

Ken,

Cast my vote in for April, though I am available the 3rd & 4th weekends of April.

I have been there about 3 or 4 times, it is a great and easy trip to make with some good payoffs.

Just keep the fingers crossed for more snow to keep the waters flowing up there.

Tip: Once you roll into the campsite right of the trail, if you hike past the first 4 obvious campsites, go up on to the rocks that are at the back of some of the sites and on top of that are a few spots (3) that offer a great view and give you more morning and evening sunlight.
(See the photo with my daughter in a pink outfit, that is one of the sites I am talking about)

-Tony

Edited by Valshar on 02/04/2009 11:37:27 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: April on 02/04/2009 14:49:04 MST Print View

I think the third weekend of April works for me too. I am with Tony on that.


What is the list so far as to all that would like to go on April 18th?

Oh and I promise to tone down a tad!!!!!

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
3rd week in April on 02/05/2009 11:36:20 MST Print View

count me in.