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Most remote areas in Sierra??

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Most remote areas in Sierra??

Postby hellroaring » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:46 pm

A ? for all you Sierra veterans/locals...Just wondering what you would consider the most remote area(s) in the Sierra? The vast majority of my high country romps have taken place in Wyoming/Montana, where it's easy to head to the hills and not see a soul at all.

I did a section of the Sierra High Route and bumped into people everyday, even in the Bear Lakes Basin which Steve Roper claims is the most remote area in the Sierra. Looking at maps, the Ionian Basin looks promising (I've been told travel is tough back up in there).

I'm not expecting anyone to give up their "secret spot". I'm not afraid to sweat or get into a talus hopping frame of mind either. I know that the Sierra gets hammered...I'm just curious...thanks...
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:55 pm

I'm not a long time Sierra veteran, but I would expect the southern Sierra area with either the Golden Trout Wilderness or the Southern Sierra Wilderness to be pretty lonely. That area has few peaks, or few high peak, no roads, is far from trail heads, and I think water isn't in abundance like it is in the other areas of the Sierra. Isolation is probably hard to find in a popular recreation area in the most populous state in the country. Generally, fire management can give an indication of the visitation of an area, though not always. There was a fire on the Kern Plateau that burned for a while this summer. It was partly because it was ecologically necessary, and partly because hardly anyone would be impacted by it. That is not the case for a lot of the rest of the chain. I know Yosemite had a few, too, but the NPS is different from the FS.
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Postby ksolem » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:25 pm

A trek up the middle fork of the Kings River up under Tehipite Dome, on up Blue Canyon to the North East and up into the headwaters of the North Fork of the Kings would take you through some of the most remote isolated and rarely visited country in the Sierra.

With some kind of car shuttle or drop off you could traverse the range from west to east. As you near the east side you'll start to see a few folks, probably a welcome sight by then...
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Postby hellroaring » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:36 pm

ksolem wrote:A trek up the middle fork of the Kings River up under Tehipite Dome, on up Blue Canyon to the North East and up into the headwaters of the North Fork of the Kings would take you through some of the most remote isolated and rarely visited country in the Sierra.

With some kind of car shuttle or drop off you could traverse the range from west to east. As you near the east side you'll start to see a few folks, probably a welcome sight by then...



Yes, a good friend of mine for quite some time now has suggested this very trip to me. Tehipite Valley sounds like it would be quite spectacular.
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Postby The Chief » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:05 am

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Postby mdougherty » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:54 am

One can occasionally find solitude in unexpected places. I spent a few days in Kings Canyon NP this past Labor Day weekend camping at Frypan Meadow and hiking around from there. I passed one couple on my way up the Lewis Creek Trail and never saw another person until I reached the pavement at the end of the trip.
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Postby Michael Graupe » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:13 pm

Nice photo, Chief. But I would not consider this place very remote. :wink:
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Postby mconnell » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:22 pm

Last time I answered this question, an not-to-be-named SPer threatened me with physical violence for revealing "his area", so this time I'm keeping my mouth shut. (Is that better, dug?)
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Postby JHH60 » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:23 pm

mdougherty wrote:One can occasionally find solitude in unexpected places. I spent a few days in Kings Canyon NP this past Labor Day weekend camping at Frypan Meadow and hiking around from there. I passed one couple on my way up the Lewis Creek Trail and never saw another person until I reached the pavement at the end of the trip.


Ditto, especially if you go in late season. E.g., although the Bishop Pass trail is one of the busiest in the Sierra, on at least two occasions I've camped in Dusy Basin in Sept. or Oct. where I saw nobody else after I crossed Bishop Pass.
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Postby MoabPeakBagger » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:37 pm

Haul your carcass and gear up Goddard Creek or The Enchanted Gorge and see how you're faring after that.

Don't worry Sierra lovers, you know I'm not giving anything away here because anyone desperate enough to slog up those has earned their solitude the hard way: through suffering and penance.

And kudos to everyone else for keeping mum. To the original poster: study the maps, my friend. Remote high country basins exist in the upper reaches of the South and Middle Forks of the King's River, and South Fork of the San Joaquin. Anything truly worth it will probably be a secret easily findable on a 7.5" map.

And as for comparisons to Montana or Wyoming- my experience is that there is NOWHERE in the High Sierra that has the same quality of remoteness that a place like the Wind Rivers or the Absarokas have, for instance. Just too many damn people. Luckily the weather is great and makes up for it. ;)
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Postby Diggler » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:57 pm

As long as you don't need high peaks, the northern Sierra, where they join/turn into the Cascades would likely fit the bill.

As Kris mentioned, the area around Tehipite Dome is relatively infrequently visited as well- on my 2 trips to the Obelisk, I think I saw 1 person beyond the trailhead. Also, after Spring Lake from Mineral King (i.e. cross country route over Hands & Knees/Cyclamen (sp?) Pass), there are few people until you get to Little 5 Lakes/Big Arroyo area, & even there there aren't many.

Also previously stated, it just makes sense that there will be nowhere near the isolation of the Montana or Wyoming mountains in the Sierra- the number of people in CA vs. Wyoming or Montana, coupled with the compact area of the Sierra, means that we've gotta share out resources!
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Postby butitsadryheat » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:58 pm

Here is another good thread on it...

http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=36741&highlight=obscure

(wheew! Had to make sure I was allowed to post that!)
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Postby rhyang » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:03 pm

mconnell wrote:Last time I answered this question, an not-to-be-named SPer threatened me with physical violence for revealing "his area", so this time I'm keeping my mouth shut. (Is that better, dug?)


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby hellroaring » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:57 pm

MoabPeakBagger wrote:Haul your carcass and gear up Goddard Creek or The Enchanted Gorge and see how you're faring after that.

Don't worry Sierra lovers, you know I'm not giving anything away here because anyone desperate enough to slog up those has earned their solitude the hard way: through suffering and penance.

And kudos to everyone else for keeping mum. To the original poster: study the maps, my friend. Remote high country basins exist in the upper reaches of the South and Middle Forks of the King's River, and South Fork of the San Joaquin. Anything truly worth it will probably be a secret easily findable on a 7.5" map.

And as for comparisons to Montana or Wyoming- my experience is that there is NOWHERE in the High Sierra that has the same quality of remoteness that a place like the Wind Rivers or the Absarokas have, for instance. Just too many damn people. Luckily the weather is great and makes up for it. ;)


Oh yeah, you got it right! That's one of my favorite things to do: getting out the maps and researching/dreaming/planning...guess one should be careful when posing this kind of question, because someone might blow it. A tricky issue that requires thought & balance.
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Postby RickF » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:29 am

Anywhere in the Eastern Sierra, once you get some distance from the paved roads, the resort campgrounds, and the pack trails.

Within an hour or two from your car you can find total solitude.

Every time I visit these parts of the Sierra it amazes me that in California, a state where over 30 million people live, and millions more visit, that there is no one experiencing this beauty.

Add the snow of winter and there are even fewer people.

Without divulging my secret spots here's a few right on the beaten path where I've spent all day without seeing anyone besides the people in my group:
1. Table Mountain, after leaving the Sabrina Basin untill descending to the South Fork of Bishop Creek. Just me & my brother.
2. Mt Agassiz, me and one friend beyond Long Lake.
3. Dusy Basin in October, 3 days saw nobody the whole time.
4. Cloudripper day hike, saw nobody the whole day after leaving the trail head.
5. Soldier Lake to Discovery Pinnacle, Saw one backcountry Ranger in two days of travel.
6. Lamark Peak, saw nobody beyond the trailhead, for the whole day.
7. Mt. Williamson, didn't see anyone beyond Shepherd's Pass.
8. Hwy from Mammoth Main Lodge to Minaret Lookout in March, thousands of people at the resort, no one a mile away at the lookout.
9. Split Mtn. no one beyond the trailhead.
10. Carilon & Russell, saw only people on top of Whitney from the top of Russell.
These are examples of near total solitary days, There are many more where only a few people were encountered.
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