Hey all, glad to see some interest. I think it would be fun to do this loop with some BPL'ers. I'm going regardless, but the more the merrier.
Some background: I go backpacking every summer for my birthday, which is August 9th. I'm turning 30 this year so I decided to go on a more epic hike in a place I know nothing about - I've never hiked in the Sierra. Last year's birthday trip I did a 4 day hike in the Weminuche Wilderness with a buddy. Year before, solo hike in southern San Juans for 5 days, year before that, did the Long Trail. You get the idea :)
Anyways, my only real goal for the trip is to be IN the mountains on my birthday. A secondary goal is to take pictures, I love back country photography. (my amateur photography site: www.thewildperspective.com)
I envision starting the trail maybe the 5th of August. I originally wanted to do the JMT, but then decided to do something different with less people. The write up referenced a few posts above really got me interested in the big SEKI loop. Looking at my map, there look to be some cool options at the southwest corner of the loop to dip into lower elevations and do some side loops in some redwood/sequoia groves, which I really want to do. The initial plan is to go clockwise. Based on the write-up from Amy, getting a permit should be no problem starting at Road's End.
The one issue I'm grappling with is the bear can. This trip will require packing a lot of food and the logistics of fitting it all in a bear can is something I've never dealt with (cans are not required for Colorado or VT, where I've done a majority of my backpacking.) I'm looking into getting a big bearikade....though I'm not excited to carry it!
Robert, based on the maps and some info I've read, there is ample opportunity for cross country travel.
Looking forward to hearing from ya'll.