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Wilderness Permit and June Hiking Question

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:43 pm
by happyhiker
Been reading all the forums trying to gather as much information as possible but haven't seen something that helps answer the following questions. Would appreciate advice!

We have a wilderness permit for Glacier Point to Illilouette for 2 nights. The permit says we must camp after we have passed Buena Vista Trail. The second night we can camp in Little Yosemite Valley. We also have Half Dome permits. In looking at this again we are looking for a little more mileage on day 1 and if possible would like to add in Clouds Rest coming in from the Sunrise area. No waist high fording of creeks for me.

Pending weather and acclimation to the elevation can we hike from Glacier Point, down the Panarama Trail, over to John Muir and continue past Little Yosemite Valley and camp up near Sunrise creek? If possible camp both night 1 and 2 at the same location. Hike up to Clouds Rest on Day 2 and back to camp and then on day 3 hike to Half Dome, pick up the tent and backpacking gear on the way down through LYV to Happy Isles? If I calculated the mileage correctly we'd be looking at:
Day 1: GP to Sunrise 8-10 miles
Day 2: Sunrise creek to Clouds Rest and back: 8-10 miles
Day 3: Sunrise - -Half Dome - Happy Isles - 9-10 miles

If that isn't allowed I am assuming I can apply for a second wilderness permit from Happy Isles to Sunset/Merced pass through (still showing available). My only concern is the seeing the happy isles trail twice and not getting a chance to see more of the park. On the other hand this may be a good route if its a heavy snow year and Glacier point doesn't open in time.

Our other option is to skip Cloud Rest, stay in the Illilouette creek area overnight, head to LYV for night 2 and then half dome back to Happy Isles day 3. The mileage is pretty light - although if GP is open we could see the Fissures,Sentinal Dome and then head down the trail.

Would love any advise/help,


Re: Wilderness Permit and June Hiking Question

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:45 pm
by Phil
Once you pass your trailhead and it's quota, you can pretty much do whatever you want to. It is a way short first day, but Illilouette Creek is pretty nice camping. That said, if it can be modified to allow it when you pick up your permit, skip LYV and head up the JMT to at least just above the Half Dome trail spur and look for a site in that area, somewhere around the trail junction up to Cloud's Rest. There are few nice ones at the junction, as well as what will be on your right just below there, in the rocks (best views). Anything below that point is restricted for camping. For better sites, as well as another way up to CR (not sure if it's marked that way, but it's technically the Forsyth Trail...not the most scenic, but less of a climb), keep going another 2-ish miles on the JMT past that first junction and head up to the second trail junction on the left, just past the trail down (right) to Merced Lake/Echo Valley. Slightly up-trail from there, duck out to the left of the JMT and start looking for a great site along Sunrise Creek anywhere within about 1/4 mile from where you first started looking.

Anywhere in that whole area, not just when you're out for the day, but anytime, heavy bear issues, so be incredibly vigilant with your food and pack contents.

Re: Wilderness Permit and June Hiking Question

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:55 pm
by Dave_Ayers
GP to Sunrise the 1st day isn't allowed on your reserved permit. The 1st night's camp spot is the determining factor. If you have a GP - Illilouette permit, you aren't allowed to camp at Sunrise Creek the 1st night. You'd need Happy Isles pass-through permit to start in or near the Valley and camp along Sunrise Creek.

You might also drive up to Tenaya Lake and do Cloud's Rest as a day hike from the Sunrise Trailhead.

Re: Wilderness Permit and June Hiking Question

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:26 pm
by Phil
Thanks Dave! My mistake. Sorry for the bad info. GP-Illilouette is one that's restricted and LYV is second night only.

Re: Wilderness Permit and June Hiking Question

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:42 pm
by happyhiker
Very helpful Thank you! I think since the quota hasn't been filled I'll swap our permit to Happy Isles-Sunrise Pass-thru. It will probably be easier in the long run. We'll just head up to Glacier Point another day and tool around up there.