People Place or fish?
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Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
People Place or fish? on 11/01/2011 16:14:08 MDT Print View

Ok—quick and simple question. When it comes to backcountry destinations, do you aim for the most beautiful spot on the planet, even though there may be a few other groups camped around the edges? Or would you prefer someplace ever so slightly less scenic—but without another camper within five miles?

Or does it even matter, if the fish are biting?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: People Place or fish? on 11/01/2011 16:17:58 MDT Print View

"When it comes to backcountry destinations, do you aim for the most beautiful spot on the planet, even though there may be a few other groups camped around the edges? Or would you prefer someplace ever so slightly less scenic—but without another camper within five miles?"

You can have both if you do a little research, can interpret maps well, and are adept at off trail hiking/navigation.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Less people on 11/01/2011 16:36:21 MDT Print View

Less people, says the introvert!

Although truly, my preference is to go with good friends to a beautiful unpopulated place with great fishing potential! Friends are great - it's just all those other folk that are such a pain!!! ;)

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
People, Place or Fish? on 11/01/2011 18:09:07 MDT Print View

Interesting question... for me, I guess the answer is a matter of perspective.

I mostly avoid the high profile, popular (and yet really beautiful) hiking areas in CA (like the Sierra Nevada in summer) or most National Parks during their busy seasons.

I instead visit lesser-visited (and less restricted/policed) National Forests to avoid the crowds, permit hassles, restrictions on camping areas, etc. Or if I do visit the popular areas, I tend to go out of "season" like late fall trips into the Sierra. The funny thing is, I've really come to love my local National Forest backcountry and in most cases, have begun to think of it as being amongst the most beautiful places I'd like to spend my limited time.

Are the cliffs, peaks, rivers, etc. as dramatic as those contained within our National Park system? No, not typically, but there's something about it being local, and developing a long term sense of place or connection to it, that I find compelling. It's far more of an attraction to me than hiking any trail in Yosemite.

I go backpacking largely to get away from the crowds, distractions, noise, and business of City life. Escaping into these less crowded, and arguably more wild spaces is more in line with that philosophy.

Justin Reigle
(jreigle) - F - M

Locale: SF Bay area
Re: People, Place or Fish? on 11/01/2011 18:14:52 MDT Print View

Nicholas, well said... I feel largely the same.

I am often lucky enough to enjoy all 3 simultaneously.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Great question on 11/01/2011 19:51:37 MDT Print View

Paul,

I often plan backpack trips around angling opportunities, but if pressed I'd say solitude is my goal. Since trout live in beautiful places, I normally needn't worry about the third criterion. Even if not the most beautiful place on the planet, most of my backcountry fishing holes are pretty enough.

Richard

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Beauty on 11/02/2011 12:09:56 MDT Print View

Hmmmm. I mostly hike in the Sierra. I find it shocking that many (most?) of the *most* beautiful places are very little known! - and/or are a bit hard to reach. So you get beauty and solitude together - no compromise on either one!

Whereas, some of the very most crowded backpacking areas (Yosemite?) are, IMO, not even close to the most scenic. It's just that people go for the "big name" parks. They think, It's In Yosemite, It Must Be the Prettiest and The Most Desirable for Backpacking.

I'm glad they stick to Yosemite...leaving some relative solitude for the rest of us in the more eye-popping locations of the High Sierra.

Another tactic to ditch the crowds is to go off-trail. That certainly does not require giving up any scenery. In fact, many of the off-trail routes are higher up into the true alpine areas. On average, those high alpine areas are prettier than your typical trail.

Still, there are a handful of "Must See" places that are also extremely crowded. The Ritter Range, or the Rae Lakes loop, are good examples. Those are good ones to save for September.

- Elizabeth

Bob Salcedo
(Baughb) - F

Locale: So Cal.
Good fishing... on 11/02/2011 12:21:08 MDT Print View

Although rarely guarentee-able, fishing, pretty, away from people. Of course, less people make/keep the place pretty, make/keep the fishing better regardless of the size of the fish so... yes.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: People Place or fish? on 11/02/2011 12:45:13 MDT Print View

"You can have both if you do a little research, can interpret maps well, and are adept at off trail hiking/navigation."

+1

Brian Connely
(Skunk) - F

Locale: The marrow of the World
Adding post to: "People Place or fish?" on 01/30/2012 16:01:42 MST Print View

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we're lucky......we live on the most beautiful planet in the galaxy (I think?). Personally, the fewer people I see, the better the trip. Although that is quite easy to do in Wyoming.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: People Place or fish? on 01/30/2012 17:45:32 MST Print View

If I'm fishing, I'm FISHING. One day on the Kenai River in a boat with a 5-foot diameter net and I've got my 35 sockeye salmon. Two days on the salt water with kids along (limit = 2/person) and hopefully I've got 8-12 halibut in the freeze. Then I'm set for red meat and white meat for the year. I used to "play with my food" but now I go lighter and quicker on backpacking trips.

The best people/scenery decision we ever made was in Banff. There was a highly recommended loop with views of five glaciers, great lakes, and as a loop you didn't need to shuttle or double back, but it was a very popular route. When we got to the backcountry office, there was a sign that 3 grizzlies had been frequenting that area. Therefore, we went there knowing few people would go. We saw maybe one other a party a day and had campgrounds all to ourselves. We made a lot of noise and saw all three bears - all heading the other direction.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: People Place or fish? on 01/30/2012 18:48:05 MST Print View

prefer someplace ever so slightly less scenic—but without another camper within five miles?

Yes, just increase the radius more.

However, Tom nailed it with "You can have both if you do a little research, can interpret maps well, and are adept at off trail hiking/navigation."

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"People Place or fish?" on 01/30/2012 20:11:09 MST Print View

No people.

I suppose that I don't know what I'm missing with more "scenic" locations, but not really sure that I care. There is enough wilderness for me to explore within the 3.3 Million acres that make up the nearby Gila National Forest to last a lifetime.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
People Place , Fish or Miles on the Trail? on 01/30/2012 20:41:04 MST Print View

I am introverted by nature but I do prefer to go with my friends on backpacking trips. I usually get in one solo trip a season by choice and get in the ZONE. As to people or fish every trip is different for me. Sometimes it is about being social and fishing and sometimes it is all about the miles. Peolple,Fish or Miles?

Todd Taylor
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: People Place or fish? on 01/30/2012 20:44:57 MST Print View

I'm usually a less-people person, but will switch to tolerance mode for a special place from time to time. I don't fish when I hike.