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[Yosemite]

First Time to Yosemite help

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

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First Time to Yosemite help

Postby Soccerdude » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:20 pm

I am taking my first trip to Yosemite June 29th and will be backpacking for three nights. My son really wanted to do red peak pass and he got us entering at mono meadows and exiting at Tenaya Lake. We are on the east coast and he was not taking into account how much snow will still be at that elevation this time of year. So, I am looking for an alternative route. If we leave mono meadows and head towards cloud's rest, JMT, Sunrise etc... What are some good spots to camp before heading out at Tenaya Lake?

Also, while we have bears in North Carolina and we prepare for them, it sounds much more intense in Yosemite. What do you normally do with your packs at night after storing everything in bear cans?

Thanks for any help. We are looking forward to our trip.
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:15 am

The bears don't care about people. They do anything and everything to get people's food, however. Read the official NPS park page for food storage in Yosemite and have enough room saved aside in the backpack for the Garcia bear canister you will carry. Packs should be emptied of anything with a smell and put inside the shelter with you. Otherwise they may be gone in the morning.

Right now there is quite a lot of snow left but most should be gone by the end of the month, unless more falls.

Good spots to camp -- well, there are quite a few restrictions which the rangers will show you on the map when you get your permit and bear can. Your first opportunity will be on Illilouette Creek - you have to hike 2 miles up the creek from the trail if you are on the Panorama trail. Then the next legal opportunity will be Little Yosemite Valley, but that's in designated spots and frankly less and less like wilderness camping every year. The bears are horrible, steal the food right out from under you if you turn your back, and there's people everywhere. Keep hiking another couple of miles to the intersection near Sunrise Creek and you're better off.
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby MadDiver » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:13 am

Starting at Mono Meadow and exiting at Tenaya, you certainly want to read this thread about the hiker shuttle: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3625 That said, they really don't care where you exit so if you change your mind and want to exit the Valley (or anywhere) it's OK.
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby YoseWeerjin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:35 am

Hi there, just got a quick question about the bears and critters...

Would you recommend leaving your tent unzipped and most everything else accessible to avoid curious and chew happy vermin while you're away sightseeing or fishing, etc?
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:04 am

You can, but it won't guarantee anything. Bears will steal an empty pack to tear it up looking for food, regardless of whether it smells like food or not, because they know what a pack is -- something that usually carries food. Same with ice chests, even if it's clean and empty, you have to hide it in the car or put it in a locker. Bears will tear into a tent if something inside smells interesting to them, but I haven't heard of them getting into empty tents.

The other thing to look out for is salt -- marmots chewed up my trekking pole handles overnight once, trying to get salt. Sweaty items like handles or clothing need to be secured, not left out where deer or rodents could get them.
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby YoseWeerjin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:28 am

Thanks AT. I just read your and Phil's posts regarding similar issues on another thread http://www.yosemite.ca.us/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3623. Great tips and fun reading.
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby Phil » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:52 am

You may actually not find as much snow as you think up by Red Peak on the 29th. It appears to be melting off pretty quickly based on the models. The trail will be wet, and there will be lots of mosquitoes because of it, but very little snow accumulation left by then, unless, as AT says, more falls. That's a beautiful hike with far fewer people than the JMT in and around LYV/Sunrise/CR. If you can do it, you definitely should.
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby Soccerdude » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:44 am

Thanks, Phil. We only have three nights and four days. Is that pushing it too much?
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby MadDiver » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:32 am

I've read reports of people doing the Red Peak Pass Loop in 3 nights. One such can be seen here: http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/1691135 This starts and ends at Glacier Point but you can easily modify it to enter MM and exit Happy Isles, it also shows a "short cut" on day 3, click the point on the map for more details. That said it's around 48 miles with some big altitude - you and your son will need to judge your abilities to what's doable.
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby Phil » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:17 pm

Soccerdude:

That's pushing it hard. It can be done, but being from NC, you simply can't take those altitudes for granted. Another big consideration is where you can or want to make camp. For us, if that's 3 miles or 15 miles, that's what we do. Too many beautiful places to stop and enjoy to just ramrod through because you have a schedule to keep.

But, if it's a schedule you have to keep, go up from Mono Meadows, camp along the Clark Fork, head up to Lower Ottoway, day-hike the area (Red Peak if you want to), go back. In other words, do the trip as an in-and-out instead of a loop.

Shorten the distances, enjoy the places you are, get more out of it.
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Re: First Time to Yosemite help

Postby Soccerdude » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:00 am

Very helpful. Thanks folks!
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