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First trip to Yosemite | backpacking 5/31 - 6/3 | Advice?

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

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First trip to Yosemite | backpacking 5/31 - 6/3 | Advice?

Postby sandersans » Fri May 08, 2009 12:15 am

Hi everyone! First let me say this forum has been by far the best resource I have found on the web. OK, so this will be my first trip to Yosemite. Two other friends will be joining me, all in their 30s, fairly fit, and with an intermediate level of backpacking experience. I have already procured my permit entering the Yosemite Falls trailhead on 5/31 and exiting the Mirror Lake->Snow Creek trailhead on 6/3. My current plan looks like this:

Saturday May 30: drive in to Yosemite (via Tioga pass from Mammoth if open; otherwise coming around the other side). Camp in backpackers campground by North Pines.

Sunday May 31: backpack up the Upper Falls trail to Yosemite Point

Monday June 1: backpack Yosemite Point to North Dome

Tuesday June 2: backpack North Dome to Snow creek

Wednesday June 3: backpack down into the valley via Snow Creek

I have yet to find a map showing the backcountry "campgrounds" with fire rings but at this time of year I am certain we will want a fire. :-) So we will camp each night somewhere along this route where there is as little snow (or mud) as possible and fire rings. Anyone have experience with good camp spots along this route?

How does this trip sound for this time of year? It seems obvious we will run into some snow and will probably see temps between 60s during the day down to the 20s at night. Depending on the snow I am guessing we might end up sticking around between North Dome and Yosemite Point.

I would love to get some feedback on this trip and ideas of what I might want to change. I presume I am not obligated to come out the exit trailhead on my permit? Any other 3 night trips I should try and change to when I get there or if space is open?

Thanks in advance for everyone's help. I can't wait to see Yosemite in person!

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Postby john » Fri May 08, 2009 8:31 am

Hey there,
I think you'll be pretty happy with your trip. Those spots are the best views of half dome in the park. Here are my recomendations:

Yosemite Falls...make sure to find the overlook at the top of the falls. You have to hike down the creek and find a overlook with an handrail. My buddy made the hike to the top of the falls and never knew or found the overlook...what a shame!

North Dome...I've only dayhiked here so I'm not to sure about the camping. Very cool spot with Unbelievable view of Half Dome.

Snow Creek...One of my favorite campspots. There is a spot just before the creek really starts to plunge down, that has a large pool to swim in and a great campsite. Make sure to explore the area before deciding on a campsite. We made this mistake our first time here, and ended up moving camp 3 times when we kept finding better spots.

You won't find any maps that show backcountry campsites. If you want to find a fire ring look for prime spots near water. They are not hard to find. Just look around for the best spot to set up camp and see if there is a fire ring, there usually is (people tend to think alike).

Have fun!
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Postby bill-e-g » Mon May 11, 2009 6:55 am

I would just stick with your plan. But you can change the exit
point or date as you see fit. It's on the entry date and trailhead that
needs to be adhered to.
As far as your plan itself.. it's very good. You should be able to
do all the with time to enjoy yourselves..
You are not allowed to camp at Yosemite Point. If you have the
National Geographic Yosemite map it shows you where you can camp.
At North Dome there are fire rings after you come down onto the
dome in the woods a bit (west of the trail).
For Yose Falls... after you spend alot of time at the falls you'll cross
the bridge.. I'd start looking from there... don't start going up to
the point ... find a spot... set up... then go up to the Point and enjoy it.

You shouldn't have to worry about snow too much then... and the
temps will be above freezing... no way in the 20's. It may feel like it...
but no way... I use 30 bag from Memorial to October.

Have fun...
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