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[Yosemite]

First time in Yosemite this weekend

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

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First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby Saywhat » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:32 am

Hey all,

I'm planning to visit Yosemite with a friend for the first time. We are planning to leave San Jose at 5:30-6:00 am on Saturday morning, so we should arrive to the park around 10am on Saturday. We will stay the night in El Portal, hike again on Sunday and hit the road back to San Jose on Sunday evening.

Both of us are in a pretty good shape. What would you recommend us to do? I read that usually Saturdays are busier the Sundays, so i thought we should do The Panorama Trail on Sunday (Glacier Point to Mist falls) and to do a less popular hike on Saturday (maybe from Tenaya lake to Cloud rest?)?

I would appreciate any tip/suggestions that you may have,

Thank you

Shai
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:44 am

If you check you'll see the pass is still closed, so you are not going to Teneya Lake.

Also, it is incredibly likely that you will sit in traffic for an hour or two at the gate -- the lines have been miles long.

If you want to drive into the park without delay you should plan to get there before 6 am. To get around once in the park, leave the car in the day use parking at the village and take shuttles - it's common to sit in traffic on the valley floor for hours as well in the afternoons.

There have been rockslides intermittently closing the 140 in the past few weeks. Be careful and look out for falling debris.

Hike whatever you like, Upper Yosemite Falls is spectacular. But any of the trails are going to be crowded, sometimes to the point of dangerously crowded as the Mist Trail can be midafternoon.

Stay well away from the water's edge, streams and rivers are incredibly dangerous right now.
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby Saywhat » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:22 pm

Thank you for your prompt reply! In order arrive before 6am, we need to leave SJ at 2am, and unfortunately it's not an option. If we add one or two hours from the gate to the valley, we won't be able to start hiking before noon. Any recommendation where to go this day? on Sunday we will wake up early and do the panorama trail.
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:44 pm

Panorama trail in the afternoon - the forecast in the valley is 80F and that trail is exposed to full sun. It will feel like it's hotter than that.

Think about how that will feel. Very, very hot. Take lots of water and sunscreen.

That's the kind of temperatures that shady trails are made for... open granite and sun lead to heat exhaustion. The Four Mile trail would be a shadier choice, as would the nice level trail around the valley floor. Or something going up to the base of Bridalveil or Yosemite falls where you can get a cool shower....

Don't forget mosquito stuff, they'll be out and biting with all the standing water and the above freezing temps.
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby Saywhat » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:59 pm

We will do the Panorama trail on Sunday early morning and pay the $25 for the bus (mostly downhill and includes the Mist trail).

For Saturday I'm thinking of Yosemite Valley Loop Trail, after the long drive from San Jose plus the traffic, we might want to take it easy.

Any suggestions?

Thank you,

Shai
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby Dave_Ayers » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:28 pm

Hiking in the Meadow for a short while is OK. But since it's your first visit, I'd spend time seeing the classic sights: Bridalveil Falls; Yosemite Falls; Mirror Lake; Valley View; etc. All these are short, flat, and easy walks. For a bit more, hike past Mirror Lake into the canyon to the bridge and loop back. Or take the steep climb up to Columbia Rock and Oh My Gosh Point on the Yosemite Falls trail. It'll be hot, but with a forecast high of 89F it should not be excessive, especially in the morning or evening.

Also if you have some daylight left on Sunday, consider leaving via 120 and going to Tuolumne Grove if you've not seen Giant Sequoias before.

The Valley hiking map is at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... hikes1.pdf, you'll want to check that out and maybe print it to take along.
Last edited by Dave_Ayers on Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby marjolijn » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:29 pm

Hi,
I was in Yosemite last week (Su-Wed) so I thought I'd chime in.

We arrived late in the day on Sunday without any traffic, but it is a pain getting in on 'regular' hours, especially before noon, so I definitely second the advice to get there early. Maybe you could look into leaving the bay area on Friday and driving to the central valley (relatively cheap motels anyway). That way, if you get going around 5am on Saturday, you might avoid a long wait at the gate. We drove out of the valley Sunday night during sunset, again no traffic. On Monday, we were back in at 6am, no traffic.
Traffic on the valley floor was bad between say 10am and 5pm. Ironically, the best time to be out hiking and enjoying the valley in this weather (we had temps of 95-100F) was before 10am and after 4pm. So: get there early, get a parking spot, use the shuttles, and leave the valley after the early evening rush.

Hiking: we did panorama trail from happy isles to glacier point in something like 7 hours on Wednesday. We started at 7:30 to avoid the heat and the crowds going up mist trail. The trail was wet, we got soaked climbing up to nevada fall, but it never felt dangerous - just keep focused and be well aware that a slip anywhere could be fatal. Also: I wouldn't go down mist trail - if you're doing the hike in the opposite direction, it's a lot safer to take the JMT down.
At Illouette we saw people being careless on the granite by the stream. Please don't go near the water and the slick rocks, it looks tempting but it's very dangerous.
We got to glacier point around 2pm. If you do the hike in this direction, you can finish with icecream and a cold drink ;) We hiked down to the valley for a long dayhike but I wouldn't recommend it. My feet and knees weren't happy with the endless descent - I'll take climbing over descending any day... It should be easy enough to find a ride down.
Make sure you've got sun protection and enough water. For us, the heat wasn't an issue, but we did start early, and I wore long sleeves and soaked my cap and head at every trickle I saw. Also, we're both pretty experienced (if slow) hikers and backpackers, although this was our first long hike of the season.

On our other days we walked around the valley, went to Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls and visited mirror lake. I agree with Dave: you really can't go wrong on the valley floor and it is a must if you want to see yosemite. It's also a nice contrast to be on the valley floor looking up one day, and up on the rim looking down the next. Tioga Rd is going to be open this weekend, but it's still a long drive up there and the trail will be wet and possibly flooded. Check the current conditions page on the yosemite website, and/or ask at the ranger station. Last week I checked and was told that you'd need dependable navigation skills because the trail was covered in snow.

Be safe and have fun out there!
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby woudloper » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:59 pm

You people are talking about a lot of traffic jam in the Valley in between 10 am & 4 pm. But what can I understand about traffic jam? How many minutes / hours should I expect to lose on traffic jam in the Valley? (we will arrive in Yosemite the 6th of July, we drive down from San Francisco, so I expect us to be in Yosemite around noon.
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby woudloper » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:01 pm

By the way: we would like to see some big trees in the park and we will probably try to go to Merced Grove or Tuolumne Grove as Mariposa Grove is closed.

Any recommendations on Merced Grove or Tuolumne Grove? It seems Merced Grove is the more easy accesible and we will see trees quicker?
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:36 pm

woudloper wrote:You people are talking about a lot of traffic jam in the Valley in between 10 am & 4 pm. But what can I understand about traffic jam? How many minutes / hours should I expect to lose on traffic jam in the Valley? (we will arrive in Yosemite the 6th of July, we drive down from San Francisco, so I expect us to be in Yosemite around noon.


I once sat in afternoon traffic between Half Dome/Curry Village and Yosemite Village for three hours. They are about two miles apart, maybe a little less. But it is the only way to leave Yosemite, to be on that loop going that direction, no other road or detour available, so we were STUCK. It can stay that way for a long, long time. I don't know if it will take you an hour, or four hours, that varies a lot. But whatever I plan in Yosemite (which is not much at all especially on holidays which make it 100 times worse) I make plans to leave the park after 6 pm, well after dark if possible, and arrive before 6 am, before the morning lines form at the gates to make me sit there for an hour or more.

No exaggeration.... This is why they will be instituting a pilot program where you can reserve parking before you come to the park. There are more cars than there are parking spaces, and people are all trying to drive around.
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Re: First time in Yosemite this weekend

Postby Dave_Ayers » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:09 pm

woudloper wrote:...
Any recommendations on Merced Grove or Tuolumne Grove? It seems Merced Grove is the more easy accesible and we will see trees quicker?


There are short descriptions at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... agrove.htm . The hike is about the same for each with Merced being a little longer. I find the Tuolumne Grove to be more impressive and extensive. But Tuolumne Grove also has a lot more visitors. If you prefer solitude, Merced would be better.

Neither are as impressive as Calaveras Big Trees on hwy 4,but both are definitely worth a visit, especially if you not seen the Giants before.
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