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Pohono trail & day hiking

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:22 pm
by darkscreamz
I had a quick search before posting, so my apologies if I'm asking a worn out question :)

My wife & I will be visiting Yosemite next-week, we'll have 3 full days (4 nights), which we intend to use for day hikes while staying in lodging in Yosemite Valley. It's a brief stop in a short U.S. trip from Australia and while not the best time of year weather wise we're still stoked to get as much out of it as we can.

At the moment we intend to use our 2nd full day to hike the Pohono trail, grabbin' the bus up to Glacier Point as our starting point (I believe first bus arrives there approx. 10:30), our intention is to hike the entire trail to Tunnel view, at which point we need to add on the the return leg from Tunnel view to Yosemite valley lodge.

From reading other sites, I see hike times of 5-10 hours, we are fairly fit and suspect the hike to tunnel view would take us the lower of the average of may be 6-7hours when factoring in stops, seeing us arrive roughly 5:30pm at Tunnel view, then additional 1-2hr to get back to the lodge.

My concerns/queries/feedback:
*Do these estimates sound sane to those that have day hiked the trail? I'm weary temperatures will likely drop quickly in the evening (we'd have appropriate layering with us).
*As this is after 15 Oct (no shuttle bus), is there any suggestions on a trail head/parking overnight spot I could potentially leave our car at the day before to cut-down the additional return leg from Tunnel view?
*I see reference to the Four mile trail as an alternative to Pohono and doing smaller day hikes to the various points of interest, I like the challenge of the length of the Pohono trail, but if the above estimates aren't realistic then I'd be interested in hearing suggested alternatives :)

Re: Pohono trail & day hiking

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:58 pm
by Phil
I think that's realistic. You've got about 12-13 miles of trail from GP > Tunnel View. Allowing for a few brief stops, figuring you guys should be able to move at about 2+mph at a fairly comfortable and consistent pace, 7-9 hours should do it. A generally smooth and good trail, but a little steep and exposed on the final descent though. Hike down from TV to Bridalveil and then catch the Valley Shuttle back to the lodge.

There really isn't a viable spot at which to park or overnight (unless you're backpacking) along the's sort of a start/finish kind of thing.

Check the weather and temps. Definitely have the right layers.

Bring headlamps, just in case.

Four- Mile is pretty nice, but if you're up there, and Pohono is what you want, go for it. Not a lot of views, but be sure to spend some time at Taft Point.

Re: Pohono trail & day hiking

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:18 pm
by darkscreamz
Phil wrote:Hike down from TV to Bridalveil and then catch the Valley Shuttle back to the lodge.

Am I right in thinking the bus isn't running as it'll be after Oct 15th when we go?

Re: Pohono trail & day hiking

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:25 pm
by Phil
Yes, my mistake. Service on that route ended yesterday. The only year-round is the Hotel Shuttle. You would have to walk the Valley Loop Trail at this point to get back to your hotel.

Re: Pohono trail & day hiking

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:14 pm
by balzaccom
And do take in the view at Dewey Point. One of our favorite spots in Yosemite.

You could also do this as a day hike, hiking from Sentinel Dome past Taft Point to Dewey Point and back. 11 miles or so. No need for buses or shuttles...

Re: Pohono trail & day hiking

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:52 pm
by WanderingJim
I did the Pohono Trail from Glacier Point to Tunnel View in 2014.

Just over 9 hours and a little under 15 miles.

Some up and down at the start (especially if you go to the top of Sentinel Dome), but mostly downhill after Dewey Point.
The hiker's bus to GP is what I used.

As for getting from Tunnel View back to the east side of the valley this time of year... you either need to hike back or hitch a ride. I managed to grab a lift back at Tunnel View (lots of people stop there, so not hard to find people around unless you get there past sunset).

Re: Pohono trail & day hiking

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:03 pm
by darkscreamz
Well we had a wonderful 3 full days in Yosemite, we drove in from San Fran in a large storm with very low visibility, but this cleared for our 3 full days, and better still returned the rapids to the various waterfalls (Yosemite falls had been dry since August we were told), but unfortunately also caused a rock-slide on Tiago pass meaning our departure had to be via Fresno which was unfortunate.

We ended up doing 3 hikes:
Day 1 - Vernal & Nevada falls
Day 2 - Pohono trail
Day 3 - Yosemite falls & point

As discussed on here regarding Pohono trail, we took the Glacier Point towards Tunnel view track including a stop-off to the top of Sentinel Dome.

I tried to keep a rough timeline
for others considering the hike as I consider myself/wife "average weight/fitness".
The weather for the day was clear, roughly about 20 degrees celsius. We grabbed the one-way 08:30 Glacier point tour/hiker bus from Yosemite lodge, this got us to Glacier point approx. 10am, we ended up departing Glacier Point at 10:30 knowing we had a long day ahead.

We stopped for approx. 15-30mins at each of the points of interest below to refuel/marvel/etc :) Below are the departure times from each location:

11:30 Sentinel dome peak
12:50 Taft point
15:20 Dewey point
15:50 Crocker point

We ended up arriving at Tunnel view by 18:00, however as we descended the 0.6mile track from Inspiration point we quickly realised it'd be unlikely we'd be able to return back up the steep rocky incline to reach the Bridalveil track to connect us back to the track towards Yosemite Lodge. We were buggered, and the downhill portion after Crocker point had punished our feet/knees. Luckily a lovely Iranian couple were kind enough to give us a lift to our lodge on their way back from Tunnel view which worked out perfectly.

So all in all pretty successful and well worth the hike, the colours in the forest areas were beautiful and the views from the various points exceptional (completely agree Dewey Point is well worth the stop!).