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]

Need help for Yosemite trip

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby D.D » Sun May 15, 2016 5:13 am

Hello!

First time i post on this forum, hope i don't brake any rule.

I am a 30 years old man from Romania and have started making a plan to visit Yosemite, Yellowstone/Grand Tetone, Grand Canyon and Arch Park in 2017. I have came to a point where i need some help from people that have experience in backpacking in Yosemite. I am in search for the most beautiful places to do photography.

In July i plan to visit Yosemite as solo traveler for 15 maximum 20 days. My trip will start from Las Vegas or Los Angele and i don't want to use a car. I have an idea of an itinerary but i need some help please.

I want to do this hikes: Happy Isles - Little Yosemite Valley - Half Dome - Clouds Rest - Sunrise Lakes - Cathedral Lakes. And Tuolumne Meadows up Rafferty Creek to Vogelsang.

How should i make this itinerary? I want to focus on most beautiful places to do photography and not hurry.

Is this to much of a trip? Should i just focus on less aria?

And it is there any restriction on how much time i stay in wilderness aria? If i put in Wilderness Permit application form a longer period, is there a rule that say how much time i can stay in backpacking ?


Thanks and hope for help!
D.D
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 5:06 am

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby balzaccom » Sun May 15, 2016 7:58 am

Hi D.D.

Welcome! The only rule we have here is to be nice, so don't worry about your questions!

There are some bigger challenges you may face, because it's not easy to get around this country without a car...but we'll leave that for another time...

When you apply for a Wilderness permit reservation in Yosemite, you will be asked about your route. The first part of the trip you have chosen is a popular one, and most people hike it in about three days or so. That's from Happy Isles to Cathedral Lake to Tuolumne Meadows. You can continue up Rafferty Creek to Vogelsang (maybe one or two more days) but you might also consider this option:

Start at Tuolumne Meadows and hike to Happy Isles via either Cathedral Lakes or Rafferty Creek and Merced Lake. Either way, it is downhill and steepest parts will be downhill with a lighter pack.

If you leave the wilderness, you need a second permit to enter again...

When you pick up your permit (possible only the day of your hike or the day before) you will be required to use a bear canister. They are for rent at the Wilderness Office for $5, so don't worry about that. But DO worry that all of your food and other things bears might eat, like toothpaste, MUST fit inside the bear canister.

And that is a limiting factor on your hikes. It's hard to fit enough food for more than about a week. So it's better to think about 3-7 days backpacking...not three weeks...In one trip.

So make your reservation as soon as it's possible (early next year). But if you don't get the reservation you want, don't panic. The park always has about 40% of all permits on reserve for people who come without a permit. As a single hiker, you should be able to find a permit for what you want to do.

Yosemite is a huge park, and there are huge areas you won't see unless you hike for many days. Check out the link below in my signature to see our website and lots of trip reports on Yosemite.

Can you tell us about hiking in Romania?
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
balzaccom
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Napa CA

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby D.D » Mon May 16, 2016 4:50 am

Hi!

I don't like to go with a car in such places! There should be only buses inside the park. But in Yellowstone i will use a car, i know there i can't go without.

So if i can't take enough food for such a long trip it is better to split the itinerary like this: TM - Rafferty Creek - Vogelsang - Bernice Lake - Merced Lake - Washburn Lake - Valley, spend a night hear and then take other permit and go to Half Dome - Clouds Rest - Sunrise Lakes ? But i don't see Cathedral Lakes... What do you think ?
And it is there a limited time a can stay in backpaking ?

I really want to make this itinerary focus on photography and not hurry from one place to other.


It is OK to talk about other places hear? Hiking in Romania is very different then other places. A big part of this country are mountains, but they are not very tall, just few peaks at around 3000m. But this is WILD! Like really WILD! There is no special places where you camp (just in very popular places and there are just few), no permits or reservation, or a number of people that are aloud. You go where you want and stay as much as you want. Mountains are full of forest, waterfalls and a lot of wildlife. But no stores, no bear containers...just you and the nature. In Romania a big big problem we have is with bears and wolfs and fox. And they are scary! Usually this animals don't see any people in there entire existence on Earth, so they are dangerous. People that have discover Romania come hear again and again. Prince Charles of England have say many times "Romania is the last truly wild place in Europe and very unique in the entire world". If you need more info i can give you all that you need..


Thanks a lot for the help!
D.D
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 5:06 am

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby Phil » Mon May 16, 2016 9:14 am

I would go online and look at some of the areas you're interested in photographing first. Then get a good map. Then, instead of backpacking entire routes per se, select several entry trailheads, get in far enough to more easily access the areas you want to shoot, set up a centralized base camp in them, then day hike to your subjects, returning to your same camps nightly.

You get to see more and cover more ground, save time and effort, can keep your carry weight limited, and you can store the food you need for the next leg in the bear lockers at the trailheads ahead of time.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby balzaccom » Mon May 16, 2016 11:42 am

Hi D.D.

Thanks for the notes about Romania! Sounds like a fun place!

Now--about your permits. The permits allow you to hike in the wilderness...but you have to end your trip at a trailhead. Washburn Lake is in the middle of the wilderness. There is no place to re-supply there, and you are two days' hike from the nearest trailhead. So one trip could be from Tuolumne Meadows up Rafferty Creek, down Fletcher Canyon to Lake Merced, then up through Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Sunrise and Cathedral lakes. That would be about one week of hiking.

Another hike might be into the northern part of the park, where there are fewer people: Tuolumne Meadows to Glen Aulin, up into Virginia Canyon or Matterhorn Canyon. That would be another five days or so?

You may be confused by the distances here....but also not that unless you are at a road in Yosemite there are no services at all. No food, no stores or restaurants. This is pretty different from most of Europe. So when you get to Washburn Lake, the only thing you will see is mountain, hikers, and trees.
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
balzaccom
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Napa CA

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby D.D » Mon May 16, 2016 1:19 pm

Hi!

After i have take all this advices in consideration i will troy to to go in some aria of my interest and camp there and explore. So i was thinking next itinerary:

It is possible to take the permit from Valley and the bus let me at Cathedral Lakes? Cathedral Lakes - Tuolumne Meadows - Rafferty Creek - Vogelsang. After take the bus to Yosemite Valley and go Happy Isles - Little Yosemite Valley - Half Dome - Clouds Rest - Sunrise Lakes and back ?

I think i forget to give some time to the Valley and the classic spots.

How is Vogelsang aria from picture perspective ?


Thanks a lot for help.
D.D
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 5:06 am

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby Phil » Mon May 16, 2016 4:42 pm

That sounds like the beginnings of a great plan, DD.

I hope we're not losing you in the translation, because as we give you more details, it's going to get more complicated.

I'll first tell you that Vogelsang is very beautiful and photogenic. I don't store my own photos online, but I think Balzaccom would probably be happy to fill in the gaps where I can't.

Without getting too specific, you have two main areas of attraction for most visitors: Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows (Tioga Road). Buses and shuttles serve within both areas well, and between the two enough to get from one to the other and back fairly often and well. Being without a car, this is something you should familiarize yourself with early in your planning.

Besides taking photos in the Valley, you should try to spend some time above it on the north and south rims, before going up to Tuolumne Meadows and the sights/trails there. I would think maybe plan at least 5-6 days for it.

In Tuolumne, there is Cathedral Lakes, Rafferty Creek/Vogelsang, and Glen Aulin/Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, but there's also Lyell Canyon. Further back on Tioga Road is Ten Lakes. To the east of Tuolumne is Gaylor Lakes.

You have a lot of research and planning to do, but one suggestion would be to either use the High Sierra Loop as the basis for your backpacking route, or to maybe even see if you can win a spot in the lottery for staying in the High Sierra Camps themselves if photography is what you want to do and backpacking is just a way to do it.

Try this link for some ideas: http://www.travelyosemite.com/lodging/h ... rra-camps/

Above all, get that map.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby MadDiver » Mon May 16, 2016 5:16 pm

I'm not sure if you've seen this map but if you have not it is very helpful: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... lheads.pdf All the numbered circles are where you can begin your wilderness trip from. Your permit will have the specific trailhead written on it. The colored arrows and circles then indicate how far you must hike before you can camp. Also, you only need a permit to camp (except half-dome which requires it's own permit) so some locations (such as May Lake, Cathedral Lakes) can easily be day-hiked without needing any permit.
MadDiver
Very frequent poster
Very frequent poster
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:26 pm

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby D.D » Tue May 17, 2016 2:30 pm

Hi!

I don't translate on google translate or other program. If i make mistakes when i write is because i troy to do it to fast. I am sorry for that!
After i have read all the advice's that have been giving here i think that i taken all in consideration and this is the plan:

I will not do a full backpacking itinerary because i can't take enough food with me. So i need to split in 2 parts the itinerary so all can be done well, and give enough time to do photography in best time of the day in different places. And in this way i will not take all the weight of my backpack all the time.

I will go first in Tuolumne Meadows aria and i will camp here and use it as a base and do hiking's to places near enough. After i will go backpacking in places that are to far to do a simple hiking. Or i will do backpacking in places where i want to do astrophotography.

I will take the bus from Yosemite Valley and go to Tuolumne Meadows and i start from here.

Part 1 Backpacking: Tuolumne Meadows - Cathedral Peak - Vogelsang - Glen Aulin. For day hikes to Rafferty Creek - Lyell Canyon and what else you recommend. I think this aria with backpacking and day hikes can be made in 9-10 days ?

Then take the bus from Tuolumne Meadow and go to Tenaya Lake.

Part 2 Backpacking: Tenaya Lake - Sunrise Lakes - Clouds Rest - Little Yosemite Valley. I will use as base camp Little Yosemite Valley - Happy Isles aria as base to explore the aria and hike Half Dome. All of this can be made in 7-8 days ?

Now the questions:

- In what camp to stay in Yosemite Valley for day hikes to the classic places like Four Mile Trail, Yosemite Falls etc ?

- I have think a lot to Mono Lake, but is so far and i don't find to many people that have been there to do backpacking. Any info please?

- What should i change to this itinerary?


All of you have been so kind to me and this have help me huge. Tanks a lot!

Cheers!
D.D
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 5:06 am

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby D.D » Thu May 19, 2016 9:44 pm

Hi!

I have send a mail to NPS Yosemite about the time limit for camping and this is the response:

There is a 30-night camping limit within Yosemite National Park in a calendar year; however, May 1 - September 15, the camping limit in Yosemite is 14 nights, and only seven of those nights can be in Yosemite Valley or Wawona. This camping limit also applies to backpacking.


Good lock!
D.D
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 5:06 am

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby AlmostThere » Fri May 20, 2016 9:12 am

Thru hikers don't have this issue as they are not camping in the same campsite repeatedly for weeks. They are progressing along a route. There are areas where there is a 1 or 2 night limit along the John Muir Trail, but rangers are good at letting you know.

If, for example, you camp and day hike from Tuolumne meadows for five days, then give up the site and do a three night backpack trip, followed by another three night backpack trip, you would be fine. I have when unemployed done this -- I bagged and dated bags of food to leave in bear lockers at the trailhead parking, then went backpacking for two nights on one trail, returned to stay a night in the backpacker camp, nip into the Tuolumne Lodge for a shower, stand in line for a permit, went backpacking the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, returned to the campground and set up in the backpacker camp, stand in line for a permit, go backpacking the Sunrise and Cathedral Lakes, return, stay the night in the backpacker camp.... you are entitled to one night before and one night after the dates on your permit, and I had three permits in a row.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby Phil » Fri May 20, 2016 10:21 am

We've spent more than 30 nights during a one year period in the park several times, as well as more in total than 14 nights during the 05/01- 09/15 period. We've never been called on it or had a permit application flagged by the system or rangers. I'm not clear on the technicalities though. I was under the impression that they're talking about contiguous nights, and the point is to prevent people from basically moving in and living there, not to limit time spent there while backpacking under any number of permits that happen to run beyond the limits cumulatively and fall within a 12 month period. Is this the case, or is it just a slack rule?
Last edited by Phil on Fri May 20, 2016 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby AlmostThere » Fri May 20, 2016 10:24 am

I suspect that it is a rule that's kinda impossible to enforce, unless you are doing something that they can flag in the system. The backpacker camp is not in a computer at all -- it's a free for all. The permits are in a database and the campgrounds are computer based, but I don't think those two systems mingle. The ranger would have to be paying attention to every single camper and checking multiple systems -- it's just not worth it to them to do that. So it's an honor system thing.

Who but us freaky people has that kind of time to hang out, anyway? :)
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby Phil » Fri May 20, 2016 10:32 am

AlmostThere wrote:Who but us freaky people has that kind of time to hang out, anyway?


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” - John Muir

He was kind of weird, but maybe he had a good point, and it's not us that are freaky.
Last edited by Phil on Fri May 20, 2016 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: Need help for Yosemite trip

Postby AlmostThere » Fri May 20, 2016 10:34 am

I have a hard time finding people to go out with, actually. The majority of people focus on jobs and kids and normal stuff. I am meanwhile willing to nearly bankrupt myself spending weeks in the mountains doing things so many wouldn't be caught dead doing...

There are plenty of people who love the wilderness, but not so many who are determined to live in it.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Next

Return to Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron