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[Yosemite]

Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

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

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Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

Postby jwa5 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:16 pm

Hello!

I'm planning a 2-5 day backpacking trip this coming summer. I'm going to apply for wilderness permits for mid to late September as soon as I'm able to. I'm making the trek down from the Pacific Northwest, and will be traveling in a group of 4.

I'm staying in Sebastapol, CA with family the night before my trip, so the earliest I can arrive is around 10AM. I'm hoping this isn't biting off more than I can chew, but I'm trying to hit Dewey/Stanford/Taft, Half Dome, and Clouds Rest.

So far I have a rough outline of:

Starting at Tunnel View, and spending the first night between Dewey/Taft preferably closer to Taft
Heading to Clouds Rest and spending the night at a campsite near the summit
Heading towards up half dome the following morning, before going to Glacier point that same day
Hitchhiking or Bussing from Glacier Point to Tunnel View

However, I'm struggling with finding a legal spot between Taft/Dewey for the first night. I've read some other posts regarding camping along the Pohono and seen mixed things. Can anyone shed some light on that for me?

Also, if anyone see's a better way splitting up Tunnel View to Clouds Rest I'd be interested.

Thank you.
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Re: Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

Postby jwa5 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:54 pm

After looking at this map http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/wildernesstrailheads.pdf it looks like it would be best if I camped between Dewey and where the McGurk Trail/Ponhono trail meet. Does anyone have experience with this?
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Re: Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

Postby Phil » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:42 am

Starting at Tunnel View, and spending the first night between Dewey/Taft preferably closer to Taft
Heading to Clouds Rest and spending the night at a campsite near the summit
Heading towards up half dome the following morning, before going to Glacier point that same day
Hitchhiking or Bussing from Glacier Point to Tunnel View


I'll have to think about this one a bit. The problem with what you want to do is that you're jumping back and forth between the two sides of the Valley, with very big descents and ascents on both sides, not necessarily the most logical system of trail interconnections in between them, and in a short time frame. If you have to ask if you're biting off more than you can chew, then yes, honestly, that would be my take on your initial route planning. It wouldn't be something I would do. One side at a time. Tell us first why you want to start at Tunnel View in order to go up to Cloud's Rest the next day? Are you experienced, in shape, used to altitude, how many miles can you do in a day...? If anything, I would probably reverse the order, go in from Tioga Rd and the Sunrise trailhead, hit Cloud's Rest and Half Dome, drop down to LYV, then up to Glacier Point, camp somewhere along Bridalveil Creek (it's the only viable year-round water source in the area), then exit into the Valley and shuttle back to the car.
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Re: Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

Postby jwa5 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:53 am

I walk about 10 miles a day just in my daily discourse, and I have some experience with altitude as I will be summiting Mt.Hood this spring which has required me to do some training hikes; however, I've never done more than 13 miles in a day on a trip before so this would be pushing it!

I'm not necessarily attached to the idea of starting at Tunnel View just the idea of seeing Clouds Rest, Half Dome, and Stanford/Crocker/Inspiration/Taft/Dewey/etc (The entirety of what the Ponhono trail has to offer). And I do love waking up bright and early with a view, so I want at least one spot overnight to be spent within hiking distance of a viewpoint for the sunrise. While my route would accomplish that, I agree, it's strenuous and inefficient. To go along with this, I'm not strapped for time and wouldn't mind adding an extra day or two provided I can find camping.

Starting at the Sunrise Lakes trailhead was way off my radar, I'll look into it! Thank you!
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Re: Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

Postby balzaccom » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:01 pm

A couple of thoughts:

Why not start at Sunrise, and head up to Cloud's Rest from there? That's only 7 miles from the trailhead, and there are certainly place to camp just below Cloud's Rest.
Day two takes you over to Half Dome, and then Camp in Little Yosemite Valley, or hike on towards Illilouette Canyon. From there you can hike up and over Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, Dewey Point...etc. And it's all downhill!

If you want water, the only camping between Dewey and Taft would be where the trail crossed Bridalveil Creek--not all that scenic.
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Re: Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:00 pm

jwa5 wrote:So far I have a rough outline of:

Starting at Tunnel View, and spending the first night between Dewey/Taft preferably closer to Taft
Heading to Clouds Rest and spending the night at a campsite near the summit
Heading towards up half dome the following morning, before going to Glacier point that same day
Hitchhiking or Bussing from Glacier Point to Tunnel View

However, I'm struggling with finding a legal spot between Taft/Dewey for the first night. I've read some other posts regarding camping along the Pohono and seen mixed things. Can anyone shed some light on that for me?


I would suggest not doing this, because you have huge elevation gains and losses, all at lower elevations -- in summer that will mean the middle of the day is HOT.

These locations are all on the south side of Yosemite Valley, but they are on different sides of the Ilillouette drainage. You are correct that there are restrictions on camping along the Pohono trail. The rule is, more than a mile from the road, and more than two miles from a trailhead. That will throw a kink in a lot of the potential spots. You will also find throngs of day hikers showing up everywhere since there are good day hikes from trailheads along Glacier Point Road that intersect the Pohono. My friends and I have hiked all the way through to Glacier Point and down the Four Mile in one day before.

The climb up from Tunnel View will be long and arduous for a first day. There may not be a good spot between Dewey and Taft -- Bridalveil Creek will be reliable water, but I don't recall seeing good flat spots without underbrush in that area. I would suggest the following instead:

Pick up your permit, and stay the night in the backpacker camp. Leave your car at Curry trailhead parking. While you're in the valley, get tickets for the Glacier Point tour bus for the first trip up from the valley in the morning. They will drop you off at the McGurk trailhead if you ask (they used to anyway -- it would be worthwhile to call ahead and verify -- the concessionaire is changing so this also may change).
Hike in to Dewey Point, and with any daylight left in the day, hike around to the west to visit the lesser viewpoints like Stanford. Avoid the long climb up from the tunnel. You can lug in enough water for the day plus dinner and breakfast, and then get water at Bridalveil Creek on the way northeast.
Hike to Taft, Sentinel Dome, and eat lunch at the snack bar at Glacier Point, avoiding the need to pack a lunch for that day. Descend to Ilillouette Creek and hike up two miles from the crossing at the bridge, to find a legal campsite there. There is no camping on Panorama trail or on the Mist/JMT trails until you reach Little Yosemite Valley.
Third day, hike on over to Little Yosemite Valley. You can set up camp and day hike up to Half Dome provided you have a permit, or if you decide to believe those of us who think Clouds Rest is a better view, you can hike on through and camp at Sunrise Creek, and day hike up to Clouds instead. Hike out to Happy Isles and if the final flat walk to trailhead parking is not your cup of tea, wait for a few minutes at the shuttle stop and ride back to the car.

Hiking from Taft to Clouds Rest in one day sounds like h-e-double-hockey-sticks to me. UGH.
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Re: Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

Postby Bighead » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:46 am

I'm planning to hike from the Tunnelview Trailhead along Pohono as well. I spoke directly with the backcountry permit office and was told the only authorized area for camping is at the Bridalveil Creek and Pohono Trail junction on the west side. I recommend you call them and verify.
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Re: Help Building Itinerary- Tunnel View to Clouds Rest

Postby balzaccom » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:15 am

We've done most of this hike, but never starting at Tunnel View. Dewey is a perfect day hike from the Sentinel Dome parking lot. Why not start at Glacier Point (or Mono Meadows) and do the rest of your hike, then do Dewey as a day hike? You will see plenty of people on that Dewey Point trail--not exactly my idea of ideal backpacking traffic. But then, you're going to be seeing a lot of people throughout that whole route.

Dewey Point is a wonderful spot for a winter trip...far fewer people...
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