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Backapcking advice needed.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:37 pm
by luvtobackpack
I am planning a group trip to Yosemite the second week of June. I reserved a campsite, Dimond O just to be safe. We'd rather get out in the backcountry. What is the likelihood of scoring permits during the week? What are good backpacks(multiple nights)this time of year? Some of the areas we are interested in are Half Dome, preferably from Tenaya Lake or TM, with perhaps a side trip out to Merced Lake. Another option is El capitan loop, or maybe something out by Hetch Hetchy, possibly Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. What are the mosquitoes like at these elevations and are there any fords we'd need to be concerned about. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:26 am
by bill-e-g
How big is the group? Is it boy scouts?
You're already near Hetch Hetchy at Dimond...
Have you thought about just going to Rancheria Falls?
Is it the whole week?

At Dimond O mosquitos may be pretty bad already 2nd wk of June.
But they vary greatly by elevation and how much snow is on the ground still.
Early July you better be really prepared. But again, depends on where you are.

If your group is boy scouts. I'd just take them to Ranch Falls for a couple
days. Then I'd do another trip to Smith Peak if that went well.
You are right there. It all depends on your expectations, etc.
Those are really nice trips with plenty of scenery.
If you are being bitten alive then provided Tioga Rd. is open then
head to higher elevation. Right now there are not may TH full
with reservations that early in the year due to uncertainty of
what the trails will be like and if Tioga Rd. opens.
Again, it all depends on what you want out of the trip. If you MUST
do Half Dome...

Since I'm babbling I'll just give you a mosquito example. Last year
July 4. Tuolumne Meadows had little to no mosquitos. Near Budd
Lake and Matthes Lake we were literally eating them they were
so thick. Coming out from Budd Lake they just "disappeared" at
a certain elevation.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:52 am
by john
If your going to be camping in the park, you can get wilderness permits to any trailhead you want for the next day. Get to the Ranger station at first light and your pretty much guaranteed a permit for the next day. They hold a certain number of permits from being reserved for walk-up ( I think it's 40% of the trailhead quota, but I could be wrong). Have fun.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:27 pm
by luvtobackpack
There will be four of us(late 20s to mid 30s). We backpack when possible so I'd say a few times a year. All are in relatively good shape and have hike for quite some time. We will arrive on a Saturday and leave on a Saturday.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:12 am
by bill-e-g
Yeah, since you have your Dimond O campsite you are not limited
at all by permits with 4 people (can get day ahead like John said).

The amount of snow and water on the trails is pretty much a huge guess
right now. You'll just have to wait and see how much more snow
dumps from now til then...

Hetch Hetchy will be full at that time of year so if it were me and
noone in the group had been to HH before I would drag them
kicking and screaming up Smith Peak and then also at least
make them go to Wapama Falls and back.
If you go up Smith Peak (you can camp near Smith Meadow if you
want to make it an overnight) you will be able to see a huge
portion of Yosemite including part of GCT. You'll be able to see how
much snow is still out there and then maybe decide where to go
from there...

In '07 and '08 trails were pretty snow free pretty early (looking back
I went up to Double Rock and over to Ten Lakes Pass on June 8, '07 for
example)... so you just never know... (in '06 TOTALLY different story)..
If you look in books you'll see many trails not "open" until July.
(mainly due to Tioga Rd. avg. open date is smthing like June 15)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:28 am
by bill-e-g
Actually... looking at the dates of Tioga Rd. unless we really get
dumped on coming up you can almost guarantee that Tioga
will be open by Memorial Day.

The trail conditions ... though... may not be your cup of tea...


PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:04 am
by Garyw
I would also recommend going to REI to get a mosquito net outfit, they do not cost that much and can be very handy when mosquitoes are thick. I to was walloped by mosquitoes last year in July at Vogelsang high sierra camp

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:00 pm
by hiker97
Me too with the July Vogelsang experience. They got to me even with the mosquito head netting. All it took was a few seconds to take a bite of dinner and (wham!) in came a small cloud of them.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:10 pm
by oakroscoe
bill-e-g wrote:Actually... looking at the dates of Tioga Rd. unless we really get
dumped on coming up you can almost guarantee that Tioga
will be open by Memorial Day.

The trail conditions ... though... may not be your cup of tea...

I too am anticipating a relatively early opening day for Tioga Rd. A few weekends ago I did the tourist thing with some friends and went down into the Valley, but even cruising up past Crane Flat on Tioga before they had the road blocked, the snow wasn't too bad. Unless there is a seriously major storm, I am thinking Tioga will be open before Memorial Day. Granted, anything can happen, but I am not especially worried that it will dump snow and delay the opening of Tioga.