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Moderate 1 day overnight hike

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

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Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby mountainranger » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:31 pm

Any suggestions on a good place to hike given the following parameters: start the hike relatively close to parking or a bus stop; we want to hike in less than 10 miles, more like 6-8; camp near either a lake or river with great fishing for 3-4 nights; and have some decent day hike destinations. Any help is appreciated.

Having good fishing is essential, of course this is only based on the past cuz every year is different.
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Re: Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:59 pm

So I shall assume you intend to go in summer, when roads like Tioga and Glacier Point are open?

Most trailheads have some parking with bear lockers so you can clear out your car and avoid bear break ins.

Good fishing within a day's hike of the trailhead in Yosemite (or anywhere else for that matter) is not likely. But, you can attempt to catch some brook trout in Ten Lakes, at Ostrander Lake, Young Lakes, or even Saddlebag Lake/Twenty Lakes Basin, which is outside the park but there are plenty of lakes in which to attempt to catch fish. I've caught fish in all of those. Nothing huge, except for the two pound rainbow I caught at the inlet of Saddlebag Lake itself.

For 3-4 nights meeting every single one of your requirements is a stretch for all but Twenty Lakes Basin. Or you could go over to the east side and try for a permit for Little Lakes Basin instead, and explore that.

Frankly, I do fish in the backcountry but rarely in Yosemite. I have much better luck in John Muir Wilderness, Ansel Adams Wilderness, even Dinkey Lakes Wilderness small and popular as it is.
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Re: Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:19 pm

AT is right. I'd also look at Sabrina Basin, Humphreys Basin...both with plenty of lakes within an easy hike of a base camp. But those aren't in Yosemite...
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby markskor » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:56 pm

AlmostThere wrote:Good fishing within a day's hike of the trailhead in Yosemite (or anywhere else for that matter) is not likely.

Yes, stay away from Yosemite, unless...(accessible lakes in the park where 12"+ trout are indeed possible!) -
Mattie, May, Johnson, Upper Townsley, Hanging Basket, Evelyn, Ireland, the Chains, Gaylor, the Granite's, Cherry, Eleanor, Givens, Boothe, Royal Arch, McCabe, the other Johnson, Matthes, Peeler, and Saddlebag area...lots more too. All less than 10 miles, most 8 - (one day's hike in), and all can be good, if you know what you're doing.
Last edited by markskor on Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:18 pm

And how long ago were you at these lakes? I ask because some of the lakes I've been to in years past, caught some decent fish, but more recent visits the catching is fewer and farther between and the fish smaller....

Social media ruins a lot of fishing holes.

Saddlebag is also, FYI, one of the few places in the Sierra where it's possible to catch a Sierra Slam. Brook, rainbow, golden, cutthroat and Brown - rainbows and browns in Saddlebag Lake, and a mix of the others in the lakes basin in the various smaller lakes.
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Re: Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby markskor » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:26 am

AlmostThere wrote:And how long ago were you at these lakes? I ask because some of the lakes I've been to in years past, caught some decent fish, but more recent visits the catching is fewer and farther between and the fish smaller....


All lakes mentioned visited in the last 3 - 4 years. Some are great, others, not so much...but all produced worthwhile trout. Just not saying which ones are best. My post was mainly because you said avoid Yosemite and that is just not so. Again, it helps to know how to read water/ know what you are doing...something about 10% of the fishermen catching 90% of the fish.
taut lines...
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Re: Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby Phil » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:48 am

i'll tell you what, as strange and mainstream as it may seem, and even though it doesn't quite fit your distance criteria, if you go early enough in the season, you will absolutely slam fish at Upper Sunrise Lake. Every cast was hit instantly, and 12 inchers were the smaller ones...tested over multiple years within the last four or so. Parking at the trailhead, and no shortage of reasonable day hikes in the area either.

We've never taken anything bigger than about 8" out of any of the Ten Lakes, but it's a nice area to walk around in and explore.
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Re: Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby markskor » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:27 am

This is a TR, as posted on another site, HST, a few years back. I know this is not a 1-day trip as requested..just wanted to disprove the "no good fishing in Yosemite" rumor. Pardon my ramblings but that’s just how things go. Grab a TOPO and follow along!

A little prologue first: Many here spend hours planning routes, scouring maps and searching various fishing resources (books, internet forums, and Google) probing for the perfect Sierra summer trip. IMHO, much better to just linger, realizing that someone else will invariably do all the “work” and just wait to be invited along. Being good company, fun-loving, and having the ability to cook trout very well always makes possible a whole slew of intriguing backpacking invitations…maybe just lucky but even the best here always need some good company…sigh…even Mike too.

Yosemite 5-slam - 2013

Somewhere back in April, Mike, (good friend and ex-SEKI backcountry Ranger), sends me this detailed but somewhat confusing itinerary… (More of a demand really)…a 19 day trip and a serious try for the Sierra 5 slam – catching all 5 species of Yosemite trout in one continuous trip...'Bows, Brookies, Browns, Cutts, and Goldens. (Turns out that his wife Kathy actually wants to get rid of him most of all summer (who can blame her) and would feel better if someone still continent would accompany the old goat to watch out for him as he is getting somewhat old, and senile.) How could anyone refuse? July 14th finds us in front of the Tuolumne Stables, shipping out 30 pounds of gear/food/alcohol @ $5 a pound (* now $7) to Voglesang via their mule train. (FYI, both the Valley and Tuolumne Stables ship to all the HSC’s 3 times a week – Mon, Wed, and Fri and will hold a stuff sack inside any of the HSC main rooms safe…no bear can needed on the mules…$150).

Next, a quick trip to Tuolumne Wilderness office produced the required Wilderness permits needed. BTW, I had previously warned my Ranger friends there about Mike but Ranger Jen and Greg must have felt sorry for him (or just forgot) and gave him a permit anyway. FYI, We each had our own permits… (In case something happened to Mike in on the trail? Who?)…Mine said merely Tenaya Lake – Happy Isles…19 days.

It would be foolish to give a day-to-day dissertation on the first 5 days of the adventure (never my style)…suffice it to simply give out our route and you can fill in the details yourself.
Tenaya – Sunrise Lake #2 – Matthes – Nelson – Reymond – Voglesang… (A lot of X-country here). BTW, I typically fish throwing larger lures...in this case 3/8 ounce Z-Ray lures, in red - going deep.

Some items of note:
We did run cross paths with another HST member (Rosie – looking good too and doing a 30 day JMT adventure) at Sunrise HSC. Interesting that she sported a Gregory Diva 85 pack which looked a bit large - overkill... differing in size from ours – mine a size 60 and Mike’s a mere 58...interesting.
BTW, after sampling Mike’s cooking/his butchering of some simple pasta dish the week before, we made a deal – For the rest of the trip, I would do all the communal cooking if he promised not to…worked out for the best. We ate trout at least 10 nights, cooked wrapped in foil...delicious if I say so myself. Found a great addition to the way I usually cook foil-wrapped-trout : add Sun-dried tomato oil to he center of the trout, plus spices, and olive oil...and use a hot-coal fire.

He took over the bar-tending duties... in charge of Happy Hour fixings – 151, Crystal Lite, and snow…aged Gouda, Asiago cheese, and something akin to Wasabi peas each night...promptly at 5:00.

At Reymond we got into some weather - rain and blowing snow while going over Rafferty Pass and working our way back down to the main trail. FYI, since it was raining and bitter cold that day, after we hit the HSC, Mike opted for warmth, securing the next 2 nights for himself a bed in those white, canvas HSC tent cabins of Voglesang…he broke out the plastic and stayed warm while I froze outside. What a putz! Turns out he just wanted to be the youngest guy in the 4-man tent cabin…He was.
BTW, I did visit him in his cabin before dinner once and the room seriously smelled like old-man farts…More on this later.

At Voglesang HSC camp Mike had pre-arranged for 2 nights of dinners and breakfasts for both of us. Nice food…soup, salads, fresh bread, a pulled-pork dish one night, and chicken with a secret Marmot sauce the next…we ate very well…seconds on everything too…a gooey chocolate cake for dessert.

While spending those 2 nights at Voglesang, we visited/fished Evelyn, Ireland, Hanging Basket, and Upper Townsley…by the time we went over Voglesang Pass 2 days later, we had fulfilled the Brookie and Cutt requirements. Picking up our waiting food stash, packs now heavy again, we headed out down the trail and over the pass, intent to get the other 3.

The route - Bernice (alas once good in years past, now a stunted Brookie lake), then 2 nights at Lower then Upper Florence (‘Bows), X-country to pick up the high trail, past Cony Crags, down to the Lyell Fork of the Merced, and finally up... to Upper Harriet. Here big cruisin’ ‘Bows (17+”) provided our dinner. We eventually worked our way down X-country to the Isberg Triple Fork junction before rejoining the trail again. We then worked our way up towards Edna…looking for some truly bigger fish.

Before going on, it is important to tell you about Mike’s unique hiking style and a particular trait he utilizes as he goes uphill off-trail. First of all, he is an animal, a hiking beast…he just does not stop. On off-trail 1500 foot up sections, it was not unusual to do 500+ feet of steep uphill before pausing for a break – truly impressive. If you cannot keep up he regales you with sarcasm…What a buddy! What he does do is slow way down – puts it in a lower gear and just continues to keep on moving. What happens then though is that he keeps on getting slower and slower until he almost stops…You wind up getting closer and closer to him and soon enough you find your nose just behind his ass, especially on the very steep, off-trail sections…and then he lets go with clouds of horrendous flatulence.…a real rectal bugle. He then laughs and laughs. This happened at least 20 times over the course of the trip. (You would think I would eventually learn but…sigh.)

Edna was certainly the best fishing lake of this adventure, hard to get to but worth it…multiple big hits...16, 17, maybe 18 inches long with broad shoulders…we are talking some giant ‘bows here…2 + pound lunkers. I hooked into one that looked like a Salmon, running out and taking ½ of my 6-pound line before breaking me off at the reel. That reel sang for a good long while too...ah...Edna!

Down the Red Devil drainage, up over a few 1000 foot ridges, led us up to Adair – maybe a 10-mile X-country jaunt, and by the time we rejoined the trail just above Washburn a few days later we had 4 species officially caught.

Mike had pre-arranged another night of good food (and a hot shower) at the Merced HSC. Unfortunately they served Salmon (now a lil tired of fish actually) that night, but featuring delicious steak and eggs for the next morning’s breakfast. A little fly and bubble action after eating finally/ easily secured the last trout needed…FYI, many Browns are readily found at Merced Lake... and our Yosemite 5 slam was now history.

We split up company just below Merced Lake in Echo Valley, him going up to Echo Lake and me heading down following the Merced to take another art class at the Valley Art Center a few days later.
Just an epic fishing trip and a most grand Sierra adventure.
Bottom line: ~85 miles, 19 days, 5 species of trout, and too many lakes to count.
Thanks mucho Mike, anytime buddy…just ask, I will be there.
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Re: Moderate 1 day overnight hike

Postby dan » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:51 am

Postby mountainranger » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:37 am
Thanks to all that replied. The back and forth is quite humorous. It is obvious we are all sensitive and protective of our favorite natural getaways. That's awesome. If only more people were just as passionate about our incredible wilderness.

I think I have figured out our trip. We are probably hiking from Tuolumne to Glen Aulin spending 1-2 nights; then hike to May Lake spending 1-2 nights; hike and camp around Tenaya Lake for a night then head back to Tuolumne and out. So to change the subject, and hopefully not start any arguments :D, does anyone have firsthand experience with fishing and camping at these locations.

Thanks again.
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