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#11121 - 02/25/11 04:47 PM Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground?
NJ hiker Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern NJ
Hello fellow hikers and backpackers! I would like some help planning lodging and pre-Whitney activities.

I have plans for Whitney this September as an overnight trip with my husband and another hiking friend. We live in a place where my living room is 151' of elevation and I will need to spend a lot of time acclimating before Whitney. I know that there are campgrounds at 9000-10000 feet. I have found a website for the Rock Creek Resort at 9373 elevation, advertised as a good place for acclimating in comfort. Is it better to rent a car and stay there for several days or to rent a small RV and stay at a campground?

Or as an alternate, are there showers we can get to from the high altitude campgrounds if we tent?

From any of these we will be dayhiking at places like Cloud's Rest to enjoy and acclimate.

Any feedback and suggestions are most welcome!

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#11123 - 02/25/11 06:26 PM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: NJ hiker]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
NJ Hiker, you didn't indicate how long a period you were looking at, but in the immediate area around Whitney your choices are pretty much car camping at the Portal (8300') or Horseshoe Meadow (10K'). If the Rock Creek property you're referring to is the one in Mammoth, that's about the closest elevation+comfort option.

Something new my family and I tried last year was renting a condo in Mammoth Lakes, which can be had quite cheaply since summer is their off season - well less than $100 per night in many cases. We spent 5 nights in Mammoth, dayhiking the numerous trails in the area, including Yosemite and White Mountain. In Mammoth, you get the benefit of sleeping at close to 8000 feet, which was key to me since the previous year I failed to summit Whitney due to AMS at 13,000 feet - caused almost certainly by never sleeping above 3700 feet the entire trip.

Between that overnight acclimation in Mammoth and dayhiking up to 12,000 feet, I was well prepared for Whitney. The day after leaving Mammoth Lakes I was signing the Whitney summit register with no AMS symptoms at all.

Non-camping alternatives at elevation in the eastern Sierra are slim pickings. We went this route rather than attempting to ship a family's worth of camping gear across the country and back. This coming summer will be our third "annual" trip out there and, unless a better idea pops up, we'll probably do roughly the same thing.

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#11125 - 02/25/11 07:30 PM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: NJ hiker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7875
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bulldog's advice is right on. Three nights at Mammoth Lakes or at Rock Creek should be all the acclimatization you need.

A more primitive option would be to pack light -- backpacking gear should not be too difficult to transport on your trip -- and camp at least two nights at Horseshoe Meadows walk-in campground. There are no showers there, but Lone Pine is 30 minutes down the road, where the Whitney Portal Hostel has nice showers for $5. A shower and a restaurant meal, and you could head back up to spend another night at 10k.

Since you're coming from so far, I'd think that spending more time here would be your preferred choice, so taking day trips to White Mountain and the Bristlecone Pine forests, Yosemite's Tioga Pass and Tuolumne Meadows, and even the Bodie ghost town would give you a full plate of rewarding visits. Even Yosemite Valley is within reach.

Since you're looking to acclimate for Whitney, choose trips in order of altitude exposure -- lower elevations earlier, White Mountain would be the last (highest) place to visit.

You will definitely enjoy seeing those places!

Oh... and if you fly in and out of Las Vegas, you can drive across Death Valley and see yet another landscape jewel on your trip.

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#11132 - 02/26/11 05:44 AM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
my favorite place to acclimate is Tuolumne Meadows - 8800 feet, 150 walk-in campsites, easy hiking nearby. Start with Lembert Dome, and when things get easier work your way up to higher targets, finishing with Mt. Dana at 13k+ as a half day hike right off Tioga Pass.
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#11133 - 02/26/11 05:45 AM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1253
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Rock Creek Resort is just below one of the most beautiful places in all the Sierra...Little Lakes Valley. LLV is a great place to start for a flatlander, even better than Horseshoe Meadow, which I like a lot. However, I would go lower than near 10,000'. June Lake is a reasonably price alternative at 7,600'. There is a campground walking distance from the Town of June Lake and showers are available within walking distance of the campground. From JL you have access to Yosemite, Virgina Lakes and the various trailheads in June.


Edited by wbtravis (02/26/11 05:46 AM)

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#11134 - 02/26/11 08:20 AM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: wbtravis]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: wbtravis
Rock Creek Resort is just below one of the most beautiful places in all the Sierra...Little Lakes Valley. LLV is a great place to start for a flatlander


Ditto that. LLV was the first Sierra hike I took my wife and daughter on when they came with me last year, and it was perfect for them for a first day's effort at 10K'. Gorgeous setting and only about a 600-foot gain over an easy 7-mile out-and-back. Gets you accustomed to the thin air without a strenuous, headache-inducing effort on that first day.

As Steve suggested, a good Day 2 would be the Methuselah Walk through the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on White Mountain (CA 168 near Big Pine). Again, you begin at about 10K', but there's more cumulative gain over this 4-mile trail, and it's never very steep or strenuous. These are two good acclimation hikes for those of us from the east.

You have plenty of higher-altitude, greater-gain options after that along the Eastern Sierra, but Telescope Peak in Death Valley (11K') is a good change of pace, and the views are magnificent (one of the few places in the lower 48 that you can stand and look almost directly down for more than two miles). Also, the trail to the summit of White Mountain is the easiest Fourteener in California. If you're planning to wind it up with Whitney, however, be careful that you don't overdo it - you want your legs strong and fresh for that final 6200-foot gain!

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#11171 - 02/27/11 01:37 PM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: NJ hiker]
VersatileFred Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 130
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: NJ hiker
I know that there are campgrounds at 9000-10000 feet. I have found a website for the Rock Creek Resort at 9373 elevation, advertised as a good place for acclimating in comfort. Is it better to rent a car and stay there for several days or to rent a small RV and stay at a campground?


Check out the post on Acclimatize without camping. Somebody else from the Northeast organized a similar trip and included Mammoth Mountain in the itinerary.

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#11179 - 02/27/11 07:27 PM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: NJ hiker]
Joel M. Baldwin Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento Ca USA
If you're coming from the north, and are stopping at Yosemite, there's the already mentioned Tuolumne Meadows campground, but also multiple campgrounds just outside the park ( Tioga, Ellery, Junction ) on the east side that are all 7 or 8 thousand feet, and also Saddlebag Lake campground at 10,000 feet.

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#11184 - 02/27/11 10:18 PM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: Joel M. Baldwin]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
If you're coming in through Yosemite and the down U.S. 395 to Lone Pine (Whitney), be sure and stop for a meal at Whoa Nellie Delli which is embedded in the service station at the corner of S.R. 120 and U. S. 395 at the bottom of the east exit out of Yosemite. It's fine dining (truly), at reasonable rates, and not to be missed.

CaT
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#11186 - 02/28/11 02:50 AM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: CaT]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
Originally Posted By: CaT
If you're coming in through Yosemite and the down U.S. 395 to Lone Pine (Whitney), be sure and stop for a meal at Whoa Nellie Delli which is embedded in the service station at the corner of S.R. 120 and U. S. 395 at the bottom of the east exit out of Yosemite. It's fine dining (truly), at reasonable rates, and not to be missed.

CaT


Huge second on that suggestion!

Whoa Nellie Deli

I've tried the lobster taquitos, mango fish tacos and buffalo meatloaf, and they're 3-for-3 so far. Plus you often get live entertainment while eating on their outdoor green overlooking Mono Lake. It's an experience you won't find anywhere else - especially at a Mobile gas mart!

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#11187 - 02/28/11 03:58 AM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: Bulldog34]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Third!

Check out this previous thread.
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#11301 - 03/03/11 05:45 PM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: wagga]
NJ hiker Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern NJ
Thanks for all these outstanding suggestions and tips. The airfare from NJ to Reno NV is much cheaper than LAX or Las Vegas so we would come in from the north. I'll check out the links you've all suggested. I get a feeling the higher I stay the better before attempting Trail Camp at 12,600 with a 25 lb pack on the first day. Like the gent from Atlanta, I had tried Whitney (back in 1989) and made it over Trail Crest but not much farther due to AMS symptoms. This time, and with experience behind me, I want to make it!
I did not know Tuolumne was so high..I thought most of Yosemite was around 4000. I'll put all the suggestions on the table and come up with a plan for a two week "acclimate-play-and pulp ourselves on Whitney", which I'll post back here probably next week. You are all so wonderful and helpful! I can't thank y'all enough ...this vacation is really going to be special even if we don't make the summit. And of course ther will be a trip report.

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#11307 - 03/03/11 10:46 PM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: NJ hiker]
Joel M. Baldwin Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento Ca USA
Originally Posted By: NJ hiker
. . . snip . . .
I did not know Tuolumne was so high..I thought most of Yosemite was around 4000.
. . . snip . . .


The Yosemite valley is at 4000' There are a few places in the park that are a little bit lower. Most of it is higher, MUCH higher in many cases. Consider that the cliff faces lining Yosemite Valley are upwards of 3200'. Mt Lyell is the highest point at 13,120 ft but that's a 13 mile or so hike in. Mt Dana is just off the road and at 13,061 ft is much more accessible and would be recommended as a practice hike.

Wiki page for Yosemite
Wiki page for Mt Dana

A good board to check out for more Yosemite Information is YosemiteNews.Info

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#11308 - 03/04/11 05:47 AM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: Joel M. Baldwin]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
The eastern gate of Yosemite (Tioga Pass) accessible from Lee Vining, is nearly 10,000'.


Edited by KevinR (03/04/11 05:52 AM)

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#11315 - 03/04/11 07:44 AM Re: Anyone know about a High altitue B&B or Campground? [Re: KevinR]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
NJ, good on 'ya, for doing this advanced planning.

I, personally, would not tend to stay in one place, when you have the opportunity to visit so many wonderful places, and see such a variety of terrain. Things I'd do:

Stay in Tuolumne, and hike in to Mt Dana on one day. Cloud's Rest on the next.

Stay in Mammoth, drive to Minaret Summit (9,700), park, and take the trail along the ridge to San Joaquin Mountain (11,600)
Perhaps take a day down in the Devil's Postpile area, and check out the Postpile, the Falls (should be something this year), and the natural bathhouse.

go in to Convict Lake, do an overnight to Lake Wit-So-Nah-Pah, said to have the most beautiful view in the Sierra:
[img]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcROU1K2Yn4gi2fwZJbkVbEmn0AdwlBO1ky8OMfHj4EkA7lQfglMVw&t=1[/img]

Gives you a chance to do a "shake down" overnighter in the backcountry, as well.

As you pass through Bishop, Wilson's Eastside Sports is the place to check out, for any gear needs. You might check nextdoor to see if Kurt Wedberg is in the office, and say hi.

Head west from Bishop to North Lake. Campground at 9,400. Dayhike to Piute Pass(11,500), or up to Lamark Col(~13,000), or both, on sequential days.

Go South to Tom's Place and head down the road to one of the many campgrounds, all about at 10k. From there, do day hikes in the Little Lakes Valley, such as to Mosquito Pass, or even an overnighter to Fourth Recess Lake, with it's 1,000 foot waterfall, the last camp of Norman Clyde!

[img]http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSO6hug0minTBgcy_H8k0406iqgVTsreMI5SOMrhi9h6KYPPX2V[/img]

South to Big Pine, and west on Glacier Lodge Road, to one of the campgrounds along the road, or the backpackers campground (~7,800), hike up to the Palisade Glacier around 12,400, or up to the chain of lakes below Cloudripper (~11,000)

South to Independence, west to Onion Valley (~10k), dayhike to Kearsarge Pass (and bag Mt. Gould, an easy scramble), or up the more remote Golden Trout Lakes trail.

South to Horseshoe meadow, camp at 10k. Hike to Trail Pass, around and down Cottonwood Pass.

You will have seen incredible terrain, and altitude should be NO PROBLEM for any of you.

Then, spend the night before your hike at the Hostel, get a great night sleep, a good dinner, and you'll have the hike of your life!

G'luck!
(sorry the images are not coming through, but I don't have any more time to waste trying to make the damn software function the way it wants!)


Edited by Ken (03/04/11 08:22 AM)
Edit Reason: damn pictures!

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