Xerox Mountaineering and Backpacking Club
Kearsarge Passfrom Onion Valley July 7th - 9th, 1989
Once an Indian trading route, the Kearsarge Pass trail provides access to a lovely east-side lake basin and the spectacular backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park. However, we will spend the Friday night at Matlock Lakes before crossing the pass on Saturday. Saturday night weíll camp at one of the lakes in the Kings Canyon National Park (Kearsarge or Charlotte).
Trailhead location: Onion Valley is 15 miles west of Independance. Turn west on Onion Valley Road (Market Street in town) at the traffic light in downtown Independance. The road is usually open from May through November.
Trailhead facilities: Forest Service Campgrounds are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Onion Valley has 29 sites, piped water, flush toilets, many walk-in sites @ $6 per day. Lower & Upper Grays Meadow has 52 sites, piped water, flush toilets @ $7 per day. Parking space is limited. Overflow parking is permitted on the south shoulder of Onion Valley Road, east of the parking circle.
Rating: Moderate - Elevation at the trailhead is 9,200 feet, 10,600 at Matlock Lakes and at Kearsarge Pass itís 11,823. This means 1400 ft gain Friday (3 miles), 1200 ft gain & 1400 ft loss Saturday (6 miles). Roadhead acclimatization Thursday night is recommended.
Weather: Summer days may be quite warm but night temperatures often drop to freezing or below. Afternoon thunderstorms are common. Snowstorms may occur at anytime.
Equipment: Raingear, good boots, and warm clothes are essential. Sunglasses, a sunscreen (factor 10 or more), a hat and insect repellent are advisable. Campfires are not permitted east of the Sierra crest, or above the 10,000 foot level in adjacent Kings Canyon Natíl Pk; portable gas stoves are recommended. A California State Fishing License is required for fishing. Hunting and pets are prohibited in the National Parks.
Water: Tap water is available at the trailhead. The trail seldom approaches water so itís a good idea to carry a quart. Giardiasis is a serious problem. Boil or filter all drinking water. The XMBC does furnish a filter.
Bears: The Kearsarge Pass trail and many parts of Kings Canyon are as popular with bears as they are with people. Carry at least 50 feet of rope to securely hang your food using the counter balance method. Food storage facilities have been installed in some backcountry locations where storage in trees may be ineffective. We will check at the Ranger Station before starting our trip for current information of bear activity.
If you would like to participate, PLEASE contact Leader as soon as possible, as reservations are required. Deadline is 7/5. If you already have contacted a leader, please reconfirm to make sure our list is accurate. Feel free to call for further information or advice.
Leader: Jack Cook JCook:El Segundo Work:333-5214 Home:371-2706
or Ed Keller, Home: 542-2044
Co-Leader: Beth Epperson BEPPE:ES XC15 Work: 333-2504