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Water sources (and camping) hiking in from Tenaya Lake

Discussion about hiking to the top of Half Dome, planning the trip, and when the Half Dome cables are installed in Spring or removed in Fall.

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Water sources (and camping) hiking in from Tenaya Lake

Postby reesnomad » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:09 pm

Hello, hoping that somebody can answer a question so we don't perish out there next week. We are doing something unusual to hike Half Dome.... my wife and I are backpacking in from Tenaya Lake with our 4-year old son. That means that she carries him, and I carry everything else. We have wilderness permits to enter at the Sunrise TH from Tenaya Lake on Monday, Aug 25th. We figure it will take us 2 x days to hike in the 9.3 miles to camp at the junction of the Clouds Rest Trail and the JMT. We've heard that there is good camping there near Sunrise Creek. From that camp, on Wednesday morning, my wife and I will take turns trail-running up to the top of HD and caring for our son. Yes, we're nuts.

I want to be sure that we have water sources and nearby camping for both our first night along the way, say about a point 4-6 miles in, and also get confirmation from somebody that we'll have camping and a water source at the trail junction I mentioned nearby Sunrise Creek. Can anybody inform me about what we can expect out there at this time of year?

I can only carry so much water for 3 x people for drinking and food (and dish cleaning.) If we don't have a water supply (creek) our first night, we're going to be in deep doo doo. So, any help we can get from anyone to provide knowledge of this trail we'll be on will be most helpful!

Thanks! Rich Williams
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Re: Water sources (and camping) hiking in from Tenaya Lake

Postby dan » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:59 pm

Yes, there's good camping at CRT/JMT junction. Shady, next to Sunrise Creek, not crowded. Bears are there, and mosquitoes may be too if you camp too close to the creek.

As for water east of Clouds Rest, see these threads:
viewtopic.php?t=431
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=589
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Re: Water sources (and camping) hiking in from Tenaya Lake

Postby reesnomad » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:28 am

dan wrote:Yes, there's good camping at CRT/JMT junction. Shady, next to Sunrise Creek, not crowded. Bears are there, and mosquitoes may be too if you camp too close to the creek.

As for water east of Clouds Rest, see these threads:
viewtopic.php?t=431
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=589


Hey Dan, thanks! We're not actually taking the Clouds Rest route, but the eastern route that meets up with the JMT, then we'll be on the JMT heading southwest till we get to the JMT/Clouds Rest junction. On the map there seems to be a tributary to Sunrise Creek that we could draw water from (if it's flowing). Also, on the map, at approx 4-miles in from Tenaya Lake, there is a creek indicated that is a tributary to Tenaya Creek. Would you know if there is going to be water at that point (it would be a good stopping point for us for the first night.) If not, then we may just either have to go our first night at Sunrise Lakes, or go all the way on the first day to Sunrise Creek. Again, thanks!
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Re: Water sources (and camping) hiking in from Tenaya Lake

Postby dan » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:33 am

I think you're heading south from Tenaya Lake past Sunrise Lakes to JMT. You're still going on the trail heading to Clouds Rest (from the east) until you hit a trail junction that splits (one way to west to CR, the other way south to the JMT). The pond mentioned in the threads above are on that portion of the trail before this junction.

Also, there's water at Sunrise Lakes, of course. And Sunrise Creek once you hit the JMT (the JMT follows Sunrise Creek). But to answer your question, I don't remember the Tenaya Creek tributary, which is slightly further than the pond.

Anyone else feel free to chime in.
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Re: Water sources (and camping) hiking in from Tenaya Lake

Postby reesnomad » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:42 pm

dan wrote:I think you're heading south from Tenaya Lake past Sunrise Lakes to JMT. You're still going on the trail heading to Clouds Rest (from the east) until you hit a trail junction that splits (one way to west to CR, the other way south to the JMT). The pond mentioned in the threads above are on that portion of the trail before this junction.

Also, there's water at Sunrise Lakes, of course. And Sunrise Creek once you hit the JMT (the JMT follows Sunrise Creek). But to answer your question, I don't remember the Tenaya Creek tributary, which is slightly further than the pond.

Anyone else feel free to chime in.


Hey Dan:

Once again, thanks! I think that once we top out near Sunrise Lakes we'll take stock of our stamina and decide whether to overnight at Sunrise Lakes or push on to Sunrise Creek (with the possibility that we might find another water source along the way where we can set up camp instead of heading all the way to Sunrise Creek.) It seems that the "ponds" may not be a reliable water source in this dry of a year, plus they probably have a lot of mossies (seems the type of place!) We'll have a pump, but I am loathe to draw from swamps!

Best wishes to you. Rich
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