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Recommendation for overnight with son
#57118 05/31/20 10:27 PM
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I've got an 11 year old boy and he's strong enough to have just climbed Mt. Baldy without complaining. Planning on getting him up Whitney when he's 12. He's never spent the night in the Sierras and can still get a little nervous about bears, mountain lions, and aliens. Want to find a couple overnight intro trips for him to get comfortable. Looking for some hikes that are up 4 miles in and has a lake or stream to fly fish at. We've hiked in to Mosquito Flats behind Rock Creek for a day hike and I've thinking along those lines. Bishop to June Lake are would be best. Any recommendations from some of you parents?

Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
MalibuMike #57121 06/01/20 02:50 AM
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Consider South Lake Trailhead (west of Bishop) to below Bishop Pass. You have a number of lakes along the trail with good camping and fishing.
Also consider Onion Valley Trailhead. Several lakes have good fishing with easy access from the trail.
In both cases, lakes and camping are available early on as well as farther up the trail

Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
MalibuMike #57122 06/01/20 05:58 AM
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As a local, here are some of my recommendations:

Hart Lake, above Mosquito Flats. Easy hike. Camp about 200 feet above the inlet of the lake. Fish the inlet of Hart Lake using very small midge patterns. Rainbows, Brookies, and occasional hybreds.

Also Chicken Foot Lake and Long Lake. The best camp sites at Long Lake are across the small outlet creek.

Get an early start for your hike (before 8 AM) in order to be certain of a parking place at the trailhead parking lot.

As you may know, all of the lakes in Rock Creek canyon are near the main trail with plenty of other people around, including kids.

And on the Bishop Pass trail, Marie-Louise Lakes. Sign-posted turn-off from main trail, about 2 miles in. Plenty of camp sites at the first lake and others near the second lake. The second of the two lakes is Brookie heaven; fish it from the meadow along the shore-line. Use small midge patterns. This is a family favorite.

There will be some road construction on the road to South Lake, so call the Bishop ranger station for information.

Last edited by Bob West; 06/01/20 08:44 AM.
Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
MalibuMike #57123 06/01/20 11:33 AM
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Although not in your preferred range, Cottonwood Lakes has both camping and fishing. Maybe a little more than 4 miles in. But definitely at high altitude -- 10 to 11k, which would give you an idea how he responds to the Whitney altitudes.

Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
Steve C #57124 06/01/20 12:48 PM
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I very much second Steve C's recommendation to check out Cottonwood Lakes. The hike in is nice and high, but also gentle and extremely beautiful with almost countless fishing spots. And having successfully summited Whitney with two kids starting out at Horseshoe Meadow, it is a great way for both you and your kid to get familiar with the first part of the route around to the back side of Whitney, which, by the way, would be my strong recommendation for tackling Whitney with kids. Feel free to PM for advice on the kid angle, if you would like any. And good luck!

Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
Goose #57132 06/03/20 10:59 AM
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Definitely Cottonwood lakes.

For one, if you're really coming from the Malibu area, it's only a 4 hr drive to Lone Pine vs 5-6 hrs up to Bishop creek/June lake area. I don't mind driving, but that extra 1-2 hrs changes a lot of things, including fatigue, time leaving home, logistics, etc.

Two, the closest lake is 4.5 miles from the TH. Even better, it only has 1k gain, which over that distance barely registers.

Three, the CWs are still one of the prime GT fishing spots in the Sierra.

Four, it would give you an intro to a very popular back-end route to Whitney via New Army.

SF lake:

[Linked Image]

I took my son up to Whitney via this route when he was 14. Guitar lake before summit/exit the next day:

[Linked Image]

6 years later on our JMT section hike last year (Silver pass):

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Hobbes; 06/03/20 11:16 AM.
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Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
MalibuMike #57137 06/03/20 09:17 PM
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I wanted to thank you all for the great suggestions. They all sound amazing! The Cottonwood Lakes are sounding really good. Especially if we wanted to leave on a Friday morning and return Monday to Malibu. I did the mountaineer route last year and have overnight permits for July and Sept on the main trail . Can't stop thinking about the adventures to be had with my son in the Sierras!

Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
MalibuMike #57138 06/03/20 09:28 PM
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Doing some research now. Look like most permits are gone for Cottonwood Lakes. How tough is it to get the walk up permits during summer?

Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
MalibuMike #57139 06/03/20 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MalibuMike
Doing some research now. Look like most permits are gone for Cottonwood Lakes. How tough is it to get the walk up permits during summer?

Not too difficult in the past. But look at the Walkup Permits thread -- everything is different this year.

Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
Steve C #57140 06/04/20 06:32 AM
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Yup--a whole new ball game. But it does look as if new permits are being dropped on to recreation.gov every day, 14 days out. There are lots available for Cottonwood Lakes 6/15 to 6/18 right now. Just keep checking, and if that is indeed the pattern, get ready to log on at 12:01 am 15 days before the date you want.

Last edited by Goose; 06/04/20 09:04 AM.
Re: Recommendation for overnight with son
MalibuMike #57141 06/04/20 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MalibuMike
Doing some research now. Look like most permits are gone for Cottonwood Lakes. How tough is it to get the walk up permits during summer?

Another alternative out of the Horseshoe Meadows area is to turn south over Trail or Mulkey passes where there is no quota (but permit still required) and access to little fished native golden trout streams like Mulkey Creek. The Pacific Crest Trail winds south from here. You will not be against glacier carved cliffs, but there are view points like Muah Mountain.

https://www.peakfinder.org/?lat=36....=5&ele=3358&name=Muah%20Mountain

The fishing season in Cottonwood lakes opens July 1, Lakes 1-4 have a 0 fish limit. The fishing season south of Trail Pas is already open. From the CA Regulations:

49) Cottonwood Creek drainage lakes (Inyo Co.).
(A) Cottonwood Lakes 1, 2, 3 and 4 and
their tributaries (Inyo Co.).
July 1 through Nov. 15. Only
artificial lures with barbless hooks
may be used.
0 trout
(B) All remaining Cottonwood Creek
drainage lakes.
July 1 through Nov. 15. Only
artificial lures with barbless hooks
may be used.
5 trout


(71) Golden Trout Wilderness Area
(Tulare Co.), excluding the main stem Kern
River (see subsection 7.50(b)(86), and the
Tule River drainage (See subsection 7.50(b)
(197)).
Last Saturday in Apr. through
Nov. 15. Only artificial lures with
barbless hooks may be used.
5 trout


Have a great time wherever you go

Dale B. Dalrymple


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