alexjon3 wrote:Hi folks, first-time poster, long-time lurker.
So my wife and I have only ONE week this summer that we can get lost in the backcountry... the last week in June... and I am really bummed about the heavy snowpack.
Everyone tells me to go to the Lost Coast instead of the Sierras or Trinities, but I gotta satisfy my granite fix.
One thought I had was the Siskiyou Wilderness up near the Oregon border... pretty low but some nice granite-bound lakes, including Devil's Punchbowl, which should be mostly free of snow even in a year like this one.
But can anyone offer any other suggestions? Some snow is OK but my wife is uncomfortable with crampons.
This is funny- I think I was in Marmot (in Berkeley) the other day when you called & were asking for advice. I heard Paul talking to you. Some thoughts based on my experience, as well as just plain hear-say...
* Lost Coast- granite peaks or not, this IS a beautiful area- I feel sorry for any Calfornian hiker/backpacker who hasn't seen this amazing area.... while I'm sure it would be fine during your visit, though, fall is arguably the best time to check out this gem. You could hike King Peak while there.
* Klamaths/Trinities- while not that high in elevation, this area receives substantial snowpack. It is beautiful, lightly trodden, wild country. A lot of great stuff around here, but check the ranger station before going to see the snow line/levels.
* Lake Tahoe area- lower in elevation than the 'High Sierra' farther south, it is lovely around here, esp. with the 'crown jewel of the Sierra' right there. Tahoe rim trail is supposed to be
pretty cool, & the (overrun by Bay Area & Sac types peak season) (anything but) Desolation Wilderness is quite pretty, with good backpacking & peak-bagging opportunities (Dicks Peak, Jacks Peak, Mt. Tallac, Pyramid Peak, ...)
* Yosemite's highcountry is spectacular, but much of it is above 8,000', so during a relatively high snow year like this, much of it likely won't be dry yet.
* Sequoia/Kings Canyon has great elevation differential between different areas of the park- it might benefit you to research this. The western part of the park is substantially lower than the portion closer to the Sierra crest, & thus is much warmer/less snowy. A good reference point might be the various sequoia groves- they like it around 4-5,000'.
* Lassen Volcanic National Park has some great backpacking opportunities, but this area has been known to receive world-record amounts of snowfall, so this is pretty self-explanatory...
If anything, I'd recommend checking out the various options presented by me, as well as others, & get a feel for the finer points of each one. As your date approaches, find out specific conditions for each area that appeals to you, & make your decision shortly before your trip. Good luck!