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[Yosemite]

Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

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

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Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Bighead » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:24 am

I'm hoping to find someone who would be willing to give me and two kids a lift from Yosemite Village to the Tunnel View trailhead the morning of May 20th. We will be leaving our car at the Happy Isles trailhead. I'm more than willing to pay for the help, thanks.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:49 am

No, you will be leaving your car at the trailhead parking half a mile from the Happy Isles trailhead. No one parks at Happy Isles.

You can ride the free shuttle most of the way there, to the Bridalveil parking lot.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Bighead » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:57 pm

AlmostThere wrote:No, you will be leaving your car at the trailhead parking half a mile from the Happy Isles trailhead. No one parks at Happy Isles.

You can ride the free shuttle most of the way there, to the Bridalveil parking lot.


Yes I know the parking for Happy Isles trailhead is not next to the actual trailhead. As far as the free shuttle the only one running on May 20 is the Yosemite Valley shuttle which only makes it as far west as camp 4. The El Capitan shuttle which would be the one I need will not be running yet. I spoke directly with them to confirm so my only option is to either catch a ride with someone or catch that glacier bus at 8:30 AM from the lodge and ask them to drop me at the trailhead.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Phil » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:07 pm

Bighead wrote: I spoke directly with them to confirm so my only option is to either catch a ride with someone or catch that glacier bus at 8:30 AM from the lodge and ask them to drop me at the trailhead.


That's certainly going to be your best bet logistically. You might catch a ride from someone here or elsewhere online, and then hope it pans out. Another option is to be there and hit people up that are going that way...$20 will go a long way in making that happen faster.

Kids going up Tunnel View? You got some tough kids.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:10 pm

Yep, that's a tougher route than going up the Four Mile Trail, which at least has some nice switchbacks.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Phil » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:35 pm

And from where the shuttle drops you at Camp 4 you can hit the Four Mile trailhead via a short trail that comes out just down the road from there. It's sure going to save you a lot of hard climbing and the logistical hassle of getting to Tunnel View.

Here's a handy map:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... hikes1.pdf
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:39 pm

I think if you wanted a long hike, Tunnel View to Glacier Point, the equivalent would be Four Mile to GP to Ilillouette to Panorama Trail to Happy Isles. And if the kids get real upset or sore, GP is a chance to thumb a ride back to the valley, and also get an ice cream bar to sweeten the idea of a 14 mile hike. Pooping out in the first few miles of Tunnel View will get you lots of ... trees. Crashing out of a hike on the Four Mile gets you gorgeous views for a good bit of the way, anyway, and plenty more on the rest of the hike, plus getting soaked in the midafternoon at Vernal if you take the mist trail down -- it will be pretty doggone hot about 1 - 3 pm.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Bighead » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:33 pm

Phil wrote:Kids going up Tunnel View? You got some tough kids.


They are definitely tough. They've been backpacking since they were 11 years old and just completed a multi-day loop through the Grand Canyon including a final day that was 10 miles and 3,800 ft of elevation gained. I'm also more than willing to throw in $40 to sweeten the pot. I plan to drop my kids (17years old and 15 years old) at Tunnelview before hand with our backpacks to save time so I would only need room for one person. I know it's a long shot but figured I'd give it a try.

We will only be doing the first 7 miles to Bridalveil Creek in case anyone thought we were biting off the entirety of the trail in one day. Our plan is to spend 5 nights and 6 days. I posted our plan earlier and got a little feedback but if anyone is curious or has any input I'll list it again.
Day 1 - Tunnelview to Bridalveil creek bridge (only authorized camping along Pohono)
Day 2 - Pohono to Illilouete camping
Day 3 - Up to LYV
Day 4 - Merced Lake (Lost Valley)
Day 5 - Clouds Rest camping east of the summit
Day 6 - Hike out through Happy Isles (hence the car being left at this trailhead parking area.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Phil » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:54 pm

Once you leave Merced, what route are you planning to take up to CR? Are you going up to the JMT and picking up the Forsyth Trail, or going up Echo Creek via Sunrise HSC/Lakes?

With LYV one night, and then Merced the next, you might be a little disappointed with staying in designated camps, and honestly, if that's all you're going to do at Merced, it's nice, but it's not particularly worth the extra miles just to go there and turn back around the next morning. I consider it a pass-through more than a destination in and of itself. Others would argue, no doubt, but that's just my take. Echo Valley is going to be really wet and swampy, so you're going to have wet and very muddy boots going to Merced, then wet and very muddy boots all the next day leaving and going back through all of it again. It's just not something you'll be able to walk around or avoid. Maybe think about either staying lower around Bunnell, or just going ahead and basically avoiding the whole slog through Echo Valley, up the trail to the JMT, hang a right since you're doing that anyhow to pick up the Forsyth, then find one of the excellent sites up along Sunrise Creek throughout that area. It probably won't be exceptionally crowded at Merced that early, but it's still essentially another group camp, whereas Bunnell or Sunrise should be more private and give you a better sense of a "wilderness" camping experience where you get to choose and are left to your own devices. Staying at Sunrise, you also get to turn the hike up toward CR the next day into practically nothing. You then can go up to the summit on a day hike for the sunset, and if you leave early enough the next morning, you can catch the sunrise over the Sierra Crest.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Bighead » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:58 pm

Phil wrote:Once you leave Merced, what route are you planning to take up to CR? Are you going up to the JMT and picking up the Forsyth Trail, or going up Echo Creek via Sunrise HSC/Lakes?


Phill thank you, this is what I was hoping for when I posted our route. So based on this information I have a couple questions for you if you don't mind.

These are my options that seem the most feasible based on our exit date at Happy Isles

Hike from LYV along the Merced River through the lost valley to Echo Valley then take the trail north out of Echo valley prior to Merced which then forks heading west back towards Sunrise Creek and the John Muir Trail and camping along Sunrise Creek. This would be right at 10 miles so it is feasible. The next day head to Clouds Rest camping just below the summit on the north side of the trail. Then hiking out from CR to Happy Isles.

Option 2 is take John Muir Trail out of LYV and head towards Sunrise High Sierra Camp. We could then camp two miles outside of the HSC either before or after depending on how we are feeling. The next day we would head to Clouds Rest camping just below the summit on the north side of the trail. Then hiking out from CR to Happy Isles.

Finally and probably the easiest is leave LYV along the John Muir trail and camping along Sunrise Creek. This would give us an easy day (only 4-5 miles) which would allow for some flexibility.

Thanks again for the help.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:19 pm

Hopefully by then there won't be much snow left. And I don't believe there are any troublesome creek crossings without bridges.

Definitely tougher than me - I remember going down to Tunnel view making a resolution to never go up with a backpack.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Bighead » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:20 pm

Phil,
Sorry but I missed this earlier and after reading your post again it gave me another idea. On our third day we could push through LYV and camp near Bunnell if I understand you correctly. Then the next day we would hit Echo Valley and then work our way over to Sunrise Creek. I really like this idea but is there camping near Bunnell? I haven't looked at any imagery yet just maps but it appears to be a rather narrow canyon in that area.

Thanks again.
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Re: Need ride from Happy Isles to Tunnel View May 20th

Postby Phil » Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:06 am

OMG, I just lost an entire long post. It was my Magnum Opus. I didn't need that at 4am.

Here we go again....

AlmostThere wrote:And I don't believe there are any troublesome creek crossings without bridges.


I think you're right. I can't think of anything besides Sunrise that isn't bridged.

If you guys don't want to camp at LYV, but don't have the energy to go up to Bunnell, assuming it's not too wet, once you pass the marker post for the LYV restricted area just past Moraine Dome, you can find some sites in the area over by the river if you poke around.

Passing Bunnell Cascade, there are a few dangerous sections of trail that are narrow and cant toward the river. It can be slick. If you trip and fall in, you die. No question about it. When I've got my kids with me, it makes my parental instincts go absolutely haywire and I make them hug the up slope. If there's snow, it'll probably be even more so. I suggest you do the same.

Yes, there are sites above Bunnell. The gorge opens up considerably. The map or sat images should show you clearly. There are two bridges crossing the Merced in that immediate area. Before you cross the first, head uphill and scout around for a bit. You'll find them. If it's not too wet, you can also cross that same bridge and head into the trees to your right. You should find a few in there too. If you guys take a break and do some exploring throughout that whole valley, you'll definitely find something nice. Plenty of water, obviously, and some with fire rings.

After you go up the switchbacks from Bunnell and before the last footbridge over the Merced, there's some granite slabs. They may be slick. Be careful. After the footbridge, you kinda sorta technically begin to enter Echo Valley. You'll primarily traverse the slope uphill for some of it, but by not going to Merced Lake, you won't cross that last bridge over Echo Creek and into the worst of the sloppy muck, so you guys should stay relatively high and dry. So now you get to decide- up to the JMT at Sunrise, or up the longer trail along the Cathedral Fork of Echo Creek up to the HSC. The first is shorter, and will get you to CR faster, with some great views of Bunnell and down canyon along the way, then great sites at Sunrise Creek when you get to the top, as well as a cake walk the next day. The trail along Cathedral Fork is nice, but much longer, so you'll have to see how everyone is feeling when you get to the junction and have to make the decision. What I will say about Cathedral Fork is that it'll get you up to Sunrise Lakes, which are nice, have crazy good fishing that time of year, and that have much better sites overall than most of what you would find on the east slope/north ascent of CR. And since the kids are good with more miles per day, it also leaves you in good position to summit CR fairly early the next day.

And just a couple last pieces of advice: When you guys summit CR, if you're wearing full packs, at least think twice about dropping right down on the trail over the other side. It's really steep, straight down, and it hurts. Instead, go back the way you came and take the lower route. Bears! Many, active, crafty, potentially aggressive at times, unrelenting. Use your canisters properly, and seriously, don't even set your lunch next to you on a log and expect it to not be grabbed if you turn away. All of the areas around Sunrise and CR are prime time.
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