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]

Bridalveil campground question

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Bridalveil campground question

Postby madmike » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:55 pm

I applied for a wilderness permit for Bridalveil campground and received the reservation. I am confused on where exactly the campground is in reference to any trailheads. I was hoping to hike from Glacier point area to the Happy isles area. My question is what trail would I take from bridalveil campground to get to happy isles?
Is this even a fesable hike?
Thanks for any info/help
madmike
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:14 pm

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby Phil » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:51 pm

BridalVeil Creek campground is just under 8 miles up Glacier Point Rd from the intersection of Wawona Rd (Hwy 41). It's on the right side, not the left. The trailhead you'll want to pick up is McGurk Meadow just down the road from the entrance to the campground. From the road it's about 2 miles to the Pohono Trail, which is what you'll take over to Glacier Point itself about 6 miles away. Following the signs from there, you'll go down the Panorama Trail to the JMT, then down to Happy Isles. That distance is about another 8+ miles. If you're not planning on doing the entire hike from Bridalveil Creek to Happy Isles in one day (which you can, but don't necessarily have to), you need to be aware that most of the area either has very little water (especially along the Pohono), and is almost completely restricted for camping, or both. It's still a nice trail system though, and it is entirely feasible.

This link will give you a very basic map as well as where there's likely water and definitely camping restrictions. You're looking at the Glacier Point Rd and Wawona box, and McGurk is trailhead 31A.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... eID=292137
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:55 am

To get to happy isles from the campground trailhead, you will either hike the Buena Vista loop on trail, or hike to Ostrander Lake then do the easy cross country to Hart Lake and drop to the other side of the Buena Vista loop trail, to turn north and hike toward Ilillouette Creek, connect to the Panorama Trail, and head down the Mist Trail or the JMT to Happy Isles.

You cannot connect to the trail system on the other side of the road because none of the trails cuts across the road. Hiking down the road constitutes exiting the wilderness entirely and then your permit would be invalidated. Except -- the trail through McGurk Meadows. So you would have to hike to the trail junction and head for Deer Camp then head for McGurk -- those trails are rarely used any more and can become a bushwhack. And that area is likely to be forested, not quite so scenic as other trails.

Changing your permit to a different trailhead would be ideal if none of these works for the planned duration of your trip. It may not be possible. You might try the Mono Meadow trailhead if you need shorter miles.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby madmike » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:01 pm

Thanks for your replies. My son and I were hoping to do our first overnighter somewhere near the merced river. Ideally on the way to half dome. I applied for the Little yosemite valley campground but did not get the reservation. Is there any other wilderness camping near the Merced?.
madmike
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:14 pm

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:09 pm

madmike wrote:Thanks for your replies. My son and I were hoping to do our first overnighter somewhere near the merced river. Ideally on the way to half dome. I applied for the Little yosemite valley campground but did not get the reservation. Is there any other wilderness camping near the Merced?.


Little Yosemite isn't a campground but a designated camping zone concentrating wilderness campers in a very heavily used area to avoid destruction of said wilderness. You can't camp along the trail from Happy Isles (any of them) until you are in that area of Little Yosemite Valley, or two miles beyond it along whichever trail you are hiking along. I suspect that you applied for a wilderness permit and were denied because all reservations were taken. To hike Half Dome you need to have that permit (it's additional) on your wilderness permit, and it's unlikely you would have gotten that on a permit from a Glacier Point Road trailhead unless you have more than two days to hike.

There are always huge restrictions in heavily used popular areas of Yosemite -- if you would like some other backpacking experience there are tons of places for which you can much more easily get a wilderness permit. Ostrander Lake is one of them and you already have a reserved permit. There is a nice view of Half Dome from the ridge there. It'll also be perfectly pleasant camping, with a much lower likelihood of being harrassed by bears who want your food, and also one where you can have a campfire. The fire pits in Little Yosemite Valley are community pits, which you have to share with anyone else there who wants the campfire experience.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby madmike » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:45 am

Can we camp anywhere along a trail or just in designated camp sites?
madmike
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:14 pm

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:53 am

As I said, that depends on where you are on the trail, and also it depends on which trail. Some trails there is a two mile no-camping rule -- no camping until you are more than two miles from the trailhead. I believe that the trailheads along Glacier Point Road that travel south have that rule. There is also a rule of no camping within a mile of any road, and that means that camping along the Pohono Trail, which is on the south rim running from Tunnel View to Glacier Point, is restricted to the area around Bridalveil Creek.

Generally you can camp anywhere you like - unless you are within one of the heavily used areas like Little Yosemite or within a mile of any High Sierra Camp. They'll tell you about those when you pick up the permit.

You can't camp along the Mist Trail, the Panorama Trail, the Ilillouette Trail, or the JMT between Happy Isles and Little Yosemite Valley. You can camp two miles from the creek crossing on the Ilillouette trail, if you hike up the creek away from the trail, and camp off trail. You can camp along the creek on the way to Ostrander lake if you are two miles out.

You can ask a ranger to show you on your map where the no camping zones are -- there is also shading on the National Geographic brand Yosemite maps, to show you where they don't want anyone to camp.

Also keep in mind that if you or someone you are with has some sort of issue -- can't keep hiking, exhausted, elevation issues, serious blistered feet -- the rangers can be forgiving. They would rather that you survive intact than continue while in distress. So sometimes if you are in a complete jam, rules can be bent. So if you aren't sure and still want to go, plan the easy trip and go, and if you have trouble you can turn around and start back -- and if you get in more trouble, stop for the night and don't kill yourself. It's easy to hike well used trails after dark, even.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby Phil » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:25 pm

For your first overnighter you and your son should also consider coming out of Tuolumne Meadows. Glen Aulin is a nice hike, pretty much flat, and with a good backpacker's camp. Young Lakes is another that comes to mind.

If you still want to hike the Pohono, the linked map I gave you in the previous post has a series of lines and arrows. Beyond those points is where it's legal to camp. No, you don't necessarily have to use an established spot, but it's preferable from an environmental standpoint, and if it's a decent site, it will have been definitely used before. Since this is your first time out, I wouldn't do that though. It's a maze of restricted areas that encompasses most of the route, water is also scarce in some places, and AT is absolutely right to point out concerns for regulations, personal ability, and safety. Go easy on yourselves, see how it goes for you, and have a better trip for it.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby madmike » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:50 pm

After buying a NatGeo map and a Yosemite guide book we have decided that we would like to hike the 4 mile trail and panaorama trail. My question is how to connect the 2 trails while still using my reservation for the Bridalveil campground. I would like to start at the 4 mile trail trailhead on Southside drive. It looks like I would have to do some backtracking to get to Bridalveil campground.
The reason for the route I desire is for tree cover and views. Is this hike reasonable? My son and I are not afraid of a long hike. How long would I have to plan for this hike to take from 4 mile trailhead to glacier and then to Bridalveil?
If I am asking the same questions ,I apologize.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions
Mike
madmike
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:14 pm

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:54 pm

madmike wrote:After buying a NatGeo map and a Yosemite guide book we have decided that we would like to hike the 4 mile trail and panaorama trail. My question is how to connect the 2 trails while still using my reservation for the Bridalveil campground. I would like to start at the 4 mile trail trailhead on Southside drive. It looks like I would have to do some backtracking to get to Bridalveil campground.
The reason for the route I desire is for tree cover and views. Is this hike reasonable? My son and I are not afraid of a long hike. How long would I have to plan for this hike to take from 4 mile trailhead to glacier and then to Bridalveil?
If I am asking the same questions ,I apologize.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions
Mike


Not possible. You cannot start at Bridalveil to do that hike, not in a single weekend. You can get a permit for the Four Mile, or the Happy Isles trailhead, or Mono Meadow, and overnight along Ilillouette creek two miles up from the trail -- that is the only legal overnight allowed for those trails, and the only way to do it if you only have two days.

If you plan to use four mile to start - the reservation you have is invalid. The only trailhead that's legal is the one on the reservation you have. You get a new permit to switch trailheads.

You'll have plenty of trees along the trail from other trailheads. The Panorama has less tree coverage than other trails.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby balzaccom » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:40 pm

There is a way to do this hike the way you originally wanted, more or less, but it wouldn't be an overnight. It would be two nights.

You probably can't get a permit for Glacier Point--but you can probably get a permit for Mono Meadows, just a few miles up the road. From there you would hike down into the Illilouette Canyon (the same canyon you'd hike into from Glacier point) but further upstream. With this permit, you HAVE to camp in Illilouette Canyon the first night. The second day would be an easy hike down the canyon, across the Panorama Trail, and into Little Yosemite Valley. The third day you would hike out through the waterfalls to Happy Isles.

You won't see nearly so many people on the first day of this hike---but the area around Little Yosemite Valley is always packed, as is the trail down the Merced, obviously
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
balzaccom
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1180
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Napa CA

Re: Bridalveil campground question

Postby Phil » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:42 pm

I'll chime back in, what the heck.

This is getting interestingly convoluted. Itinerary-wise, Mike, you guys are going into a maze of workarounds and backtracking with very little chance of efficiently covering all of it that you want to see and do with where you're trying to start out. Lots of logistical issues with water, distances, camping, too. Bridalveil campground is nice and all, but why use it as your wilderness entry point? Just camp there with a reservation or as a walk-in if you want to since it sounds like you're going to need to re-permit anyhow. Get the new permit that suits your route. It's easy enough to change your reservation if space is available elsewhere or if you're willing to chance a walk-up.

You want trees, views, not too long, overnight, right? Here's another plan to consider:

Scrap Bridalveil altogether. Instead, stay at White Wolf, either as an entry point and use the backpacker's camp, or just stay in the main campground and treat the wilderness permit separately. New entry is Luken's Lake. You'll be able to walk from camp past Luken's Lake, and cross the road and pick the trail back up legally right on the other side. You can also park on Tioga Rd in the pullout and leave the car there overnight. From there you're going to hike to and along Yosemite Creek, the tributary for Yosemite Falls. You'll start finding good sites to camp about 6 miles in along the creek itself. Next day, you'll end up at the top of Yosemite Falls, hang out, go oohh and aahh for a little while, exit down the Falls Trail and into the Valley. You'll need to shuttle back up to the car, but that's no different than what you had to do to get back to Bridalveil, but it's easier, there's better and more frequent service, and it's cheaper.

If two nights is good, consider entering at the Falls Trail down in the Valley, do the climb up with lots of views, camp upriver in a legal spot, next morning head towards North Dome (pretty much all in the trees), camp somewhere in the area (great views of the Valley and Half Dome) either there or the top of Snow Creek (more great views of the face of Half Dome, Cloud's Rest, Tenaya Canyon...), exit Snow Creek Trail via Mirror Lake only about a half mile and one shuttle stop away from Happy Isles. Ride the Valley shuttle for 15 minutes and you're back at your car.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
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 7 guests

cron