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[Yosemite]

Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late June

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

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Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late June

Postby Alchemist » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:06 pm

Hello! I'm currently planning a one-week trip to Tuolumne in June (around the 20th). This will be my second trip to Yosemite (first time above 8000 feet) and I am NOT a skilled backpacker. I haven't looked into the details (e.g., mileage) yet, but I would like to hike about 8-10 miles a day. I'd like to know if there will be a high possibility for me to encounter snow on the trails or cross any streams with high water level. Also, any major challenges in my itinerary? I'd appreciate your response. Thank you!

Day 1: Overnight at Tuolumne Backpackers Campground
Day 2: Overnight at Glen Aulin HSC
Day 3: Overnight at May Lake HSC
Day 4: Base camp at May Lake HSC, day hike to Mt. Hoffman
Day 5: Overnight at Sunrise Lakes (not Sunrise HSC)
Day 6: Base camp at Sunrise Lakes, day hike to Clouds Rest
Day 7: Overnight at Tuolumne Backpackers Campground
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Re: Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late Jun

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:05 pm

You should be aware that Tioga Road may not open until early-late June, and the campground may not open before the 20th -- depends entirely on the state of the snow melt. We've recently had a few more feet and more is coming over the next three days. Those high sierra camps may not be open either.

Your challenge will be elevation, if you aren't used to it, and yes, there's a pretty high likelihood that even if the snow is gone from the road and the pass opens, there will be patches of snow in varying stages of melt, plenty of runoff to keep the creeks high, cold, and dangerous to cross, and if the melt goes pretty fast there'll be epic mosquito hordes. Loose clothing, a head net, DEET may be the only things between you and insanity....

If you are within a mile of a HSC you are expected to camp in the designated backpacker camp area. That may or may not be what you intend. All the HSCs are fairly close together so that people can easily get to the next one within a day, so you are probably fine so far as miles.
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Re: Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late Jun

Postby Phil » Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:14 pm

Mosquitoes! Brutal! Insanity is putting it lightly. From the moment you enter the trail system. Don't even dream of going without a tent.

There might still be quite a bit of snow on Cloud's Rest, but so what... you got mosquitoes to worry about. Every other issue you encounter will pale by comparison...it'll sure keep you moving faster though.

DEET will melt your bear canister if it spills or leaks, but along with your head net and tent, it'll be the single best piece of gear you have.
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Re: Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late Jun

Postby Alchemist » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:44 pm

Thank you both. Would mosquitoes be less of a problem if I went in late July instead? Thanks again.
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Re: Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late Jun

Postby balzaccom » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:12 pm

Mosquitoes seem to be worst about two weeks after the snow melts away, and then they get less prevalent as the summer goes on. July will be better than June. August is better yet. You'd be surprised how many Sierra veterans like to hike in September.

That said, mosquitoes are part of Yosemite. Take headnets. Wear long sleeves and long pants, and you should be fine. And yes, make sure the mesh of your tent doesn't have any major holes.

Here's a shot taken above Tuolumne Pass at over 10,000 feet and a couple of miles from the nearest body of water in June of 2011

Image
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late Jun

Postby Alchemist » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:05 pm

Thanks so much for your advice. It's really helpful!
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Re: Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late Jun

Postby mebgardner » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:00 pm

AT gave some good advice there about the altitude. Try to plan for an "acclimation" day, where you lay about take it easy before the "exertion" days ahead.
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Re: Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late Jun

Postby Alchemist » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:19 am

Thanks, I will try to get there a day earlier. One more question: is reservation required for the High Sierra Campgrounds (for backpackers)? Do I need to pay? If so, how much is it? Thank you!
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Re: Needs advice on Tuolumne to Clouds Rest hike in late Jun

Postby Phil » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:37 am

No, it's free to stay at the backpacker's camps at all the HSCs. No reservations required. However, they're sometimes crowded and you might have to share a site with others. Not likely in June, and weather dependent, you might even find that the HCS tent cabins, facilities, and water spigots aren't set up yet. In the front country backpacker's camps in the Valley, White Wolf, and Tuolumne, even though there are no reservations required, there is a $5 per person, per night charge to stay there, and if you didn't already know, staying there is limited to one night prior to and one night after your permit dates.
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