California Backpacking In Oct/Nov

2:41 p.m. on June 11, 2008 (EDT)
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Few questions for everyone,

I would very much like to get my wife into backpacking, hiking, camping etc. I want to plan trip when I get back from Iraq somehwere in the vincinty of Yosemite for around 4-5 days.

Any suggestions during that time period? I don't really know what the weather is like nor have I ever been there. We just recently moved to Southern Cal within the past two years and haven't really been up North past LA. I just want to get us in the outdoors together and secluded from everything and see some beautful sites.

Thanks for the help

Justin

9:32 p.m. on June 11, 2008 (EDT)
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What time of year are you getting back? Yosemite area has a definite 4 seasons, with summer heat, fall colors, winter snow, and spectacular falls during the spring snowmelt. Backpacking is very different in those 4 seasons. In summer and fall, Tuolumne Meadows has lots of excellent day hikes and overnights (and 4 or 5 day loops), and is much cooler than Yosemite Valley. Spring and later in fall the Valley is great with lots of hikes up out of the valley floor. Winter offers snowshoeing and cross country skiing on prepared tracks from Badger Pass to Glacier Point (and yoyo, er, I mean, lift-served skiing as well).

How much camping has your wife done? You might want to start out with car camping and not a long backpack for the first trip. And winter camping is probably not a good idea for a first 2 or 3 outings.

11:24 p.m. on June 11, 2008 (EDT)
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It starts to snow at higher elevations in the Sierras around that time. Yosemite at lower elevations is still pretty, tho the falls will all be at their lowest. You might also consider the Los Padres National Forest - there are some nice hikes in the Ojai Ranger District that lead you to hot springs, and the Monterey Ranger District has trailheads out of Big Sur and other points along Highway 1, which makes for some really scenic hiking. It's also really easy to car camp and day hike along the coast - there's a walk in campground at Andrew Molera as well as a beautiful 8 mile loop trail. You'll find trails at Montana de Oro, which is near Morro Bay, and MdO also has a drive-in campground as well as 4 walk-in sites. There's some great camping in San Luis Obispo County. Further up the coast there's Big Basin and Point Reyes, also quite scenic.

I don't think you can beat California for outdoor opportunities, really. Don't overlook the mountains surrounding the LA Basin, either. There are trails in the southern Sierras in Kern County, just over the grapevine and hook a right at 178 then straight on til Lake Isabella. Hwy 58 takes you over to Mojave, Red Rock Canyon, and eventually to Death Valley, which is great in winter months. And Joshua Tree is also best visited in the cooler seasons, as is Anza Borrego.

July 22, 2014
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