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]

September Hike Questions

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

September Hike Questions

Postby Soonernation » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:18 pm

I'm newly registered to the forum but I've been reading all of the great information posted.

I am planning a 4 day 3 night hike with my son beginning September 22nd. We applied and received our permit to start at Cathedral Lakes and end in Yosemite Valley. Our permit includes Half Dome.

Last year was our first trip to Yosemite and we did a day hike from Sunrise Lakes TH to Clouds Rest. That was a fantastic hike which got us interested in a multi-day back country hike. We figured we needed to include HD as we wanted to hike it on the last trip but ended up doing CR due to our inability to get a permit.

I have a few questions:

1. We plan to camp near the base of HD on our second night so we can start first thing in the AM. Is LYV the best place to do this?
2. I'm curious on what we should plan to do with our gear if we are day hiking to the top of HD? Do most take everything up with them or can you safely leave your stuff at the base without someone walking off with it.
3. Once down from HD, where is a recommended camp spot. In our plan, we have a shorter route that has us staying in LYV on night three before the hike down to YV. The longer route (depending on how we feel) has us camping night 3 near Illilouette Creek then down to YV via Four Mile Trail.

The one thing I haven't been able to plan is how we get to our vehicle. We would prefer to park in YV and get a ride to Tuolumne Meadows but the Yarts bus only runs on weekends in September. Unless there are other suggestions, it appears our only option would be to park in Tuolumne and take the bus from YV back since we will end on a Sunday when the bus is running.

Any help/comments will be appreciated.
Soonernation
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:44 pm

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby Phil » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:38 pm

Really classic route. Welcome to the forum.


Cloud's Rest was not a compromise to Half Dome. A better experience for so many reasons. I want to suggest a couple tweaks to your route for your consideration, but I'll answer your questions first.

1) No! Stay up higher along Sunrise Creek instead of LYV. Crowds should be starting to diminish by then, but Sunrise is a nicer experience, and you won't have to re-climb back up from LYV. You'll find sites from the rocks above the HD spur and trailside at the CR trail junction and up. Lots of bears.

2) Just take your gear with you up to HD. Either climb with it or pull/secure your cans and leave your packs at the bottom of the cables. Theft or bears or whatever, I just personally prefer to have my gear with me to avoid problems or unforeseen contingencies.

3) Back to Sunrise Creek, or Illilouette if you have the energy. The Panorama up from the JMT is steep though. Be sure you know where camping is restricted up there, and that would be nowhere on the 4-Mile. Here's the map. Camping is only allowed past the colored arrows:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... lheads.pdf

Yeah, go ahead and park in the Valley and shuttle up. The shuttle leaves the Valley Wilderness Center at 5pm and the backpacker's camp at Tuolumne will be closed for the season by that date, so if you come in late, you either drive home that night or go back to the Valley for the night anyhow. BUT, the same thing goes in reverse. If you shuttle from the Valley to your trailhead going in, you're going to arrive at around 7-ish, so you're going to need to book it to Upper Cathedral Lake to get there before dark. Both are things to consider. Not quite the perfect win-win situation.

Okay, so some minor tweaks:

First night: Upper Cathedral Lake
Second night: Sunrise Lakes
Either up and over CR or back down to the JMT, via either the HSC or maybe via the Forsyth Trail
Third night: Sunrise Creek
Half Dome
Fourth night (if you can): back to Sunrise Creek
>>> or Day-4: Down and out directly from HD to Happy Isles or on to Illilouette

** With HD thrown in, add that extra day. We usually plan for 3 nights when we go Cathedral Lakes> Happy Isles. It's a more relaxed pace and gives us better camping options.

Here's your YARTS schedule if you don't have it already:

http://46djso3tss79kf3q2a6y3lez.wpengin ... PRINT-READ
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby CGSteve » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:19 pm

Congrats on the permits! Like you, I too am a first time poster here and managed to score permits for both HD and the hike from Sunrise Lakes down to YV. Our start date is 24 Sep 2016 for four nights and our plan is similar to yours.

Before I type much more, I just want to check the proper etiquette for this forum with respect to jumping into this thread for my trip too...should I start a new thread, or may I piggyback Soonernation's post?
CGSteve
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:04 pm
Location: Madera, CA

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby Phil » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:25 pm

Nah, fire away. You're here, and we'll get over it.

That YARTS link didn't work, so here's one that should:

http://yarts.com/routes-schedules/
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby CGSteve » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:50 pm

Phil wrote:Nah, fire away. You're here, and we'll get over it.

That YARTS link didn't work, so here's one that should:

http://yarts.com/routes-schedules/


Thanks.

Firing away now...

Day 1 - 24 Sep 2016
Depart the trailhead around 0900 at the latest. Our first night will be spent at Sunrise Lakes, the middle one to be specific.

Day 2 - 25 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 again and make camp just below CR.

Day 3 - 26 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 and make camp where the CRT and JMT intersect.

Day 4 - 27 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 enroute the top of HD. Not sure if we will leave our gear at the base of HD. Plan to hike down to LYV and spend our last night there.

Day 5 - 28 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 enroute Curry Village for a beer and some pizza, maybe a shower and then drive home.

I will be leading the trip with 5 other folks that have little to no backpacking experience. They have all purchased backpacks, tents, bags, pads, and all sorts of other gear for the trip. At this point the crew is in fairly good physical condition, but they are all working on getting into better shape. I am planning to do a couple of warm-up trips before we make the trip listed above.

Any and all advice is welcome...
CGSteve
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:04 pm
Location: Madera, CA

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:09 pm

Phil's been doing a good job with these questions, but it's about time he had a little help: My answers in ALL CAPS

Firing away now...

Day 1 - 24 Sep 2016
Depart the trailhead around 0900 at the latest. Our first night will be spent at Sunrise Lakes, the middle one to be specific. WHICH TRAILHEAD? FROM SUNRISE/TENAYA LAKE, THIS IS ONLY ABOUT FOUR MILES. YOU WILL BE THERE BEFORE LUNCH. GOT PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON? WANT MORE ADVENTURE, SOLITUDE, AND BEAUTY? KEEP GOING OVER TO ECHO CANYON AND X-COUNTRY TO ECHO LAKE....

Day 2 - 25 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 again and make camp just below CR. AGAIN, THIS IS ABOUT THREE MILES. IF YOU HIKE AT ONE MILE PER HOUR YOU WILL STILL BE THERE BY NOON. MOST PEOPLE HIKE FASTER THAN THAT. UNLESS YOU MEAN THAT YOU ARE GOING HIKE OVER THE TOP OF CLOUDS REST AND CAMP ON THE FAR SIDE? THAT'S A NICE WAY TO SPEND A DAY...BUT MAKES THE NEXT DAY CONFUSING TO ME.

Day 3 - 26 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 and make camp where the CRT and JMT intersect. I THINK YOU COULD CAMP HERE THE NIGHT BEFORE THIS...WHICH WOULD GIVE YOU AN EXTRA DAY TO DO SOMETHING ELSE....

Day 4 - 27 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 enroute the top of HD. Not sure if we will leave our gear at the base of HD. Plan to hike down to LYV and spend our last night there.

Day 5 - 28 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 enroute Curry Village for a beer and some pizza, maybe a shower and then drive home. THIS WILL ACTUALLY BE YOUR LONGEST DAY, BUT IT'S ALL DOWNHILL, AND YOUR PACKS WILL BE LIGHTER, SO NO WORRIES. PLUS, YOU WILLB BE ABLE TO LOOK SMUGLY AT THE TOURISTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING UP ON THEIR DAY HIKE. BE SURE TO MENTION YOU'VE BEEN BACKPACKING FOR FOUR OR FIVE DAYS...

I will be leading the trip with 5 other folks that have little to no backpacking experience. They have all purchased backpacks, tents, bags, pads, and all sorts of other gear for the trip. At this point the crew is in fairly good physical condition, but they are all working on getting into better shape. I am planning to do a couple of warm-up trips before we make the trip listed above.

Any and all advice is welcome...
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: September Hike Questions

Postby Phil » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:22 pm

Thank you, Balzaccom! I'll be here all week.

So here I go.

Newbies huh? That's always fun. With all that new gear, make sure they know how to set it up, get it comfortable, etc... before they head out. Break in new boots.

Remember that the trailhead is ~8100 ft, they'll climb up to 9200, and their high point is over 9900 ft at CR. That might be a big deal. If you can find a way to give people a chance to acclimate, do it. Warm up hikes ahead of time, then going back to lower elevations isn't going to accomplish that, unfortunately.

That 2.5 mile trail up from Tenaya is probably going to hurt at least a couple of them. If it takes all day because someone needs more breaks, so be it. You'll still make camp long before nightfall. It's also dry, so at least 2L of water for each person.

Your first night's camping plan is solid.

Balzaccom mentions the short distance to camping at the base of CR. Even relative to your crew, that's incredibly short, but the biggest issue is site options. If you don't hang lower and get up too high, you WILL NOT find a site that can accommodate 6 people. Also watch for signs of altitude sickness, but try to push them up and over. Take the lower trail that's just below the summit vs the one directly off it back down to the JMT. It's a little less treacherous for people that aren't used to carrying packs. Whether you camp on the north ascent or go up and over, that's also a dry stretch until you get back down to Sunrise. The last water for camping and/or hiking is the creek about a mile and a half or so past the Sunrise trail junction. Don't underestimate your needs in either hydration or food prep! There might be a small spring on the descent down the other side if anyone runs out completely and nobody can spare any of theirs, but don't rely on it that far into the dry season.

Night three's camping plan is also solid, but, if everyone is doing okay, it could also become night two. There are several good sized sites at the CR/JMT junction that will handle your group. And might as well mention this now, too. Lot's of bears on your entire route!! Make absolutely sure everyone has their....act together with food storage. That's up to and inclusive of not even setting your trail mix on the log right next to you and turning away for someone to hand you the salami or leaving empty wrappers in those shiny new packs. No kidding at all on this one!

After you come down from HD, see how everyone is feeling. I guess you could go down to LYV for the next night, but back uptrail to where you were at Sunrise is better, and the extra couple miles on top of the hike down to the Valley the next day will be worth it.

Try the combo.

For both of you guys: BEARS! Always keep your food and toiletries tight and your cans secured properly. Secondly, it's late September; shoulder-season. It can be great, sunny and warm, or it can snow (it happens). Stay on top of the forecasts.
Last edited by Phil on Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:24 pm

Yeah--I meant to mention that, too. late September weather can be fabulous, but it can also bring the first big storm. With newbies along, you don't want to be trying to find the trail under a foot of snow...or sleeping in temps that are too cold for your equipment. Be prepared to bail to another route and still have fun.
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: September Hike Questions

Postby CGSteve » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:29 pm

Thanks for the info balzaccom, my response are in red...

balzaccom wrote:Phil's been doing a good job with these questions, but it's about time he had a little help: My answers in ALL CAPS

Firing away now...

Day 1 - 24 Sep 2016
Depart the trailhead around 0900 at the latest. Our first night will be spent at Sunrise Lakes, the middle one to be specific. WHICH TRAILHEAD? FROM SUNRISE/TENAYA LAKE, THIS IS ONLY ABOUT FOUR MILES. YOU WILL BE THERE BEFORE LUNCH. GOT PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON? WANT MORE ADVENTURE, SOLITUDE, AND BEAUTY? KEEP GOING OVER TO ECHO CANYON AND X-COUNTRY TO ECHO LAKE....

We are using the Tenaya Lake trailhead. Your recommendation for Echo Lake is intriguing, but I am concerned about some of the folks in my group. I may have to do that one with a buddy or two on a different trip.

Day 2 - 25 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 again and make camp just below CR. AGAIN, THIS IS ABOUT THREE MILES. IF YOU HIKE AT ONE MILE PER HOUR YOU WILL STILL BE THERE BY NOON. MOST PEOPLE HIKE FASTER THAN THAT. UNLESS YOU MEAN THAT YOU ARE GOING HIKE OVER THE TOP OF CLOUDS REST AND CAMP ON THE FAR SIDE? THAT'S A NICE WAY TO SPEND A DAY...BUT MAKES THE NEXT DAY CONFUSING TO ME.

The plan was to stroll into camp below CR, not crest over and continue down. That is the plan for the following day. I was thinking of making camp in that sort of flat area just after the pack trail splits from CRT. That would keep us in the trees and not so exposed.

Day 3 - 26 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 and make camp where the CRT and JMT intersect. I THINK YOU COULD CAMP HERE THE NIGHT BEFORE THIS...WHICH WOULD GIVE YOU AN EXTRA DAY TO DO SOMETHING ELSE....

I will look at my map again. My concern is pushing people too hard, but I'd like to explore this idea some more and have it in my pocket depending on how the group feels. What else would you recommend if you were doing the planning for this trip?

Day 4 - 27 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 enroute the top of HD. Not sure if we will leave our gear at the base of HD. Plan to hike down to LYV and spend our last night there.

Day 5 - 28 Sep 2016
Depart around 0900 enroute Curry Village for a beer and some pizza, maybe a shower and then drive home. THIS WILL ACTUALLY BE YOUR LONGEST DAY, BUT IT'S ALL DOWNHILL, AND YOUR PACKS WILL BE LIGHTER, SO NO WORRIES. PLUS, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO LOOK SMUGLY AT THE TOURISTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING UP ON THEIR DAY HIKE. BE SURE TO MENTION YOU'VE BEEN BACKPACKING FOR FOUR OR FIVE DAYS...

I will be leading the trip with 5 other folks that have little to no backpacking experience. They have all purchased backpacks, tents, bags, pads, and all sorts of other gear for the trip. At this point the crew is in fairly good physical condition, but they are all working on getting into better shape. I am planning to do a couple of warm-up trips before we make the trip listed above.

Any and all advice is welcome...
Last edited by CGSteve on Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CGSteve
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:04 pm
Location: Madera, CA

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby CGSteve » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:53 pm

balzaccom wrote:Yeah--I meant to mention that, too. late September weather can be fabulous, but it can also bring the first big storm. With newbies along, you don't want to be trying to find the trail under a foot of snow...or sleeping in temps that are too cold for your equipment. Be prepared to bail to another route and still have fun.


I checked out the blog link in your sig, good stuff, thanks for sharing that!
CGSteve
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:04 pm
Location: Madera, CA

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby Phil » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:57 pm

CGSteve wrote:The plan was to stroll into camp below CR, not crest over and continue down. That is the plan for the following day. I was thinking of making camp in that sort of flat area just after the pack trail splits from CRT. That would keep us in the trees and not so exposed.


That flat area at the split/junction is the lower portion of the Forsyth Trail. That area was originally called Forsyth Pass and the mounted cavalry troops used it to get over to Tenaya Lake. A bit of history. It's flat enough to camp in a few spots, but really nothing much to speak too highly of. Better is, from there, you head slightly uphill to the right, and off the next flat area where you can look up and see the trail narrow down through the manzanita on the way up to CR is where you should start looking for camping. A couple just trailside, and a few more off to the right more into the treeline. Give everyone a break and scout it if you need to. It should only take about 15 minutes, but you can see it on the map where the trail hooks around.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby Phil » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:08 pm

One last thing- Who are these people you're guiding, Steve? Kids? Adults? I'm just curious.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby CGSteve » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:42 pm

Phil wrote:One last thing- Who are these people you're guiding, Steve? Kids? Adults? I'm just curious.


My group is all adults. My brother & SIL, my sister & BIL, and my stepdad. My stepdad is 60 yo and both myself and BIL are early 40's. The other three are mid 30's.

Me personally, I've done a pretty fair amount of hiking. Dating back to my HS years when is disappear into the Sierra Nevadas for a week at a time going solo. I've trekked all over the world, Iceland, NZ, Norway, Central Am, and Antarctica. I generally avoid Yosemite during the months of June, July, and August due to all of the tourists and slobby Americans that turn the park into a zoo. I've never done this route and figure it should provide some excellent scenery. For me, CR is the prize of the trip, but everyone else is excited about HD.

I really appreciate all of the help and hope that some of this also helps Soonernation.
CGSteve
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:04 pm
Location: Madera, CA

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby Soonernation » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:13 am

This is all great information and I appreciate the tips. The weather was another thing I was curious about. Last year we were there over labor day weekend and the mornings were cool but it warmed nicely by the afternoon. I figured that the later in the month the weather could change quickly.

Our plan with more specifics:

Day 1: Arrive in the afternoon, get permits, bear cans, etc. Hike from TM to Cathedral Lakes for the night.
Day 2: Hike to a point as close to HD as possible via the JMT. Based on Phil's suggestion, set up camp somewhere along Sunrise Creek.
Day 3: Hike to and up Half Dome. Either return to Sunrise Creek or hike to Illilouette depending on how we feel and how much time we spend on HD.
Day 4: Hike into YV to catch the bus at 5:00pm back to TM. It's likely that we will want to take the route on day 3 that gets us into the valley sooner than later so we can relax, eat and have a beverage before catching the bus.

In dealing with the bears, I understand the requirement to place the bear canister away from your tent but what about the remainder of your pack. I've read here that some people remove everything from their pack, some place their pack in another spot away from their tent and others place their pack just outside their tent. I have zero experience when it comes to bears.
Soonernation
Regular
Regular
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:44 pm

Re: September Hike Questions

Postby balzaccom » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:22 am

I think you are confusing two different things.

1. If you leave your pack somewhere off trail (such as when you hike up HD) then yes, put the bear can outside, and put everything else outside of the pack, so that the bears, raccoons, or trolls won't rip your pack apart trying to see what's in it.

2. If you are camped at Little Yosemite Valley, put your bear can and pack in the bear boxes (at least, that's what the rangers are telling people this season.

In areas of heavy bear/people interactions, you want to eliminate as much temptation as possible for the bears. in other parts of the park, this isn't nearly the same issue. We just leave out packs out in most areas, and put our smellies in the can. But we don't camp where most people camp!
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

Next

Return to Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests