Hiking the High Sierra and the Pacific Crest Trail, Mokulemne Wilderness, California

Sierra Club Outings Trip # 13234A, Lodge

Highlights

  • Enjoy breathtaking views of mountains and lakes
  • See beautiful spring flowers in bloom
  • Hike on the Pacific Crest Trail

Includes

  • Comfortable accommodations
  • All meals during your stay at the lodge
  • Day hikes in the Stanislaus National Forest and surrounding areas 

Details

DatesJul 14–20, 2013
Price$1,195
Deposit$200
Capacity16
StaffAnita Giacone

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Trip Overview

The Trip

Indulge yourself with invigorating day hikes to sweeping vistas, knowing that the amenities of a lodge await you at the end of the day. This lodge-based trip is perfect for those who enjoy hiking, but no longer enjoy carrying a heavy backpack, sleeping on the ground, going without showers, or eating camp food.

Most of our hikes will be within the Stanislaus National Forest, which is located on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. We will enjoy high-altitude hiking amid towering pine trees, sparkling lakes, volcanic outcroppings, and occasional waterfalls. At elevations of 7,000 feet or more, July is springtime in the High Sierra.

Generally, wildflowers are abundant at this time of year, with outstanding variety and colors, depending on weather and precipitation. Bring flower guidebooks in hopes that 2012 brings another spectacular wildflower season!

Applicants will be sent application forms, and must promptly fill these out and send them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner. Please wait for approval from the leader before making any transportation reservations.

Our evenings will be spent relaxing or socializing in the comfortable and spacious Bear Valley Lodge. Our dinners will be prepared by staff chefs. Our meetings and breakfasts will be held in a large room at the lodge reserved exclusively for this Sierra Club trip. We will eat our self-prepared sack lunches out on the trails.

Itinerary

Day 1: On Sunday, July 14, we'll meet at 5 p.m. at Bear Valley Lodge for a social hour. Orientation will follow the 6 p.m. dinner. We'll discuss trip expectations, conservation issues (Leave No Trace), trail etiquette, group hiking protocols, meeting times, equipment, blisters, and the general trip itinerary. An up-to-date itinerary will be established once area weather forecasts and snowmelt conditions have been determined.

Day 2: Typically, we'll start with breakfast and pack our sack lunches. We will then meet to carpool to our trailhead. During the day, we may hike the Pacific Crest Trail, or make our way up to Bull Run Lake in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness. There's also Wheeler Lake in the Mokelumne Wilderness, Lake Alpine, and Inspiration Point. Another hike that leads to a waterfall is on Hermit Run Trail. Late-afternoons will bring us back to the lodge, where we can relax with a swim in the pool at the lodge, clean up, catch a nap, or get together for a social hour. Following dinner, you may just relax, or choose to join the group to discuss conservation issues, share the day's adventures, play parlor games, or watch a DVD.

Day 3: Today is an optional day, where you may mountain bike, canoe, kayak, fish (a California fishing license is required), or go wine tasting or sightseeing in the historic gold-rush towns. (The trip price does not include the costs of these extra excursions.) A short hike will be offered that morning to Calaveras Big Trees State Park to see the largest Calaveras Sierra Redwoods, or possibly to Inspiration Point, which overlooks Lake Alpine. Or you can swim in the lodge's heated outdoor pool -- available at no additional cost to Sierra Club trip participants during regular pool hours.

Days 4-7: We'll continue with the schedule from day two, splitting our days between hiking and spending time at the lodge. On our last day, Saturday, July 20, we'll say our good-byes.

The itinerary is subject to change based on the current weather and local conditions.

Photos

Details

Getting There

Please note that there are no busses, vans, or shuttles to the lodge, as this is a rural area. All transportation to the inn, trailheads, or other activities is the responsibility of each trip member. For those wishing to carpool, a roster of other trip members may be provided before the trip. If you plan to drive to the lodge from Reno or the east, please first check road conditions over Ebbetts Pass, as there may be late-season snow or ice.

Accommodations and Food

The rooms are spacious and well appointed. To accommodate everyone, room sharing will be required (two people per room). Rooms will have two twin beds or one queen bed for couples. Private rooms or room upgrades may be available at an additional cost. Participants desiring such an arrangement should contact the innkeeper directly after they have been accepted as a participant on this trip, and directly pay the innkeeper for any additional costs.

All meals are included. Breakfast will be served as an extended continental style, with foods such as yogurt, cereal, and fruit, plus one hot dish (i.e. eggs or pancakes) each day. Participants will pack their own sack lunches from lodge-provided food. Lunches will be eaten on the trail. Dinner will be cooked by lodge chefs.

Trip Difficulty

This trip is for the experienced hiker who can hike at high altitude for several days in a row. Hikes will be at elevations of 7,000 feet or more and distances of six to ten miles. We will move along at a brisk pace over gravel and rocky terrain -- sometimes over boulders, across streams, and even over snowfields. The leaders try to keep the group fairly close together; therefore it is important for all participants to be in good physical condition. Well-behaved minors (at least 15 years-old) are welcome when accompanied by a parent and when capable of keeping up with the hiking group. Parents will be fully responsible for their children. Photographers are welcome, understanding that the focus of this trip is hiking; photographers are expected to keep up with the group and not lag behind. This is a group hiking experience.

Equipment and Clothing

At this time of year, the days are generally warm and pleasant (low 60s to low 80s) and the nights are cool (mid 30s to high 40s). However, global warming is having its effect; last year high temperatures got close to 100 degrees a few times, and nights were in the 60s and 70s. Alternately, mountain weather can be unpredictable; rain and snow may occur. This is part of the outdoor adventure! Bring clothing for all conditions, and prepare to dress in layers. Be sure to bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, lip protection, sunscreen, well broken-in hiking boots, water bottle, and a day pack. The leader will send a detailed equipment list to all registered participants.

References

Maps:

USGS 7.5-minute quadrangles:

  • Tamarack
  • Pacific Valley
  • Spicer Meadow
  • Ebbetts Pass

Books:

  • Storer and Usinger, Natural History of the Sierra Nevada.

Conservation

Your volunteer trip leaders are dedicated to the Sierra Club, conservation, and enjoyment of the outdoors. Our wish is that you will become strong believers in the need to protect our wild areas. We'll be practicing Leave No Trace wilderness principles throughout the trip in order to minimize our impact on the environment.

The Ebbetts Pass area is very popular for retirees and for winter and summer recreational users. As more and more people move to and recreate there, they contribute to a growing environmental problem. Logging practices have also threatened the ecosystem over many acres of the Sierra. While on the trip, please don't hesitate to ask your leaders about any conservation concerns that you may have. We look forward to having you share conservation challenges and successes from your home.

Since any traveling leaves a carbon footprint, check out the information that the Sierra Club offers about carbon offsets at: http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/national/offsets/#neutral

Sierra Club National Outings is an equal-opportunity provider and will operate under permits from Stanislaus National Forest and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Staff

Leader:

Anita Giacone has been a local Sierra Club leader in California since 1990. A Philadelphia resident since 1998 she became a national leader and returns to the CA and west coast to continue her love of hiking and exploring the desert and mountain wilderness. She has assisted in lodge trips to Claire Tappaan, children’s backpacking in the Adirondacks, car camping trips to Cape Cod and Utah as well as a car camp and spa retreat trip to Santa Fe. Her professional experience as an event planner, teacher, and cultural exchange program coordinator helped her develop the skills to plan rich and educational programs. Her creativity, curiosity, and passion for cultural and spiritual growth result in these components being largely incorporated in her trips. Anita competes in ballroom dance, teaches music and lives with her dog, Cocoa, in Philadelphia.

Assistant Leader:

A native Texan, Marty Wynne cherishes being outdoors, particularly hiking, camping, and gardening. A financial adviser to companies for over 20 years, Marty has hiked Zion, Bryce, and Big Bend national parks and backpacked New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness with Sierra Club groups. She has also hiked Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, and Pictured Rocks national parks and been on staff of Sierra Club Outings at Clair Tappaan Lodge, Colorado's San Juan Mountains, and California's Ansel Adams Wilderness.

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