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[Yosemite]

Help planning winter backpacking trip

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

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Help planning winter backpacking trip

Postby Johnny225 » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:31 pm

Hello everyone,
I'm new here, but I've always been a fan of Yosemite and its trails. I'm planning a backpacking trip with a friend at around the end of December and was wondering what a few of my options are. I've never backpacked before in Yosemite so I don't know all of the options available for hikers. I was thinking of a 2 -3 day trip, with a moderate difficulty(say something like half dome trail's difficulty). What trails do you all recommend, and what camping sites would work?

Thanks in advance,
Johnny
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Postby Johnny225 » Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:33 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Johnny
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Re: Help planning winter backpacking trip

Postby dan » Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:54 pm

You're basically snow camping without the snow. Furthermore, you can't park your car along the Tioga Road or Glacier Point Road. Why? Because after the first storm that closes the road, they don't want your car stuck there and damaging the snow plows next spring.

I suggest starting from Yosemite Valley and hike up Little Yosemite Valley. Few people this time of year. An alternative is the north rim of Yosemite Valley. Hike up the Yosemite Falls Trail (or possibly Snow Creek Trail out of Mirror Lake). The North rim country is warmer than the South Rim, especially if you camp near the rim (within a mile or two).

Third choice is Hetch Hetchy--nice and low and few visitors there.

It is cold though--even though there's little or no snow. Dress warmly and bring a warm sleeping bag and good tent (not one of those summer mosquito net gauze tents). Have fun!
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Postby Johnny225 » Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:48 pm

Thanks for the help, it's much appreciated. I was hoping to see some snow, but since this is the only time I can do the trip, I guess I'll have to take what I get. Do you know if any of the trails you mentioned would have more snow snow than any other? I'm no stranger to the cold, I just want to experience a snowed in Yosemite.

Thanks,
Johnny
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Postby dan » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:11 pm

Johnny225 wrote:Thanks for the help, it's much appreciated. I was hoping to see some snow, but since this is the only time I can do the trip, I guess I'll have to take what I get. Do you know if any of the trails you mentioned would have more snow snow than any other? I'm no stranger to the cold, I just want to experience a snowed in Yosemite.

Thanks,
Johnny


Well, if you're going end of December it could snow between now and then. If Badger Pass is open you can park there and backpack out from Glacier Point Road.

If there's snow in Little Yosemite Valley you can start at Happy Isles into LYV.

I would play it by ear. You'll have no problems getting a Wilderness Permit as quotas don't fill up this time of year.
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Postby Johnny225 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:19 pm

Thanks again for the advice. I've been trying to find out how long the badger pass to glacier point trail is, but cant find any numbers. I'm assuming that I'd be taking the closed Glacier point road. One number said this was 32 miles one way, but that doesn't seem accurate to me. Do you know the rough mileage of this trail?

Thank you,
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Postby dan » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:08 pm

Johnny225 wrote:One number said this was 32 miles one way, but that doesn't seem accurate to me. Do you know the rough mileage of this trail?


Strictly speaking, it's accurate. However, you start at Badger Pass and it's 11.5 miles one way to the end. Few people backpack the closed road all the way--pretty boring. Most people use it to access trailheads or meadows along the way and get off the road. Head to Dewey Point, Ostrander Lake, McGirk Meadow, or other destinations. There's a book about snowshoing in Yosemite by Michael WHite that has some good routes (backpacking in winter) along Glacier Point Road.

Look for the Badger Pass map here:
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/maps/winter_maps.html
or here:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/brochures.htm
(these are links to PDF or JPEG maps)
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