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[Yosemite]

Planning a trip

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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Planning a trip

Postby rick56 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:29 pm

I was checking out a map of the park. From Upper Pines it looks like one could walk to the Nature Center at Happy Isles. Then follow the trail to Vernal and on past Nevada Falls. And on to Little Yosemite Valley.
I have camped in Yosemite before but have not backpacked it yet. Has anyone done this out and back from Upper Pines to LYV and back in one overnight? Or would it be two nights out and back? I believe this is
the trail that people take to go to Half Dome. I don't have a problem with crowds as long as they don't yodel too loud. It appears to be about 4 miles each way. And a 2,000 ft. climb from the nature center to
LYV. Hoping for next June. Thanks
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Re: Planning a trip

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:13 am

You need to visit the Yosemite website and read up about wilderness permits. You can backpack it just like thousands of other people do every year - if you can obtain a wilderness permit to do it. LYV can only be one night since you cannot stay overnight until you get there - no camping on the mist or jmt between Happy Isles and LYV is allowed.

You will need to also stay inside the boundaries of the LYV camp - because this area is so heavily used they restrict camping to a specific area so people don't trample the valley.
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Re: Planning a trip

Postby dan » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:18 pm

People dayhike to Half Dome and back, and LYV is only half-day, more-or-less. It's easily reachable in a day if you're in any reasonable kind of shape. I would take the "John Muir Trail" (aka Mule Trail) rather than the Mist Trail with a backpack though. The Mist Trail is wet and slippery and dangerous enough without a backpack, but with a backpack you're also top heavy. Since it has a 1-night limit, you can backpack in the morning, walk around LYV in the afternoon, and backpack out next morning or afternoon.

If you want to extend a day, you need to camp somewhere else. I suggest the junction of the John Muir Trail (JMT) and Clouds Rest Trail (CRT). There's a nice campground and stream there.

It's a good first backpack to LYV. You need a wilderness permit. See http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/backpacking.htm
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Re: Planning a trip

Postby rick56 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:32 am

I know about wilderness permits, I got one last June for Hetch Hetchy to Rancheria Falls. I went to the park web site, filled out the request form with my choices. I was given the trail from the dam to Rancheria. It proved to be too long for my son, we ended up turning back when he got hurt. My question was what is a good one night backpack trip in Yosemite from Upper Pines? My wife and kid would be car camping there next year. I was hoping to go out at least for one night and back. I could imagine that the trail through LYV is crowded with all the people hiking to Half Dome. In the Summer there are shuttles. Perhaps I could obtain a first come first serve permit and then shuttle to a trailhead in another area? Then go out for one night and return the same way by shuttle? I'm also trying to contact a co-worker who goes to Yosemite about going with him on a future trip. I have gone solo into other wilderness areas, just not a good idea. Thanks
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Re: Planning a trip

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:28 am

All one night trips out of the valley will be like LYV - any overnight trip out of the valley will mean a lot of climbing and lots of camp restrictions, it's best to call the wilderness office or talk to them when you pick up the permit, they will go over the map with you and show you where you are allowed to stay the night.

Not sure what a "good overnight" is to you - I would suggest if you are not feeling really ambitious and up to a lot of climbing up granite steps that you consider taking the hiker bus to Tioga Rd and starting from Porcupine Creek to North Dome, camp in the vicinity of it to wake up to awesome views, and then hike down to the valley via Snow Creek or Yosemite Falls trail in the morning. Hiker bus info/reservations can be made through the concessionaire at yosemitepark.com. Another thing to consider might be hiker bus or YARTS out to Tuolumne Meadows and hiking down from Cathedral Lakes or Sunrise trailhead to the junction near clouds rest to camp around Sunrise Creek, summiting Clouds Rest, then out via Happy Isles which would put you right back at Upper Pines.
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Re: Planning a trip

Postby rick56 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:24 am

Thanks, The co-worker I mentioned is talking about Cathedral Lakes and down to the Valley. He said its about 18 miles and was talking about doing it over a long weekend. I am not sure if shuttles are still going up to Tioga road at this time. He said he leaves his car and takes the shuttle back from the Valley at the end to the trip. It looks like its mostly down hill. I still need to meet him and decide if I will go.

"Another thing to consider might be hiker bus or YARTS out to Tuolumne Meadows and hiking down from Cathedral Lakes or Sunrise trailhead to the junction near clouds rest to camp around Sunrise Creek, summiting Clouds Rest, then out via Happy Isles which would put you right back at Upper Pines."

So is that about 18 miles total? Sounds like I'd do about 9-10 miles the first day. Then wake up and do the other half down into the Valley? Its a bit farther than I'm used to, but I think I could do it. That looks like the views would be amazing? I'll get with Tim and see if he's up to it. Or I'll just plan for next Summer. Thanks again for the advice and tips. I look forward to meeting some of you out there. Hope all your trips are safe and memorable.

Rick
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Re: Planning a trip

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:29 pm

Sorry, thought you meant next summer - YARTS may be running a weekend route over the pass but that will stop once the snow falls. Which could be any time. There are no services or shuttles on Tioga Rd at this time, or any year after Oct 15. And I don't suggest trying such a trip unless you are experienced in winter travel and winter camping.

You can do a loop up Yosemite Falls and down Snow Creek, and walk the last couple miles to the campground (or catch a valley shuttle) if you can manage the climb. LYV would be an easier overnight trip than that.
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Re: Planning a trip

Postby rick56 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:59 am

I finally met the guy, he is a member of the Sierra club. He dropped off a book on Yosemite hikes. The route he was talking about is actually more like 28 miles from Cathedral Lakes down to the Valley. That would be about 3-4 days for us. He's an older guy like me so I would not be into a fast paced trip. At this time we are thinking of next season. He goes out with other people so I asked him to let me know. I have not backpacked Yosemite so for the first trip I am trying to set up a shorter weekender. Of course a longer trip would be fun, but in the interest of easing into back country hiking in bear habitat I think a shorter trip would be smarter at first. When I was a kid I went out off of Interstate 80 with some Army Special Forces people, the entire weekend was white out conditions. We were ok but I got so cold I forgot where I had put my gloves. They were in the top pocket of my pack. I had to keep sticking my hands under my arm pits to keep them from frost bite. The SF guys made a snow cave, my friend and I dug a retangular hole in the snow, crossed our skiis covered with a tarp and slept in that. At about 3am it caved in on us. We spent the night awake tapping the snow off of the tarp to stay dry. After we got up and shook all the snow off and rebuilt our shelter. It was cold and tiring. Not my idea of fun. Snow camping is not on my list of to dos. I'll wait until next season. Thanks
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