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Old 07-01-2013, 04:44 PM   #1
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High Sierra Boondocking - August 22-25

The excellent turnout at the Boondocking for Geodes weekend proved to me that we have a great crowd of adventurous Airstreamers who are willing to drive to the middle of nowhere and live “off the grid” while enjoying the true beauty of the wilderness. Because of that, I’m organizing another weekend trip for the year: High Sierra Boondocking

The last location was too dry, so I’ve selected a gem of an alpine lake located between Yosemite and King’s Canyon National Parks. Courtright Reservoir is accessible by up to 35’ trailers, has lots of rarely used campsites, and is simply gorgeous.


What can you do there?
Hiking – Find solitude in the trails, uncrowded like their national park equivalents
Rock climbing – If you do it, this is a great place to go. See the description under “The Playground” in this link for more.
Kayaking/small boating – I’m bringing two sit-on-top kayaks, and there is a free public boat launching facility for those who can somehow manage a boat and an Airstream
Fishing – This is a famous and underutilized destination for German brown, Rainbow, and Eastern Brook trout. I rarely fish, but plan to because of how easy it is to catch dinner here.

When is it?
I will be there late Thursday, August 22nd through Sunday, August 25th
We will have a group campfire with snacks and drinks on Friday night after dark (bring some desserts and beverages to share), and of course the typical weekend potluck at 6pm on Saturday. If you can, post on the thread what you are bringing Saturday so that we don’t duplicate each other, although I won’t be upset if we end up with ten different trout dishes.

Where is it?
Courtright Reservoir is located farther north than many of the “SoCal” rallies, so you may want to think of this as another AllCal rally. I’m hoping we can get some more of our Bay Area and Northern California friends to join us.
Specifically, we will be boondocking at Trapper Springs Campground. This is a primitive campground with vault toilets and drinking water spigots (no hookups), and is operated by PG&E. This is a first-come, first-serve campground. Fees are ~$24 per night. See links at the bottom for more info on location. If for some weird reason the 70 “lightly used” sites are filled up, there is another nearby campground at the Wishon Reservoir.


Anything else I need to know?
All the normal notions of boondocking apply here, as well as three other area-specific comments:
1. This is black bear country. Store food properly, inside your trailer unless you are actively using it. Food and any scented items should be attended at all times when left outside the trailer.
2. Courtright Reservoir is at 8200’ elevation. This is low enough that most people have no issue whatsoever, but please keep in mind that those unaccustomed to altitude will need to stay well hydrated and watch for signs of altitude sickness/ AMS if trying to hike or explore any higher in the surrounding area.

If you plan on coming, make sure to say so on the rally calendar event!

Links:
Courtright Reservoir - Forest Service page
Trapper Springs Campground - Forest Service page
Location of campground on Google Maps
10-day Weather forecast for the area
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:27 PM   #2
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Peter, you come up with some great locations. At 8200', is this a record for the highest altitude of an Airstream rally? Just curious, seems like it has a good chance, being higher than the highest point of 36 U.S. states. Did you know at that height, water boils at 196 degrees rather than the 212 degrees near sea level? Of course the air is only 15.4% oxygen instead of the 20.9%. We should be earning merit badges for going to your rallies! There's the Desert Survival badge, Mineral Identification badge, and now the High Altitude Survival badge.

For the potluck, put us down for a bottle of oxygen.

We will be there!
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:12 AM   #3
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Sounds like a lot of fun. I have done a lot of camping at Huntington Lake and driven thru a lot of the back country in that area. It is spectacular country up there. Unfortunately we have a prior commitment that weekend and won't be able io make this event. We will keep track of the adventure by monitoring this thread. Wish we could make it!
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:29 AM   #4
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Haha, I love all of the trivia. That's excellent. Maybe I'll host a rally one day at the Saddlebag Lakes loop on Tioga Pass east of Yosemite. Then we can call it the "Two Mile High Rally" since I recall that being at 10500 or so. I guess for this one we'll just have to settle with the One and a Half Mile High Rally.

And Scott, sorry you two can't make it--we'll make sure to get you to the next one. Either a repeat of geodes in March, or maybe we'll try our luck on something like trilobite fossils.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:26 AM   #5
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I really wish we could make this next one, we both love how beautiful the back country is up there. But our grand daughters are coming out west from Philadelphia for a month and Becky has scheduled lots of activities (including 5 nights if camping) for the girls. Who knows, maybe they will fall in love with Airstream camping and make us change the schedule to fit this in at the last minute. By the way, what are the roads like getting up to the campground, are they paved or are they dirt fire roads?
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scott J-24 View Post
By the way, what are the roads like getting up to the campground, are they paved or are they dirt fire roads?
I haven't personally been up there in ~8-10 years, but I know the road from Shaver Lake to Wishon reservoir is a regular paved, two lane road. There is an actual RV "resort"/basic campground at Wishon reservoir near the Wishon supply store. The final 8 miles from Wishon to Courtright are more like a one and a half lane road, although from what I can tell online, it is all paved up to the campground entrance. There is little traffic though, especially coming up on a Thursday/Friday, so I would imagine that you could take up the full road and make others backup/pull over if there was a standoff.

I know its a longshot, but I hope you guys can make it with the whole group!
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:25 AM   #7
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We will do our best, so don't count us out just yet...
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:29 PM   #8
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Hi folks,
We might be down for this one! This is in our neck of the woods. We have no plans for August and it would be nice to get away from our scorching heat.
School starts for young Johnny that week and I have to check with Big John.
Scott, Huntington Lake is my paradise. My favorite place in the world. Sunset magazine had a short write up about it a month or two ago. I freaked out because now I'm afraid everyone will start going there. This weekend at Huntington is the High Sierra Rigatta. It's a beautiful sight to see all the sailboat on the lake.
Thanks for putting this together Peter!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:18 AM   #9
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Hi folks,
We might be down for this one! This is in our neck of the woods. We have no plans for August and it would be nice to get away from our scorching heat.
School starts for young Johnny that week and I have to check with Big John.
Scott, Huntington Lake is my paradise. My favorite place in the world. Sunset magazine had a short write up about it a month or two ago. I freaked out because now I'm afraid everyone will start going there. This weekend at Huntington is the High Sierra Rigatta. It's a beautiful sight to see all the sailboat on the lake.
Thanks for putting this together Peter!
I did a lot of sailboat racing up there in the 80's and 90's at Huntington Lake. it is one of (if not THE best) lakes for small boat sailing I have ever been on. Now I REALLY wish we could make it.

Have lots of fun up there,
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:36 AM   #10
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I've heard about sailing at Huntington, but never gone myself. I wish I could bring one of my sailboats AND the airstream, but alas it wouldn't work ( believe me, I've thought about it). Maybe I'll go to the regatta next year... Do they allow hydrofoiling trimarans capable of 35 knots? :-)

I mean, there is a boat launch at Courtright as well...
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:54 PM   #11
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Peter,
You can rent a day-sailer at Huntington Lake. It's good for canoeing too. There's an island in the middle. Also, just a fun fact, there's a WW2 B-24 Liberator at the bottom of the lake that becomes visable when the water level drops in the winter. You'd have to snowshoe or snowmobile to get back to see it (another adventure I'd be down for). Anyhow, the lake has a lot of interesting history.
I'm going up on Sunday to watch the regatta.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:24 PM   #12
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Bump to try to make sure people know about this rally, only a month away.

Tell your friends! Come one, come all!
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:53 PM   #13
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We're in! Bringing two canoes, too.

C'mon, Cara, you know you want to go camping. Johnny will have 18 more years to go to school!

-Jason
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:03 PM   #14
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We're in! Bringing two canoes, too.

C'mon, Cara, you know you want to go camping. Johnny will have 18 more years to go to school!

-Jason
Haha, Awesome! We'll be glad to see you there.
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