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best 2-night backpacking trail

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

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best 2-night backpacking trail

Postby ophiesay » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:55 am

We are looking for the best 2-night backpacking itinerary in Yosemite - My head is befuddled with the seemingly infinite trail combinations.

So here is my criteria:
- preferably a loop
- preferably allows dogs
- not all sunny (like shade especially when carrying a pack)
- 8-10 miles a day (so I guess a 20-25 mile loop would be perfect)

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Re: best 2-night backpacking trail

Postby Grzldvt » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:28 pm

Dogs are not allowed in the park, so you should look in the National Forest areas. If bringing the dog is not a requirement, then you need to do some research, on what you are interested in seeing. What is best for me, might not be the best for you. One of the best things you can do is get the Schaffer book on Yosemite National Park, and use it to narrow down your choices.
You need to give us more information, what kind of shape you are in? Backpacking experience? None of us are going to recommend much, until we have more information. The regulars are very conservative and before recommending anything, want to make sure you are capable and have the experience.
Make sense?
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Re: best 2-night backpacking trail

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:18 am

Yep, no dogs allowed. I've seen people bring them anyway and get walked off the trail, and fined, and escorted out of the park for it.

Routes with plenty of shade are out there, but they will not tend to be the ones with a lot of great views - high open areas are nonstop vista views. Consider bringing your own shade - a broad brimmed hat, umbrella, loose long sleeve, sun gloves, long nylon quick drying pants, are my companions for high Sierra trips. I never regret it. There are sections of trail in areas still recovering from fires that have destroyed acres of trees, too.

On that note - bring a stove and don't light fires. California will thank you for it. Too dry, too dry, too dry, too dry. The forest is a tinder box thanks to the drought. Just a spark and thousands of acres could go up in just a few days - as it has in the recent past. Sure, the park allows campfires between 6000 and 9600 elevation - that doesn't mean you have to have one.

Dog friendly areas will be the NF wilderness areas - Emigrant, Hoover, John Muir, Ansel Adams, Dinkey, Kaiser wildernesses and general national forest are all okay. Do your dog a favor and keep it under control no matter what. Raw fish guts buried around waterways can kill a dog.Trout is a salmonid, trout are everywhere, a bacteria common in salmonids is deadly to dogs, don't feed your dog raw trout or salmon. Being frightened by a thunderstorm and taking off, getting lost, and never coming back is also known to happen - that nearly happened to a dog in Sierra National Forest - she spent 24 days out in the woods, surviving eating god knows what, and her owner went back until he found her - but that's an unusual occurrence. It's not often that lost dogs are found out there.
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Re: best 2-night backpacking trail

Postby LF303 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:18 pm

Does anyone have any trail suggestions for this question? I'm looking for similar information - although the dog is not an issue.
Looking for a 2 -3 night trip around 20-30 miles in total. A lot of the trails I've looked at that look amazing have not been loops; and this would be a preference.
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Re: best 2-night backpacking trail

Postby Phil » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:22 am

Define "best", or maybe try this:

It's conservative, around 21 miles (not a loop though, but easy enough to get back to the car from), so shorter than you might like, but you'll get a bit of a workout, and it's not going to get you into trouble or send you to your death. It's 2-3 nights, lots of shade, some great views, more than ample camping, water easily available on just about the entire route...it won't quite give you 8-10 miles per day unless you want it to and are willing to shorten the time and skip some fantastic campsites, but it's nice. Throw in some exploring and day hiking in the area, and you have a great trip. You would be basically hiking the North Rim of Yosemite Valley: Yosemite Creek from Tioga Rd to the top of Yosemite Falls, cross at the bridge, head over to North Dome, camp around that area if you want, then head down the Snow Creek Trail and camp another night at the top of the falls there with more spectacular views of Half Dome and Tenaya Canyon, then continue on down to Mirror Lake in the Valley from there. Relatively easy, nice, conservative...I've taken my children on this route when they were little and had no backpacking experience whatsoever, and we still do it occasionally for seasonal warmups.

Shaffer's book is a good source for ideas and trail descriptions. If you want more info from those here, and you can give everyone a better sense of where you stand in your abilities and experience, I have no doubt that there would be no shortage of suggestions for everything from a stroll to a few 8-10 mile days of brutalizing yourself beyond comprehension.
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