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  1. Today
  2. balzaccom

    Carson Pass Trail Crew

    I joined Ranger Chip Morrill and a Youth Conversation Crew from Generation Green to do trail work in the El Dorado National Forest around Silver Lake this last week. It was a good workout, we saw some terrific scenery, and got a ton of work done--much of it thanks to the six young people with loppers, shovels, and McCleods. Day One we cleared the trail to Lake Margaret, using every one of those tools at one point or another on the 2.5 mile trail to the lake. The good news is that on the way back, all the work was done, and so we could enjoy the scenery of the hike a bit more. Day Two focused on tree work around the Martin Meadows dispersed camping area, and then the lower two miles of the Horse Canyon Trail. This trail is part of a larger system around Silver Lake that we got to know much better on Day Three. Day Three was epic--an eight mile loop through the lakes south of Silver Lake, including Hidden Lake and the Granite Lake group. We worked our way through deep banks of snow, huge deadfalls across the trail, lopping overgrown bushes, and improving trail drainage. And some of those trees were huge. The one at left was quite an effort. It was fun to meet hikers on these trails, as they were so deeply appreciative of the work we were doing. That really made the kids' day/ On Day Four Chip and I worked through the two-mile Castle Point trail, clearing up some deadfalls, then joined the crew as they lopped their way to Shealor Lake. In the afternoon, the youth crew headed into the office, and I headed home. The final score was a total of thirteen miles of trails cleared, which was a tribute to the work ethic of this crew. And I returned home with only minor scrapes, two bug bites, and a few sore muscles. And given the fun we had and the scenery we saw, it was all well worth it!
  3. ppine

    whats your backpacking luxury item?

    A Helinox chair, Crocs for the feet. Decent food.
  4. Yesterday
  5. Hello, I'm looking for a mountain hike in the downstate NY/NJ area that is steep and challenging, but doesn't have a lot of climbing along exposed granite. Views or waterfalls would be plusses, but not necessary. Thank you for any leads!
  6. My plan is to spend about a week in the back country of Yellowstone this fall. Am planning to drive to the park, taking in a few other sites on the way and making a proper road trip of it. My question is this: is it permissible to leave your vehicle at a trailhead for multiple days? I don't want to come back and find I have been towed and/or fined for making an incorrect assumption. Yellowstone is pretty big and I haven't seen anything about shuttle services or the like for getting around the park. Any insight into this and recommendations are appreciated. Thanks.
  7. jay

    New to Hiking Community

    Greetings and welcome to the group. There is a lot of good information here and some great people, I hope that you can find this forum as helpful as I have. Again, welcome.
  8. Within the Last week
  9. Great to hear that you found some good tips to help you fully utilize Gaia GPS. Enjoy the Premium Subscription! I’m almost always utilizing layered maps anytime I use the app.
  10. Aaron

    New to Hiking Community

    Welcome to TrailGroove and best of luck getting started and getting all the gear assembled. For some tips in that regard feel free to browse past issues of the magazine - as a Premium Member you can download all the past issues here to catch up on all our past reviews and tips on gear. You can also find reviews and guides on everything from pack selection to sleeping pads over on the blog: https://www.trailgroove.com/blogs/ Lastly, feel free to ask any questions that might come up here on the forums!
  11. AnimalGal

    How to Use the Gaia GPS App and Trip Planning Guide

    Thank you, Aaron for this blog posting. I've been a regular Gaia user, using it for downloading gpx. routes to the app and then tracking my hikes. I've now just become a premium subscriber (to Gaia that is; I sure wish I'd known about TrailGroove's special offer regarding a free premium membership to Gaia with a $20 premium membership to TrailGroove!!) to create routes myself, let alone having the confidence to play around with all the possible map layers. This blog posting of yours allowed things to really start coming together for me. I'm taking myself on my first hiking tour in the Southwest and I'm very grateful to have this wonderful Gaia app more useful for that.
  12. Prankies

    How to Pack Food for a Backpacking Trip

    I don't mind MRE's either as I ate them in the military. They do have a lot of trash in terms of wrappers, but I would be interested in trying the freeze dried foods. Do most people make them food themselves and freeze dry them or do you order them from a particular company?
  13. Prankies

    New to Hiking Community

    Hey all, I have been a novice hiker for a long time, but recently I have been really wanting to get into back country hiking. I thought a forum would be a good place to start and gain information from the more experienced people. At the moment I am starting to acquire gear. I have a compass, hiking shoes and camel back. LOL. I'm taking my time because I have no idea what would be the right gear needed hence why I am hear. Any information would be so appreciated. I am currently living in California, but I am originally from Maine. Hopefully, I can make it to some meet ups and meet some great people and enjoy God's beauty. Cheers.
  14. rickrick

    2019 Hiking Plans

    Last year was a trip on the Appalachian Trail and I accomplished that for a few days. I have moved from NC to Texas and have been looking and hiking all around Central Texas. On my wish list is Big Bend and Palo Duro Canyon for this year.
  15. BuddhaTim

    whats your backpacking luxury item?

    I'm closing in on 60, so comfort is important. I bring a sleeping pad, pillow and a helinox. Plus an ipod. And there's nothing better at the end of a long day's hike than a 'special' brownie. I typically will sacrifice weight for comfort at this point, and just work out more in advance of a trip to get strong enough to carry it.
  16. BuddhaTim

    2019 Hiking Plans

    Sequoia National Park in October. Never been hiking in the west, and I'm looking forward to the challenge.
  17. Hello Everyone, I'm interested in backpacking Sequoia Ntl. Park in October this year, starting at Mineral King and making a loop heading north through Bear Meadow onto the Sierra High Trail, east to Kern River and south to Rattlesnake Creek, heading west and north through Franklin Pass. Any thoughts as to what the trail might be like at this time of year? Weather? Likelihood of running into bears or mountain lions? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
  18. Kushrocks

    Newbie hiker

    Im new to the group as well. Great to see people from all over the country in here sharing their experiences.
  19. OneEyeMan

    New; Unused Items; Hubba Hubba, Feathered Friends, etc

    All reasonable offers will be considered.
  20. Earlier
  21. balzaccom

    Scaring off bears at night?

    You know how to whistle, don't you? grin
  22. PaulGS

    Scaring off bears at night?

    I occasionally take a small air horn with me backpacking for when I’m sleeping. A loud whistle blast at night could well be effective too.
  23. 1. Jet Boil Flash. Awesome and tiny backpacking stove. Comes with the Jet Boil folding stand to support other makers pots. $90. Pay Pal only, F & F or you pay the Pay Pal fee. Shipping and ins is included, or local pickup. 2. Red Ledge Packable Rain Shell. Used once. Size medium. Back Vents. combo zipped front pockets/vents. Drawstrings at waist and adjustable velcro wrist closures. Packs down nice and small. $30. Pay Pal only, F & F or you pay the Pay Pal fee. Shipping and ins is included, or local pickup.
  24. trap333

    Where Is Crystal Cascade

    My wife and i are coming to The Whites the week of Halloween. I've read that Crystal Cascade is cool to see. I thought I saw somewhere it's on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail but I didn't see it on the All Trails map. Could someone tell me where Crystal Cascade is, how far from the trail head, and how difficult? Any info would be appreciated, thanks.
  25. jay

    Newbie hiker

    Welcome, there is a lot of good information here and unlike some other boards, it is pretty easy to find
  26. Due to massive snowfall levels in Colorado I had been unable to explore the high peaks until recently. With a friend from Denver, and my brother from nearby Cedaredge, we left my home in Montrose Thursday afternoon, July 4 and arrived at the East Cimmaron trailhead at 5:30pm. We expected to have plenty of time to hike the four miles and 1100 of vertical to a campsite I had scoped out last year. The trail was well maintained last year, with only what I (expected) to be one easy creek crossing a mile and a half from the trailhead. We arrived at the crossing to find a somewhat larger issue than expected. While only knee deep, the current was very strong. We all made it across safely (trekking poles were definitely REQUIRED). Continuing on, we thought--we're on schedule, and should be able to get to our campsite in plenty of time to set up tents, have a late dinner, and relax a bit before hitting the sack. Again, unfortunately we came across a massive avalanche debris field about a half mile after our creek crossing. It was easily 100 yards wide, and filed with large downed trees and debris covering the underlying snow. This required tedious zig and zag around and over the obstacles. Having completed this, we thought--glad that's over, on to camp! About a hundred yards later, we came across another debris field of about equal size, then another, then another--lost count but I think there were at least five such challenges. This slowed us considerably, but thankfully the last two miles to our campsite were debris free. We arrived at 8:45pm at our campsite at 10,900ft with just enough light to set up our tents, and then eat dinner by headlamp. To bed by 10pm. The positives were: forests were lush with all the moisture, and the ground at our campsite was quite cushy--got a great nights sleep. We were off at 7am Friday morning, and followed the edge of a drainage up to treeline, at which point the route was snow free. We had taken ice axes and kahtoola's (mini-crampons) with the expectation that we could encounter significant snow from our campsite through the trees up to treeline at 11,500ft--thankfully we didn't need to use either. Arrived at the summit of Sheep mountain (13,168 feet) at 10am with beautiful blue skies, and not a breath of wind. We hung out for two beautiful, blissful hours, and admired Colorado's San Juan mountains--they were gorgeous, and set off by still massive amounts of snow. Hated to leave, but did so at noon, got back down to camp at two, rested a bit, and decided to break camp and move down to near our stream crossing, so that we could re-cross first thing in the morning when flow was significantly lower. Saturday found us up early, had a good breakfast and made the icy creek crossing safely. Had an easy stroll back to our vehicle and the hour drive back to Montrose, where we rewarded ourselves with a late breakfast at Denny's. Here are some pictures. If interested, here's a link to more: https://link.shutterfly.com/6KZH0Yob8X
  27. John B

    Stanislaus below the snow

    we face the same issue with extreme snow levels here in Colorado--trip report from short trip a few days ago to follow!
  28. balzaccom

    Stanislaus below the snow

    Boy, there were a lot of people in the Sierra this last holiday, taking advantage of the mid-week July 4th! But those people quickly discovered that snow levels in the high country severely limited their options. When we stopped in at the Summit Ranger Station on the morning of the 4th the scene was hectic. There was a triage table out front, with volunteers helping the hikers firm up their plans and get more information. Once armed and ready, the hikers then went inside the office to speak to a ranger and get their permits. And every one of them was going to either Crabtree or Kennedy Meadows trailheads. There must have been a real crowd at Camp Lake, Bear Lake, and Relief Reservoir that night, as all the hikers showed up to the same place at more or less the same time. The rangers even posted a chart on the wall, pointing out that for every permit for Waterhouse Lake, there were about twenty for Crabtree. On top of that, the creek crossings were being described as somewhere between waist high and chest high, and all hikers were recommended to carry micro-spikes for the snow. All of this was particularly striking to us, because we had just come back from a three day trip where we hiked less than a hundred yards on snow, never crossed a creek except on a bridge, and saw an average of fewer than four people per day, none of whom were spending the night. So where did we go? We had called Summit Ranger Station on Monday morning, and asked them which of the USFS roads were still closed to all vehicles. One of them, Herring Creek Road, leads to a nice secluded valley with a small reservoir and tons of side roads and hiking trails as well. So we parked our car near the locked gate and hiked in. Wonderful trip. The creek was flowing high and fast, but we crossed it on the road bridge built in 1955. We hiked up to Pinecrest Peak for some lovely views, wandered along Herring Creek up to the reservoir, and generally had the place to ourselves. By exploring off road and off trail, we also discovered a mystery trail that seems to run for a least a couple of miles, and that none of the rangers knew about. here are the photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/PprWaCxRxg6nQot58
  29. So I'm very comfortable hiking in bear country during the day light hours since I carry bear spray and am alert and on my feet, but when it comes to going to sleep and being woken up by a bear at my tent I feel a lot more vulnerable. I will ask my question right away for those in a hurry and if you choose to read the story it will be in the paragraph below. Obviously at night everything is quite, theres usually no human voices and the wild life, i feel gets more comfortable and browses around. I have no problem shouting at a bear when its 50ft from me when the suns up and we both see each other but when there is a bear right outside your tent sniffing under the rain fly I'm a little hesitant to start yelling and startle it... I feel like slowly making a little bit of noise and then getting a little louder gradually lets it know there is something awake in that little fabric shell, or could it make it more curious if you're not loud enough? Has anyone had a thought about this kind of encounter or had one happen? I took my girlfriend out car camping last year here in Idaho to see how she liked sleeping in the woods before she joined me on some hiking trips. It was during late fall so there was no one anywhere and the campsites have been pretty quite for the last month or more. We had a fire going about 150ft from the tent near where the car was parked and had been cooking different things and drinking most of the night ( pros of car camping, lots of food and beer ) I was tired and went to bed about 1am and she was going to have another beer and come to bed in about 30 minutes, so i told her 2 important things before you come in for the night, 1 make sure you put out the fire ( we were by a river with plenty of water and also have a shovel for sand ) and 2 put ALL the food back in the cooler with pots and pans, empty bottles back in the car so animals don't get into it. Well about 5 in the morning I woke up to some sticks cracking around the tent, Im used to hearing weird noises and animals at night so i just closed my eyes again but kept listening. A few seconds later i hear what sounded like the big snout of a dog sniffing under the rain fly of my tent, Im thinking it could be anything but had the feeling it was a bear so I didn't want to start yelling and freak it out and have it attack the tent so I rolled over in my sleeping bag making a little noise and then in a low voice a few times said hey, hey, hey. Of course this woke my girlfriend up and she asked what i was talking at and I just said there was a coyote scratching around by the tent so i was making it leave ( trying not to alarm her ) and then said its fine, go back to bed. Well about 1 minute after that I heard the frying pan get knocked over the rocks where the fire was and I looked at her and said you didn't put the cooking stuff away did you!? At this point I was convinced it was a bear out there going after the oil and flavors on the pan. While i was laying there trying to decide if I should step out and scare it away or just let it lick the pan and leave I heard the suspension on SUV start to squeak as if someone where rocking it back and forth and then the door handles flicking like someone without fingers was trying to open the door! At this point i decided i better go out and scare off whatever it is before it gets into my car and tears it up! as soon as I was unzipping the zippers and making some noise i could hear crashing through the brush and when i get out and shined my light over there was nothing to see... I yelled out a few times and went over to the car and put the pan in the cooler and locked the doors and we both went back to bed, a little nervous but morning was right around the corner and i felt the commotion I made was going to keep animals away for the next couple hours until sunrise. I looked all over in the morning for any kind of animals tracks and couldn't find any, the ground was pretty hard and didn't take prints easily. even the car didn't have any scuffs or marks of any kind on it so I never really found out what was out there but i have heard many campers before say they have seen bears in that area so i'm pretty certain thats what it was especially since deer and coyotes aren't big enough to rock an SUV back and forth. So thats my story and my first encounter with a bear being right next to my tent. I have had them come to camp and heard other people shout them off at night but never have been solo with no one around for miles and had to deal with it my self. So back to my question above, I feel like theres a bunch of ways you could see this situation through a bears eyes and it probably depends on a lot of different factors on what the right thing to do is but in general what would most of you do? I feel like the obvious answer is to make noise and get the bear away from the tent but I'm sure some of you can see if from the angle where you don't want to startle it that close and have your tent attacked with you in it. I have done a lot of camping and never had this happen ( that I was aware of ) so i hope it never happens again but if it does I don't want to be waiting and thinking about what I should do.
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