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[Yosemite]

Camping at Sunrise Lakes

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

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Camping at Sunrise Lakes

Postby holly » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:16 pm

Does anyone know which lake is most scenic and or possibly which one might have fewer people there? I'm going to camp at one of the lakes then hike clouds rest the next day but am open to suggestion on any exact location.
Thanks in advance!!!

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Sunrise Lakes

Postby adrianhoff » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:21 am

I assume you are leaving the Sunrise Camp, hiking towards the Clouds Rest trail. If you’re coming in from Tenaya Lake, everything is reversed.

The first lake is the largest. I didn’t camp there, but from the trail I could see several tents on the opposite shore. Most, if not all, were workers doing trail maintenance and repairs to the HS Camp. I don’t think it’s normally that crowded.

The second lake is the most secluded. I didn’t spend any time the lake. But from the trail I saw no tents.

The third is supposedly the most popular. Probably because it’s closest to the trailhead. The night I spent there, I saw two backpackers and a guy flyfishing. They were nowhere near my campsite.

Whichever lake you choose, you’ll be taking the Sunrise trail towards Tenaya Lake, until it intersects the Clouds Rest trail. That intersection resembles a four-way stop, with signage telling you where three of the trails go. Take the forth, unsigned trail. You’ll only have to go about 75 yards out of your way (keep going until it dead-ends). You’ll be rewarded with one of the best views of Yosemite Valley available anywhere in the park.
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Postby holly » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:51 am

Thanks so much!! I definitely will check that trail out. We are coming from the Tenaya Lake, and based on your description I think we'll stay at the 2nd sunrise lake (most remote.) i know the HSC is supposed to be crowded, but i am hoping that by camping a bit away from each HSC we can find some solitude as well.
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Postby john » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:13 pm

I would defintely recommend the second lake as it has the best campsite (on the northwest side of the lake). If you plan to fish, don't waste your time at this lake though, it's now fishless. The lake closest to the High Camp has lots of big brook trout in it.

The roundtrip hike to Clouds rest is not short (nor to long) but rewards you with one of the best reasons we all love Yosemite!
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Postby Backpackerproject » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:07 am

Hello everybody:
We need to know if there are fire rings at Sunrise lakes and mainly what is the average temperature there in June ( we could check the temperature in the valley, but not there and our sleeping bags are 40F, perhaps we need to buy better gear).

Can we set up camp during the day? (this way we could hike to Clouds Rest with light gear)

Our first intention is to set up camp there on our way to Clouds Rest, but if you know a better place between Clouds Rest and Tenaya we would appreciate any tips.

Thank you!
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Postby AlmostThere » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:47 am

Backpackerproject, you could set up camp any time you like.

There are probably fire rings - I'd say definitely but I have not camped at Sunrise Lakes. Most places near popular lakes are littered with heavily used campsites.

You would be cold in an accurately rated 40 degree sleeping bag at that elevation and in spring, and most sleeping bags aren't that accurately rated... I (and a number of folks I know) carry 20 degree bags for three season camping in the Sierras for that reason. It sort of depends on your personal preferences too, but it's easier to unzip a bag than it is to make it warmer. You might rent a bag if you don't want to buy one, REI and similar outdoor stores often rent gear.

Here's climate data for the park - http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/climate.htm
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Postby Backpackerproject » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:30 am

Thank you AlmostThere! I really appreciate this info ( that´s all I wanted to know). Counting the days to our first backpacking trip...
This forum is excellent!

Regards.
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Postby adrianhoff » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:05 am

Instead of Yosemite Valley, I use Weather.com's Badger Pass forecast. It's nearly 8,000 feet (Sunrise is a bit above 9,000). Nights I've spent at Sunrise have generally run around eight degrees below the predicted overnight lows for Badger Pass. I'd plan on dressing real warm at night with a 40 degree bag. Two years ago in mid-July I woke to a thick layer of frost on my tent. http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreati ... /209001:11
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Postby Enzian » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:43 pm

A follow-up to backpackerproject's question:

Are there other good campsites between the Teneya trailhead and Cloud's Rest, beside the lakes? I see on the map that the trail crosses a creek after the junction to Sunrise (staying on the Cloud's Rest trail). Would that be reliable water in early August? Or would the lakes provide better camping oportunities?

Thanks for your help.
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Postby Riley » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:47 pm

still curious about this same question:

"Are there other good campsites between the Teneya trailhead and Cloud's Rest, beside the lakes? I see on the map that the trail crosses a creek after the junction to Sunrise (staying on the Cloud's Rest trail). Would that be reliable water in early August? Or would the lakes provide better camping oportunities?"
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Postby dan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:18 pm

Riley wrote:"Are there other good campsites between the Teneya trailhead and Cloud's Rest, beside the lakes? I see on the map that the trail crosses a creek after the junction to Sunrise (staying on the Cloud's Rest trail). Would that be reliable water in early August? Or would the lakes provide better camping oportunities?"


There are two water sources on the trail after Tenaya Lake trailhead and Cloud's Rest (the peak):

1) One is a campsite near two small ponds just to the north of the CR Trail. The water is sometimes stale and I wouldn't drink it.

2) After heading up Cloud's Rest part way is an intermittent stream with a campsite for 1 tent. The water is great and was fine in late July. By August it might be gone. So, it depends on how wet the year is, I guess. Sorry I can't give a definitive answer but this one is iffey.

Edit: See also this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=589
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Postby bill-e-g » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:58 pm

Here's the pond from Aug 27, 2010:
Image

I'll let you pass judgement.

The stream always has water in it...
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June...

Postby cjoz » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:02 am

We went mid June last year and it got chilly at night. Agree 40F bag no good. Also check on the snow melt, b/c the area was still covered when we went and not too many places to camp. We camped at the first lake we came to (also coming from Tenaya Lake) and ran into some dayhikers that had tried hiking out past the 2nd/3rd lakes and they said it was snowed in and fairly impassable. There were some open areas w/ fire rings.
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where is that pond exactly??

Postby Riley » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:32 pm

bill-e-g , is that one of the Sunrise Lakes or is it a pond further south on the CR trail?

thanks for posting the pic!
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Re: where is that pond exactly??

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:54 am

Riley wrote:bill-e-g , is that one of the Sunrise Lakes or is it a pond further south on the CR trail?

thanks for posting the pic!


that's the pond. It was lower when I saw it, but I recognize it...
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