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Serious Hike for Inexperienced Hikers

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:08 pm
by ubhuti
Hi all,

My friends and I are looking to do a serious week long hike through Yosemite. We are in our mid 20s and relatively fit, but are inexperienced hikers. Are we crazy to attempt this? Our intention is to do the week long hike in mid-September.

I am dying to get out there and would really appreciate any advice for us.

1. Can you guys please recommend a challenging, yet do-able 6-7 day trail?
2. If we sleep along the trail, do we need permits each night? Can we pitch our tents anywhere?

Thanks in advance for the help and advice.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:35 pm
by AlmostThere
Start here:

You need one permit. You need to be most careful about starting on the day you ask to start, as listed on the permit, from the trailhead listed on the permit - you cannot get a permit for Sunrise trailhead, for example, and just decide to go out on Cathedral trailhead instead. You would potentially be fined and escorted back to your car by a ranger if one happened upon you. You also need to pay close attention to food storage regulations and follow them. This will mean putting a bear canister in your pack, so you'll need enough space (and a big enough pack) for that.

There are regulations for where to camp in the park - read those at the above website as well. Some areas have different rules - some trailheads you must be 2 miles from the trailhead, others you must be 4 miles out. In the area between happy isles, little yosemite valley, and ilillouette/glacier point, the rules are quite restrictive, no camping at all.

If you haven't backpacked, I recommend something shorter the first time out. Not everyone finds that they can do long trips. And until you get the gear list worked out, you'll want to do some shorter outings to work the kinks out.

Think about joining a local backpacking group and going out with more experienced hikers. Also if you need to get packs etc. you can rent starting out instead of buying, since you don't know what you don't know - better to have some experience backpacking to begin to develop an idea of what it's about and what you think you need.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:11 pm
by hotrod4x5
A 6-7 day trip ideally, IMO, would be only 3 days of hiking with full packs. Hike in to a spot, say Glen Aulin, set up camp, then do a day trip down to Waterwheel falls. Move on the third day, set up camp, and do another day hike the next day. Hike out on your last day.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:32 pm
by ubhuti
Thanks a ton for the info. I've been researching gear and have started purchasing some the essentials. We are actually from Florida so their isn't too much hiking out here. Setting up camp and doing day hikes makes a lot of sense.

I will look into the website and suggestions and will likely have more questions for you guys.

Thanks again!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:56 pm
by AlmostThere
Florida? All the more reason to take it easy... no way to predict how you would respond to elevation. Folks who live at sea level can have difficulty as low as 6-7000 feet, and a lot of Yosemite is higher. Spending the night at elevation before going higher will help you acclimate.