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8 Day Backpacking Trip--Route Suggestions

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

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8 Day Backpacking Trip--Route Suggestions

Postby A.A.MN » Tue May 17, 2016 3:14 pm

Hello all wise Yosemite folk,

I'm planning an 8 day trip in August this year. I can't seem to find how to plan a route for a trip of that length. We're flying into Fresno and I think that the most reasonable place for an entry point would be in the Yosemite valley? Any help at all is very appreciated. We are both in shape and have backpacked before, but never in a national park so going about permits and whatnot is a little tricky and confusing. Thank you in advance!
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Re: 8 Day Backpacking Trip--Route Suggestions

Postby Bighead » Tue May 17, 2016 3:46 pm

I'm getting ready to do my first trip in Yosemite this week and I can say without a doubt the process for obtaining a permit in Yosemite is the best I've ever used. National Park permits are a necessary evil but some places are a nightmare (Grand Canyon), Yosemite on the other hand will probably be the best experience you will ever have when it comes to permits.

Personally I recommend you call the office directly and just speak with them. They were fantastic when I called and helped me select a starting trail head and an exit trail head. They also answered some basic questions for me while we were looking at trail heads like available shuttle service, camping , etc... Then once you have your entry and exit you can spend the next several weeks planning an finalizing your route. Also it would probably be a lot easier for some of the great folks on this forum who have helped me if you had a these. I've discovered rather quickly there is a wealth of knowledge on here and without trail head info you are going to get a lot of great ideas that you may not even be able to use because the trail heads aren't available.

Personally I enjoy the time planning and researching the route plus until you know what trail heads you are using for your start and finish it doesn't really matter what people say.
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Re: 8 Day Backpacking Trip--Route Suggestions

Postby balzaccom » Tue May 17, 2016 4:54 pm

We have many trips on our websites (in my signature line) for 2-8 day trips in the Sierra.

Are you renting a car? What do you want to see? Mountains, forests, waterfalls, etc.

Yosemite has the best public transportation, but other areas are less crowded.

Tell us what you want to do and we can offer more specific advice.
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: 8 Day Backpacking Trip--Route Suggestions

Postby Phil » Tue May 17, 2016 8:43 pm

Like Balzaccom says...

For longer trips you're going to almost inevitably be dealing with higher elevations. Something to get you going is maybe to either try to add a couple days upfront if you can change your plane tickets, or maybe take a couple out of that 8 for some time to acclimate. It's also pretty hot in August, and heat and altitude will mess you up and possibly end your whole trip within hours if you don't give yourself the time to do it as best you can. Even with only 6 days, you're going to spend a good part of your time at or above 9000-10000 ft so it's sort of a big deal.

Also, both permit-wise and massive crowd-wise, in August, trail entry, or even simply dealing with Yosemite Valley itself, sucks a lot. Tuolumne can get just as crazy. August also means permits can be tough to come by for a lot of popular trails everywhere in the park. Be flexible.

40% of all permits are walk-up for any trailhead, but if you see that they're booked solid in reservations, permits are probably going to go fast on those walk-ups, too.

Use this for reference:
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... lheads.pdf
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Re: 8 Day Backpacking Trip--Route Suggestions

Postby MadDiver » Wed May 18, 2016 11:53 am

The first thing that came to my mind was a Red Peak Pass loop (many trip reports available here and elsewhere) but instead of of closing the loop from Merced Lake back to the Valley: 1) continue North towards Tuolumne Meadows via Vogelsang (spend a day day hiking around Vogelsang) then shuttle back to the Valley; or 2) Merced Lake - Sunrise - Clouds Rest - Valley. There are still permits available from both Glacier Point and Mono Meadow in August though not everyday. Lots of lakes on the route which would be nice in August. This is just a starting point - when planning look at the where the High Sierra Camps are - going in a circle they are a fairly easy one day hike from each other so that gives you some reference. I think the hard thing here is getting eight days of food into a bear canister (which are mandatory). Good luck!
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Re: 8 Day Backpacking Trip--Route Suggestions

Postby AlmostThere » Wed May 18, 2016 12:04 pm

For an eight day bear canister consider renting by mail from Wild Ideas. I can make the Weekender work, but if you don't want to work so hard to cram everything in, the Expedition sized canister might be better. They will mail it to you in advance, you pack it at home, take it with you, use it, and then when you are done you clean everything out of the can, put it back in the box, put on postage and mail it back to them. Google Wild Ideas Bearikade to see the cans and call them to discuss. You only pay rental fees for the days spent on the trail. They do not rent this brand in Yosemite - all they will rent to you is the heavier, smaller Garcia canister.
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