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[Yosemite]

Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

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

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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:46 pm

Today, with the roadwork being done in the valley, it took someone two hours to drive from the hotel in the valley to el portal. That normally takes more like half an hour, thanks to pedestrians and slowbies rubbernecking....
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby ergalthema » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:57 pm

Phil wrote:That's a lot of time in the saddle. More like a mission than a vacation. Why 108 and coming in from the east when you're already west?


Because I'm trying to see as much of the park as I can, considering I might never be back. I've driven across the country like six times. I'll drive four hours to see a band and come back the same night. I like driving. I also like hiking, and would like to work in a little. But it seems like I'd be missing a lot if I just hiked one area the whole time.
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:00 pm

ergalthema wrote:
Phil wrote:That's a lot of time in the saddle. More like a mission than a vacation. Why 108 and coming in from the east when you're already west?


Because I'm trying to see as much of the park as I can, considering I might never be back. I've driven across the country like six times. I'll drive four hours to see a band and come back the same night. I like driving. I also like hiking, and would like to work in a little. But it seems like I'd be missing a lot if I just hiked one area the whole time.



You'll be missing a lot by driving all that time. People try to see too much too fast like that all the time. Pick a park and stay. You won't regret it.
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby ergalthema » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:07 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
ergalthema wrote:
Phil wrote:That's a lot of time in the saddle. More like a mission than a vacation. Why 108 and coming in from the east when you're already west?


Because I'm trying to see as much of the park as I can, considering I might never be back. I've driven across the country like six times. I'll drive four hours to see a band and come back the same night. I like driving. I also like hiking, and would like to work in a little. But it seems like I'd be missing a lot if I just hiked one area the whole time.



You'll be missing a lot by driving all that time. People try to see too much too fast like that all the time. Pick a park and stay. You won't regret it.


I'll consider that, but it's not really how I've ever enjoyed travelling. Even when I lived in Seattle, I went out every other weekend for day hikes or overnight backpacking. I wanted to see as many different locations as possible. I have no desire to stay in the same campsite more than one night. I drove through the Canadian Rockies, stopping to hike a few hours here and there, never staying put very long. All wonderful experiences.
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby Phil » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:44 pm

Ah, wanderlust. I completely understand. But, when you consider what you'll "see", here's a statistic: Of the over 4 million people that visit Yosemite every year, only about 1% actually go out into the high country and "see" Yosemite. There's a lot to be said about experiencing new things...lots of new things, but quantity is never a substitute for quality. It's nice to be able to know a place, not just say, "Oh yeah, I've been there." It's like having a 2 hour layover in Shanghai and saying you've experienced China.

You sound like you'll be busy, but happy in your element. Have a fantastic adventure. Drive safely.
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:04 am

You will barely touch Sequoia - the best parts are a day or more of walking from the road. It's a backpacking park. Yosemite has more to offer than lines of tourists as well. Have fun...
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby ergalthema » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:15 am

AlmostThere wrote:You will barely touch Sequoia - the best parts are a day or more of walking from the road. It's a backpacking park. Yosemite has more to offer than lines of tourists as well. Have fun...


Someone else told me the opposite - see the big trees and then move on. When I Google the park, all the pics look basically the same - big trees.

Phil wrote:It's nice to be able to know a place, not just say, "Oh yeah, I've been there." It's like having a 2 hour layover in Shanghai and saying you've experienced China.


But what you're saying is the equivalent of spending 3 days in Shanghai and saying you've experienced China. That's not quite right either. I'm trying to find a compromise that feels right to me. In the Canadian Rockies, I'm so glad that I saw Alberta and Banff. I could have stayed in one or the other, but considering I might never be back, I'm so glad that I saw as much as I did. Actually, the full day I spent hiking in the same area seems like it could have been better spent broken up into two smaller hikes. If anything, I regret staying in the same place so long. There was an awesome view of Peyto Lake, maybe a mile or two from the road. I stayed there for a couple hours, soaking it in, watching the clouds change and the sun move a little. It was probably my favorite spot of that trip. But there was so much beautiful awesomeness out there, I was ready to move on and see a different section.

I've been on mutiple-day backpacking trips. They're great. But if I'm only going to be in a part of the country once in my life, I'd rather split it up and see more variety. I just know that's what I like.

I do hope to find a hike that takes me out into a place significantly different from the roadsides in Yosemite. That's a big reason I am posting around and researching. Clouds Rest seems popular, but I'd spend most of my available time there - and the reward is probably not worth it to me (I don't like crowded hikes, I'm not sure how much different the views are from smaller hikes, etc.). I'm sure it's amazing, but I'm wondering if there isn't an area that's almost as amazing, that's less crowded, and maybe only a 5 mile hike (oppsed to 15 miles or whatever Clouds Rest is).

I do appreciate the opinions - it's part of my reason for posting.

I'm still having trouble understading about all the "gates" that were previously mentioned. Are they just gates that sometimes close the roads, and they were mentioned just to mark the locations? Or are they a special situation where something happens, like people have to stop and show their pass or something?
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:50 am

"See the big trees."

OH BOY. There is so much more out there than big trees.... The people you talk to are ignorant. You literally do not know what you are missing... but that's okay. I'm sure you'll do fine.

Just a taste of what you're missing before you drive. Things nowhere near a road...

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm3BV1Pt
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby Phil » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:56 am

The gates are entrances to the lands of the National Park. Also called entrance stations. There are four of them, El Portal, Wawona, Tioga Pass, Big Oak Flat, basically located at the cardinal directions. Yes, they can close the road with physical "gates", if need be. They're usually staffed by rangers most hours of the day. You pay your entrance fees or show your pass, drive through, Voila, you're in the park.

You're presenting a conundrum. The reason the crowds you don't like (none of us do) are present is because the hikes/destinations are either very close and easy, or they're so spectacular, in most people's opinions, that they put it the extra effort to get there. That's the nature of the beast. Sorry. Stay close, deal with crowds. Go far, sometimes see nobody for days. Unfortunately, with all the driving you'll be doing, the majority of the time you'll spend will be fighting with people on the road that are flustered and already wishing there were somewhere else. But the thing is, a lot of them will be going to exactly where you are. They see what you enjoy as nothing more than a necessary evil...a means to an end.

If you want a quintessential day hike that should be about within your 5 hour limit, go up to Upper Cathedral Lake just outside of Tuolumne Meadows. Enjoy it for an hour or so, move on, sit behind a few RVs for 40 miles, then get to your campground at Crane Flat and deal with more crowds. Try to remember that, even with having just hiked to a lovely spot, you barely scratched the surface, and you aint seen nothing yet. To be fair, in addition to trees, there are rocks...lots of rocks.
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby ergalthema » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:19 am

AlmostThere wrote:"See the big trees."

OH BOY. There is so much more out there than big trees.... The people you talk to are ignorant. You literally do not know what you are missing... but that's okay. I'm sure you'll do fine.

Just a taste of what you're missing before you drive. Things nowhere near a road...

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm3BV1Pt


I think their point was that they recommended seeing the trees in Sequoia and focusing more of my hiking time around Yosemite.

Phil wrote:The gates are entrances to the lands of the National Park. Also called entrance stations. There are four of them, El Portal, Wawona, Tioga Pass, Big Oak Flat, basically located at the cardinal directions. Yes, they can close the road with physical "gates", if need be. They're usually staffed by rangers most hours of the day. You pay your entrance fees or show your pass, drive through, Voila, you're in the park.

You're presenting a conundrum. The reason the crowds you don't like (none of us do) are present is because the hikes/destinations are either very close and easy, or they're so spectacular, in most people's opinions, that they put it the extra effort to get there. That's the nature of the beast. Sorry. Stay close, deal with crowds. Go far, sometimes see nobody for days. Unfortunately, with all the driving you'll be doing, the majority of the time you'll spend will be fighting with people on the road that are flustered and already wishing there were somewhere else. But the thing is, a lot of them will be going to exactly where you are. They see what you enjoy as nothing more than a necessary evil...a means to an end.

If you want a quintessential day hike that should be about within your 5 hour limit, go up to Upper Cathedral Lake just outside of Tuolumne Meadows. Enjoy it for an hour or so, move on, sit behind a few RVs for 40 miles, then get to your campground at Crane Flat and deal with more crowds. Try to remember that, even with having just hiked to a lovely spot, you barely scratched the surface, and you aint seen nothing yet. To be fair, in addition to trees, there are rocks...lots of rocks.


I really appreciate the info about the gates and Upper Cathedral Lake (a place that I was considering, so that recommendation helps). However, the complaints about driving are starting to seem a bit extreme.

Phil wrote:the majority of the time you'll spend will be fighting with people on the road that are flustered and already wishing there were somewhere else.


I mean, that's a lot of projection. I don't get frustrated and "fight" traffic. I've left LA during rush hour on Friday. Sure, the interstate stood still for a while. I travel a lot and sometimes accidents close the road for a while. I turn on some music and air conditioning and I'm fine.

I've hiked all over the Cascades and Olympics, and a bit of the Canadian Rockies (a lot of the Smokies and Blue Ridge Appalachians as well). I'm sure Yosemite is great, but I have yet to see pictures that are any more epic than other places I've been. So, when you say things like "you barely scratched the surface, and you aint seen nothing yet", it kind of sounds like you're talking down to me - like I'll never know the REAL Yosemite that you know. It seems unnecessary.

Again, you've also provided a lot of great info, and I really appreciate it!
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby Phil » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:33 am

To each their own. Driving is a compact between people operating machines, not a vacuum. Just like with everything, it's about what you make it.

From Point A, is Point B the destination, or merely a stop along the way to Points C and D? I hate old idioms, but "take the time to smell the roses". There are places where that's more fitting and worthwhile than others.

Enjoy your trip.
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Re: Possibly my only trip to Yosemite - help with planning?

Postby ergalthema » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:22 am

Phil wrote:From Point A, is Point B the destination, or merely a stop along the way to Points C and D? I hate old idioms, but "take the time to smell the roses".


But it's also "a journey, not a destination". :D :wink:

I get where your'e coming from! Thanks, again.
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