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#50818 - 07/11/17 05:23 PM Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions
fit2climb Offline


Registered: 05/25/16
Posts: 9
Loc: California
Need any info on Onion Valley camp grounds. I heard they aren't opening until sometime in August. I had reserved a site, but got a notice stating that the sites are not open. Planning to climb Mt. Gould (via Kearsagre Pass), Kearsarge Peak, and University Peak this weekend before Whitney ascent on Wednesday - 7/15. Any info on Kearsarge pass would be helpful too!

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#50820 - 07/11/17 05:46 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: fit2climb]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7195
Loc: Fresno, CA
I got this from a friend who went up last weekend:

The road is still closed about 1/2 mile to the trailhead. Sections of the road have been undermined by a stream. In fact, one section the road collapsed to the middle of the road.

Cars are parked along the road.

The Onion Valley campground is closed right now, and according to Recreation.Gov, is scheduled to open July 15th. But, in talking with the forest service staff at the road closure, don't count on the campground opening soon. Apparently the water tank that supplies the campground was destroyed by the winter.

So, no water at the trailhead. Bring your own water.

The forest service also said that there is a lot of maintenance needed at the campground before opening.

So, you have a road in need of repair; no water at the campground, and, clean-up work still to be done.


Unfortunately no pictures: His camera battery died. frown

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#50824 - 07/11/17 06:39 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: Steve C]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
I am the poor guy who's camera battery died on me.

As for the trail, I hiked to just below the plateau before the pass. At that point the trail was hidden by a few feet of snow.

The only reason that I did not go further was due to the fact that I am out of shape (68) and was feeling the pain of walking on the snow.

Having said that, many hikers were continuing to the pass. One ultra runner went by me, eventually making it to Bullfrog Lake as his turnaround point (I spoke with him after his run). His girlfriend, came by me in running shoes walking her dog. She made the pass.

Descending back to the trail-head, I ran into countless hikers heading up to and over the pass. And, I met 10 to 15 PCT hikers hiking out to resupply.

Yes, I wish I had pictures. maybe someone will post those pictures here.

paul

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#50860 - 07/12/17 05:16 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: fit2climb]
WanderingJim Online


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 179
Loc: California
I had two reservations for Onion Valley CC in July and August. Recreation.gov cancelled and refunded both this week.

By the sounds of it, they aren't expecting it to open until September, but I guess that depends on the water and how much damage there is.

Don't care about July, but I was hoping to do my big 7 day trek from Onion Valley in August... if the snow cooperates.

Might just have to sleep/camp somewhere else once I pull the trigger on a date.

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#50875 - 07/13/17 06:39 AM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: fit2climb]
fit2climb Offline


Registered: 05/25/16
Posts: 9
Loc: California
Thanks for the info guys. I'll still be heading up to OV. Hopefully I can just park and find a spot near the trail head.

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#50884 - 07/13/17 10:42 AM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: fit2climb]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Just an observation. I arrived on a Friday, around 6pm. At the closure sign, there were 6 cars. I was able to park less than 100 feet from the sign. Now, fast forward to Saturday when I returned from my hike around 11am, the line of cars parked along the road, probably exceeded a half to 3/4 of a mile. These were a combination of day hikers, and overnighters hiking up.

So, arriving after the day hikers leave is a good option.....6pm.

Also, as of Saturday, there were bear boxes at the closure sign, but no porta-potty. I actually mentioned this to the rangers that having a porta-potty would be nice since hikers were doing their business where ever they decided. They looked at each other and said it was a budget problem.

Now, this is only me, but if I arrived with enough time, I would hike up to the parking lot and camp, or hike over to the family sites that are closed and camp that night for an early hike.

paul

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#50927 - 07/14/17 02:13 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: Paul]
fit2climb Offline


Registered: 05/25/16
Posts: 9
Loc: California
Thanks Paul. I'll report any info I can when I get into Lone Pine on Tuesday. Hope it will help for others. like!

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#50952 - 07/16/17 05:38 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: fit2climb]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
I was up at Onion Valley this past weekend, and, I am happy to report that the road closure barriers have been taken down. The barriers were removed at 5pm on Friday. The road is "one-lane" through the section where the road was undermined by the creek.

What is interesting, is that hikers are still parking along the road, not the parking area at the trailhead.

paul

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#50956 - 07/17/17 08:58 AM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: Paul]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7195
Loc: Fresno, CA
Paul's pictures of the road:





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#51042 - 07/20/17 04:42 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: Steve C]
fit2climb Offline


Registered: 05/25/16
Posts: 9
Loc: California
Thanks again Steve for the info. Just got back from OV and Whitney. Road is open all the way to trailhead at OV. Was able to stay at campsites. Kearsarge Pass is snow free, but Golden Trout lakes trail still has a massive amount of snow in areas. If anyone is planning to climb kearsarge or Dragon Peak you're going to want to bring crampons and ice axe. My Gould southwest ridge is snow free. Creeks are little rivers and are fast moving as of late. Crossings were challenging up Golden Trout Trail. I was up there from the 15th to Tuesday the 18th. Hope this info helps.

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#51048 - 07/20/17 07:44 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: fit2climb]
WanderingJim Online


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 179
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: fit2climb
Was able to stay at campsites.


Was the campground open or did you just hike in?

Or are their backpacker's sites at OV as well as the reservable campground?


Edited by WanderingJim (07/20/17 07:44 PM)

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#51071 - 07/21/17 02:38 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: WanderingJim]
Paul Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 172
Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Jim, when I was up there last week, the campground was officially closed, however, the forest service told some hikers that they can stay there, but must leave in the morning.The campground will most likely stay closed for the rest of the year due to the water tank that supplies water to the campground was destroyed during the winter.

I suspect that the forest service just wants to keep the campgrounds as one night.

paul

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#51073 - 07/21/17 02:55 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: Paul]
WanderingJim Online


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 179
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Paul
Jim, when I was up there last week, the campground was officially closed, however, the forest service told some hikers that they can stay there, but must leave in the morning.The campground will most likely stay closed for the rest of the year due to the water tank that supplies water to the campground was destroyed during the winter.

I suspect that the forest service just wants to keep the campgrounds as one night.

paul


Thanks. One night was my plan anyway, so can still plan on that.

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#51078 - 07/21/17 05:57 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: WanderingJim]
fit2climb Offline


Registered: 05/25/16
Posts: 9
Loc: California
Campsites were open. Just park your car at the trailhead and walk to the sites. No fee also. I had originally reserved a site but was refunded by the forest service. My son and I were literally the only ones in the campsites this last Saturday through Tuesday. So you shouldn't have a problem finding a nice camp site.

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#51079 - 07/21/17 07:43 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: fit2climb]
Bobby49 Offline


Registered: 07/04/17
Posts: 41
Loc: California
I think that there is a USFS rule that if the campground cannot supply water, then they can't collect the fee.

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#51130 - 07/23/17 09:49 PM Re: Anyone been up to Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass conditions [Re: fit2climb]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 358
Loc: Wildomar
Thanks for all the useful updates. Doing a dayhike out of OV in a couple days to fill in a missing section of the JMT. Headed over Kersarge and then Glen to the Paradise Valley Junction and back. Quick 38 mile hike/run.......................DUG

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