Thanks for the tips guys, ended up heading to Hetchy Hetchy on Friday night, got up to Groveland or so and carcamped off a forest road near Hardin Flat. Got up the next morning and headed to the HH ranger station. Ranger said Rancheria Falls was packed, I asked about Lake Vernon, snowed out. She suggested we hike up to Miguel Meadows/Gravel Pit Lake.
We got our permit, our massive bear can, and hit the trail. About .5 of a mile from the trailhead AKA the dam, we left the crowds behind and headed up about 4 miles of switchbacks then 3 or so easy miles to Gravel Pit lake. Still a bit of snow on the ground but pleasant temps during the day, got down to around ~40 or so at night. We only ran into 2 other dayhikers the entire trip. Just the way we like it :)
Pulled the camera out when we first got started crossing the dam, dead battery :( So sorry no pics.
The switchbacks were not too bad and once you cross over to the opposite side of the mountain the scenery changes into gorgeous pines, redwoods, and lovely sierra wilderness. The wildflowers are also blooming all over the place.
Get out there!