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Sierra Memorial Day Weekend Suggestions
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Michael Bohlander
(piser) - F
Sierra Memorial Day Weekend Suggestions on 03/22/2010 14:17:37 MDT Print View

I'm new to California and would love to hear ideas for a moderate 2 night backpacking trip in late May. Last summer I did trips to Lake Ediza, 20 Lakes Basin, and Little Lakes Valley, but they were much later in summer so all the snow had melted.

Any ideas for something similar scenery-wise that has a good chance of being accessible at the end of May? Kearsarge Pass looks promising, but I'm having trouble finding info on how average snow amounts there at the end of May.


Edited by piser on 03/22/2010 14:30:02 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Sierra Memorial Day Weekend Suggestions on 03/23/2010 18:49:10 MDT Print View

One, the roads leading into the Sierra's will still be closed. Two, there is alot of snow and it won't melt until very late June, or early July.

I would look at hikes at or around 5000 feet in the central Sierra's or possibly something like Golden Trout Wilderness or something south like that. We had a pretty good snow year and it will take time to melt

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Sierra Memorial Day Weekend Suggestions on 03/23/2010 18:50:18 MDT Print View

all the areas that you mentioned that you have visited are beautiful areas that I have visited many times. Kearsarge might not be doable in lat May

Robert Richey
(BobR) - M

Locale: San Luis Obispo
late may trip on 04/04/2010 13:08:03 MDT Print View

One trip that I often take around memorial day is Yosemite Valley to Merced Lake (elev. 7200). You can dayhike up to Washburn or towards Vogelsang from Merced as conditions allow. On regular snowpack years you can go back the high route, but it will require route finding this year going down Sunrise Creek. Around Echo Valley things will be flooded. Water may be knee high in some places, but who cares? Take some water shoes. I have some pics on Community Webshots of a trip I took in 2005 in which there was more snow than this year, I think:

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
weekend suggestions on 04/04/2010 13:27:40 MDT Print View

Ditto everything Robert said. I've done this hike every spring for umpteen years. Try to take an extra day and hike up towards Vogelsang; any snow is entirely non-technical but the waterfalls and views of the Clark range make this a must-do. Also, try to take the high route back; yes it takes route-finding in snow but right where it gets tricky just remember that you're making a bee-line towards half-dome and you'll be alright. Finally, I bet that there won't be any real snow issues at the end of May, even this year. There's a lot of sun-exposure on this trail, and the high route is south facing.

Michael Bohlander
(piser) - F
Thanks! on 04/08/2010 10:27:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for the ideas -- really appreciate the help.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Hetch Hetchy on 04/08/2010 11:31:25 MDT Print View

There are a couple of routes out of Hetch Hetchy. You could very likely get into Jack Main Canyon, though it could be a little tricky getting off of Moraine Ridge into the Canyon, the trail becomes a small stream.

Another Hetch option is Tiltill Valley which is very nice. It will be completely snow free by your trip.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Sierra Memorial Day Weekend Suggestions on 04/08/2010 14:47:03 MDT Print View

Hetch Hetchy is a good option. Though if you head to Vernal Lake or up to Jack Main Canyon at that time of the year, the water levels for crossings will be quite difficult as well as alot of snow. Not to sound like Debbie Downer here, but Hwy 120 will not open until mid-June at best and Mike is asking about hiking in May. Mike I would do Hetch Hetchy or the southern Sierra's south of Whitney for some fun.

Jason L
(Jason_Loose_Arrow) - F

Locale: Yosemite
two night trip at the end of May. on 04/12/2010 01:19:37 MDT Print View

I think the Tiltil Valley and Merced Lake trips are good for the end of May. Also, the North rim of Yosemite Valley is great. Depending on your speed, you will have a relatively moderate route if you enter at Gin Flat, or Tamarak Flat campground and exit either at the Yosemite Falls trail or Snow Creek trail. you can shoot me a message if you want to leave your car in the Valley and would like to be dropped off. Calling the YNP Wilderness Center near the middle of May will give you a better indication of the trail conditions, if you're coming to Yosemite.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: two night trip at the end of May. on 04/12/2010 01:50:17 MDT Print View

At the end of May, I don't believe that you can count on the Tioga Road being open. Even if it is open, you can't count on the access road to Tamarack Flat being open. I've seen the access road closed as late as July 1 before.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: two night trip at the end of May. on 04/12/2010 08:41:54 MDT Print View

Bob is right....this is a HIGH snow year. Most trails will be covered in snow until mid June. Of course lower elevations might be different. That would be 5-6000 feet.

Jack Main Canyon will not happen on that weekend unless you have snowshoes. Tiltill should be doable, but it will be wet, and at times snowcovered post holing event. Oh that and mosquitos