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]

Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby MtnsoulT » Mon May 02, 2016 4:09 pm

Greetings Everyone!

I am new to this forum and just happened up on it doing some research on beta for Yosemite. I am going to be in the area for a wedding and decided that this trip will not go down unless I am able to get a trip to Yosemite in. I am looking at an overnight, possibly two night backpacking trip. If you were only given this amount of time in Yosemite, What trail or loop would you pick and why? I am really looking to see as much as possible in the short amount of time I have(which is unfortunate, but reality) and hit the cream of the crop on this trip. I am an AT thru hiker 3 years ago, and have done plenty of trail races and backpacking longer distances since. Mileage and elevation is no issue, so what would you pick? I have been eye balling the Cathedral Lakes to Happy isles via clouds rest, but i'm unsure if this is going to give me the best bang for my buck and the amount of time given this may not even be an option.. Thanks to all of you for any and all information.. I know there are so many awesome places to see in Yosemite that's its tough for me to really narrow it down, but just looking for the insiders assistance!
Last edited by MtnsoulT on Mon May 02, 2016 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MtnsoulT
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby MtnsoulT » Mon May 02, 2016 4:09 pm

I failed to mention this will be Mid to late June
MtnsoulT
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby AlmostThere » Mon May 02, 2016 4:43 pm

I recommend going to the Yosemite website, nps.gov/yose and looking up how to get a walk in wilderness permit. You will need to look at other possibilities and have a second choice itinerary, and a third, and a fourth, because any trailhead pointing in the direction of Half Dome at that time of year will have all reservable permits already gone. You may not have a real choice -- if you walk into the office the moment walk ins are made available, the DAY BEFORE you want to start backpacking, you have a chance. If you are able to find a place to stay the night and come back to the wilderness office the following morning, when reserved permits that are not picked up on time are made available for same day walk ins, you might get a second chance.

If by some chance you are coming to the park midweek, you have a higher chance of getting a permit.

If by the "cream of the crop" you are meaning to see the BIG NAME ATTRACTIONS in the park, stop wondering about backpacking and just get a place to stay in the area, and spend your time in the valley itself. No backpacking required. You'll be day hiking. Take a bus or drive up to Tuolumne Meadows one day, and there are many pull outs with awesome views, and short hikes such as May Lake (just a mile or two of walking) with a ton of bang for the effort. Hike to Gaylor Lakes. Hike to Clouds Rest if you feel up to a 14 mile day hike.

Don't assume elevation isn't a problem. There isn't anything on the east coast that's 9-10000 feet, and it will take your breath away without your having to hike a step. People who frequently go to that elevation will also have occasional problems - there is no real way to predict it. The only way to become acclimated is to spend time at increasingly higher elevations, and stay up there, and all that acclimation vanishes when you descend again. Those of us who live and play here go through the same every time we drive up for the weekend. Re-acclimate, and do it again next time. Drink lots of water, and pay attention to the symptoms you have -- if they get worse go DOWN.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby Phil » Mon May 02, 2016 6:09 pm

AlmostThere's advice is solid and sound. You definitely want to see Yosemite Valley. Day hike everything during your time there. Campsites are going to be at a premium in the Valley itself, partly because the season is ramping up in June, and also because all the campgrounds up on Tioga Rd are going to still be closed. Check that though on the official park website. If you need a site, come midweek, and arrive early enough, you can see if you can find an open site at Camp 4. Try to plan for three days in the park if you have the time.

Day-1: Play tourist and hang out in the Valley. Use the shuttle to get around and see the classic sights like all the falls, etc.

As for hikes: On day-2 hike out of the Valley and go up to Glacier Point via the Four Mile Trail. Either go back down or continue through down the Panorama Trail past Nevada and Vernal Falls, exiting Happy Isles. It's some fairly serious climbing, but the altitude stays relatively low. Being an AT thru-hiker, with just a daypack, you theoretically shouldn't have much of a problem with the distances either way you decide. You've now been in the Valley, hopefully taken the time to see most of the sights, then seen them again from above.

Day-3, do as AT suggests and catch an early shuttle up to Tuolumne. The altitude will be more of a factor up there since you begin any trail at ~ 8600ft. Even so, at only about 3.5 miles, you should be able to hit Upper Cathedral Lake in no more than a few hours, max. As a day hike, you get to see some of what you want, don't have to get a permit, and you can get a better idea of the lay of the land for next time.

Or, if you still want to backpack and enter via Cathedral Lakes>Happy Isles, try that walk-up and take your chances on getting what's likely the most sought after route in the park. You can do it, but timing and luck are going to be absolutely crucial. You'll also have to plan to spend AT LEAST 2 nights and 3 days, if not 3 nights and 4 days to do it right. If not, plan on seeing more of the trail in front of your feet than much else and bypassing some great places to camp for the sake of speed.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby balzaccom » Mon May 02, 2016 9:19 pm

OK, I have a slightly different approach, only because you are acting as if you are going to be able to camp in Yosemite Valley...and those campsites are all gone, and have been gone for weeks. So while I totally agree with the others here about what you should see, you need a plan for a place to sleep!

You don't mention it, but I am assuming that you have a car, and that will make things a lot easier.

1. When you arrive, go directly to the wilderness office (there's one in the Valley, but if you come in one 120 through Big Oak Flat, the best way from SF, there is one at the entrance station.) Stop there and get a backpacking permit for the next day. Unless you arrive at dawn, most of the permits for the really popular trails, like Happy Isles, Cathedral Lakes, etc. will be gone. That's OK. There are always a few places that don't seem to be on most people's radar, because they don't take you immediately to the most popular destinations. I would suggest that you get a permit for Murphy Creek, at the East end of Tenaya Lake, with your destination being Polly Dome Lakes. These are small lakes with no fish, about 2.5 or 3 miles in from the road. They are perfectly pleasant, and it's a nice hike with only a very short cross-country use trail to get to them.

Once you have your backpacking permit, you now get to spend one night before your backpacking trip in the backpacker's campground, either in Yosemite Valley or Tuolumne Meadows. Because Polly Dome Lakes is a short hike, you can spend the rest of the afternoon and the next morning exploring the best parts of Yosemite Valley, for example, and still have time to hike to Polly Dome Lakes, even if you start at 2 or even 4 p.m. from the trailhead.

And the next morning, you can rise, hike out, and explore more of the park. And because of that wilderness permit, you're allowed one more night in one of the backpacker's campgrounds following you trip. So with one simple permit, you get three nights in Yosemite. And you have plenty of time to see what is so wonderful.

My favorites? GLacier Point, with a hike to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. The shuttle around the Valley, getting off wherever things look good, and poking around---particularly out in the meadows of the Valley itself. It's amazing how few people hike the trails into the meadows, and how alone you can feel in the middle of the park out there. In Tuolumne Meadows, climb Pothole Dome for amazing views. And from Tioga Pass, hike up over the ridge to Gaylor Lakes. Stunning.

And just for fun, here's a photo of Polly Dome Lakes...and a link to our hike there a few years ago:

Image


https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/ ... ayHikes09#

And a link to more hikes in the fall...

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/ ... yHikes2010

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/ ... yHikes2014
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
balzaccom
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Napa CA

Re: Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby MtnsoulT » Tue May 03, 2016 6:01 am

Thanks for the info guys. I currently live at 9500 so I should be good to go with the elevation. I am liking the day hiking ideas and will probably end up going that route. I planned on shooting for walk in permits and arriving super early with like four contingency plans if that didn't work out haha. A friend from Tahoe will be accompanying me and she will be driving so the vehicle issue is good to go as well. We had been talking about staying outside the park and camping at some hot springs, then just day hiking so we will probably end up doing that. I greatly appreciate the information from all of you who have responded. My definition of cream of the crop is more of the "off the beaten path" areas that are harder to get too but still give you plenty of the reward. I guess the cream of the crop to me are the places that are just as good as the "main attractions" but not actually the main attractions if that makes sense. I realize that I was pretty broad in my post and you guys did excellent with the minimal amount of info I provided. If you had time for one or two day hikes in Yosemite... what would they be? Now im just curious..

Thanks again for the beta
MtnsoulT
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby MtnsoulT » Tue May 03, 2016 6:03 am

balzaccom those pictures look fantastic.. thanks for sharing!!
MtnsoulT
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby Phil » Tue May 03, 2016 6:25 am

In June, for strong hikers that are good with altitude and some extra miles? I'll name several in no particular order of preference:

That Four Mile Trail loop from the Valley>Glacier Point>Happy Isles.

Yosemite Creek up to Ten Lakes Basin

Rafferty Creek up to Vogelsang

The falls complex beyond Glen Aulin

Lyell Canyon

Upper Cathedral Lake

Sunrise trailhead>Cloud's Rest

Some of these are going to be at least somewhat crowded, but there's a good reason they're crowded, as they represent "must-sees" for many people. "Main attractions" that aren't quite "main attractions" are hard to come by without either people or a backpack...it's not as though it's uncharted territory. Mileages are going to be all over the place, and some are going to be long hauls round-trip, but the further you're willing and able go out, the less dayhikers you'll encounter. Just make sure your friend is good with it and as up to it as you are.
Last edited by Phil on Tue May 03, 2016 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Yosemite overnight possibly 2 backpacking

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 03, 2016 6:34 am

For off the beaten path awesome scenery, I go to Sequoia/kings canyon.
Sorry. But nothing compares.

North Dome, upper Yosemite Falls, mt Dana come close. But my fave is always going to be Moose Lake.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1699
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California


Return to Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests