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Mineral King Road

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Mineral King Road

Postby hamik » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:22 am

Is the gate closure at the place marked "Cabin Cove" on the map? How often is the road plowed to the gate?
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Re: Mineral King Road

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:36 am

Correct. Certain that they don't plow that road at all, and at least most of the winter you cannot get anywhere near Silver City (which is where your map shows), takes a while for them to let folks go there in the spring.

Try calling the NPS for an idea of exactly how far you can get, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it was closed at the entrance gate which is down at 4000 feet (assuming the gate it). If they close the gate there is really no reason to have it higher than that.
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Re: Mineral King Road

Postby SJD » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:57 am

There are two gates along the road. The one at Camp Conifer (about mile 17) has been there for years. The new gate just below Lookout Point (about mile 10) was added a few years ago. Anyway, it's about a 13 mile trek from the first gate to MK - usually both are locked during the winter months.
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Re: Mineral King Road

Postby Bascuela » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:48 am

SJD wrote:There are two gates along the road. The one at Camp Conifer (about mile 17) has been there for years. The new gate just below Lookout Point (about mile 10) was added a few years ago. Anyway, it's about a 13 mile trek from the first gate to MK - usually both are locked during the winter months.



The second gate was added for a "pot problem" according to a ranger I spoke with. I always wanted to check out the valley in the winter time. However I figured a 26 mile round trip with snow shoes and a pack was just a long haul. Maybe for Xmas I'll get some skis....
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Re: Mineral King Road

Postby goldenhopper » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:36 pm

I've been to mineral king in the dead of winter on big snow years a few times. The best way to do this is to make an extended trip out of it. You can park at Hospital Rock and hike/snowshoe into Redwood Meadow Grove; which is a grueling 16+ miles of ups and downs via the middle fork (Kaweah) trail in usually chunky snow. Redwood meadow is great for a winter base camp. There is an old school wooden outhouse for no dig relief and the covered porch of the ranger station makes for a good spot to set up camp if you get a real winter dumper. If it's not excessively cold there will also be water at a small creek just before you reach the camping area where the outhouse is, but be cautious with this water as it runs right through a horse meadow.

The snowshoe from Redwood Meadow to MK is either a monster day or a very nice two day with a bivy in Mineral King. If snow is deep it's a real slog and there are a few spots near the pass into mineral king that have avy potential. A group of us do this every year though I have missed the last three. I think they are due to go first week of January this year (without me again). We’ve never seen another sole in our collective 7 winter trips up there. It's a good gig.
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