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[Yosemite]

TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

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

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TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby MNHikerMom » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:45 pm

We are making our first trip to Yosemite and have a permit to start our trip on August 1st from Rafferty Creek to Vogelsang. Our plan had been to go to Merced Lake after Volgelsang via Lewis Creek, back to Volgelsang via Fletcher Creek, and then over to Lyell Canyon and exiting via Lyell Canyon. Four nights, with plenty of time for side trips to the various lakes in the area.

No idea if this route makes sense now with the snow/snowmelt. Any thoughts?
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby Phil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:00 pm

That route makes absolute sense, and you should be going at just about the perfect time. Enjoy yourselves!
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby ODS » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:17 pm

Emeric Lake is a nice 1st night camp spot out of TM on that route. Beautiful sunset view.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby balzaccom » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:55 pm

Yep--this trip is a classic. If you want to add just a few miles, you can also find some better campsites. Instead of Emeric, go over Vogelsang pass and camp at Bernice Like, up above Lewis Creek. And instead of camping with the crowds are Merced Lake, head upstream to Washburn, which is quieter.
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby Justin-T » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:56 pm

Glad to see all the positive responses, we're planning almost the identical trip starting August 3! Current water flow is about a month behind (i.e.: discharge level at Happy Isles is where it normally would be for June 11 on an average year) but is dropping steadily.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby Phil » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:59 am

The only thing I would add in the way of thoughts on your itinerary is that it sounds like you're focusing too much on doing the basic HSC route, ie: Vogelsang>Merced Lake. As camping destinations, you'll find both to be maybe a bit too structured and likely crowded. Since you're wanting to explore some of the lakes as side trips, why not try to build them into your camping plans and get a more private and quality "wilderness experience" ?

If you get up to Tuolumne Pass and find yourselves fried, by all means, do what you have to do and go up to the backpackers' area at Vogelsang, but know that it's not necessarily the nicest option. I would totally agree with Balzaccom that Bernice is well worth the extra miles and time if the higher Lewis Creek Trail is first on the agenda as your route down the hill. If you want to shorten the miles on that first day, consider rerouting along the Fletcher Creek Trail and camping at the tarns along the trail. Remember, camping is prohibited at Boothe Lake. If you have it in you to keep going, instead of Emeric Lake, head on to Babcock Lake. And instead of Merced Lake, again, I agree with Balzaccom, camp at Washburn.

Either way you come or go, upper trail along Lewis Creek, or lower trail along Fletcher Creek, for great camping options, Bernice, Babcock, Washburn, or even in the area where Florence and Lewis Creeks converge are the names to keep in mind as some of the best places you'll find.

And if there's any way at all that you can add an extra night or find yourselves needing/wanting to stop on the way down to Lyell Canyon on the way out, consider checking out Ireland Lake or Ireland Creek where it meets the Tuolumne River/JMT for that final night.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:57 am

Don't forget the DEET, they'll probably still be out. They had a delayed start as well.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby Phil » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:24 am

Always. Bottle of DEET and a headnet...best $8 worth of trip insurance you'll ever spend.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby Dave_Ayers » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:49 am

Phil wrote:... camping is prohibited at Boothe Lake. ...


I'd appreciate any pointer to any official park pronouncement on that as it's the first I've heard of it. Thanks.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:03 am

Usually there is a no camping zone around a High Sierra Camp -- Boothe would fall into that zone if it were a perfect circle. The Superintendent Compendium says no, it's outside the zone. There's a map in the Compendium that shows that.

Image
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby Phil » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:05 pm

Dave_Ayers wrote:I'd appreciate any pointer to any official park pronouncement on that as it's the first I've heard of it. T


I have no source for that except that's what I've been told for years when picking up my permits, and after many permits, by many rangers. Always, "No camping at Boothe." The being within a mile of the HSC never even dawned on me. I just assumed it was an adverse ecological impact thing with it being too easy a location for the magnitudes of people that would opt for it instead of Vogelsang. Been there, wished I could've camped there, but always try to stay within the rules, so just said, "Okay, no camping at Boothe Lake, check, I can live with that."

How many people have you ever heard say they've camped there? None that I've ever heard of, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:09 pm

Google Boothe Lake - there's a kajillion blogs about people camping there. Thing is, I have to wonder why the compendium says something different.

Then again -- no one seems to know that rule about arriving in the park by bus entitling you to a night in the backpacker camp without a wilderness permit. I've heard of rangers throwing people out of the backpacker camp because they didn't read the compendium... and I've also heard park staff inform people (even encourage them) that they can carry bear spray, and that's stated right on the website as illegal. Office rangers often contradict what I know to be the rules, but it's the backcountry rangers I worry about, and they always seem to know what's what.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby Phil » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:34 pm

What's strange is that Vogelsang is the only HSC that has a restricted zone that isn't a perfect circle. It seems to take into account both Boothe and the tarns on the Fletcher Creek Trail. Since the typical radius is all about camping restrictions, it must be good to go. I guess we'll let the compendium be the guide, but the current version isn't what I ever remember seeing of it in the past, when it was a circle. You know I'm now going to call and get to the bottom of this. But it is good to know where I can go and lodge protests about the whole thing now that 1st Amendment Zones have been clearly established with the new 2017 edition.

And yes, the person wearing the badge and the backpack is the final word for me...one ranger writes me a permit, the other writes me a ticket.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby Phil » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:35 am

I searched for "Is camping allowed at Boothe Lake" and this result came up:

https://books.google.com/books?id=Z4fSi ... b2TMcBl2hI

No reason given, but Jeff Schaffer is usually a pretty reliable source for trail info. Things might have changed since the book was published, and people break the rules all the time, so I suppose that the only way to find out with absolute certainty is to call the park wilderness office and ask.
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Re: TM to Volgelsang on Aug. 1 or New Route Needed?

Postby bbmq » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:31 pm

I have camped there several times and I always had the company of other backpackers nearby. I can even give you a recommendation for a site if it's a very windy night.
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