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Chris Chung
(BPMonkey) - M

Locale: Los Angeles
Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/21/2010 17:14:42 MDT Print View

My girlfriend wants to try backpacking for the first time. I've only done 5-7 nighters myself so I am not aware of good short ones. I am located in So Cal and have 4 days to work with.
I'm looking for a place to do an easy trail, 2-3 nights out, up to about 5-6 miles a day in an area that isn't too hot for this time of the year.
I would appreciate any suggestions.

Edited by BPMonkey on 08/21/2010 17:16:29 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/21/2010 17:23:44 MDT Print View

Altitude seems like the way to go here. I only know the PCT up there, but I'd probably hop on the PCT just southeast of Big Bear and walk south. There's a guy in Big Bear with a Unimog that gives hikers rides to and from the trail. There are saddles and campgrounds you could camp in, and you might even be able to hitch a ride from those campgrounds if y'all want to bail early. I think I still have his number if you want it. If you start at the right place you're pretty much guaranteed to see at least one bear.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/21/2010 17:45:22 MDT Print View

"If you start at the right place you're pretty much guaranteed to see at least one bear."

For many beginners, that is a show-stopper right there.

--B.G.--

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/21/2010 17:56:57 MDT Print View

Naw, this bear is cool. A live Grizzly. Might be some lions too, but I didn't see any when I went by.


Okay, I'll stop holding out.
http://www.predatorsinaction.com/

Their facility is right next to the trail. I heard they have fewer animals right now because a bear attacked and killed its handler which of course led to financial troubles.

Edited by leaftye on 08/21/2010 18:01:26 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/21/2010 19:46:56 MDT Print View

How about the place they used in the Gossamer Gear "Lighten Up" video? It was somewhere in Socal, and you rode a tram up.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/21/2010 20:56:47 MDT Print View

How about the place they used in the Gossamer Gear "Lighten Up" video?

That would be Mount San Jacinto State Park and/or perhaps the adjoining wilderness.

I've not been there but the owner of a local independent gear shop gives a talk "Ten world class hikes on the PCT" and San Jacinto is one of the ten. Sounds like a winner.

Edited by jcolten on 08/21/2010 20:57:46 MDT.

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
definitely do san jacinto on 08/22/2010 02:44:56 MDT Print View

San Jacinto is a great hike. It's high so not too hot and the tram ride gets you off to an impressive start. Great for introducing newbies to a cool experience.

Here's another link

Edited by theronr on 08/22/2010 02:46:19 MDT.

Chris Chung
(BPMonkey) - M

Locale: Los Angeles
Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/23/2010 15:54:04 MDT Print View

Thank you all for your suggestions.
San Jacinto looks like an excellent choice.
I am also considering Cottonwood Lakes & Long Lake near Lone Pine or going to Charlotte Lake/Bullfrog lake via Kearsarge Pass from Onion Valley.
Anyone have experience with these trips?
Think either one of these might be difficult for a beginner?

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/23/2010 16:00:34 MDT Print View

Going over Kearsarge Pass from Onion Valley is a little rough on beginners, mostly due to the altitude.

The East Side has a lot of trailheads that begin high, and then go steadily or steeply upward.

Beginners might handle it OK if they started high and then hiked flat, or if they started lower and hiked gradually uphill.

Rock Creek? The trails there are more moderate.

--B.G.--

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/23/2010 22:01:14 MDT Print View

Dinkey Lakes come to mind. Easy trails, lakes to swim in, not too bad of a drive from Socal, enough altitude to be cooler but not too high (around 8-9,000 feet mostly).

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Backpacking trip recommendation to take beginners on 08/23/2010 22:33:56 MDT Print View

San Gorgonio from Quaking Aspen trailhead.

Edward Zwibel
(YetiEddie) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
Good Beginner Hike on 09/07/2010 16:54:40 MDT Print View

+1 for San Jacinto via the tram.

Just took my 7 and 8 year old up there for a 3 day first trip. They did 16 miles, bagged the peak and loved it. Well marked trails, alpine scenery, a tram, available rangers should the end of the world hit and views aplenty.