Trans-Sierra via Kearsarge Pass

Inyo National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park

Sunday, August 18 thru Friday August 23, 1991

Brief: Moderate , 25 mile shuttle trip, From the west 6800 feet elevation gain and 2600 feet loss. From the east the gain is 2600 ft. and 6800 foot loss. The max. gain any day should be about 2000 .

What: This is a 6 day trip with one day layover.The trip crosses the Sierras from Onion Valley at 9200 feet over Kearsarge Pass (11823) to Cedar Grove (5035) in Kings Canyon NP. We can drop Vidette Meadow from the trip and save a day.

Where: At Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon NP the trail head is at Bubbs Creek . The trail heads up Bubbs Creek with the first allowable campsite at the Sphinx Creek trail junction. From Sphinx Creek the trail heads east (and up) to Junction Meadow. From Junction Meadow we proceed on to Vidette Meadow. The trail from Vidette Meadow To Charlotte Lake is only 3 1/2 miles and 800 gain. We can have a rest day in the Vidette Meadow or Charlotte Lake area. From Charlotte Lake the trail goes over Kearsarge Pass and out to Onion Valley. The east bound group can spend a night at Kearsarge Lakes or at Matlock Lake.

For the west bound group, Matlock Lake would be the first nights stop. Then on to Charlotte Lake, Vidette Meadow, Junction Meadow and out with a possible stop between Junction meadow and Cedar Grove. The exact campsites are flexible and will be worked out with the groups.

When: Sunday August 18. If starting from the east It is recommended that you drive to the trailhead the night before to acclimate to the altitude.

Who: The size is limited to 6 persons each direction by permit reservations are required and will be restricted to experienced persons only. Reservations are needed by August 12 or earlier, if possible. Sharing of equipment, possibly even food, will reduce individual loads, but will require time to iron out details. There will be a $3 charge for everyone who goes, to cover the permit fee. Dogs and hunting are not permitted in the National Park.

Bring: 10 essentials. Rain gear, warm clothes and of course a good pair of boots. Remember you will be on the trail for most of a week.

Weather: The weather can be unpredictable. The daytime temperatures can range from mid 60s to high 80s. The evening temperature drops quickly as the sun sets. The temperature can go as low as 28 to 30 degrees. Possible thunder showers in the afternoons.

Bears: The bears enjoy the Sierras as much as the public. There is bear activity from Matlock Lake to Cedar Grove. Some sites may have storage lockers while others will have poles or cables. Carry at least 50 of rope to securely hang your food by the counter balance method.

Car Pooling: Shuttle arrangements will need to be made. The plans are to trade cars at one end and/or the other. We can meet in Mojave to make the switch.

Topo Map: Mt. Pinchot and Marion Peak 15-minute USGS quads. The 7 1/2" series are Kearsarge Peak, Mt Clarence King, The Sphinx and Cedar Grove.

Directions: Follow the 5 Freeway to the 14 Freeway North. Follow the 14 to Mojave. From Mojave the Cedar Grove group will go over Tehachapi to Bakersfield.Then north-east to the park. The east side gang will head out 14 to 395 then north to Independence Turn west at the signal on Onion Valley road to the end at the Onion Valley trail head. More details later.

Questions?Call: Pete McAfeeWork: 313-333-5456

Home: 818-346-0013

or Jack CookWork: 213-333-5214

Trans-Sierra 910818