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[Yosemite]

Heading there in August

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Heading there in August

Postby Dubliner » Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:44 am

Hi folks,

Myself and my friend are heading out the West Coast on avacation in a few weeks time. On our itinerary includes a few days in San Fran, from where we intend to spend about three days trekking around Yosemite.

Plan is to hire a car in SF, then head towards the park, from there.... Thats where we run into "lack of knowledge" issues....!

We'll be hitting the park midweek, on a Tuesday or Wednesday we figure. I think on or around the 7th or 8th of August - will the park be crazy busy? What will finding accomodation be like? Should we pre book? Or would we be better of camping out?

Trek wise, we are relatively experienced hikers, myself extensive hiking and camping around Ireland, my companion, somewhat more experienced, having trekked in Africa and Asia, as well as Ireland.

We'd be looking for some intermediate trails I guess. In that case, could anyone recommend a loose itinerary, something around the three days, we'll have a vehicle, and plan (if possible) to stay in accomodation around the ark, as I gather there are extensive places to stay, having consulted the nationalparkreservations website that details places to stay. depending on the route of course, we could also camp - that wouldn't be a problem.

How about clothes? Obviously, we'll have the basics, good boots, poles, compass, etc. But what will the weather be like there at that time? Coming from Ireland we tend to pack and prepare for rain, wind, that sort of thing; for example, at the moment, it is high summer here - however the amount of rainfall we've experienced over the last few weeks has broken all records!

I've been trying to research this for a few days now - but being based in Ireland isn't a great help, I'd appreciate any advise or tips that anyone could have, concerning a route, suitable trails, where we could stay, etc.
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Postby dmede » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:22 am

It will still be very busy in early August, especially down in the valley. But lighter than on the weekends. If you plan on staying in the park I'd look into the Curry Village cabins (tent cabins and small wood cabins with & without bathrooms). You would need to book these now, assuming there are any available.

Weather should be pretty warm & clear for the most part, but summer is thunderstorm season in the Sierras and it can dump at any time so come prepared for that.

Most of the routes leading out from the valley floor are pure chaos IMO during the summer. If I were visitng in Aug I'd avoid the valley altogether during the day and go hike around Tuolumne Meadows, but then you'd miss some of the most spectacular scenerly the park has to offer, so its a toss up.

Good luck and have fun!
Last edited by dmede on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Heading there in August

Postby dan » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:44 am

Dubliner wrote:We'll be hitting the park midweek, on a Tuesday or Wednesday we figure. I think on or around the 7th or 8th of August - will the park be crazy busy? What will finding accomodation be like? Should we pre book? Or would we be better of camping out?

Campground reservations are mostly taken for August, but there's a few left. For a table showing what campsites are available see this site:
http://www.yosemitesites.com/
Click on "Proximity" for sites outside Yosemite Valley, such as Tuolumne Meadows.
Try and get a reservation for a campsite.
You can also get a campsite without a reservation by just showing up--first come, first served. Campsites are usually all taken by afternoon. If you show up in the morning, especially before 9 or 10 am, and show up mid-week (Tues.-Thurs.), you have a good chance of getting a campsite.

Some campgrounds don't take reservations--these are less-developed and harder to get to, but I like them because they are more quiet and less busy. See
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/campground.htm
Tamarack Flat is hard to get to (several miles of dirt road). The others are right off the highway.

For hotel and motel lodging, it's all gone for Yosemite Valley--in fact it's pretty crowded and hard to get camping or lodging there in summer. The closest lodging are rooms at El Portal, California, west of Yosemite Valley. There's also the Yosemite Bug Hostel a few miles more down (west) the Merced River canyon--the Bug is cheaper and you can hang out with other people there.

Dubliner wrote:We'd be looking for some intermediate trails I guess. In that case, could anyone recommend a loose itinerary, something around the three days, we'll have a vehicle, and plan (if possible) to stay in accomodation around the ark, as I gather there are extensive places to stay, having consulted the nationalparkreservations website that details places to stay. depending on the route of course, we could also camp - that wouldn't be a problem.

See http://www.nps.gov/archive/yose/wilderness/ for wilderness permits (required for overnight hikes, but not day hikes) and other information, such as suggested hikes.
There's a hiker's bus that leaves each morning from the hotels in Yosemite Valley and stops anywhere you want along the Tioga Road.

Some good hikes would be backpacking from Tuolumne Meadows down to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest or the John Muir Trail, or hiking up Lyell Canyon or another canyon from Tuolumne Meadows. You can also reverse it and hike up. Tuolumne is a good base for backpacks and day hikes. Day hikes include hiking down from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley or the Yosemite Falls trail.

Dubliner wrote:How about clothes? Obviously, we'll have the basics, good boots, poles, compass, etc. But what will the weather be like there at that time? Coming from Ireland we tend to pack and prepare for rain, wind, that sort of thing; for example, at the moment, it is high summer here - however the amount of rainfall we've experienced over the last few weeks has broken all records!

The Sierra Nevada is moderate in Summer. Usually you just get some brief afternoon thunderstorms, if at all. It's cold at night, maybe down to freezing at Tuolumne Meadows, and T-shirt weather during the day. Not much wind, except during storms, maybe, or at the high passes.
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