- Jul 21, 2019 at 2:45 pm #3602812
Joseph EvansBPL Member
I’m planning a two day trip with a coworker (who is semi experienced) and their 10 year old (who is not). I looked through my notes from trips within the last couple of years, and the elevation gain, coupled with starting altitude, doesn’t seem like a recipe for success when a kid is involved.
Does anyone have suggestions for ‘easy’ trails within a decent proximity to LA? My concerns are primarily around difficulty, as I have an embarrassing number of low degree bags to outfit the group. I’m thinking streams/trees, and not high desert. Bonus points if we’re not in a car for half a day.
Below are a few I’ve found (although all have decent car time), and would love feedback on (as well as suggestions):
- Redwood Canyon Trail
- Rock Creek to Long Lake
- Grass Lake (unsure on permit situation?)
Thanks!Jul 22, 2019 at 4:48 pm #3602962
It would be a good idea to give some indication of what mileage/elevation you are looking for. Off the top of my head, take the Palm Springs Tram and hike around the top of San Jacinto SP. Easier: you can put together a trip along the Sespe River (Piedra Blanca trailhead). More difficult: Two Harbors to Little Harbor on Catalina Island. More epic: Little Lakes Valley (your second suggestion)… Dinkey Lakes would be a similar suggestion perhaps a smidge closer with slightly more elevation change .Jul 23, 2019 at 5:02 am #3603076
Joseph EvansBPL Member
I don’t have a hard and fast mileage/elevation, but I feel like in a situation like this less may be more? Also, I think the ‘cool stuff per mile’ ratio being high is important for this trip. What I do want to avoid is a super strict itinerary, and kind of go with the flow/ let my coworker decide when they’re ready to take a break and/or set up camp. I don’t want to have a water source (and camp) become a death march for someone new to altitude.
Have you done Little Lakes Valley? Any ‘on the ground’ intel to pass along?
I did think about Sespe, but given the heat I figured a bit of driving would be worth it to avoid baking in the sun. I do want to hit fishbowl this winter, but that one might be just me.Jul 23, 2019 at 11:16 am #3603089
Erica RBPL Member
I have done Little Lakes Valley, camping at Long Lake. Absolutely beautiful. Tons of day hikers. I’ll be interested to hear what the snow & bug situation is there right now.
Dinkey Lakes sounds excellent. It was a long climb (5 miles) going in from the south where the good road is. I think I will go up the bad road this time, and just park and walk a mile or so on the road. This is a surprisingly high reward hike. They want you to carry a hard sided bear container.
If you want something really easy, but with the wilderness camping experience, you can start near Mono Hot Springs, pass Doris Lake, and camp at Tule Lake. Hard sided bear container there too.Jul 23, 2019 at 3:16 pm #3603101
I took my son to Little Lakes Valley when he was 6. It is definitely the trip that fits right in with what you are looking for. Low elevation gain and it is just a string of lakes so you can really stop whenever you want. Trailhead is at 10,600 ft, I think, so you have those spectacular high elevation Sierra views. We got to Long Lake. The trailhead has a ton of people on it, but most day hikers don’t get to Long Lake. Most backpackers aim for Chickenfoot lake. As a result the backside of Long Lake was very secluded for how much of a backcountry freeway that trail is. It is the perfect Sierra trip for young first time backpackers.
Jul 23, 2019 at 3:30 pm #3603103
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Ben H..
I did Dinkey Lakes from the north. The road was a bit rough, but we got there in a minivan (albeit with a few scrapes along the way). If you come from the south you have to climb all the way to the highest lakes and it didn’t look like there is much of a place to stop before the top. From the north you can step up the valley and stop wherever you want. The highest lakes were the most beautiful but also the most crowded.Jul 23, 2019 at 10:22 pm #3603163
…start near Mono Hot Springs, pass Doris Lake, and camp at Tule Lake….
Erica, do you need a permit for Tule Lake? …and… if so, which one?Jul 24, 2019 at 12:10 am #3603181
Some excellent suggestions here – I have nothing more to add.
However I’d suggest caution taking a younger person up to altitude (anything over 8000 ft) for an overnight trip. A day hike up to even 10000 ft should not pose significant issues as you can always head down in case of altitude symptoms. It’s well known that youth under 18 tend to be more susceptible to AMS symptoms. It might help to take it slow and acclimate longer and to pick up symptoms in case they show up. Obviously not all young persons are equally sensitive but just something I’ve learned the hard way.
Sleeping at altitude is especially difficult for younger people.
This is a handy book to have on hand as a reference:
Also this from youtube:
Hope you have a great trip wherever you choose to go!
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