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Hetch Hechy hike for 4th of July weekend

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

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Hetch Hechy hike for 4th of July weekend

Postby WanderingJim » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:17 pm

Okay, I've been planning a Mt Langley/Whitney hike over 5-6 nights. Either Starting July 3rd or 17th depending on weather and conditions.

Still have time to decide on that, but I've been planning an alternate July 4th weekend hike in Yosemite if I shift to the later dates for Langley/Whitney.

So only would have 3 days/2 nights, so looking at the shorter hikes I'd like to do I was thinking of Hetch Hetchy. I've only done some day hikes around there, so would like to explore more up there.

So, I was thinking heading to Laurel Lake, heading up along Moraine Ridge, and maybe as far as Tilden lake. Looks like I have three trails up there to cross over to the other side of Bailey Ridge, so I can choose based on my progress and how I feel.
Then head down to Tiltill Valley and Ranchera Falls and back to the dam.

Question 1: Is that the right direction to go? Looks like the elevation climb would be better that way, but if the vistas are better in the other direction, it's doable. (although it looks like I might have to go to Miguel Meadows based on the July 2nd trail heads report) And, yes, I know I can just look over my shoulder, but you don't always catch those views behind you when you focused on the trail ahead of you. :)

Question 2: Any particular sights to see along this route?

Question 3: Any short side hikes I can do along this route to see some nice sights?

Question 4: Any particular places that are good to camp and/or see sunrises/sunsets along this route?

Looks like the wilderness permits for HH are given at the entry station, so the time shouldn't be a problem for me to get there July 1st by 9pm and stay at the backpackers campground at HH. I wish the other wilderness stations had earlier hours, always hate to have to wait till 8am to get the permit and head out to the trail that late in the morning when I can't get into Yosemite earlier the day before.
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