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A High Sierra Wilderness Adventure

Program Number: 4808RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/14/2013 - 7/19/2013; 7/12/2015 - 7/17/2015; 7/26/2015 - 7/31/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Sierra National Forest, California
Price starting at: $656.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 16; 5 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Step out of the daily hustle and bustle to experience nature at its best in the John Muir Wilderness, the highly protected natural area that contains the most spectacular and highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Explore the high country with local experts, examining hot springs, alpine meadows, igneous and metamorphic rock formations, rushing streams, and evidence of glacial activity.




Highlights

• Learn to identify wildflowers and native grasses as well as a variety of trees, shrubs, birds and other fauna.
• Discuss the history of the region including Native American presence, early explorations, ranching, Basque herders and the creation of man-made lakes.
• Unwind with a dip in nearby hot springs or a sunrise yoga class facing the mountains.



Activity Particulars

Hiking four miles with an elevation gain of 600 feet to reach base camp. Additional short hikes and optional longer hikes in a wilderness environment.




Date Specific Information

7-14-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Lost Valley Pack Station.




Sierra National Forest

The western slope of the Sierra Nevada is known for spectacular mountain scenery and abundant natural resources. The forest encompasses more than a million acres of oak, aspen and pine forests, as well as alpine lakes, rivers and wilderness.



Accommodations
Comfortable creek-side camp in the John Muir Wilderness. Double-occupancy tents with foam mattresses, outhouses, bathhouse with wood-fueled hot shower.
Meals and Lodgings
   Blayney Meadows
  Blayney Meadows, California 5 nights
 Blayney Meadows
Type: Tents
  Description: A wilderness camp site set in a grove of aspen and lodge pole pines adjacent to meadows in the John Muir Wilderness near the confluence of Sanger Creek and the South Fork of the San Joaquin River. Natural thermal springs 1/2 mile from camp. The Florence Lake Trail intersects the John Muir section of the Pacific Crest Trail approximately 1 1/2 miles South of our base camp in Blayney Meadows. There is no phone in Blayney Meadows. The email is checked daily. If someone needs to get in contact with us because of an emergency during the program, email is the best method. The only alternative would be to call the Fresno County Sheriff at 559-488-3111.
  Contact info: none
Blayney Meadows, John Muir Wilderness, CA none USA
phone: NA -00---
  Facility amenities: Large tents with comfortable 4 inch foam mattresses. Wood fueled hot showers. All participants need to clearly understand that this Road Scholar is a wilderness camping experience. Our base camp in Blayney is just that, a wilderness camp. If your previous camping experience includes wilderness backpacking, the accommodations will seem deluxe to you. If however, all of your past experiences have taken place in resorts or guest ranches our facility may seem very primitive to you. There is no electricity or running water other than in the streams (purified local water is provided for drinking). There is no phone service other than a solar powered radio system, which can be used to contact the outside world in emergencies. Participants will camp in tents located in an aspen grove near Sallie Keyes Creek. Restrooms (outhouses) are conveniently located nearby. Tents and foam mattresses are provided. The main buildings, kitchen, gathering room and shower house are situated several hundred yards across the meadow along Sanger Creek. All are built of native materials with most of the lumber milled on the site. Cooking is done on both propane and wood stoves. Propane fuels our refrigerators and freezers. Delicious home cooked meals are served “family style” in the camp outdoor dining area. Showers and baths are provided by a wood fueled hot water system in our rustic bathhouse. Participants bring their own towels and toiletries but a few basics such as soap and shampoo will be provided.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: Bathing facilities are located at a rustic "shower house" near the main campsite. Gravity flow water system and wood fueled heater provide pressurized hot water for showers.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
10:00 AM at Florence Lake. You will be staying at Blayney Meadows that night.
  End of Program:
12:30 PM at Florence Lake. You will be staying at Blayney Meadows the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. A liability waiver and questionnaires for health information and dietary needs are sent with the pre-program information packet and should be returned prior to arrival.
  Parking availability:
The US Forest Service maintains paved parking areas at Florence Lake that are free to the public.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Blayney Meadows, California
  Nearest city or town:  Lakeshore, California
  Nearest highway: Hwy 168
  Nearest airport:  Fresno, California
  From End of Program
  Location: Blayney Meadows, California
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Fresno, CA

 

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

   

There is no public transportation from Fresno to Florence Lake. Participants must provide their own transportation. Car rentals are available at the Fresno Airport for those arriving in the area by plane. The distance from Fresno to Florence Lake is approximately 90 miles. The last 15 miles of the road to Florence Lake, though roughly paved, is suitable for ordinary passenger vehicles. See "Driving Directions" for specific directions.

 
Driving Directions
  Fresno, California Lost Valley Pack Station is located on the Southeast shore of Florence Lake in the John Muir Wilderness Area of Sierra National Forest approximately 90 miles east of Fresno. From Fresno take Hwy 168 East to Huntington Lake (Approximately 2 hours travel time) then turn on to the Florence Lake Road. Allow at least 1 1/2 hours to travel from Huntington to Florence as the maximum speed for safety over the final 15 miles of one lane road is 10 to 15 mph. Approximately 7 miles before Florence Lake you will come to the High Sierra District Ranger Station and soon after, a fork to the east (left) which leads to Mono Hot Springs and Edison Lake. Remain on the main road (right) and continue on to its end at Florence Lake. Follow the signs to the Road Scholar Registration area.
Elevation Note: All activities take place at elevations between 7,400' and 8,000'.

Equipment Requirements: Sleeping bag, small day pack and sturdy walking shoes/boots suitable for hiking over rough terrain are essential. Foul weather gear is also recommended.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and check-in at 10:30 am, ferry across Florence Lake and hike to base camp for orientation
(Sunday, July 14)
   
 Morning: Arrive at Florence Lake registration site. Participants need to observe the 10:30 am check in time. This allows time for the 30 minute ferry ride to pack station corrals at the trail head, lunch and the 4 mile hike to reach base camp by 5pm. Luggage will be transported separately.
 Lunch: A buffet lunch is served at the pack station immediately after the ferry ride across Florence Lake.
 Afternoon: After a brief orientation, participants hike 4 miles to the Blayney Meadows base camp with guides. When they reach camp they are given refreshments, tent assignments and time to settle in and take showers before a social hour at 5pm (snacks, wine and non-alcoholic beverages are provided).
 Dinner: A delicious home cooked meal is prepared in our kitchen and served at the campsite.
 Evening: Participants and staff gather around the campfire for introductions and a brief presentation of essential information and procedures. A short presentation about the history of "Lost Valley" and an informal (optional) campfire end the evening.
   
Accommodations: Blayney Meadows
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Introduction to camp area, guided hikes to local points of interest and lecture of human history in the Sierras
(Monday, July 15)
   
 Breakfast: Optional morning yoga, breakfast at the main house, assemble sack lunch for noon break
 Morning: Orientation walk around camp area, Native American camp site, introduction to our Library on Sierra Nevada natural history and human history.
 Lunch: Lunch break - Participants eat lunch at a place of their own choosing within the camp area, either at the campsite, or at some scenic spot near the meadows or river.
 Afternoon: Guided hikes to local points of interest, free time, showers, social hour (snacks, wine and non-alcoholic beverages provided).
 Dinner: Dinner is served at the campsite following the "social hour".
 Evening: An evening program on Sierra human history presented by a local author/historian and (optional) informal campfire. Optional "star walk" may be offered depending on viewing conditions.
   
Accommodations: Blayney Meadows
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Choice of guided hikes all morning and into the afternoon, and optional afternoon art activities or hot springs visit
(Tuesday, July 16)
   
 Breakfast: Optional morning yoga, breakfast at the main house, assemble sack lunch for noon break
 Morning: Guided natural history field hikes (choice of available options)
 Lunch: Lunch break at a scenic spot on the trail.
 Afternoon: Longer hikes continue, most return to camp by 2pm. Optional art activities (instruction and materials provided) or walk to local hot springs/lake available for participants who are interested, free time to relax, shower, etc. Social hour snacks and drinks provided at 5pm.
 Dinner: Dinner served at the campsite.
 Evening: Evening program/ slide show followed by (optional) informal campfire. Optional "star walk" may be offered depending on viewing conditions
   
Accommodations: Blayney Meadows
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Choice of guided hikes all morning and into the afternoon, optional afternoon activities
(Wednesday, July 17)
   
 Breakfast: Optional morning yoga, breakfast at the main house, assemble sack lunch for noon break.
 Morning: Choice of several hikes to local points of interest ( ranging from longer, challenging hikes to low impact walks) or in camp activities.
 Lunch: Lunch at a scenic spot on the trail for those on hikes, or in camp for those who choose to take a day off from hiking.
 Afternoon: Longer hikes continue. Participants returning from shorter hikes have the afternoon free to relax, read, etc. (optional art activities are available). Social hour snacks and drinks provided a 5pm.
 Dinner: Dinner served at the campsite.
 Evening: Short informative evening program and campfire for those who wish to participate
   
Accommodations: Blayney Meadows
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Choice of guided hikes all morning and into the afternoon, and optional afternoon art activities or hot springs visit
(Thursday, July 18)
   
 Breakfast: Optional morning yoga, breakfast at the main house, assemble sack lunch for noon break
 Morning: Guided natural history field hikes (choice of available options)
 Lunch: Lunch break at a scenic spot on the trail.
 Afternoon: Longer hikes continue, most return to camp by 2pm. Optional art activities (instruction and materials provided) or walk to local hot springs/lake available for participants who are interested, free time to relax, shower, etc. Social hour snacks and drinks provided at 5pm.
 Dinner: Dinner served at the campsite.
 Evening: Final campfire and closing activities.
   
Accommodations: Blayney Meadows
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hike back to Florence Lake, ferry ride and departures
(Friday, July 19)
   
 Breakfast: A hearty breakfast is served at the campsite, participants pack personal gear and assemble sack lunches.
 Morning: After breakfast participants carry their personal gear to the packing area beside the campsite and begin the return hike to Florence Lake with their guides.
 Lunch: Most participants choose to eat their sack lunch at Florence Lake while waiting for the ferry.
 Afternoon: Participants take the ferry across Florence Lake, pick up their personal gear at a designated spot near the parking area and begin their journey back to civilization.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Sierra Nevada Natural History


Author: Tracy I. Storer and Robert L. Usinger


Description: Overview of geologic history in addition to reference guide to flora and fauna found in the Sierra.



History of the Sierra Nevada


Author: Francis Farquhar


Description: A comprehensive account of the human history of the Sierra.



South of Yosemite


Author: John Muir


Description: The clasic volume about John Muirs travels through the Central and Southern Sierra.



Exploring the Highest Sierra


Author: James Moore


Description: One of the latest and most comprehensive books on the Sierra. Includes both geologic and human history.





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