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[Yosemite]

Hiking This Week - Final Questions

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

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Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby Soonernation » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:45 pm

I posted a few months ago about my first overnight hike ever. I'm going with my son who lives in Cali and has experience back country hiking.

We begin our adventure on Thursday afternoon by hiking up to Cathedral Lakes for the first night. We will be hiking Half Dome on Saturday and plan to be in the valley on Sunday. I have a couple of questions:

1. It was previously suggested that instead of staying at LYV, we should stay near Sunrise creek on Friday night so we are closer to the HD trailhead and not close close to other people. We like that suggestion but need to know if there is water in that area (Sunrise Creek wet or dry)? If not, where is the best water source near the suggested camp area?

2. Our current plan is to drive up to Tuolumne Meadows to park the car, do our hike then catch the bus on Sunday at 5pm back to Tuolumne. After hiking for 4 days, the bus ride and then backtracking back down is going to suck bad. The best scenario would be to park in the valley so we can drive away once we hike down. I'm just not seeing anyway we get up there without going in and seeing if we can hitch a ride up. How likely do you think that would be this late in the season on a weekday?

I think we have everything else covered.

Thanks in advance for the information.
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby balzaccom » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:50 pm

Check with the park service about the shuttle. This is about the time of year that it stops running...
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby Phil » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:17 pm

Sunrise is a better alternative to LYV. Water is available in the creek no more than a few hundred feet from most sites.

The YARTS bus from the Valley back to Tuolumne is running, but only on weekends, so you should be fine with a Sunday exit. If you miss it for any reason, just one of you hitchhike back to the car without a pack. It's usually faster and easier that way. No more hiker's shuttle at all.
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby Soonernation » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:54 am

Good deal.

I called yesterday and spoke with the ranger in order to hold our permits since we wont arrive until around noon. When I brought up the transportation issue, she said we might have a decent chance of getting a ride up to Tuolumne Meadows if we come into the valley and park the car. I figure we might give it a try since we might have an hour or so before making a decision. If in that hour we find a ride, great. If not, we drive up, park, do our hike and catch the 5pm Sunday bus.

Any suggestions on getting a ride? Is there a certain type person you look for that might be more open to taking two people to a trail head? Some tips on what to do or not to do in order to improve our chances?
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby Phil » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:01 am

Flash a little leg, don't look menacing, and work on your sad face in the mirror before you go.... :D

No really though, even thought I'll be here till Thursday and you should try the veal, the best approach is the single-packless hitchhiker. Thumbs out to everyone that passes...you're trying to play sheer numbers and get a ride, not profile. We've gotten rides from people in dreadlocks, and from Chinese families that didn't speak a word of English, and had little kids. Everyone is a candidate, but sometimes those that can empathize with your need are going to be most likely to stop. The other biggie is people that are somewhat lost and clueless. They tend to want to trade your navigational prowess (since you've been walking around, and obviously know where you're going) for helping them figure out where they're going themselves.

The other approach is the face-to-face interaction. If you're at the backpacker's camp or say one of the main parking areas (especially at Curry or up the road at the backpacker's long-term parking lot), hit people up with a direct request, and maybe even a $20.

***Strategically speaking- if I can make it work, my personal preference is to deal with logistical problems on the back end of a trip instead of up front. I like to prep out of the back of the car, and just throw my gear in when I'm done. In your case, this means that you would park at your trailhead and worry about getting back to it on Sunday evening, especially if you're only going to give it an hour or so to get a ride. Why waste time going in if you've got YARTs working in your favor when it's all said and done?
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby CGSteve » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:47 am

Soonernation, good luck with your hike this week and thanks for allowing me to piggyback your original post. I hope you have an awesome time!
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby kimchijajonshim » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:57 am

I'm actually planning on doing a similar hike, although I don't have the permit yet (going to show up Thursday morning and hope for a last minute same-day or next-day wilderness permit). I'll be doing either Tenaya Lakes or Cathedral either Friday-Sunday.

Similarly I would prefer to park in the Valley and drive away, but I'm not seeing an easy way to get to Tuolumne or Tenaya Lakes on a weekday. Looks like I may need to come in on Sunday evening and make that work.

Anyone know if YARTs drivers are relaxed about mid-route dropoffs along Tioga Road? If I'm parked at Tenaya, I'd rather not have to go all the way out to Tuolumne and then cycle back to Tenaya.
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby Soonernation » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:47 pm

CGSteve wrote:Soonernation, good luck with your hike this week and thanks for allowing me to piggyback your original post. I hope you have an awesome time!


Sure thing. Weren't you going out there at some point this month as well?
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby Soonernation » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:53 pm

Phil wrote:***Strategically speaking- if I can make it work, my personal preference is to deal with logistical problems on the back end of a trip instead of up front. I like to prep out of the back of the car, and just throw my gear in when I'm done. In your case, this means that you would park at your trailhead and worry about getting back to it on Sunday evening, especially if you're only going to give it an hour or so to get a ride. Why waste time going in if you've got YARTs working in your favor when it's all said and done?


To be honest, we were just looking to save 3 hours on the backside taking the bus back to the car and then backtracking once in the car (staying in Fresno on Sun night). Maybe that bus ride would be a good opportunity to rest before making the trip from Tuolumne Meadows to Fresno.
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Re: Hiking This Week - Final Questions

Postby CGSteve » Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:36 pm

Soonernation wrote:Sure thing. Weren't you going out there at some point this month as well?


Yes sir, I am going up on Friday, parking at Curry Village, then hitchhiking up to TM for an overnighter before hitting the trail on Saturday morning. I won't be coming out until later the following week.

With respect to your plan to stay in Fresno, don't overlook Tenaya Lodge or Narrow Gauge Inn. Both are located just outside the southern park entrance on Highway 41 in Fish Camp, CA...both are very cool places, with Tenaya Lodge being the pricier option. In either case, you can get a shower, a good meal, and just one more Sierra Nevada night. I am kinda partial to Tenaya Lodge since that's where I married my wife...nice place with good beer and good food. :D

Another option is to stay a night at The Pines Resort on the waterfront of Bass Lake. Similar to the previous two options, good food can be had at Ducey's and they have a decent wine menu.

Should you choose to drop to a slightly lower elevation, Oakhurst is also a nice option to spend a night. You can chow at Crab Cakes on some seafood, or go for some of their prime rib which isn't too shabby. Further down the road is Chuckchansi Hotel / Casino and it's not too bad either...the steak house is decent, as-is the buffet. Never stayed there since it's so close to my home.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
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