This is a one night backpack with maximum scenery and minimum time off of work for hikers who are fit and accustomed to backpacking.
The plan: Two groups of up to 4 people each leave from Mineral King and Balch Park respectively and meet at Hockett Meadow to spend the night together. The groups exchange car keys then walk out at the opposing TH (ie: the MK group exits Balch Park and the Balch Park group exits MK). Each group will be driving a car belonging to the other group to the start of the hike, and finding a car or cars from their own group at the exit point.
We will arrange vehicle exchange the morning of the first day once we have filled our slots.
What you will see: Giant Sequoias, large open meadows, trout-filled steams, Tule River, wooded forests. Group B will also see high Sierra Lakes, a mine, cabin ruins, and a cave.
Group A and Group B will follow slightly different routes:
Group A, leaving from Mineral King:
- Park at the TH near the Mineral King Ranger Station. Follow the Tar Gap trail to Hockett Meadow. Beginning elev: 7,400' End elev: 8,500' Total gain: 2,800' Loss: 1,700' mileage: 9.5
- Camp with group B at Hockett Meadow. Key exchange.
- Sunday morning leave Hockett Meadow. Route is as follows: Sand Meadow, Tuohy Meadow and Creek, North Fork of Tule River. Exit Shake Camp in Balch Park / Mt. Home State Park. Beginning elev: 8,500' End elev: 6,500' Total gain: 1,640' Total Loss 3,615' mileage: 12
Group B, leaving from Shake Camp: This is the more challenging option because you will be hiking cross country on Sunday, using class 2 and maybe 3 climbing skills, and experiencing greater elevation change. Your pay off for this torture? High Sierra Lakes, views, cabin ruins, and a marble cave. Disclaimer: portions of this route are exploratory in nature, so come with an adventurous spirit.
- Park at Shake Camp in Mt. Home State Park. Route is as follows: Tule River, Tuohy Creek, Tuohy Meadow, Sand Meadow, Hockett Meadow. Beginning elev: 6,500' End elev: 8,500' Total gain: 3,615' Loss: 1,640' Mileage: 12
- Camp with group A at Hockett Meadow. Key exchange.
- Sunday morning leave Hockett Meadow. Route is as follows: follow trail north for a mile, begin xc bushwhack following Horse Creek upstream, visit Ansel Lake, take a pass to White Chief Canyon, explore marble cave, rejoin trail in White Chief, exit the Eagle Lk/ White Chief TH in Mineral King. Follow rd. to MK Ranger Station. Beginning elev: 8,500' End elev: 7,500' Highest elev: 11,000' Total gain: 3,000' Loss: 4,016' Mileage:11 Remember, some of those miles are off trail!
There are 8 spots available on this trip- 4 in each group. When you join the waiting list, please indicate whether you want to be with group A or B in the comments section of this event. Because of the challenging nature of this trip, I will add you the "going" list based on my knowledge of your abilities. If neither Alice, Sam nor I know you, please email me with recent backpacking you have done that is comparable to this.
There will be several water crossings on this hike which cannot be done with dry feet. Be prepared. At this time, we believe that a campfire will be allowed at Hockett Meadow but this could change.
*** WAIVER OF LIABILITY *** The Organizers and members in this group are NOT professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Kern Tulare Peak Baggers and Trail Hikers Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities.