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LYV May 1-3

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

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LYV May 1-3

Postby Rebsteen » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:26 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm coming to LYV next week and was trying to plan a 3 day/2 night backpacking trip for myself and a friend. What I was thinking of was hiking from Happy Isles through the little yosemite campground and on to Merced Lake day 1. Then we would camp somewhere around there (would we be able to camp anywhere near Merced Lake?).

The next day we would hike back West and at the junction at Echo Valley head north then West back towards LYV along the JMT. We would camp the second night somewhere around LYV.

The third day we would hike back to the car.

Does this seem like a reasonable trip at this time of year? Do you guys think that Merced Lake will be accessible?

Thanks, I really appreciate any advice that anyone may have!!
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Re: LYV May 1-3

Postby Phil » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:36 pm

The snow level is a little higher than the elevations you're going to be at, but we did have that storm that passed through a couple days ago. Ask the rangers when you go to pick up your wilderness permit down in the Valley what the conditions are. The only thing I can think of is that the gorge on the trail up to Merced Lake is narrow and fairly deep/shaded as well as a good portion being in the trees, so you might get a little more coverage hanging on through there. The other thing I know is going to definitely be the case is Echo Valley is going to be swampy and have a lot of standing water, so plan to get wet and muddy through there. Camping up at Merced Lake is limited by regulation to the designated backcountry campground within a mile of the High Sierra Camp. It'll work for you if need be, but if the trail looks good and you want to push a few miles further up for something nicer, you can try Washburn Lake. If you want to camp below Merced, I would strongly recommend finding a use trail near the bridges to the left below Bunnell Cascade for the nicest sites...much nicer than Merced, any day. Bring bug spray. Also, since you're coming down the JMT anyhow, instead of camping at LYV, look for sites along Sunrise Creek anywhere from the trail junction where you come up from Echo Valley (you may find some snow up in that area, too) down to the rocks just below the junction with the Cloud's Rest trail. Lot's of crafty bears in that area, so keep that in mind.
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Re: LYV May 1-3

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:05 pm

So it snowed last week, a few feet in places, and there's more on the way this week. You may go as far as you can and camp. "Somewhere around LYV" is going to be in designated spots, with everyone else camping there, because you don't get to camp just anywhere. Unless you get 2 miles beyond it along whichever trail you take. There's a sign that tells you where the boundary is.

The bears are really active -- we saw a really pretty one just last weekend along the trail. Bear cans are a necessity unless you stay in the sites in LYV with lockers.

If you don't get a happy isles permit, you can check on Glacier Point Road. It closed again when the snow fell. If it reopens a backpack to Ostrander Lake would be less populated, and base camping there you can day hike along Horse Ridge to Hart Lake on the layover day. Hetch Hetchy is another hour's drive from Yosemite valley but a decent backup trip if a little crowded.
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