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Campsites on May Lake-Ten Lakes Circuit

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

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Campsites on May Lake-Ten Lakes Circuit

Postby MissKristin » Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:16 am

We are doing a 6-day trip with Boy Scouts with mixed physical conditioning in August. From the trail guides/blogs I have seen, the backpacker camp at May Lake will probably end up as our first night. We would also like to spend a couple nights around 10-lakes, but get out to the exit trailhead at Tioga Road fairly early in the day.

Given the elevation losses-and-gains on this route, I am wondering where campsites with water make sense for us?

Any other insights would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks!
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Re: Campsites on May Lake-Ten Lakes Circuit

Postby dan » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:39 pm

Water is at May Lake and Ten Lakes, of course. Yosemite Creek will probably be too low by August. I don't know about water in the South Fork of Tuolumne River, if you're thinking of camping between Ten Lakes and May Lake.
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Postby MissKristin » Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:09 am

Thanks for the info.

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Re: Campsites on May Lake-Ten Lakes Circuit

Postby Grzldvt » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:40 pm

dan wrote:Water is at May Lake and Ten Lakes, of course. Yosemite Creek will probably be too low by August. I don't know about water in the South Fork of Tuolumne River, if you're thinking of camping between Ten Lakes and May Lake.

That's a long haul between major water spots and some serious elevation gains and losses on that trip.
I did it many years ago, and I remember thinking water was a bit sparse, however there were some incredible campsites that overlook the Grand Canyon. There are also portions of this trip where you are dropping down along the side of a cliff, if you will, and there is no place to stop. Once you start down, you have to go all the way to the bottom. Sam with a couple of the climbs, one I remember having at least two false tops(just when you think you have reached the top, another climb shows up), both were pretty stiff.
If I were you and have the time and are local to the park(withing a 4 hour drive), I would do a pre-trip and scout(pardon the pun) out campsites and water. I have done it two days, it is tough to do in two days, but it will give you a clue. Because this is a dry year, creeks on the map could be dry. The map also shows a couple of small lakes off trail, but I think, they are nested in some pretty precarious areas. Don't hold me to it, but they show in the map right around some serious switchbacks.


You might consider a change in the itinerary. May Lake to Glen Aulin to Toulumne is not a bad trip. Elevations are much easier to deal with water is abundant, you could take a side trip to Polly Dome Lakes.

I would guess you have reservatiosn, but it might be worth a call to see if you can change them. You are starting at the same trailhead and that is what counts.
Just a thought.....
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