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[Yosemite]

First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:47 pm

Okay, sorry for the delay in responding, but here we go.

I have to start out by letting you know that on people's first visits to Yosemite we all generally lean towards recommending more of a day hiking, touristy trip. There is a lot to see and do, and your preferred itinerary does include a strong desire to see a lot of sights that fit into this nicely. You wouldn't be disappointed with it, and realistically, it'll maximize your experience by covering much more territory than you otherwise would with a backpack on, in the time you have...it takes years to fully explore the park. Beyond the Valley itself, which is best seen by using the shuttle system, there's always Glacier Point/Sentinel Dome and places Like Tuolumne Meadows, both of which you pretty much have to drive to just for the sake of time and convenience. You'll get to the park and see what I mean, and then you can decide from there what you think best. This kind of trip covers everything you wanted to see and do, besides Half Dome and Cloud's Rest, although, there's no shortage of people that day hike to both from the Valley floor. With anything and everything, always keep in mind that it's going to be very hot, it'll be very crowded, unforeseen delays will be inevitable, traffic usually horrible, and you need to use your time wisely and productively with all these things considered. Hurrying up is not always an option, and it's not how it usually goes, or what's going to give you the best time.

That said, let's begin:

You'll fly in Sunday afternoon. Realistically, figure on about 5-6 hours to go from SFO to your hotel in El Portal. That's going to put you into the park around maybe 8-9pm by the time you go through all the motions. Get your gear together and sorted that night, because Monday is going to be a hard and busy day. You will not be getting your wilderness permits on Sunday, period, so you'll have to do it no earlier than 8am (when the office opens), and this is done at the Valley Visitor's Center in the Village; park the car, grab your stuff, then catch the shuttle from where you park to there, then back to the Happy Isles trailhead. While you're down in the Village, the Village Store should have all the last minute things you might need or want, including the fuel canisters you couldn't bring on the plane. Do not forget mosquito repellent! Unfortunately, if it's a hot day, you're already getting a late start for the hike up to Sunrise/Half Dome, so hit the floor running and keep going. You ideally started this hike at 5-6 am, but.....

You're now on the trail:

Pretty basic stuff here. Just start walking, stay hydrated, you just keep on climbing until you get to camp 3,000 feet higher than where you start. Take the JMT, not the Mist Trail. This'll be both easier and faster for lots of reasons. With water sources along the route being scarce-none, given the heat, I would recommend that each of you carry at least 2-3 liters of water apiece. Your next water is the top of Nevada Falls, about a mile short of LYV, and 3 miles short of camp at Sunrise Creek. Don't take any of this lightly. It won't be easiest or best part of your trip. You just have to make do and get it done for the prize.

After you pass through LYV, in about 1.9 miles you'll come to the spur trail up to Half Dome, and just up-trail on the JMT is going to be where you start looking for campsites. Sunrise Creek is just about 200 yards past here, as is the CR junction, and if you spend the time to explore a bit you should find yourselves a nice place. And in this area in particular, also keep in mind that there are lots of bears that are very, very good at what they do. They are aggressive in trying to obtain food, so don't let it be yours that they get. Take this seriously.

Do your camping thing and get some rest. Going up to HD is hot and dry. The lower dome, saddle, final ascent up the cables, and the dome itself are all exposed granite, so it might be searing, and you might have to wait if you get too late a start and there's a line, both up and back down. That wait can last hours sometimes, especially if someone is freaking out or having an emergency. Definitely bring a couple pairs of leather gloves for the cables. All this said, I would bring a minimum of 3-4 liters of water apiece (there's none above or on the way back down), and if possible, begin your hike in the morning by headlamp; you'll beat some of the heat and most of the crowds.

To be cont'd
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:47 pm

You mentioned breaking camp at Sunrise Creek after your HD climb and moving back down to LYV on Tuesday night. You could, but you might as well stay where you are and relax, then do the entire hike out back down to Happy Isles early the next morning (Weds). You can stay at the backpacker's camp at the back of North Pines campground that night without reservations for $5, and it's on the shuttle route for the entire valley, and it's less than a mile from Mirror Lake, so you can stroll it with your new fiancé and knock that off your list at the same time. Although, there honestly isn't a whole lot of "lake" left, but it's still a nice evening walk after dinner. And if you get an early start and book it down from your camp at Sunrise, you should get down to the Valley in time to do some sightseeing...which you will want to do. Showers are in Curry Village, as is a store and restaurant. I know you wanted to see Cloud's Rest after HD, but aside from being a huge hike on a big, dry mountain, it's also another 1,300' up, and most people (me included) probably wouldn't want to, especially after just doing HD the day before. It is cool at the summit, and I would put my energy into that climb instead of HD any day, but the latter is where you want to pop the question, so that's that. If you at least do decide to go for it in concept, it's also a perfect time for a reality check on where you are physically. It is a demanding as hell hike, both up and back down. You're above tree level, and there is zero shade when you get up higher around 9,000'. And there's no water on the trail either. I have no idea what your personal hydration needs are, but I would probably feel a little nervous myself without at least 4 liters, knowing that 6 would be better.

Just to knock out a couple more things you might want to think twice about doing that you also mentioned, let's also look at hiking out from HD and seeing Glacier Point via the Panorama Trail. I wouldn't. It's over rated IMO. It's only panoramic in spots up higher, the rest is essentially viewless down lower in the trees and brush (the first mile or so), steep, hot, dry, and really, really painful. Besides, the "panorama" is best closer to GP, and that's far better to use the car to get to, and pretty much logistically required if you also want to take in Sentinel Dome. In fact, assuming you get back down from Half Dome some time Weds and see at least some of the Valley via shuttle and on foot that afternoon/evening, I would use Thursday to do the driving and see what you can do with either GP or Tuolumne Meadows. But don't be fooled, with distances and traffic driving takes time and patience.

As for Thursday night: you can stay at the hotel and have dinner, leaving way early if you want to make it to Sonoma for wine tasting, or you can just go ahead and cancel your reservation and leave directly after the conclusion of Thursday's sightseeing drive, whatever area of the park that ends up being. Just stay up in Sonoma or Napa somewhere instead on Thursday night, but basically figure out what you want as the trip evolves, and you see how the timing works. The only ways you might not have a good time with just about anything are if there's an ability issue on the way up to HD, or if you try to go too fast and take in too much. Keep in mind that you can always come back, so choose quality over quantity with what you have now.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby AlmostThere » Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:44 pm

I think being flexible is key, like Phil says. If you have the ambitious plan, you can always give it a go and if it gets too horrible... just bail. Halfway through it, the first day... it stops being fun, it's perfectly acceptable to backtrack and have backup plans. There are so many awesome things to do in the park.

I've had an awful lot of day hiking in the park over the years. I think, were I to plan out a max potential trip for folks who want a combo of scenery plus comfort, I would find a way to get them a campsite in Tuolumne Meadows, then plan out day hikes. To North Dome, Mt Watkins, Mt Hoffman (the geographic center of the park), Mt Dana (13k+ feet, climbing from 10k at TIoga Pass to the top), Clouds Rest if there's a full dawn-to-dusk day to do it from Sunrise Trailhead at Tenaya Lake.

The only wedding proposal I've ever witnessed on a peak was on Dana. It was so awesome. The guy asked us to use his phone to video it for him. There were four of us up there at the time, because it's not Half Dome aka the center of absolutely everyone else's attention... no crowds. Hoffman would be another awesome choice, for off the beaten path. Dana is a six mile round trip from the pass. Hoffman is at May Lake, a short hike from a trailhead. Watkins is directly across from Clouds Rest and a short hike from Olmstead Point. North Dome is a moderate 6-8 mile round trip from a trailhead on Tioga Rd. It's hard to find a bad hike from Tioga Rd.

The campgrounds outside the park boundary on TIoga Pass are all first come/first serve, and I tend to go up midweek and find spots in them. Mt Conness, accessible from Sixty Lakes Basin, would be another nice summit.

Give it a go, and see. Don't get peak fever. If one or both of you is not feeling it, there's other stuff to do.

Drive times in the park, by the way, can vary a lot. Most of the time I make the effort to be entering the park either very early in the morning, or very late in the evening. Lines form at the gates during the day that can eat up hours.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby WanderingJim » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:25 am

FYI, I noticed a couple mentions of the shuttle above.

THERE IS NO SHUTTLE SERVICE IN YOSEMITE THIS SUMMER.

Also, they are piloting some roadway changes. https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/roadpilot.htm
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jun 06, 2021 4:34 pm

Yep! No Yosemite shuttle, no hiker bus. But YARTS will be running.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:19 am

Phil wrote:Okay, sorry for the delay in responding, but here we go.

I have to start out by letting you know that on people's first visits to Yosemite we all generally lean towards recommending more of a day hiking, touristy trip. There is a lot to see and do, and your preferred itinerary does include a strong desire to see a lot of sights that fit into this nicely. You wouldn't be disappointed with it, and realistically, it'll maximize your experience by covering much more territory than you otherwise would with a backpack on, in the time you have...it takes years to fully explore the park. Beyond the Valley itself, which is best seen by using the shuttle system, there's always Glacier Point/Sentinel Dome and places Like Tuolumne Meadows, both of which you pretty much have to drive to just for the sake of time and convenience. You'll get to the park and see what I mean, and then you can decide from there what you think best. This kind of trip covers everything you wanted to see and do, besides Half Dome and Cloud's Rest, although, there's no shortage of people that day hike to both from the Valley floor. With anything and everything, always keep in mind that it's going to be very hot, it'll be very crowded, unforeseen delays will be inevitable, traffic usually horrible, and you need to use your time wisely and productively with all these things considered. Hurrying up is not always an option, and it's not how it usually goes, or what's going to give you the best time.

That said, let's begin:

You'll fly in Sunday afternoon. Realistically, figure on about 5-6 hours to go from SFO to your hotel in El Portal. That's going to put you into the park around maybe 8-9pm by the time you go through all the motions. Get your gear together and sorted that night, because Monday is going to be a hard and busy day. You will not be getting your wilderness permits on Sunday, period, so you'll have to do it no earlier than 8am (when the office opens), and this is done at the Valley Visitor's Center in the Village; park the car, grab your stuff, then catch the shuttle from where you park to there, then back to the Happy Isles trailhead. While you're down in the Village, the Village Store should have all the last minute things you might need or want, including the fuel canisters you couldn't bring on the plane. Do not forget mosquito repellent! Unfortunately, if it's a hot day, you're already getting a late start for the hike up to Sunrise/Half Dome, so hit the floor running and keep going. You ideally started this hike at 5-6 am, but.....

You're now on the trail:

Pretty basic stuff here. Just start walking, stay hydrated, you just keep on climbing until you get to camp 3,000 feet higher than where you start. Take the JMT, not the Mist Trail. This'll be both easier and faster for lots of reasons. With water sources along the route being scarce-none, given the heat, I would recommend that each of you carry at least 2-3 liters of water apiece. Your next water is the top of Nevada Falls, about a mile short of LYV, and 3 miles short of camp at Sunrise Creek. Don't take any of this lightly. It won't be easiest or best part of your trip. You just have to make do and get it done for the prize.

After you pass through LYV, in about 1.9 miles you'll come to the spur trail up to Half Dome, and just up-trail on the JMT is going to be where you start looking for campsites. Sunrise Creek is just about 200 yards past here, as is the CR junction, and if you spend the time to explore a bit you should find yourselves a nice place. And in this area in particular, also keep in mind that there are lots of bears that are very, very good at what they do. They are aggressive in trying to obtain food, so don't let it be yours that they get. Take this seriously.

Do your camping thing and get some rest. Going up to HD is hot and dry. The lower dome, saddle, final ascent up the cables, and the dome itself are all exposed granite, so it might be searing, and you might have to wait if you get too late a start and there's a line, both up and back down. That wait can last hours sometimes, especially if someone is freaking out or having an emergency. Definitely bring a couple pairs of leather gloves for the cables. All this said, I would bring a minimum of 3-4 liters of water apiece (there's none above or on the way back down), and if possible, begin your hike in the morning by headlamp; you'll beat some of the heat and most of the crowds.

To be cont'd



No problem at all, and thank you for taking the time to map out such a detailed plan. After taking everyone's input in, and what you and almost there suggested . What do you think of this ? It's pretty much what you suggested, my only thoughts or concerns are two things, which I'll list at the end.

Sunday- land around noon and make it to the hotel by 9pm. Prepare our packs, and get everything ready to go as soon as we get up, as early as we can so we make it there right as they open to get our permits.

Monday - get to the visitor center by 8am at the latest, then pick up our last items and drive to the happy isles over night parking lot. Enter the trail head at happy isles and then take the JMT . We will take your advice, and around 2 miles or so past LYV we will spend some time and look for a good spot to set up camp. Are there pre determined spots or is it literally just look ? Also, we will be keeping our bear cannister far away from where our tent will be.

Tues - up very very early, with headlamps and begin the day for half dome. Return back to camp and relax, skipping clouds rest this trip.

Wed . Up early again, break camp and hike down to LYV. set camp at the North pines camp site for the night , then relax? Or is it now that we would go to mirror lake?

Thurs. (Were skipping the sonoma idea, as she also would just like to stay in yosemtie, and not lose time there .) Use this day to seek out glacier point, sentinel dome etc? Here comes my first question, since someone stated that gp , and sentinel, etc are outside of the wilderness permit are, would I not be able to go and see them since I exited my trail head ? I also have the same hotel booked Thursday night at the little yosemite view hotel.

Friday, leave early to head to S.F. , and just relax , have dinner till we he'd to the airport at night to leave.

We are definitely going to somewhat take it easy as yous have suggested. If we aren't feeling any part, either of us , we both agreed we won't push it. I have some back up spots for the proposal, incase for any reason we can't summit HD. (Weather, panic, whatever reason) . Glacier point was an option as you suggested, and I would like to hear any other great secluded spots. Almost there also spiked my interest in the spots he suggested. ( peak on Dana, Hoffman,)

Again, thanks guys so much. Your advice and knowledge is helping me out so much with planning this. And also a very big, and very needed reality check. I'm trying to be as realistic, and practical as I can while aslo making this one of the most memorable times in both of our lives.

Let me know any more suggestions, or ideas .
Thank you all again!
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:15 am

Yes, sorry about the shuttle thing. It's not the norm, and I've stopped tracking all the latest Covid nonsense, but it just requires tweaking a few logistical considerations in this case, and that's doable.

Driving adds time, but earlier or later are still always better. You should be early enough to make it work. The designated overnight lot for the Happy Isles/JMT trailhead is between Curry Village and Happy Isles. It tends to get crowded, and parking spots sometimes hard to find. The best/closest alternative is the dirt lot adjacent to Curry Village itself.

Campsites up at Sunrise Creek aren't exactly "designated" in a traditional sense (ie: #1,2, 3, 4...) but they are established, and you need to find one and use it. You can't just make your own, and especially, you can't make fire rings. They'll cite you if they catch you.

With bear canisters, keeping it away from your tent at night is just one element in the protocols. You need to only remove what you're using at the time, secure the lid properly all the time, keep your food right in front of you and within arm's reach when it's out, do your dishes like religion, double check all your pockets and packs for food/scented items and any garbage, and just generally keep an eye on your perimeter. They are fast and tricky, and they're tenacious. If need be, you need to be more so. It happens.

Brianmtattoo wrote:Wed . Up early again, break camp and hike down to LYV. set camp at the North pines camp site for the night , then relax? Or is it now that we would go to mirror lake?


Now, LYV is designated sites. They're also shared sites if the demand requires it, so you're likely to have another tent or two there with you. If you remain at your camp up at Sunrise, you have more privacy and control over what happens immediately around you. LYV is only that couple miles down, so it doesn't really materially add too much distance all the way back to Happy Isles on the hike out, so Sunrise is a better overall experience that you should hang on to for as long as possible. The backpacker's camp at North Pines is only an alternative if you make your full exit at Happy Isles, and this is the option that gives you that immediate access to Mirror Lake with a campsite to come back to as opposed to doing as a day hike, and without the shuttles running, it burns up precious time without much return. You'll also see Mirror Lake from the top of HD, so you should be able to get the gist of it and make a decision on whether it's worth it. The backpacker's camp in the Valley also has designated/shared sites. If you do stay at either Sunrise or LYV on Weds night, you don't camp any more, you return Thursday when your backpacking trip ends and go directly to the car and back to the hotel. The way I see it and would plan it is, if you want to do more, at least Thursday is going to be required, if not part of Weds.

Brianmtattoo wrote:Thurs. (Were skipping the sonoma idea, as she also would just like to stay in yosemtie, and not lose time there .) Use this day to seek out glacier point, sentinel dome etc? Here comes my first question, since someone stated that gp , and sentinel, etc are outside of the wilderness permit are, would I not be able to go and see them since I exited my trail head ? I also have the same hotel booked Thursday night at the little yosemite view hotel.


You can go ahead and hike the Panorama up to GP without exiting your trailhead, but there's no camping, and realistically, Sentinel Dome becomes a very questionable add-on, simply because it's maybe more hiking under load than you'll be up for, and you would still end up having to get down the Four-mile Trail and to the backpacker's camp in the Valley. For this to happen, get to the car, and just use Thurs to drive it. It really is the best way to go in your case.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:19 am

Brianmtattoo wrote:We are definitely going to somewhat take it easy as yous have suggested. If we aren't feeling any part, either of us , we both agreed we won't push it. I have some back up spots for the proposal, incase for any reason we can't summit HD. (Weather, panic, whatever reason) . Glacier point was an option as you suggested, and I would like to hear any other great secluded spots. Almost there also spiked my interest in the spots he suggested. ( peak on Dana, Hoffman,)


GP, or thereabouts, is definitely what I would consider the best proposal location choice alternative. But of what AT suggested, my other choice would be Hoffman. Dana is a little too far off your radar with the time you have and itinerary you have in mind. But, while Hoffman is the geographical center of the park, and incredible view of actual "wilderness", and it's only a couple miles up from the May Lake parking lot, but getting there precludes visiting GP and Sentinel, because it's on Tioga Rd, and your driving distance to and from the Valley and back to your hotel is about 80 miles. You pretty much choose one over the other, and time is not your friend, but for what it's worth, I would spend my precious time and energy seeing Tioga Rd and Tuolumne Meadows long before I used it to drive to and visit the area of GP and Sentinel. Personally, if I was proposing on a mountain top, I would also put Hoffman above Half Dome, but that's just me. Only you can decide when the moment is, but do it right and well, and you'll be there and know it's right when you feel it.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:32 am

Dooverville
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:38 am

Think you're double posting, Phil?

One thing I thought I would point out - North Pines is a car campground in Yosemite valley, Little Yosemite Valley is technically in wilderness, above Nevada Falls and hike in only. North Pines is where the backpacker camp that costs money is. You can stay there the night before and the night after a backpacking trip, and the rangers make the rounds to make sure you have a wilderness permit. LYV is where it's legal for hikers with the appropriate permit spend the night, to reduce degredation of the area, because if they didn't maintain the established sites and force people into them, that valley would be filled end to end with tents all the time.

It is a short hike to Mirror from the backpacker camp. But by the time you've nearly been elbowed off the Mist Trail or run over on the JMT switchbacks as you come down out of the high country, you'll probably just want to lay down in the river near camp. It was pretty darn hot the last time I came down that trail. The river felt pretty good.

If you don't already have a map, get a good one. Tom Harrison makes the best maps for California wilderness areas. It'll help you put a lot of this together quicker.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:56 am

Yep, just now saw that. Too long a time to compose it, and too long for one post, so got logged out and tried to hang on to the quotes and my replies. I finally gave up. Too late to fully delete now.

Basically, Brian, you have options galore. It's all about what you see and feel when you're there, and how you decide to manage the time you have available. Good call taking out the wine tasting. Yosemite deserves and requires as much as you can give it. Do Sonoma as its own trip.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:35 pm

Phil wrote:Yep, just now saw that. Too long a time to compose it, and too long for one post, so got logged out and tried to hang on to the quotes and my replies. I finally gave up. Too late to fully delete now.

Basically, Brian, you have options galore. It's all about what you see and feel when you're there, and how you decide to manage the time you have available. Good call taking out the wine tasting. Yosemite deserves and requires as much as you can give it. Do Sonoma as its own trip.



Thanks again Phil. I appreciate it all. So this is now how it's looking. I'm on a toss up now between clouds rest and half dome. So many people are saying clouds rest, as yourself said . I was also leaning towards proposing there, especially that it's much less crowded (more intimate) which she would rather over a crown on half dome plus a better view. I'm also bringing a camera, so I can get a picture of it as well as plenty of others throughout our trip.
Let me know what you think of this layout.

Sunday, land and get to the hotel around 8 or 9pm. Prepare for leaving early.

Monday - get the permits by 8am, hit happy isles trail head and hike to sunrise creek. Taking the JMT. Camp at sunrise creek.

Tues - clouds rest. (Propose) back to camp

2 options now for the rest, which will be determined by how we are both feeling when we're there, and your advice

Option 1 = Wed - hit halfdome since we're there and have the permits, and stay at sunrise.

Thursday, head down to LYV , get a pizza! Drive to GP? then exit the park and head to our hotel.

Friday head to S.F. , leave at night

Option 2 = wed- unsure if we don't do half dome, since we will be staying st sunrise the whole time. Open to your suggestions

Thursday- same as option one, LYV , pizza and GP?

Friday = head to S.F. leave at night.

Thanks again to the both of you, I'm so excited as it's only a few days away!
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:04 pm

Also, which way should I take for clouds rest? Take the JMT down and take a right at the junction, or continue down the JMT and make a right at qtr dome /clouds rest junction? Also , still a little unsure the process of when I leave the trail head, how I would get to and see glacier point? I haven't seen the map that AT mentioned, but I do have the most recent Natgeo yosemite one that I looking at.

Thanks again
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:47 am

Yeah, it is getting pretty close.

Sunday- Bingo!

Monday- Bingo!

Tuesday- I think it's a good call to choose CR over HD. You actually look down on HD from CR and have better views back up Tenaya Canyon, Mt Hoffman, the Sierra Crest to the east and beyond. "Intimate" isn't quite how I would describe it, but it will certainly be less people of a different type for the most part than you'll encounter on HD.

Wednesday- Again, whether you decide to go up HD or not is how you feel at the moment- you may just want to hang out and relax. But if you guys are decidedly burnt out after CR, I would just go ahead and make your way back down to the Valley to the backpacker's camp and pizza. If not, it has to be done, and that then becomes Thursday's plan, and it risks you not having the time to make it to other places like GP. Realistically, to go from Sunrise to Happy Isles you need to allow for somewhere around half a day if you're quick, up to all day if you're not.

Thursday- I would really use this day for sightseeing using the car. As I've said, this can be either in the direction of Glacier Point or Tioga Rd and Tuolumne Meadows, but both are not likely to happen on the same day, nor would I think you would be happy with the amounts of time spent enjoying either place at the expense of purely having to make distance driving for the sake of more being better. Either option offers a chance to do some day hiking, but not if you're rushing. You might see them, but you won't even give yourselves an opportunity to enjoy them. Think this one through, a lot!

Friday- Even with a flight leaving at 10:45, I would leave earlier in the day than the afternoon. I'm not into rushing to catch planes, and traffic is a huge variable that you can't control. Best to lounge in bed that morning, have some breakfast, checkout and hit the road. If you have time left to spare, have a nice dinner in SF.

With getting up to CR, at Sunrise Creek (JMT x CR junction) there's a metal sign pointing the way that you can't miss. You'll see it when you go there to pump your water and become more familiar with the immediate area. As a matter of fact, when you scout out campsites initially, take the time to also go slightly up the CR Trail for more options. So, basically, follow the signs and keep going. From below the trail junction, you turn left at the junction, hit the trail, and the correct direction is decidedly UP (find the most uphill trail choice there is, and that's it).
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:25 am

Phil wrote:Yeah, it is getting pretty close.

Sunday- Bingo!

Monday- Bingo!

Tuesday- I think it's a good call to choose CR over HD. You actually look down on HD from CR and have better views back up Tenaya Canyon, Mt Hoffman, the Sierra Crest to the east and beyond. "Intimate" isn't quite how I would describe it, but it will certainly be less people of a different type for the most part than you'll encounter on HD.

Wednesday- Again, whether you decide to go up HD or not is how you feel at the moment- you may just want to hang out and relax. But if you guys are decidedly burnt out after CR, I would just go ahead and make your way back down to the Valley to the backpacker's camp and pizza. If not, it has to be done, and that then becomes Thursday's plan, and it risks you not having the time to make it to other places like GP. Realistically, to go from Sunrise to Happy Isles you need to allow for somewhere around half a day if you're quick, up to all day if you're not.

Thursday- I would really use this day for sightseeing using the car. As I've said, this can be either in the direction of Glacier Point or Tioga Rd and Tuolumne Meadows, but both are not likely to happen on the same day, nor would I think you would be happy with the amounts of time spent enjoying either place at the expense of purely having to make distance driving for the sake of more being better. Either option offers a chance to do some day hiking, but not if you're rushing. You might see them, but you won't even give yourselves an opportunity to enjoy them. Think this one through, a lot!

Friday- Even with a flight leaving at 10:45, I would leave earlier in the day than the afternoon. I'm not into rushing to catch planes, and traffic is a huge variable that you can't control. Best to lounge in bed that morning, have some breakfast, checkout and hit the road. If you have time left to spare, have a nice dinner in SF.

With getting up to CR, at Sunrise Creek (JMT x CR junction) there's a metal sign pointing the way that you can't miss. You'll see it when you go there to pump your water and become more familiar with the immediate area. As a matter of fact, when you scout out campsites initially, take the time to also go slightly up the CR Trail for more options. So, basically, follow the signs and keep going. From below the trail junction, you turn left at the junction, hit the trail, and the correct direction is decidedly UP (find the most uphill trail choice there is, and that's it).


Great, thank you.
Is there any certain / particular spots at clouds rest to pop the q? I'm also trying to get pics of it, incase people aren't around. I'll have a tripod as well.

I'm 95% sure now, that we will use Wednesday to hike down to LYV set up st the backpackers CA p and get some pizza as you said. She's dead set on glacier point, so I'm gonna go that route and save Tioga road for a trip in itself.

Thursday, since we will have the day and are going to G.P. any other suggestions to add to fill in the day if driving up there and gp doesn't take all day. Ideally, I would LOVE to get us up to GP to watch the sun rise. Is that do able at all, since we will be in the back packers area Wednesday night?

Friday, we will leave as early as possible to get to S.F.

What time should we get up and head to the park on Monday. We're staying at the Yosemite View Lodge in El portal. Thanks again
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