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Old 07-29-2007, 09:19 PM   #1
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Lakes in the high Sierras

Do any of you have much experience with camping in the mountains? We like to boondock in State Park and Forest Service campgrounds, and inspite of the "first come..." gamble, we've been pretty lucky so far, especially if we arrive on a Wed. or Thurs.
One of our favorite things to do is take our tandem kayak out on a lake that doesn't have a lot of motor-boat activity. We also love the high Sierra-granite-Ponderosa Pine-Alpine wildflower and bird thing. Alpine Lake on Hwy 4 was a great find, and now we're looking for something similar. Has anyone been to Caples lake off 88? Any other recommendations? We're already looking at Wright's Lake (thanks Niel and Lynn) and would love any other "thumbs up."
Many thanks,
Janet
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:06 PM   #2
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Hi Janet. Jan and I have been to Caples Lake a couple of times. It is not a motorboat free lake, but the launch facilities are very limited, so generally small boats are the rule. Kayaks should be fine there. When we used to tent camp, we towed a 14' skiff and would trout fish there with excellent luck. We stayed at the NFS Caples Lake campround and it was nice, but right on the highway. I'm not sure about the camping facilities for RVs but it is a nice place and I would recommend it.

If you are daring and have time, you and Terry may consider going to the eastern Sierras too. There are some really nice kayakable (word?) lakes there such as Virginia lakes, Green lakes, Twin lakes etc. Twin Lakes has a private RV-camping resort called Mono Village which is really basic but nice. Another nice place is in eastern Yosemite up by Tioga Pass in Inyo NF (9000.'+) Tioga , Ellery and Saddlebag lakes are really nice, but not sure what the RV camping is like.
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Steve, exactly the kind of input we're looking for. We're taking Terry's 85 year old dad with us on the next trip, and he's spent many years hiking, skiing, camping, and fishing in the mountains. Now as a recent widower, we want to take him back to where he has many fond memories. Caples sounds like might be just the ticket.
We love the Eastern Sierras, but haven't towed over Tioga pass. I tend to gasp a lot where there are no guard rails, and am not sure I can manage even a wan smile as we careen around those hideous turns. But Twin Lakes are especially alluring and may be just tempting enough... Really do appreciate the info!
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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Take your time.

Janet,
just take it slow.... The trailer will follow the truck most of the time
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:52 PM   #5
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Janet---To amplify on comments already made about the Eastern Sierra, these is spectacular boondock camping available from Bishop on the South to Bridgeport on the North. Also, some nice camping along the Walker river N. of Bridgeport. Virginia canyon, Lundy canyon, Lee Vining Canyon, June Lakes loop and the Mammoth Lakes all have the type of camping you are looking for. Don't forget you can take the interstate to Lake Tahoe and then go south on 395 as a way around the slow and steep passes of Tioga, Sonora and Monitor.

Most of the alpine camping is at 9000 ft or so, so check with the dad first about his altitude tolerance. Mammoth was in the low 80's today while Yosemite Valley at 4000 ft had a 100F day.

Have fun.
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:18 PM   #6
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Silver Lake is up there near Caples Lake. It has an RV resort that you might want to check out. We stayed at Caples with our 15' SOB and because there is no dump station, we ended up going to Silver Lake for that. Silver lake is really nice too, and may be more suited to your 25er.
http://www.plassesresort.com/Brochure2003.pdf
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:23 PM   #7
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Thanks Bob~Great info. and advice, and a good reminder about the altitude...
And Michelle, I keep trying to remember that the trailer isn't going to drag us over the edge, but not all thought is rational. Take care up there!
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:25 PM   #8
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Thanks Steve. Sounds like a good call. Will let you know how it goes.
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:32 PM   #9
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We have 2 single kayaks. If you bring yours to the LSA rally, maybe we can do a kayak paddle together...
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:41 PM   #10
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Info...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkelly
Janet---To amplify on comments already made about the Eastern Sierra, these is spectacular boondock camping available from Bishop on the South to Bridgeport on the North. Also, some nice camping along the Walker river N. of Bridgeport. Virginia canyon, Lundy canyon, Lee Vining Canyon, June Lakes loop and the Mammoth Lakes all have the type of camping you are looking for. Don't forget you can take the interstate to Lake Tahoe and then go south on 395 as a way around the slow and steep passes of Tioga, Sonora and Monitor.

Most of the alpine camping is at 9000 ft or so, so check with the dad first about his altitude tolerance. Mammoth was in the low 80's today while Yosemite Valley at 4000 ft had a 100F day.

Have fun.
wow, great information...

does anyone have any information on the recently rewatered portion of the owens river for boondocking?

it's so new, that i can't find much on the web.

is there (if anyone knows) BLM access along the "new" 62 miles of owens river?

any info would be helpful,

kevin
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:17 PM   #11
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Hi Janet, up on the Tioga Pass road, heading east leaving the Park and after passing by the Saddlebag Lake turnoff, there is a turnout of sorts, actually a little loop, it looks like it was part of the old Tioga Road and is located just across from one of the Tioga Lake campgrounds where I used to park when I had a motorhome and still see people there for the night (or longer) in their various rigs, still as of this summer.

The campgrounds up at Saddlebag, by the way, have magnificent views. I think they're around $8 a night.
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Old 08-19-2007, 12:06 AM   #12
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Hi Janet, you mentioned Wrights lake, we've gone there for years, great area.
We also like Shaver Lake and Huntington lake above Fresno.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:26 AM   #13
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Prosser Lake

Just spent 4 days boondocking at Prosser Lake off Hi Way 89 four miles north of Truckee. Great USFS campground and only paddles and oars on the lake.

And it was away from the thrundering California herd!
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by slowolf
We have 2 single kayaks. If you bring yours to the LSA rally, maybe we can do a kayak paddle together...
I'll be bringing the tandem for sure and maybe the newly finished CLC 14 single. LL and I are planning on staying on the north shore wed and thur nites and relocating to south shore fri. We'll paddle anytime, working on the gimballed wine holders now!

how about a full moon paddle thursday nite?? Then a campfire with a touch of wine!
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:47 PM   #15
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Janet, Lynn and I will be at Wrights begining 8/29 and thru 9/3. Wright's reservation requirement ends Labor Day. I doubt you will find any available campsites before LD but after that it is first come first serve up to the first snowfall. We can stay longer if we know you might come up. We canoed that lake for 20 years and we still have the canoe. However, my hip replacement Dr. says no. I am cleaning it up now in case our daughter and family want to carry it up. We can't with a convertible and it would be really wierd looking on top of the Trade Wind. Our son has returned from Kuwait/Iraq and we may go back up in Sept too with him. Wrights is at 7000' for your Dad's consideration. Caples and all the other lakes mentioned in this thread we have visited and recommend. No one mentioned Convict Lake south of Bridgeport.

Enjoy,
Neil and Lynn.
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by doorgunner
I'll be bringing the tandem for sure and maybe the newly finished CLC 14 single. LL and I are planning on staying on the north shore wed and thur nites and relocating to south shore fri. We'll paddle anytime, working on the gimballed wine holders now!

how about a full moon paddle thursday nite?? Then a campfire with a touch of wine!
OOoo I would like nothing better! Because of work, Jwolf and I won't be able to make it to the rally until Saturday but can definitely do a paddle then and certainly sin with Zin, or hurrah with Syrah before, during, or after!

Definitely check out the North Shore. It's boondocking at it's finest! Just don't park to close to the water or you may sink in the mud. What may appear to be dry sand on top can cover up wet mud underneath. Stick with existing tire tracks. I had a friend get stuck recently with their 4x4 and 32' 5th wheel. I cost them $500 to get towed...ouch!
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:12 PM   #17
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Had a great time in the mountains, thanks to all the good advice from this thread! We lucked out and got the only site we could have possibly fit into at Caples, and spent the weekend exploring, kayaking, and fishing at beautiful and peaceful Woods Lake, and Lower Blue Lake. Unfortunately, both have fabulous campgrounds way too small for our trailer to squeeze into, but they were perfect for day trips.
Terry's dad enjoyed every minute, and the altitude didn't seem to bother any of us. Much fun had by all.
Neil and Lynn, we'd love to meet you at Wright's, if only we didn't have to be other places that weekend. Should be gorgeous. Have fun!
Janet
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:44 PM   #18
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Nice pics Janet! I forgot what a pretty spot that was. Looks like you're wedged in the campsite nicely. Is that Terry's backing prowess at work?
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:23 PM   #19
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Indeed it is. He earned many "nagitator" points with that one!
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:34 PM   #20
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Janet,
very nice! Looks like you had a great time!
So who did the backing?
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