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Ten Lakes in May?

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

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Ten Lakes in May?

Postby rivanna » Thu May 14, 2009 10:48 pm

Hi. I apologize for the long post.

I am considering a couple of options for the California trip that I have coming up. I will fly into SFO on May 19th and will return back to VA on the 29th.

One option is to ride BART then Amtrak/bus into Yosemite for a 8 night backpack. I would arrive in Yosemite on the night of the 19th and start this backpack at the Yosemite Falls trailhead on the 20th.

Hike from the valley up to North Dome area on day 1. Then up to May Lake day 2. Ascend Mt Hoffman and Tuolumne Peak (conditions permitting), then go to Ten Lakes and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne over the next few days. Then through Tuolumne Meadows (resupply food if store is open), down the JMT, west at sunrise, over Clouds Rest over to Half Dome. Head toward the Clark Range if there is time (along Illouette Creek) then backtrack and down the Panorama to the valley.

So my question is, will an ice axe and crampons or snowshoes be necessary for the high elevation portions of this itinerary? I don't mind prolonged hiking through snow, but honestly am looking for a backpack where I just need boots and trekking poles. I know the elevation around ten lakes is >9k. We camped at May Lake and I hiked Mt Dana last year around June 20 - 22, but this is a whole month earlier.

My other (less adventurous) option will be to rent a car and go on some long, big elevation dayhikes and probably spend 4-5 days in Yosemite (May 19 - 23). I would be looking at Valley > Upper Yosemite Falls > North Dome > Snow Creek > Valley. Also Half Dome and Clouds Rest from the Valley dayhike (I like long, brutal dayhikes). I would also go to some lakes (probably Cathedral and Elizabeth) maybe a peak or dome and visit some Giant Sequoias. Then I would go to Lassen NP and to Mt Shasta (where I would need ice ax/crampons, but hey I want to climb Shasta).

Has anyone taken the Amtrak from the Bay area to Yosemite? It looks like BART to Berkeley then walk to the Amtrak in Emeryville would be a simple way to do it.

Thoughts, advice on my plans are welcome.
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Re: Ten Lakes in May?

Postby dan » Fri May 15, 2009 11:39 am

First off, arrive in Oakland Airport (OAK) on the east bay. Amtrak doesn't head to SF or SFO and you just need to do extra transfers and waste time. From OAK, take a taxi or BART to Jack London Square (in Oakland) or, preferably, Emeryville (I think Emeryville is better connected and has more stops than Jack London Square). Transfer in Merced from Amtrak to the YARTS bus to Yosemite Valley or (summer only) to Tuolumne.

But your trip is a little too agressive for May--there's a lot of snow up there still. You don't need an ice axe, but snowshoes and trekking poles will help. You won't make good time though.

Your second option to North Dome via Falls Trail and Snow Creek Trail seems more reasonable given the conditions. You could take a side trip to the top of El Cap if you wish.
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Postby rivanna » Fri May 15, 2009 10:31 pm

Dan, thanks for the response.
I am flying into SFO as I was able to get non stop to there. I agree that OAK would have been better for public transportation.

I might go the snowshoe route, thanks for the data.

Chris
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Postby bill-e-g » Sun May 17, 2009 8:23 pm

Right now... (May 16 let's say)... Even though Tioga Rd. is open
to Yosemite Creek you still cannot park overnight on the road.
They would not give us a permit for Yosemite Creek or any TH
on Tioga Rd. on Saturday. So I really highly doubt that things will
change in a few days...
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Postby AlmostThere » Sun May 17, 2009 10:27 pm

Might want to consider the Buena Vista trail/loop or Hetch Hetchy.... Can probably do the Pohono trail to Glacier Point to Ilillouette to Panorama trail to JMT to LYV to Half Dome, possibly Clouds Rest. The snow was patchy on the trails along Glacier Point Road but there's already lots of foot traffic and backpackers.
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