Home A - Z FAQ Bookstore Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps Lodging About Search
CalHotels.US--online reservations now CalHotels.US Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed. Click Here For Yours!
Hotel photos, maps, reviews, & discount rates.

U.S. Hotels in California (Yosemite, L. A., San Francisco ), AL, AK, AR, AS, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, FM, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, NV, MH, MP, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, PW, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI WA, WV, WI, WY

[Yosemite]

Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

Postby zabs3205 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:31 pm

Hello!

My name is Chris, and my brother, friend, and I are backpacking Yosemite next week. We are all in pretty good shape. I've been planning it out for the last 5 months, and we want to backpack the Panorama trail starting from the valley and up to Glacier point and coming down the four mile trail. In checking the weather, I know one night may be snowing, but we are prepped for it. However, I have a question about the camping.

I've done some trips to Big Sur & Joshua Tree where I hiked a trail with my backpack, only to find no where to camp off trail and wasting a lot of breath. Is anyone familiar with Panorama Trail and if it is a good 2-night hike? The plan is to arrive sunday, camp at a campground sunday night, hike monday and stay on the trail that night, hike down tuesday and either stay again on the trail or stay at back at our campground. Is that a good recommendation?

If not, do you have other good recommendations from the Valley that offer scenic views and camp-able trails? Thanks so much!
zabs3205
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:25 pm

Re: Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

Postby balzaccom » Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:41 am

The obvious place to camp on this hike is up Illilouette Canyon on the Panorama Trail. Lots of spots there.

you could also hike up Yosemite Falls and down Snow Creek, or vice versa. This has the advantage of being on the North Rim of the Valley, which means that it gets a lot more sun on the trail than the other side. If it snows, that might make a difference.
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
balzaccom
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Napa CA

Re: Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

Postby Phil » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:03 am

Hey Chris,

I would agree with Balzaccom that a loop from Snow Creek- Falls Trail or vice versa would be better...some great campsites and views at the top of Snow Creek, as well as being better for planning a second night camping along the trail.

However, if you're dead set on Panorama, your best spots are going to be along Illiluette Creek. After that, your second day is going to be to Glacier Point and out Four Mile. Not much camping beyond Glacier Point though. You'll scrounge and take whatever you get too close to the trailhead at Glacier Point, if it's even legal to camp there (it's a day hiking trail), so your second day is going to only be a couple hours of hiking. It's dangerous if there's snow, you'll have to melt snow for water, and then have a treacherous descent on a north-west aspect from Union Point.

You say you're "prepped" for winter travel, but that makes me a little nervous since I don't know how you define that. We were in the Sierras up by Tahoe/Mt Rose last weekend and the snow level was about 5000 feet, about 2 feet deep, with heavy flurries falling Sunday afternoon. I'll assume you know how to navigate in the snow and have the basics for doing it. Whatever trail you decide on (they're all pretty steep climbs), you guys might also want to carry some kind of traction devices. I doubt you would need crampons, but you may want to at least have some micro-spikes, and maybe snowshoes. If your stove is white gas, no problem, but if you're using canisters, keep them warm or invert them if it's cold.

Here's the High Sierra webcam feed showing what the snow level looks like right now. You guys can decide what to bring and how to handle it based on what you see from that, then make the final call when you're down in the Valley and looking at it all first hand. Have fun!

http://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/webcams/high-sierra
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

Postby zabs3205 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:00 pm

Hey Phil & Balzaccom,

Thanks so much for your input. I super appreciate it. I was definitely looking into the Snow Creek Trail and diverting to North Dome and then back down to Yosemite Falls, but the climb up had me a little hesitant, since I know both ascents are pretty gnarly. Would either of you know which is better to start up: Snow Creek Trail or Upper Yosemite Falls?
zabs3205
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:25 pm

Re: Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

Postby zabs3205 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:33 pm

Also @ Phil,

When I say "prepped" for the camping, I should mention we have boots (waterproof), propane grill, shovel, waterproof container for lighter/fire starters, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and all the warm clothes we can muster. We don't have crampons or snow shoes unfortunately. Do you think we will run into a lot of trouble? The webcams I've looked at show snow at the higher elevations, but the only chance of snowfall is 60% on the last day we are there. Will we sink into snow with our backpacks and is there a recommendation or tips you have for navigating snow covered trails? Maybe some website links to review before departing?

Thanks for looking out for the newb here. I've done so much prep work, but I feel I'm thinking of something new each day haha. Just don't want to end up McCandless.
zabs3205
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:25 pm

Re: Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

Postby Phil » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:16 pm

Hey again Chris,

All three trails are pretty steep, and the first section of Panorama is crazy steep. I've never been a huge fan of the Falls Trail, mostly because it's so crowded, but even though it's supposed to be the greatest vertical gain, I always head up Snow Creek. I'm really partial to the campsites up there when you get to the top and head to your right. The views of Half Dome and Tenaya Canyon are memorable and something I can never get enough of. Besides being a great experience, Snow Creek is a good place to be able to bail out from if you need to get out in a hurry. Of all the options, it would definitely be my vote for every reason I can think of.

So looking at the webcam myself and judging the conditions, it doesn't look too bad or too deep (more spotty than anything), but it can be deceiving until you're in it. You may have to do a little post holing, but unless you get caught in a blizzard and it builds up fast, you certainly won't need crampons, and probably not snowshoes either. You may wish you had them, but you'll make it through. Check out the micro-spikes though. Kathoola makes the best IMO for about $50. Since you're going to be climbing some steeps, they might come in handy and keep you from face planting more than once. They slip on over your boots easily. If you don't need them, return them or keep them for next time. I just consider them a good thing to have for slick conditions and when traction might be an issue. Gore-tex gaiters might be nice to have, and some trekking poles might come in handy too...preferably with powder baskets. Above all, know how to use all your gear before you head out.

What do you mean by a "grill"??? As in a Coleman? If that's the case, stop whatever it is you're doing today and run down to REI and pick up a small backpacking stove with a windscreen, at least a 1.5 liter pot (2.5L is better for 3 people, but kind of big for most general use), and a couple 8oz iso-butane canisters. I promise that whichever one of you doesn't have to play Sherpa and drag a grill around will be forever in my debt. :twisted:

The trails are well marked and it doesn't look like you'll need to be too worried about it, but there is snow on the ground, and you never know for sure. It's better to be safe and err on the side of caution, and navigational skills can save your life. You guys are probably young, so what you don't have in experience, you can probably make up for with piss and vinegar, but I'm not able to, nor comfortable with, teaching you to navigate in a paragraph or less. Map, compass, GPS if you have it...the ability to use all of them. Try this for the ridiculously rudimentary starting point though: http://www.backpacker.com/skills/beginn ... -the-snow/ Although I would definitely spend some more time searching for better online resources on the subject. If you get into trouble, STOP! and take your bearings. If it's worse, remember that there's no shame in quitting, turning around and bailing out. If you get into real trouble: with where you'll be, you should have almost solid cell coverage; call 911, stay where you are, and wait for YOSAR to come and find you. That's about all I can give you on it without being there.

"I've done so much prep work, but I feel I'm thinking of something new each day haha."

Dude, trust me, it never ends.................
Last edited by Phil on Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

Postby zabs3205 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:41 pm

Hey again Phil,

You are a scholar and a saint. Your input has been super helpful for the perfectionist spirit that lives in me haha. I had high hopes on a campsite on North Dome, but when Tioga Rd closed due to the 1st winter storm, I was bummed out because I figured Snow Creek Trail was too steep. I know next week won't be terribly crowded,except maybe Thanksgiving day, but we may just muster our wits about us and hit up Snow Creek and come down via the Falls. Thanks for that advice, especially mentioning that Panorama is super steep lol.

I have some poles we will definitely use, but I'm glad I don't need to set back our group another $150 on gear lol. We young lads are stingy with our cash, but may go the "use it and return it" route when it comes down to the day we leave.

And sorry, by grill I mean literally the metallic cage portion of the top of a grill that you put over a fire and place pots/pans on haha. No George Foremans on this trek. I actually learned a friend of mine might have a little stove that we'll likely use, just to ensure we always have a means to make food in case there isn't dry wood available in the areas. We are packing as light as possible, knowing whichever route we go, we have a good climb ahead of us haha.

Yeah I'm not expecting 2 foot deep snow and am pretty great navigationally, but we have the maps for trails and a compass, so we may just pickup a trail map when we arrive just to have an extra set on hand. Also good to know we will have cell phone coverage! I've been planning the whole trip like we'll be in the dead zone, so I'll make sure I have digital backups of everything so we have that as well.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge! Very appreciated!
zabs3205
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:25 pm

Re: Backpacking & Camping for 3 for 2 nights. Advice?

Postby Phil » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:47 pm

Have a great time, Chris!!!
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca


Return to Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron