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Sierra Trainheads without Quotas
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Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Have Suggestions for Sierra Trainheads without Quotas? on 08/07/2013 16:28:16 MDT Print View

I am taking a large group of folks (mostly new / inexperienced backpackers) out the weekend after labor day. I am looking for a trailhead in the sierras which doesn't have a quota. In the past I have used Saddlebag Lake just the other side of Tioga Pass, but some of the people on this trip have been there before so I would like to take them somewhere new if I can. Ideally the destination will have:

no quota trailhead
have some classic sierra scenery... big views, rugged exposed granite, etc
less than 5 hours drive from palo alto
route that's 10-20 miles with say less that 2k elevation gain
a lake / stream with a fair amount of camping space around the half way point
car camping near the trailhead



Edited by verber on 08/07/2013 16:35:30 MDT.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Emigrant Wilderness on 08/07/2013 17:51:44 MDT Print View


You might want to consider Emigrant Wilderness.

1) It doesn't have a trail head quota
2) It is roughly 4 hours from Palo Alto
3) You can create loops - for example out of Crabtree TH - that are in the range of 10 to 20 miles. For example: Crabtree TH - Camp Lake - Piute Lake - Gem Lake - Groundhog Meadow - Grouse Lake - Crabtree TH would be around 18 miles. Having views, granite and only 2K of climb is hard. This loop would have around 3.5K of climb.
4) Gem Lake would be the halfway point of the 18 miles loop and offers a fair amount of camping spots
5) The Crabtree Camp trailhead offers restrooms and allows you to camp the night before/after you hike.

Have fun out there!


Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
I'll second Emigrant on 08/07/2013 17:58:28 MDT Print View

Hiked up there last weekend. Absolutely beautiful.

We left from Aspen Meadow and the owners of the horse place there sell cold drinks and will let you use a shower for a couple bucks, which makes the ride home a lot more pleasant.

Stop by Andy's Mountain Grill in Mi-Wuk Village on your way home. Killer burgers.