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[Yosemite]

3 night backpacking trip starting Porcupine Flat

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

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3 night backpacking trip starting Porcupine Flat

Postby Cee » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:31 pm

Hello:

We have a permit for entry at the Porcupine Creek trailhead mid-July, are in decent shape, enjoy hiking and backpacking, from Colorado (acclimatized to altitude), and looking forward to seeing the highlights of Yosemite away from the crowds.. We have three groups of questions:

A. What are the mosquitos like at this time of the year? Will a head-net and full-sleeve/light pants be sufficient or do we have to go all out with Deet?
B. What is the water situation like at this time? Are the creeks still flowing along happily?
C. Actual hike planning.

We had planned the following:
1. Day 1 set up camp somewhere before North Dome and hike to N. Dome with day packs -- we would welcome suggestions for nice spots along the way for camping, preferably NOT on an exposed ridge and some information on the last area to get water.
2. Day 2 we had thought to getting to Yosemite Falls -- the only issues are that the Falls are supposed to be "knee-killing," we do not know if they are still running, and we are not sure where we could camp either before or after the falls.
3. Day 3 undecided
4. Day 4 get to a backpacker's camp.
With this plan we do have time to do things slowly, but are just not sure what additional hikes we can add in.

Plan B would be to start with:
1. Day 1 set up camp somewhere before North Dome and hike to N. Dome with day packs -- we would welcome suggestions for nice spots along the way for camping, preferably NOT on an exposed ridge and some information on the last area to get water.
2. Day 2 would be to hike towards Eagle Peak for views of El Capitan -- depending on distance, we could split this over Day 2 and 3.
The idea for this hike came from a recommendation on Yosemite Forum. We have just not been able to find a way to get from North Dome to Eagle Peak and would really welcome suggestions.

Also, if we went the Eagle Peak route, what is the backpacking like, how would our itinerary look, and where would we come out at the end?

We know this is a lot of questions and we really appreciate the ideas/suggestions. Thanks,

Cee
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Re: 3 night backpacking trip starting Porcupine Flat

Postby dan » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:56 pm

A. Mosquitos. Usually they are bad in mid-July. Avoid by camping above and away from streams and marshy areas. You can still camp in shade and near water, just not right next to it. I bring a head-net and long sleeves/pants. I avoid deet, but use it when I must.

B. Water is not a problem now. On the North Rim, Lehemite Creek and Yosemite Creek are reliable and make for nice camping (if you're not too close to the creek that is).

1. I would camp first night where the North Rim Trail crosses Lehemite Creek and day hike to North Dome. ALSO hike to the Natural Arch that is just north of North Dome. Follow a ridge north from North Dome and a "volunteer" or "use" trail and it's less than a mile from the dome.

2. Great camping just west of Yosemite Creek and just north of Yosemite Falls (and the North Rim Trail). It's a popular spot for camping, so get there early if you can to snag a spot.

3. Top of El Capitan is a dayhike from Yosemite Creek. If you have time on the way back, there's a little side trail to Eagle Peak, between Yosemite Falls and El Cap. John Muir called it the best view of Yosemite.

If you decide to hike down to the Valley, take it easy--it is hard on the knees. Or you can walk back up to Porcupine Creek Trailhead or where ever you start.
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Re: 3 night backpacking trip starting Porcupine Flat

Postby Cee » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:44 pm

Thanks Dan. This sounds like an excellent plan and I actually figured out the trails you were referring to. By my very approximate calculations, it looks like we will do:

1. Day 1 backpack about 4 miles then day hike to N Dome (~ 2-ish mi r/t day hiking depending on where we camp).
2. Day 2 backpack again about 4 to 6 miles to set up camp in the direction of El Cap
3. Day 3 start early, day hike to El Cap (8 mi r/t), get back to camp and head back with backpack to camp somewhere on the trail to Porcupine Creek.
4. Day 4 get back to Porcupine Creek and save our knees.

Too bad about the mosquito situation, but we will just have to deal with it. Sounds like water should not be a problem.

Is Eagle Peak a "do not miss" or "do if you have the energy?"

Other than Indian Arch are there any other side trips that we should absolutely make sure we hit?

Thanks again,
Cee
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