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3-4 night backpacking trip with views and swims

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

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3-4 night backpacking trip with views and swims

Postby dan » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:56 pm

I lost some posts upgrading the phpbb software, but recovered them from my phone. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Posted by Jo316 • on Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:57 pm

Hi there, Yosemite experts.

3 of us are looking to do a magnificent 3 or 4 night backpacking trip in the second week of September. It's been hard for us to figure out exactly what route to take, and we'd love some recommendations. For 2 of us, it will be the first time we've been to Yosemite! We're strong and experienced hikers, and we'd like to avoid crowds, but definitely want to get our fill of the great Yosemite. We're hoping to get some swimming in along with some great views, too, so any hikes that go past a good swimming hole would be great!

Looking forward to any advice you have for us!!!

Posted by Phil • on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:05 pm

You really should be able to avoid crowds for the most part in mid-September, but what you might get is some weather. That said, being strong hikers, and with timely forecasts that work in your favor, maybe think about heading from Tuolumne along Lyell Canyon, up to Vogelsang, down to Merced Lake, then down and out to Yosemite Valley. If you're not used to hiking at altitude, take that into consideration and try to spend at least one night at some place higher up like the backpacker's camp at Tuolumne Meadows. You can leave the car at the wilderness center and head out on foot directly from there, then take the YART shuttle back when you're done. Not counting overnights at backpacker's camps before and after, you should be off the trail in not more than 3-4 nights if you push through to Vogelsang on the first day.

Ten Lakes Basin is another to consider if you want views, swimming, and need to keep the time shorter. Really though, don't discount the need to acclimate to altitude, and be willing to take the time to do it. It makes it so much more enjoyable.
Posted by balzaccom • on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:33 pm

Phil gives good advice here. Bear in mind that we almost always find the lakes in Yosemite too cold for real swimming. But we admit that we're wusses about that!

And there are lots of options. Yes, up Lyell (or Rafferty Creek) and then down to the Valley is a great hike. Or turn it back up towards Cathedral lakes and back to TM.

A loop out of Tuolumne Meadows to Glen Aulin, then up Virginia Canyon and McCabe Lakes, then cross country to Young Lakes and back is a great hike as well...

If you are willing to start outside the park, look at the Rush Creek Trailhead up to the John Muir Trail, past Thousand Island Lake, down to Ediza, and then back out through the Clark Lakes....lovely hike in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Or starting off Beasore Road out of Bass Lake, take the Granite Creek trailhead up to Iseberg Pass, then over Post Peak Pass and back down through Lillian and Vanderburg Lakes....

Too many hikes, not enough time.

We've done all of the above in some version---take a look at our website for trip logs and photos
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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