Weaver Lake in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness

8:29 p.m. on July 14, 2013 (EDT)
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This is my first Trip Report so I apologize in advance if there's anything I left out, etc etc.  I'd also like to thank our fellow member Speacock for all of the great advice on trip planning in the Sierras.

I finally was able to clear my schedule for a couple of days and rushed up to the Jennie Lakes Wilderness 7/12-7/13.  I was originally planning on staying till the 14th to complete the entire Jennie Lakes loop, but had to cut the trip short to 2 days because of extenuating circumstances.  So instead of the entire loop, I did a quick solo overnight at Weaver Lake and on my way out, did the Congress Trail just to spend some time in the Giant Forest with a few hundred other of my newest friends.

I left Los Angeles at approximately 8:45 am and began my drive up towards the I-5 to the 99.  Turned off and went on the 63 for a beautiful drive through farmlands and fields.  I stopped at a local Thai restaurant in Visalia for some wonton soup and was able to reach Kings Canyon/Grant Grove by 2.  After a quick gander in Grant Grove, I drove on the General's Highway to the Big Meadow Trailhead.

As you can see.. the Big Meadow Trailhead is aptly named:


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A small foot bridge leading over a creek marks the entrance to the trail:


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After approximately an hour of hiking, I came across a sweeping view of the Sierras:


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Here's the sign for the Jennie Lakes Wilderness.  I always loved the font used for trail signs! 
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After a couple of hours of hiking and meandering, I reached my destination of Weaver Lake:


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As Weaver Lake is very accessible, I was definitely not alone.  There was one large party of about 12 high school kids accompanied by 3 adults, and a couple other parties of 4-5 scattered around the lake.  However, I didn't mind being around others and was just thankful as to how easy I was able to leave the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and be at an alpine lake by mid-afternoon.

After setting up camp, I was able to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine: 


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As the afternoon turned to dusk, the wind died down and the view from Weaver Lake was stunning.  I don't think it really got dark until 8:45-9:00 PM.  I was able to find a primo campsite and enjoyed my dinner by the lake.  Carried in a box of Bandit Cabernet (which isn't all that bad) and sipped it as dusk turned into night.  Had a blast watching the trout leap up from the lake.


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As night fell, I put the rest of the Bandit back in the Backpacker's Cache and retired for the next morning...


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The hike out Weaver Lake was quick and I saw lots of people coming up the trail for day trips, as well as to camp.  I also ran into some volunteers doing trail maintenance, which was great to see.

After driving out of Big Meadow, I headed down to the Giant Forest to walk the paved trails.  As I previously mentioned, I didn't really mind that this trip was a little crowded, in which I obviously chose destinations that had a lot of people.  I was mostly just thankful to be up in the Sierras!!  Plus, I did get a kick in hearing the multitude of foreign languages and visitors within the Giant Forest.  It's pretty neat to think that people all over the world marvel at a place that can be so easily accessible for Californians.

Of course, I did the very popular Congress Trail:


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Got a quick glimpse of the Sherman Tree:
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And marveled at the beauty of the Sequoias:


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Once again, very much thankful of being able to live in California and experience such great natural beauty.  Now.. if I can really clear up the schedule and REALLY get out there.. that'll be the ticket!  But for now, I'm more than content with what I was able to experience in the past couple of days.  

12:05 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Great trip Report. Love the photos of the tree line. Makes me want to head out west to hit some trails.Thanks..

 

12:32 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks Denis!  I appreciate the comments.

7:08 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Nice report Danny! I assuage the call with weekend trips myself and can totally relate.  I always have to remind myself of the old adage : "contentment is wanting what you have".

I personally believe that whatever time we can spend out in the wilderness is good for our mental health.

11:10 a.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks Patman! I agree with you 100%. Now, if I can just find the time to do a week long thru hike.. that'll really benefit my mental health! I appreciate your comments!!

7:06 p.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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WOW! Looks like great fun!!

7:51 p.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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good first trip report. I miss the sierras.

8:28 p.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks Trailjester and GiftoGab! It was alot of fun!  I'm truly lucky to be living within driving distance to the Sierras.

10:47 p.m. on July 16, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey, you got out there!  Good going.  Nice report.  Weaver is a comfy place to get into and out of and playing tourist is always fun first time in.   Your walk around Giant Forest put you within a rocks toss of the start of the High Sierra Trail that gets you trans Sierra - to the east side. Normal exit is through Lone Pine on US-395.


Hope you get out there more often.  East side Sierra are more accessible from LA and generally less crowded as there is 'nothing there to see' (ppine) and low public knowledge of the 'stuff that ain't there'.

Keep the good trip reports (and pix) coming and the trips going.

We're all here to get your questions answered and get you off on the right foot - so to speak.  If you have a door that nobody will see the back side of often, put a Sierra Map up there and log the trails you will visit over the years.  Always good to have bragging rights so easily available for the unwary who ask, "Whatcha been doing lately?"

1:21 p.m. on July 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey Speacock!

I'm researching the Cottonwood Lakes hike you've suggested as I would like to make this my next trip.  Hopefully I can go soon and I'll post a trip report as soon as I can make it out there.  Once again, THANKS for all your invaluable advice/suggestions.  I've always had a little anxiety on spontaneous trips, where permits haven't been locked down months in advance.  Recently, I read a Backpacker Mag article on the notion of being spontaneous and trying for Plan B or Plan C permits when going on a trip with short notice.  Coupled with your suggestions, my dissuasion of not going on trips because of a lack of permits has been quelled much more.  I feel that as long as I have enough back-up plans and back up itineraries in regards to not getting the permit I want, I should be OK!  And what's the worst that can happen?  Having to car camp and day hike some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery this world has to offer?  That doesn't sound that bad to me!

2:33 p.m. on July 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Beautiful shots, macchiolives! I just went to Sequoia NP while I was out there, as well. It sure is beautiful! You are very lucky to live in California. I so wish I lived closer. 

4:20 p.m. on July 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks Ashleigh!  Great shots as well from your trip up Half Dome!  

12:10 p.m. on July 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Thank you :)

3:20 a.m. on July 19, 2013 (EDT)
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hay macchiolives!

if you want a hiking partner for the cottonwood trip let us know - I would love to do cottonwood lakes again! PM me!

6:40 p.m. on July 22, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey Trailjester!  I wound up spontaneously going this past weekend!  Cottonwood Lakes is absolutely beautiful!

July 31, 2014
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