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From SF to Yosemite, can a old/weak car handle the trip

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 8:48 pm
by sulfate4

According to Google maps, there are two routes that make sense. One in from highway 120 and the other from 140. Do these routes include a lot of elevation gains? How much? Which route puts less burden on the car. Do you guys think that an old car can handle the trip?


PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:12 pm
by AlmostThere
You're going to be on hills both ways into the park. But 120 is less winding - newer road.

When you say old car do you mean just an old car, or a car in poor condition with problems?

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:19 pm
by sulfate4
no problems in the car... just the car is not very powerful. I was thinking about starting another topic for another question, but incase you know can you please answer...:

Permits are required to go onto the cables part of half dome (on weekends) and they are sold out until the end of august. If we plan on doing a night hike and make it to the top in time for sunrise... do you think we will need a permit.


PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:33 pm
by AlmostThere
You can't go on a weekday?

The other way to get a permit is to go backpacking - they don't have a quota for backpackers.

I don't know when they will be monitoring - they will probably be stationing a ranger at the subdome to check permits. If you come down and get caught without a permit it would probably depend on the ranger's decision - not sure what they would do with someone who started up the previous day, night hiking.

Anyway, not such a huge loss if you can't get a permit - North Dome is a great view, you can do that in 8 miles instead of 16 with no cables, lines, or permit hassles. Sentinel Dome is an easy hike and almost the same elevation. Clouds Rest is awesome. Upper Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Taft Point, Dewey Point, Glacier Point -- no lack of excellent places to look down on the valley. Half Dome may be neato, but it's Yosemite, plenty of other things to do and other rocks to stand on top of.

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:40 pm
by sulfate4
what do you mean by going backpacking? We dont plan on sleeping, we jsut want to go up and be there my sunrise and then come back down.

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:46 pm
by AlmostThere
Backpackers with a wilderness permit can ask for a permit for half dome if it is on their backpacking route without having to get one online in advance.

It's not worth going to all the trouble of backpacking if you're not a backpacker, just to go to Half Dome, since there is so much else to do, really. And it would be difficult to get a wilderness permit that would put you in the vicinity anyway....

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:10 pm
by sulfate4
thanks for the reply. my sister and i have been to yosemite twice and have been to many of the attractions but we set a goal to climb half dome

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:16 pm
by AlmostThere
Goals are nice to make and keep, but I'm not sure I'd want to risk a steep fine and getting thrown out of the park, or six months in jail, to meet one... Good luck.

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 12:24 am
by sulfate4
we didn't intend to break any laws,i just wanted to know if the permit was required for night hikers. Anyways, we will try to work it out for the weekdays.

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:10 am
by AlmostThere
they're quite aware that people night hike it, when we arrived at 7:30 am there were thirty people in sleeping bags on top, and a ranger checked the parking lot at 12:30 am when we were getting ready to start hiking. Mostly to check that people weren't sleeping in cars (against the rules) or leaving food/ice chests in them (also not a good idea, bears break into cars, and you get a fine if that happens). That was last year - now I'm betting they also ask where you are going and if you have a permit....

You can always ask but I suspect the permitting applies from 12 am Friday through 12 am Monday.

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:20 am
by Wickett
I think 140 is easier on the cars. When I have the trailer behind me I always go 140. 120 goes up over 6,000 ft while 140's high point is the valley.