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High Sierra Camp 1 night and 1 night backpacking?

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

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High Sierra Camp 1 night and 1 night backpacking?

Postby toynewb » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:12 pm

first, I'm trying to go from May HSC to the Glen Aulin HSC and then back to Tuolumne Meadow campground. it seems to be backwards compared to what most people do, but it seems as though it's mostly downhill if you go from may lake => glen aulin => Tuolumne meadows with some uphill at the beginning to may lake. is there a problem with this route and why more people don't do it??? prettier the other way?

they said there is availability at the may lake HSC for the dates i want, but the 2nd night (the real problem) at glen aulin is not available at all. I'm wondering, what if I booked one night at the may lake high sierra camp, then stayed in my own tent near glen aulin instead of the HSC. the main question... would I need a separate permit to just backpack at glen aulin in addition to the permit I receive for staying at the may lake HSC?

Thanks!
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Re: High Sierra Camp 1 night and 1 night backpacking?

Postby Phil » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:42 pm

From the sound of it, yes, even with a permit for the HSC at May Lake, you would need a separate wilderness permit beyond that point in order to continue on to GA and then TM. To make arrangements, this is one you should probably call the wilderness office for since it's a special circumstance, but I would think that, if you can get that separate permit as May Lake > TM via Glen Aulin to line up with your dates, you could do it over the online reservation system. Still, make that call and see if they can coordinate it for you. It might take a while to get through, but hang in there.

Once you're at Glen Aulin, the backpacker's camping area is just behind the HSC. And no, lots of people do it in that direction, it's just not typically thought of as the classic HSC loop due to logistical continuity reasons (I've done it many times in your direction myself). Exactly the same trail, so no more or less pretty, just a lot more uphill from GA to May. Also, if you want to skip GA altogether and camp outside the designated area, as long as you stay outside a 1 mile radius of the HSC, you can camp wherever you like. In that, McGee Lake comes to mind for water, but good sites take some looking for.

You're also right in the uphill/downhill part of it. That little 1.2 miles uphill from the parking area to the May Lake HSC is nothing. After that, with the exception of less than a 1/4 mile up to the pass beyond Raisin Lake, a slight incline past Cathedral Creek, then again leaving Glen Aulin and up to the bridge at Tuolumne Falls the next day, the entire route is a very decidedly downhill or level trip.
Last edited by Phil on Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: High Sierra Camp 1 night and 1 night backpacking?

Postby balzaccom » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:16 pm

If there is only one of you getting a wilderness permit to extend your hike should not be too hard....and if you DO have you own tent, you have other options that Glen Aulin, including Ten Lakes Basin or even Polly Dome Lakes as alternatives.
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Re: High Sierra Camp 1 night and 1 night backpacking?

Postby Phil » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:23 pm

balzaccom wrote:If there is only one of you getting a wilderness permit to extend your hike should not be too hard....and if you DO have you own tent, you have other options that Glen Aulin, including Ten Lakes Basin or even Polly Dome Lakes as alternatives.


Yep, Polly Dome Lakes are a great alternative that are gorgeous and fairly convenient to get to from the May Lake Trail, but it might not give you the daily mileage you want. May to Glen Aulin are 8 incredibly easy miles that you can make within a few hours with no problem at all.
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