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Yosemite and Half Dome

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:16 am
by Krakow311
I am planning my very first trip to Yosemite (yeay!!!) this summer (July) and came across this forum. I spend some time on the internet trying to come up with an itinerary that would allow me to see some of the wilderness over 4-6 days while avoiding crowds as much as possible. Distance is not a problem as I do backpack often so a 40-50 miles trip is not an unusual occurrence. I would prefer to do between 7-10 miles a day to allow for frequent stops to take photos and take in the beauty of that place.

With that said, the one landmark I will visit for sure is Half Dome (I guess I will not be alone there LOL) but other than that I am open to suggestions and would welcome any help you can provide in planning this trip.


Re: Yosemite and Half Dome

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:44 pm
by dan
Avoiding crowds in Yosemite is difficult. In the backcountry the most remote parts of the park are the far north and far south.

The north end has some pristine canyons and few people. Jack Main Canyon can be approached from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir or from the north from Highway 108 and Dorthy Lake Pass, or Kerrick Canyon via Twin Lakes resort. In the south, it's lower elevation, but with several rock formations, such as a miniature copy "Royal Arch" of Yosemite Valley at Royal Arch Lake. Or the basin east of Clark Range accessible via Isberg Pass from the south of Little Yosemite Valley from the north.

That said, I think you'll find the more popular backcountry uncrowded enough. Just avoid Little Yosemite Valley and anywhere near Tuolumne Meadows. One route to take in Half Dome is to start from Tuolumne Meadows or Tenaya Lake and head to Sunrise Lakes, then up and over Clouds Rest, camp at the junction of the Clouds Rest Trail and John Muir Trail (nice creek and shade there), dayhike to Half Dome, and head out Little Yosemite Valley to Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. You can take a Hikers Shuttle from Yosemite Valley to the trailhead beforehand and leave your car in the valley.

Re: Yosemite and Half Dome

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:33 pm
by Krakow311
Hello Dan,

Thank you for all the information, I really appreciate it. I will definitely check the points of interest you have mentioned and maybe incorporate some of them into my trip. However, the route you have suggested sounds great and it will give us some time to enjoy the park.

Once again, thank you!

Have a happy New Year!

Re: Yosemite and Half Dome

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:16 pm
by AlmostThere
Hopefully you studied closely the Yosemite pages on wilderness backcountry rules and paid close attention to the food storage requirements. Too many people get to the park with a loaded full backpack and then figure out they did not leave room for a bear canister in the pack. Some try to leave the can they are forced to rent in the trunk of the car, then discover the hard way that the bears really do steal your food no matter what you do to hide it from them.

Make sure all your food and hygiene items fit in the canister(s) you rent before you start hiking, with a little room left to store trash. You can leave the first day's food outside the canister if you are sure you will consume it by nightfall.