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Backpacking May 22nd 3 days

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

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Backpacking May 22nd 3 days

Postby snagey » Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:58 am


I have the opportunity to come to yosemite May 22nd - 25th from the east coast. One of these days I plan on driving to see as many areas as possible, but I want to reserve the other 3 days / 2 nights for backpacking, which I am a beginner at.

Tolumne Meadows -> Sunrise Campground -> Clouds Rest -> Half Dome -> Yosemite Valley seems like an ideal 3 day excursion. Assuming Tioga Pass is open, will shuttles be running then? Any other options for a backpacker to get from Yosemite Valley to Tolumne Meadows?

Can anyone more experienced give me a sanity check that this would be a doable hike around this time? How much colder will it be than the weather forecast at that altitude, still snow everywhere? How much solitude will this route offer at this time, I know half-dome will be crowded but I think im obligated to do the half dome since it may be quite a while before I can make another trip back.

Thanks for your input!
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Postby mozierfamily » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:46 pm

Here's a page on the NPS web site you might want to take a look at:
They're talking about the current progress on plowing operations along the Tioga Road and also have listing of opening and closing dates since the 1980's. Basically what it suggests is that you never know if the road is going to be open in late May or not. I'll let other more experienced folks chime in about trail conditions and shuttles but you might want to have a "Plan B" in case the road is still closed. Sounds like a great backpacking trip if you don't mind Day 2 being fairly long.
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Postby adrianhoff » Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:38 am

The YARTS shuttle summer schedule starts May 19, conditions allowing.
See: http://www.yarts.com/schedule/2008/Summer140.pdf

As for your route, a lot depends on your starting point and how you plan to break up your three days. Are you entering at Tuolumne Meadows, the Cathedral Lakes trailhead or the Sunrise trailhead at Tenaya Lake? Going through Sunrise Camp en route to Clouds Rest makes sense via the Cathedral Lakes trail, with Sunrise being your first night stopping point. If you enter at the Sunrise trailhead (shorter, but MUCH steeper trail), Sunrise Camp is four miles (round trip) beyond the turn-off to Clouds Rest.

I’d spend my last night at Little Yosemite Valley, get an early start and hike Half Dome before hiking back to the valley floor on day three. The HD cables are less crowded in the morning, before all the day-hikers show up.
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Postby Grzldvt » Sat May 03, 2008 11:40 pm

If you have any fear of heights going over Cloud's Rest might be a bit on the edgy side. The trail is not very wide and the for the last few hundred yards drops off on both sides that can be a bit exciting.
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