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[Yosemite]

backpacking loop ideas????

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

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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby tucotuco » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:28 am

Phil wrote:Sounds about right.

After descending Half Dome, go left on the JMT until you get to the trail junction up to Cloud's Rest. Look for a site to camp in that general area. Lot's of bears!

The ascent to Cloud's Rest from where you're camped is about 2700 feet, and steep. Depending on how you're feeling, Cathedral Lakes might be a little overly ambitious. Instead, try to shoot for camping at one of the Sunrise Lakes. Get an early start, and from there head through the Sunrise High Sierra Camp back to the JMT and maybe think about having lunch at Upper Cathedral Lake. You may want to go ahead and exit down in Tuolumne Meadows (there's not much to shop for), but depending on the time of day, you may also want to go ahead and spend the night at the Lake and take that last 3.6 miles down first thing in the morning, then head up toward Vogelsang via Lyell. ***A note here*** Once you've gotten to Tuolumne Meadows on the JMT, you've technically left the wilderness, and a new permit is going to be required. Address the "pass-thru" with the ranger when you pick up your original permit.

If you want a campsite prior to heading up to Vogelsang, once you get to the trail junction from the PCT up to Vogelsang, start looking off to the left of the trail around the bottom of Ireland Creek. You'll find better sites than for at least several more miles of uphill, better water, you can build a fire if that's your thing, and you might be ready for a bit of a break at that point, too. Besides being a nice area to camp, it's also a good strategic call if you're planning to push through Vogelsang on to Merced Lake the next day, because it breaks the distances down pretty well.

Once you get to Merced Lake, if you're exhausted, stay at the backpacker's camp there. Camping is restricted around the High Sierra Camp, and once you get past it, desirable campsites beyond that point are harder to come by through Echo Valley and down most of the Upper Merced River. If you want to hike-through to the Valley that same day, it's doable. If you want to stay at LYV (not Recommended by me!), you can do that, too. You will also face restrictions around LYV, and there's really not much to choose from anyhow. Instead of Merced Lake, LYV, or much in between, there are some really nice sites around Bunnell Cascade (cross the bridge, head uphill right). From there, you avoid the more crowded areas around Merced and LYV, and from what I understand of your abilities, you're also in a good place to get down to Yosemite Valley fairly easily by day's end.

Hope that helps. If you need more details, ask.


Hi Phil,
I think the trail revised as per your massage should fit, I like it.

I have some technical questions:

1) car: are parking at trailheads safe? I would leave my rent car there for 1 week, with the extra baggage we do not use while hiking inside it..... Do you believe that a storage (if exists) is better? Shall we ask at our accommodation?

2) food: in order to save weight in my pack I had planned to buy some food at half way (Tuloumne Meadows) is there any chances or I misunderstood there are shops there?

3) .............. :? .permit. :? .................: I checked the forms, noted the time to submit it etc. but I have some doubts about "options". Do you think is better to propose 3 totally different loops or do I change the trail head and modifiy the itinerary slightly? Regarding lottery: is there the chance that, even submitting 6 months in advance, I do not get any permit?

I think that's all for the moment!

Thanks and ciao!
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby Phil » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:14 am

As for parking:

I've never had any problems with theft or vandalism, no matter what trailhead. If possible, leave your excess luggage with friends. If not, put it into the trunk. With luggage, or in the car itself, make absolutely sure you remove all food, scented toiletries, garbage, whatever...Most trailheads have bear lockers for storage of such items. Use them!

Speaking of bear lockers- yes, while there is a market and an outdoor shop in Tuolumne Meadows, they're expensive and somewhat limited in their selection. It's more driving, although a really nice one, but you can also set up food-drops at strategic trailheads using the bear lockers. For example: If you're coming from the Valley and exiting at the Cathedral Lakes trailhead, drop the food for the next leg of your trip there, or even at the permit office a little further east on Tioga Rd. People are usually really good about leaving your food and supplies alone as a matter of principle. You can be pretty confident on it being there when you get there. With your bear canisters (the rental ones) you're each going to get about 6 man-days storage capacity if you pack them right. With both of you carrying cans, you get a lot of leeway in that, but I definitely understand not wanting to haul extra weight. Yeah, use the food-drop method if at all possible, and save the Tuolumne store for a few luxury treats.

It's not a lottery, but the permits are on a first-come first-served basis (60% of the quotas by reservation, the remainder as walk-ups) The lottery is only for the High Sierra Camps. Yes, you will need more than one permit because you're technically leaving the wilderness at Tuolumne and reentering another trail system. You're first entry point will be Happy Isles, in Yosemite Valley. Exit Catherdral Lakes. Your second permit will be Tuolumne Meadows via Lyell Canyon, exiting back at Happy Isles. If you set a date by reservation, they're non-negotiable as to start dates, so make sure you get the timing right on the second leg or you're going to be standing in line and hoping for what you want on a walk-up basis. You might be able to do it as a pass-thru, but the reservation system is going to flag it and not let you submit it as a single permit request. It's something you'll need to speak to an actual ranger about. Try the Valley Wilderness Center @ 209-372-0745.
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby tucotuco » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:38 am

Hi there!

I am happy to inform that I got the permit for the dates I asked for!

I am less happy that I had to find a uncrowded trail head :( and I need to re plan the trip and I ask for your help to: comment if it is doable and find the right spot to camp first overnight.

Since we will be starting from Tunnel View the trip should be:

Tunnel view - Glacier view (pohono trail) camp?
Glacier view - Half Dome - Clouds rest foot
Clouds rest foot - Clouds rest- Sunrise lakes
Sunrise lakes - Merced lakes
Merced lakes - Happy Isles (way out)
+ 1 extra "safety day"


Maybe we could change the versus this way:

Tunnel view - Glacier view (pohono trail) Camp?
Glacier view - Merced Lakes
Merced Lake - Sunrise Lakes
Sunrise Lakes - Clouds rest - Clouds rest foot
Clouds rest foot - Half Dome - Happy Isles
+ 1 extra "safety day"

I still have to buy a detailed map so I do not know very carefully the elevation increases..... only half dome and clouds rest elevations are well known.

Ciao and thanks everybody!

Tuco
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:51 am

If you are a real athlete maybe that will work. If you want to camp legally, you won't be at Glacier Point (Glacier view). There are specific areas along the Pohono that are illegal.

There are designated campsites in Little Yosemite Valley, and at Merced Lakes, and you will be surrounded by people at each of those. You can camp near the trail junction at Sunrise Creek near Clouds Rest for water, or carry a bunch of water and camp closer to Clouds Rest.

If you don't hike lots, have never hiked at higher elevations, you would be kinder to yourself to camp at Bridalveil Creek, Ilillouette Creek (you must hike a couple miles up the creek from the trail to do this, there are a ton of illegal fire rings before then), in Little Yosemite Valley in the campground, day hike to Half Dome then to Clouds Rest and backpack to Sunrise Lakes, then out via Tioga Road - shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows for a burger, stay the night in the backpacker camp, get on the YARTS back to the valley floor. Skipping Merced Lakes cuts off lots of miles and people. Day hiking up to Bunnell Cascade and back while at Little Yosemite Valley gives you a taste of the beauty of the river without hauling the backpack up there.

The Mist Trail is nice, but unkind to backpacker knees and tourists crowd you off the slippery steps every step of the way. The climb from Tunnel View will be humbling - you will pass areas where the unprepared have bivouacked before they even make it to Crocker Point, let alone getting to Dewey and then to Bridalveil Creek.

Did you manage to get a Half Dome permit on the wilderness permit?
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby tucotuco » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:55 am

Thanks AlmostThere,
well, we are well fit and used to walk all day with haevy pack and familiar with elevation, but we are on holiday and rather to enjoy nature that's why I ask for your expertise suggestions :wink (also the extra day is meant as "relax" day in case we like to split a stage):

Some questions:

Is pohono trail not doable in 1 day?

From my understanding (English is not my lenguage) you say that on Pohono trail there is no way to camp, correct? I mean legal, do not know how controls work and I would like to avoid argues. Once I get to Glalacier Point, the idea is to descent direction LYV and find a place for the night somewhere. I assume you discourage this, right? I was thinking to set camp somewhere between Glacier Point and Illilourtte falls.

I would avoid IN / OUT at Tuolumne Meadows due to permit.... I understood that a pass thru is needed and I did not asked for.

Half Dome - In my request I asked for HD permit; in the wilderness permit confirmation I got by mail, there is neither confirmation nor cancellation notice. What do you think?

I will check the rest, many thanks!

T
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:05 am

You don't need to worry about pass through to end a trip in Tuolumne. You can tell the ranger when you pick up the permit that you want to change the exit trailhead to whatever you like - that is not an issue at all.

The areas you can camp on the Pohono trail will be nowhere near Glacier Point, Dewey Point, or Taft Point. Water sources are Bridalveil Creek which is more likely to have water consistently, and Sentinel Creek. You cannot camp on the Illillouette trail anywhere or on the Panorama trail anywhere between Glacier Point and LIttle Yosemite Valley. THe first legal camping after Glacier Point will be either going off trail up Illillouette creek two miles, or going all the way to Little Yosemite Valley to use the designated campsites.

If you did not get a confirmation for Half Dome, it may not be that you have one. They do not always give you that permit. There are a limited number of Half Dome permits for backpackers. You can ask when you get the permit - it should be written on the permit for when the ranger at the cables checks permits.
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby tucotuco » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:34 am

It looks like my plan is a bit tricky....

Idea: I noticed there is a path climbing from the main road and gets to glacier point (between Village and tunnel), do you think with my permit am I allowed to shortcut this way???
I would save a lot of kms and I could get closer to half dome and Camp there. By the Way I confirm I have got permit for HD as well.

Ciao!

T
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:21 pm

You would have to switch your permit to the four mile trailhead. They do not want you to start on trailheads you are not possessing a permit for. Trailheads all have quotas and starting where you are not permitted to start is the same as not having a permit at all.
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby Phil » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:47 pm

What did your entry date end up being? You really need to get that map!

If you can't source it directly from anywhere in Italy or the EU try this: http://www.tomharrisonmaps.com/

You want the "Yosemite High Country" 1:63,360 scale.

Instead of second-guessing yourself and starting your trip way out of the area you want to visit, as well as going through all that unnecessary climbing from Tunnel View and the Pohono because of it, why not go in at Mono Meadow above Glacier Point and cross the valley with and LYV pass-through or go up and over Red Peak Pass down to Merced Lake and on to HD, Cloud's Rest and Sunrise? The map will make the routes pretty clear.
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby tucotuco » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:44 am

Phil wrote:What did your entry date end up being? You really need to get that map!

If you can't source it directly from anywhere in Italy or the EU try this: http://www.tomharrisonmaps.com/

You want the "Yosemite High Country" 1:63,360 scale.

Instead of second-guessing yourself and starting your trip way out of the area you want to visit, as well as going through all that unnecessary climbing from Tunnel View and the Pohono because of it, why not go in at Mono Meadow above Glacier Point and cross the valley with and LYV pass-through or go up and over Red Peak Pass down to Merced Lake and on to HD, Cloud's Rest and Sunrise? The map will make the routes pretty clear.


Hi Phil, I agree. The fact is that I had to choose the closest available trail head for my date... and than tried to adapt the trip accordingly. Now I understand why TV was soooooo undercrowded!!!

I had the permit for August 12th and, as said I am not flexible about that. I checked Mono Meadows and looks available on this date.

MM could be an interesting option, also because I could resume the original plan only changing the starting point; provided the 1st stage MM - HD foot is doable, otherwise I would stop somewhere in the trails junctions in Illioulette Creek area where dispersed camping is legal. Before asking to switch trailhead from TV to MM, I ask you about transportation: is there the chance to get to MM by coach in a reasonable time in the morning? Is it the one heading to Glacier View???
Thanks!!!!
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby Phil » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:30 pm

The shuttles might be in a state of flux right now because of a change in concessionaires, but I'm assuming that the services and routes for the 2016 season are going to be about the same when Aramark takes over as of today. Check here: http://www.yosemitepark.com/glacier-point-tour.aspx , but don't hesitate to call them if you aren't clear. Normally you can take the tour bus from the Valley that also serves as a hikers' shuttle up to Glacier Point. You buy a one-way ticket, and then ask them to drop you at your trailhead, which does include Mono Meadow. It doesn't cost too much, and there are several departure times beginning down in the Valley at around 8:30am.

Clarifying wilderness permit regulations specific to that area with the permitting office, it turns out that you can't even enter at Mono Meadow and use a Glacier Point->LYV pass-through permit to go over to the JMT and beyond. It's not gonna happen. In other words: you can't THERE from HERE. Since you guys have the time and say you're good with distance and altitude, I would really suggest you still go up from MM and over Red Peak, then come down and hit HD and Cloud's Rest that way. It's a better, more rewarding, less crowded route, and honestly, they have so many people trying to get to the JMT through alternate entries, and there are camping restrictions from Glacier Point->LYV and beyond that I'm not entirely familiar with, for the sake of circumventing those limitations, enjoying a superior and more picturesque trip, and avoiding the thundering herds as much as possible, this is what I would be doing, for what it's worth. You add a couple/few days, but you also end up back at your car and avoid the hassles of return shuttles.
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby tucotuco » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:54 am

Phil wrote:The shuttles might be in a state of flux right now because of a change in concessionaires, but I'm assuming that the services and routes for the 2016 season are going to be about the same when Aramark takes over as of today. Check here: http://www.yosemitepark.com/glacier-point-tour.aspx , but don't hesitate to call them if you aren't clear. Normally you can take the tour bus from the Valley that also serves as a hikers' shuttle up to Glacier Point. You buy a one-way ticket, and then ask them to drop you at your trailhead, which does include Mono Meadow. It doesn't cost too much, and there are several departure times beginning down in the Valley at around 8:30am.

Clarifying wilderness permit regulations specific to that area with the permitting office, it turns out that you can't even enter at Mono Meadow and use a Glacier Point->LYV pass-through permit to go over to the JMT and beyond. It's not gonna happen. In other words: you can't THERE from HERE. Since you guys have the time and say you're good with distance and altitude, I would really suggest you still go up from MM and over Red Peak, then come down and hit HD and Cloud's Rest that way. It's a better, more rewarding, less crowded route, and honestly, they have so many people trying to get to the JMT through alternate entries, and there are camping restrictions from Glacier Point->LYV and beyond that I'm not entirely familiar with, for the sake of circumventing those limitations, enjoying a superior and more picturesque trip, and avoiding the thundering herds as much as possible, this is what I would be doing, for what it's worth. You add a couple/few days, but you also end up back at your car and avoid the hassles of return shuttles.


GREAT!
I amended the permit and got a new one from MM and we will be heading to Red peak than. I read the report http://beaut-tree.net/backpacking-red-p ... onal-park/ from robow8 looks fantastic. I will be checking out about the transportation but doesn't look impossible at first sight.

I would like to thank you all for your suggestion, so useful. Hope to see you on the trails.
If you come to my region in Italy (lake of Como) I will give full assistence for permits :lol: !

Ciao,

T

PS Now I look for Grand Canyon forum and bother someone else
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Re: backpacking loop ideas????

Postby Phil » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:46 am

Viaggi Sicuri
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