askus3 wrote:Now that I have finished my three days acclimatizing and visiting/hiking in the east end of the park. I am ready for the High Sierra camp Loop. I have numerous questions, so here goes:
1. Is there a set time for breakfast and/or dinner? What time are the meals served? What happens if late for the meal?
Yes there are set time 7:30 AM for breakfast and 6 PM for dinner. Some camps will hold your place up to a certain point of you are late for dinner. I suspect it is a 30 minute time limit, beyond that you may be on your own. It could be Top Raamen versus an incredible marinated steak, baked potato and veggies with brownies smothered in chocolate sauce
2. Can I climb Mt. Hoffmann and still hike from May Lake to Sunrise HSC?
Know one knows the answer but you. It depends on your physical conditioning. As a long distance runner who has completed 40 marathons, and someone that has done both climbs I wouldn't give it a second thought. For others, it is an absolute struggle to go directly from May Lake to Sunrise without suffering. You say you can do 20 miles a day, but at 8000+ feet is a whole different ball game than 3-4000 ft.
Just last week, we stumbled across a older couple doing the HSC route, and went from Glen Aulin via Murphy Creek to May Lake. I don't consider that odd route a big deal,, an odd diversion, yes. They were clearly suffering coming up the May Lake trail and 25 minutes past 6 PM,they were in trouble for dinner at the camp and it was very obvious they were struggling at the altitude.
3. Should I try to make a two night stay at Sunrise so I can do a circular utilizing the John Muir Trail down Sunrise Creek and then ascend up the ridge to get to Cloud s Rest making a circular hike? Is this loop too demanding because I lose over a 1000 feet of elevation gain. Is it worth doing this circular or should I hold off and save Clouds Rest for a separate dayhike up and back from Tioga Road a little further along in my vacation?
Once again it depends on your physical conditioning. However you do cut off several miles to Cloud's Rest from the High Sierra Camp, so your option would be my choice.
4. Lewis Creek VS Fletcher Creek en route from Merced Lake to Vogelsang. Opinions please. Are excursions to Babcock and Emeric or Bernice Lakes worth the extra mileage and effort?
Having done both several time, I prefer Lewis Creek as you can hit Toulumne peak on the way in. However keep in mind you do extra climbing and then drop down to Vogelsang. Not a big deal for most. The excursion to the side lake. Hmmm been there, done that and these are your typical mountain lakes with a few peaks. I am a bit jaded as I did them but would not go back as I did not view then as incredibly scenic. For someone that was into mountain lakes, they might be a gorgeous place
5. Rafferty Creek VS Evelyn Lake/Lyell Canyon en route from Vogelsang to Tuolomne Meadows. Opinions please. Is an excursion to Ireland lake worth the extra mileage and effort?
I prefer Lyell Canyon as the drop from Vogelsang is much more scenic with views of the peaks off to the left side. Excursion to Ireland - Yes
6. Maybe do a figure 8 combining both routes in questions 4 & 5 and skip Tenaya Lake to Merced Lake via Sunrise. Again your thoughts.
This question is confusing to me, guess I am missing something... Have to admit I have been consuming some of California's finest, so the brain might be a bit fuzzy at this point You are going from where to where? Merced to Vogelsang to Toulumne back to Vogelsang?
Of course I might have to refine and change options based on whether I win occupance at the High Sierra Camps via the lottery. But if do option 6, I have to rethink what HSCs I try to reserve for!
It all seems win-win but I would love to see so much and you would think in 16 days of hiking I could, but the more I delve the more it looks to me that I will only scratch the surface. Anyway, I'd love to hear your expert opinions.
thanks for answering.
What I am saying in question 6 is to go from Tuolomne Meadows to Merced Lake as a figure 8 with stops at Vogelsang each way combining both choices offered in questions 4 & 5. in other words:
Day 1 - Tuolomne Meadows to Vogelsang via Rafferty Creek
Day 2 - Vogelsang to Merced Lake via Lewis Creek thru Vogelsang Pass
Day 3 - Merced Lake to Vogelsang via Fletcher Creek.
Day 4 - Vogelsang back to Tuolomne Meadows via Lyell Canyon.
Then skip Sunrise and do May Lake/Mt. Hoffman as a day hike from Tenaya Lake and hike from Tuolomne Meadow to Glen Aulin up and back as a 2 day hike staying in Glen Aulin HSC. Just so many choices. If this would help get spots in the lottery, I would be acceptable to do this route. What i am trying to do is figure out what I want to do in the time frame of 6-7 days in the High Sierra Camps area. So if I do this four day option then the Tenaya Lake to Merced Lake via Sunrise gets cut from my plans and what would work best with reservations that I am able to obtain at HSC.
Also, you mention you would go to Ireland Lake but not the others. Just curious what is special about Ireland Lake to go 3 miles (1.5 each way) to see, especially since you state that you aren't really big into lakes.
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