Home A - Z FAQ Bookstore Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps Lodging About Search
CalHotels.US--online reservations now CalHotels.US Lowest Hotel Rates Guaranteed. Click Here For Yours!
Hotel photos, maps, reviews, & discount rates.

U.S. Hotels in California (Yosemite, L. A., San Francisco ), AL, AK, AR, AS, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, FM, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, NV, MH, MP, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, PR, PW, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI WA, WV, WI, WY

[Yosemite]

7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby Bighead » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:59 am

Ok, so I know that this is just a pipe dream until I get realistic weather, snowpack, etc… closer to June 16th. However with that said I’m super excited because this will be my 3rd attempt at backpacking in Yosemite and the third time is the charm, right? My son broke his ankle a week before our trip last year and my previous attempt in 2003 was interrupted by an unscheduled trip to the Middle East so I’m hopeful this will be the one that works. I know there is a lot of knowledge on this forum so I wanted to see what everyone thinks and make sure I'm not missing anything.

So here is the plan:
June 15th: Arrive early, pick up permit, check out the valley, and catch afternoon YART to Tuolumne Meadow. If the YART isn’t available then we will catch morning concessionaire shuttle and spend the day at Tuolumne Meadow.
June 16th: Rafferty Creek Trail to Booth Lake, short first couple days for altitude.
June 17th: Continue along Fletcher Creek and camp east of Merced near Fletcher Creek and Lewis Creek intersection. (Hence my earlier post about the picture location)
June 18th: Hike to Echo Valley then stash packs and hike Lost Valley/Merced River. Return to packs and continue north in Echo Valley and follow Pack?? Trail west that runs above Lost Valley/Merced River and ties into John Muir Trail. We plan on camping prior to the John Muir intersection somewhere along this trail above Lost Valley.
June 19th: Continue via John Muir and Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest. Camp near Clouds Rest.
June 20th: Clouds Rest to Little Yosemite Valley. Not Crazy about camping in Little Yosemite Valley but right now that’s the plan.
June 21st: Little Yosemite to Panorama Trail to Illilouette Creek. South along Illilouette to designated camping area.
June 22nd: Backtrack back up Illilouette then head to Glacier Point and Pohono Trail. Camp west of Bridalveil Creek (designated area).
June 23rd: Finish Pohono Trail to Tunnelview.

If for some crazy reason the trail is available and the snowpack is acceptable we may try and change the first couple days and go down Lyell Canyon, past Vogelsang HSC, then continue with original plan. This may also increase the trip by one day.
Bighead
Frequent poster
Frequent poster
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:10 am

You'll spend a lot of time hiking in snow and snowmelt. And mosquitos will be frightful. Creek crossings will be dangerous if not deadly. Stash packs where? I wouldn't leave a pack anywhere, even empty, within a ten mile radius of Tuolumne Meadows or Little Yosemite Valley - the bears steal and tear them up. The backpacker campground has a sign on the board about putting backpacks in bear lockers because the bears will steal them.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby Phil » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:15 am

Even in a low show year, that early, that high, I think you're spinning your wheels and setting up for disappointment. We had drifts waist deep at 8-9k last year at that time with only ~80% of normal.

Can't camp at Boothe by regulation. Trailside tarns are better and closer if you want to hold there...lots of mosquitoes. Babcock is better. Emeric is too swampy to the north, and between the major boulders/talus and Fletcher Creek outlet roaring to the south, no access to the campsites on the other side of the lake.

Echo Valley will be an absolute swamp, including standing water that's probably going to have flow to it. I can pretty much promise you that you're going to be wading ankle to knee deep for about a mile.

If you get through Vogelsang, then camp around Lewis x Fletcher, and you plan on heading down the Merced to Lost Valley, might as well take your pack and camp the next night above Bunnell Cascade by the footbridges since you want to go down there anyhow, skipping a night at LYV. You may have trail closures at the upper bridges coming out of Echo Valley because of flooding. From there, either backtrack up Echo Creek, over to Sunrise Lakes, then on to CR, or just drop down toward LYV, contemplate what you already went through and if you want to go back up to 10k, or if conditions warrant, just skip it and proceed over to the Pohono.

Can't get greedy with route selection in June. I leave my pack nowhere that I can't see it and get to it fast, ever.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby Bighead » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:27 am

AlmostThere wrote:You'll spend a lot of time hiking in snow and snowmelt. And mosquitos will be frightful. Creek crossings will be dangerous if not deadly. Stash packs where? I wouldn't leave a pack anywhere, even empty, within a ten mile radius of Tuolumne Meadows or Little Yosemite Valley - the bears steal and tear them up. The backpacker campground has a sign on the board about putting backpacks in bear lockers because the bears will steal them.


We will be stashing the backpacks in Echo Valley not Tuolumne Meadows or LYV. When we stash them we will do it just like camp, remove the bear canisters and place away from packs, remove everything and open it so if a curious bear shows up it can paw, look, smell, explore, etc... Knock on wood but I've never had an issue with bears yet as long as I follow normal procedures. It's no different than when you set up camp for the night.

As far as snow and snowmelt it's hard to say what will happen but I do have an alternate plan if the snowpack is still severe.

When you say creek crossings will be deadly which ones along my route are you referring to? Water crossings are always my biggest concern and I've tried doing as much research as possible but didn't find anything about any really hairy crossings on the route I'd proposed. I know that Echo Valley will most likely be a swamp but is there a crossing on my route you see that is particularly dangerous?
Bighead
Frequent poster
Frequent poster
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby Bighead » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:40 am

Ok, so I probably wasn't clear but this is my best case plan. I do have an alternate if the weather/snowpack isn't conducive but until this spring I won't know for sure. Yes I understand that right now it is shaping up to be a wet winter but that could easily change. One interesting bit of information is that while the snowpack is above average right now the moisture content is only around 60% of average.

So based on the two responses so far I'm rethinking stashing the packs. I've done it frequently in the past but you guys and gals know the bears and area better than me.

I was actually also considering going back up Lost Valley where camping is allowed to avoid LYV but will depend on how we are feeling that day.

Thanks for the responses so far.
Bighead
Frequent poster
Frequent poster
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:44 am

You'll be asking for a bear to steal it. They steal empty packs. The same instruction is given in SEKI the past few years for people on the High Sierra Trail. Habituated bears, the worst ones, know what a pack is and don't care if it's empty.

Tagged bears are problem bears and I've seen tagged bears all over the area between Happy Isles and Tuolumne Meadows, and they also range out of the park over the crest into Thousand Island -- bears are better hikers than you are.
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby Bighead » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:49 am

AlmostThere wrote:You'll be asking for a bear to steal it. They steal empty packs. The same instruction is given in SEKI the past few years for people on the High Sierra Trail. Habituated bears, the worst ones, know what a pack is and don't care if it's empty.

Tagged bears are problem bears and I've seen tagged bears all over the area between Happy Isles and Tuolumne Meadows, and they also range out of the park over the crest into Thousand Island -- bears are better hikers than you are.


OK, thanks! That's definitely good to know. I've never had a bear steal an empty pack before. So do you keep your backpack in the tent with you at night then and just leave the bear canister out away from camp?
Bighead
Frequent poster
Frequent poster
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:04 am

I keep everything in the tent except the can, and the kitchen gear and shoes in the vestibule. Another thing that sucks is getting water in the burner of the stove and then going without coffee and hot food for three days until the burner dries out. :cry:
AlmostThere
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 6:57 pm
Location: Central Valley California

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby Phil » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:32 am

There are multiple creek crossings in one form or another from Rafferty on...bridges or not, may not really matter. Anything over knee deep with a current is potentially dangerous. The only place that might be extremely dangerous is out of Echo Valley at the top of the Merced. If the trail is open, but the end of the bridge is under water, it might get sketchy...you're technically IN the Merced, and it channels down to a steep and narrow chute, so if you go in, you will die, no doubt. Mostly though, snowpack aside (it there is snowpack...likely) is that you're going to be hiking 20 miles in swampy and draining conditions through high meadows and valleys. Never drying out is not fun.

After dinner, the pot goes over the stove...always. Coffee in the morning is life. I'll take a kick to the groin before I let my burner head get wet.
Phil
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 894
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:02 am
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby balzaccom » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:17 am

You are getting good advice here. I'd be worried about snow this year in June.

And that first day may be the hardest day if your hike. Booth Lake to Lewis Creek is all downhill, and won't take you a morning...
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
balzaccom
Veteran-poster
Veteran-poster
 
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Napa CA

Re: 7 Night / 8 Day Loop, Input Please!

Postby MadDiver » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:34 pm

Bighead wrote:[b] continue north in Echo Valley and follow Pack?? Trail west that runs above Lost Valley/Merced River and ties into John Muir Trail. We plan on camping prior to the John Muir intersection somewhere along this trail above Lost Valley.
.


That area burned a few years ago. The mile or so of that trail closest to the JMT is nothing but blackened trees that are just begging to blow down in a wind storm, no way I would camp there. The east end nearer Echo Creek is OK. Hike through? Sure, it's quite scenic. Sleep? Nope.
MadDiver
Very frequent poster
Very frequent poster
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:26 pm


Return to Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron