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Need advice for first visit in June 2020

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

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Need advice for first visit in June 2020

Postby BigMatty_T » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:04 am

I've read some really great posts on this forum about things to do, when to do them, and how to avoid some of the crowds. To be honest, it's all a bit overwhelming haha. I'm hoping I can draw on the stellar knowledge of the community here to plan out an amazing trip for my friends and me this coming June. We have 4 days during the first weekend in June (5th-8th) to enjoy the park. Here are the criteria that I'm working with.

1. Avoid large crowds at all costs.
2. Moderate level hikes with spectacular views. (we have a few lower tier hikers in the group)
3. Access to swimming holes.
4. Good fishing locations.

The biggest thing with this trip is I want us to be able to take in the beauty of the park without constantly being surrounded by people. Doing the half dome hike would be cool, but I can live without it. We are planning to camp and do day hikes, not backpacking through the park. We will have a vehicle so I'm fine with moving camp locations to access another area.

What I need from you all are suggestions based on our timeframe for hikes, campsites, needed permits, swimming and fishing spots for those locations, and just general tips for getting the most out of our trip. I wasn't able to find much in the way of information for June, so hopefully, this isn't an awful time to go. One last thing, a few of us are going with hammocks, so please let me know if the campsites can accommodate those or not.

Thank you!
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Re: Need advice for first visit in June 2020

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:58 am

1. Go somewhere that isn't Yosemite.
2. Wait until later in the year, if there has been more than a few feet of snow, because views are from the rim (south or north) and those will still be under snow in June. Roads to those higher trailheads will be closed until the snow melts too making it a strenuous hike up from the valley floor rather than a moderate to easy hike from trailheads on Tioga Rd or Glacier Point Rd.
3. Wait until later in the year, if there has been snow and the melt is still happening, because people die in the water otherwise.
4. Go somewhere other than Yosemite if your idea of good fishing is big fish.

You'll be in swarms of people in June and July regardless. May-June is peak waterfall viewing season because of the snow melt.

If you want to swim, lakes are safer during snow melt, but will be pretty cold. Fish in Yosemite tend to be on the small side, and easy to get to waters receive a lot of fishing pressure and it can be lots of trying with few catches.

If avoiding crowds is the top priority, Yosemite Valley is the wrong place to be. I go to trailheads for other wilderness areas for the wilderness experience. And for better fishing. Safe water crossings also come later in the year.

Hammocks are fine, though you will have to have some pretty long straps to hang in the campgrounds. And at middle to low elevations, there are a LOT of dead trees. Don't hang from those. They tip over on a whim. You shouldn't be camping under them anyway, regardless of what you sleep in.
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Re: Need advice for first visit in June 2020

Postby dan » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:19 pm

June is crowded, yes, but it is also beautiful with waterfalls. It is also not as crowded as July and August when all schools are out and international vacations are in effect.

* Glacier Point is crowded, but the trails west along the south rim are less crowded. Including to Taft Point and Dewey Point.
* The eastern end of Yosemite Valley, Mirror Lake, Little Yosemite Valley are crowded. But there are the scenic trails along the valley floor that run west to El Capitain and Bridalveil Falls (parallel to the north and south roads).
* Get an early start for crowded areas such as Mirror Lake or Glacier Point.
* Mariposa Grove, near Wawona, is crowded, but Tuolumne Grove and Merced Grove, although smaller, have their Sequoias in a more peaceful setting.

Hammocks--the problem with hammocks is the trees are not always in the exact location you want. Extra rope always helps.
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Re: Need advice for first visit in June 2020

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:49 pm

Straps, not rope, are appropriate for hammocks. Ropes cause damage especially to trees with softer bark.

It all depends on the snow pack what's available. Last June you would not have had much luck. Next June might be different. And be prepared for mosquitoes. They are pretty fierce in meadows and near standing water.
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Re: Need advice for first visit in June 2020

Postby Phil » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:51 am

The early in the season travel dates are going to take away almost any hope of avoiding crowds and accessing the more remote locations in the park, and probably a whole lot of the Sierras in general. But, the thing in the 2020 season is going to be that Glacier Point Rd is going to be closed this year, so while you'll need to do some serious climbing to get up there from the valley for a day, the largest and least desirable elements of other hikers is going to be largely eliminated. But again, you'll be relegated to basically the South Rim, and access to the higher elevations such as Merced Pass and Red Peak, etc, are going to be virtually impossible to get to because of both snow pack and creek crossings that either require a really advanced set of skills and equipment, or just risk, up to and including death.
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Re: Need advice for first visit in June 2020

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:57 am

Also - and at this point I'm sounding like a total killjoy, but it's information you need to plan for the best trip possible - the fishing regulations for Wild and Scenic Rivers aka the Merced and the Tuolumne are such that you can't keep rainbow trout. Browns (hardly any left) and brook trout can be taken, but artificial lures with barbless hooks must be used and all rainbows released if caught. And when the snow melt is on, catching anything in creeks and rivers is difficult. Lakes are the best bet for early season fishing and there are few lakes accessible from Yosemite valley by day hikes, unless you are able to hike 20-30 miles in a day.

There are a multitude of reasons to visit Yosemite, but so far as your stated goals go... June is not your ideal time. For low crowds winter (late September - April) is better.
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