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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 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:26 pm

CR is a knife edge summit. It's narrow with a bunch of slabs and a very big drop. Pick the highest rock, aim the camera with Half Dome in the background, take a knee..... Oh, there'll be plenty of people around...

I want to make sure you're clear on what LYV is and where it is. It's still about 6 miles from the valley floor. To do what's technically the backpacker's camp and have pizza, you have to exit the trail system at Happy Isles, exactly where you entered it.

So, she's insisting on seeing GP huh? Get up at 4 am and drive on up if you want to see the sunrise. It takes about an hour and a half, and you need to walk over to go get the car at Curry Village parking lot (10 mins). Hmmmm- you'll both be rested and clean (not sweaty as hell and smelly), have snacks, and put a burning desire on her part to see it together with a sunrise that you all but make happen, and add this: https://www.nps.gov/media/webcam/view.h ... 0658CED5EF and tell me she wouldn't also dig being proposed to there (and there are better view angles). I have opinions, but I don't make this stuff up...it's a beautiful place. And besides all those everyday type things to do like pledging your love forever to someone, there's plenty to do up there for hiking...Taft, Sentinel, fissures...as much of the Panorama as matters...

and btw- that peak just to the left and up of Half Dome in the webcam shot is Cloud's Rest.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:39 pm

Brianmtattoo wrote: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?


things to do off Glacier Point Road:

Glacier Point
Sentinel Dome (easier from the trailhead instead of Glacier Point)
Taft Point (from the same trailhead as Glacier Point, but the other direction). Taft is a short hike but it's a cool place to hang out as well.
If you like off trail shenanigans, look up Ostrander Rocks and Illouette Ridge. There are unique views from the ridge.

A longer thing: hiking down to Illouette Creek from Glacier Point
An even longer thing: 12 miles round trip to Ostrander Lake.

Driving very early in the park is much easier to do than driving during the day - just keep an eye out for animals. Sunrise at the point should be quite do-able.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:44 am

Phil wrote:CR is a knife edge summit. It's narrow with a bunch of slabs and a very big drop. Pick the highest rock, aim the camera with Half Dome in the background, take a knee..... Oh, there'll be plenty of people around...

I want to make sure you're clear on what LYV is and where it is. It's still about 6 miles from the valley floor. To do what's technically the backpacker's camp and have pizza, you have to exit the trail system at Happy Isles, exactly where you entered it.

So, she's insisting on seeing GP huh? Get up at 4 am and drive on up if you want to see the sunrise. It takes about an hour and a half, and you need to walk over to go get the car at Curry Village parking lot (10 mins). Hmmmm- you'll both be rested and clean (not sweaty as hell and smelly), have snacks, and put a burning desire on her part to see it together with a sunrise that you all but make happen, and add this: https://www.nps.gov/media/webcam/view.h ... 0658CED5EF and tell me she wouldn't also dig being proposed to there (and there are better view angles). I have opinions, but I don't make this stuff up...it's a beautiful place. And besides all those everyday type things to do like pledging your love forever to someone, there's plenty to do up there for hiking...Taft, Sentinel, fissures...as much of the Panorama as matters...

and btw- that peak just to the left and up of Half Dome in the webcam shot is Cloud's Rest.


Thanks Phil, LYV is a back packers area. Right? The floor is where the hotels and such are , correct? I'm still slightly confused with the last days of the trip.

Wed - if we do , do half dome we would use Thursday to hike basically to the floor, exit and get pizza. We would then leave the park to head to our hotel, which I'm assuming wouldn't leave time to see gp. If we use this end to our trip, or.

Option 2, if we don't do half dome, and use wed to go down to the over night backpacker's camp. We wouldn't be able to leave the trail head to get the pizza and go back for the night, correct? Then leave Thursday morning early to hit gp and the other hikes along gp road. I thought by exiting the trail head, my trip is over and I would have to leave the park. Now that I would be leaving the trail very early, could I use the rest of Thursday to go up on gp road, and then leave the park to our hotel?

If both those options work, its basically going to go on how we are feeling there. We won't over do it, but all we can do is see how we are , when we're there.

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

Postby Phil » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:05 am

Yes, LYV is a backpacker's area, but not the one in Yosemite Valley, where all the hotels and stores are. I would go with Option 2, because if you do have to hike back down from Half Dome/LYV on Thursday, you will not be able to visit Glacier Point and have the time to enjoy it, simply because the clock ran down on you. So, down into the Valley by Weds night is the way to go. Being your first visit, I think you would want to see as much as possible, and where you'll be backpacking is just one very small and limited part of it...and by no means the best of the park.

And no, when you exit the wilderness on a permit, you don't have to leave the park, just get another permit if you want to go back out and backpack more with an overnight involved. Day hiking/sightseeing are unlimited and fully at your discretion.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:49 pm

Phil wrote:Yes, LYV is a backpacker's area, but not the one in Yosemite Valley, where all the hotels and stores are. I would go with Option 2, because if you do have to hike back down from Half Dome/LYV on Thursday, you will not be able to visit Glacier Point and have the time to enjoy it, simply because the clock ran down on you. So, down into the Valley by Weds night is the way to go. Being your first visit, I think you would want to see as much as possible, and where you'll be backpacking is just one very small and limited part of it...and by no means the best of the park.

And no, when you exit the wilderness on a permit, you don't have to leave the park, just get another permit if you want to go back out and backpack more with an overnight involved. Day hiking/sightseeing are unlimited and fully at your discretion.



Thanks once again Phil. So I have the finalized itinerary, let me know what you think.

Sunday- land around noon , get to hotel around 8 or 9, get everything prepped for very early leave. My hotel is 1.9 miles from arch Rock entrance. What time should I get there for?

Monday. Arrive st your suggestion, get WP by 8am, park at the happy isles overnight lot, hike to sunrise creek. Set camp.

Tues - clouds rest.

Wed- break camp, head down jmt , exit trail head and go to the backpacker's camp (north pines) , set camp. Then we can shower, pizza and relax.

Thursday, up early head to GP , and do as much of the hikes up there as we xan, while also enjoying ourselves. Them leave the park and head to our hotel.

Friday, up early and head to s.f. , relax and then leave .

Thanks again , I appreciate all the time yous took to help me precisely dial in this trip. It means everything to me
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:51 pm

Perfect!

The wilderness office opens at 8am and you still need to park and walk over there (about 1/4 mile), so try to get to the park entrance at about 7am or so.

Let me be the first to congratulate you. It's a big step in life. You guys be safe and have fun. That's what it's about. And remember that if one thing doesn't work out or isn't fun, there's always a million other things to do.

No worries. Name your first child after me. Let us know how it goes.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:27 am

Phil wrote:Perfect!

The wilderness office opens at 8am and you still need to park and walk over there (about 1/4 mile), so try to get to the park entrance at about 7am or so.

Let me be the first to congratulate you. It's a big step in life. You guys be safe and have fun. That's what it's about. And remember that if one thing doesn't work out or isn't fun, there's always a million other things to do.

No worries. Name your first child after me. Let us know how it goes.



Great. To clarify three last things.
1. When I enter the park, ill go and park at the happy isles overnight lot, then walk up the the visitor center to get the permits, then back down to the trail head.

2. Wed when we get to the Valley floor, we'll be staying in the LY backpackers camp, behind the north pines camp. And not the actual Noth pines camp.

3. Is it safe, to leave my pack in my tent when we leave for our hikes thought thw day, im guessing it'll only be alone on Tuesday when we gondor clouds rest. I have a 70l that has the top that comes off for a day pack and I was gonna leave my large pack at camp. Thwre won't be any food or smelly items in it, more concerned about people stealing it . Everything of value, will be in the day pack with me.


Other than that, I will be back on here when we come back from our trip, and I'll give a full rundown of our experience there.

Thanks again Phil, I have twins already so I'll name the next one after ya!
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:55 am

Brianmtattoo wrote:1. When I enter the park, ill go and park at the happy isles overnight lot, then walk up the the visitor center to get the permits, then back down to the trail head


No, while getting your permit use the Village visitor's parking lot or park behind the Village Store. The backpacker's long-term lot is quite some distance away, and you'll probably burn up over an hour just walking to and from (that is not where you want to put your energy). After getting the permit, then go and park at the overnight lot closer to Happy Isles. And from the standpoint of convenience when you want to get to the car quickly on Thursday, there's also the dirt lot at Curry Village, which is slightly closer to the backpacker's camp behind North Pines.

Brianmtattoo wrote:2. Wed when we get to the Valley floor, we'll be staying in the LY backpackers camp, behind the north pines camp. And not the actual Noth pines camp.


It's not the LYV backpacker's camp, it's the Valley backpacker's camp, and it's located across the footbridge on the other side of Tenaya Creek from North Pines. Walk into the campground's main gate and veer right. You'll pass the campground host's site and then see a parking pullout across the road from a set of bathrooms. Duck out there and you'll come to it. There will be others around, so ask if you're not sure. But no, it's not North Pines itself, which is just a named proximal reference that's easy to find.

Brianmtattoo wrote:3. Is it safe, to leave my pack in my tent when we leave for our hikes thought thw day, im guessing it'll only be alone on Tuesday when we gondor clouds rest. I have a 70l that has the top that comes off for a day pack and I was gonna leave my large pack at camp. Thwre won't be any food or smelly items in it, more concerned about people stealing it . Everything of value, will be in the day pack with me


Use your own discretion on this one. Generally sites and gear are safe, and while gear is valuable, it's not your wallet. Use your discretion, but if it's of value and easily carriable, keep it with you. Sounds like you have it pretty well figured out, but yeah, make sure all the scented items are in the bear canister and not in your packs or tent. Toss the can and leave your stove and cooking kit in the can if it fits or outside. People do steal sometimes, but that's usually more in the campgrounds than in the wilderness areas.
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:49 pm

Phil wrote:
Brianmtattoo wrote:1. When I enter the park, ill go and park at the happy isles overnight lot, then walk up the the visitor center to get the permits, then back down to the trail head


No, while getting your permit use the Village visitor's parking lot or park behind the Village Store. The backpacker's long-term lot is quite some distance away, and you'll probably burn up over an hour just walking to and from (that is not where you want to put your energy). After getting the permit, then go and park at the overnight lot closer to Happy Isles. And from the standpoint of convenience when you want to get to the car quickly on Thursday, there's also the dirt lot at Curry Village, which is slightly closer to the backpacker's camp behind North Pines.

Brianmtattoo wrote:2. Wed when we get to the Valley floor, we'll be staying in the LY backpackers camp, behind the north pines camp. And not the actual Noth pines camp.


It's not the LYV backpacker's camp, it's the Valley backpacker's camp, and it's located across the footbridge on the other side of Tenaya Creek from North Pines. Walk into the campground's main gate and veer right. You'll pass the campground host's site and then see a parking pullout across the road from a set of bathrooms. Duck out there and you'll come to it. There will be others around, so ask if you're not sure. But no, it's not North Pines itself, which is just a named proximal reference that's easy to find.

Brianmtattoo wrote:3. Is it safe, to leave my pack in my tent when we leave for our hikes thought thw day, im guessing it'll only be alone on Tuesday when we gondor clouds rest. I have a 70l that has the top that comes off for a day pack and I was gonna leave my large pack at camp. Thwre won't be any food or smelly items in it, more concerned about people stealing it . Everything of value, will be in the day pack with me


Use your own discretion on this one. Generally sites and gear are safe, and while gear is valuable, it's not your wallet. Use your discretion, but if it's of value and easily carriable, keep it with you. Sounds like you have it pretty well figured out, but yeah, make sure all the scented items are in the bear canister and not in your packs or tent. Toss the can and leave your stove and cooking kit in the can if it fits or outside. People do steal sometimes, but that's usually more in the campgrounds than in the wilderness areas.


Hey Phil, just wanted to touch base with how our trip went.
We got to our hotel about 8pm. We got to the park at 7, got permits at 8 and began our hike.
We took the JMT up to the mist trail, and took the mist trail up. Thw ranger said it was more scenic, so my gf wanted to do so.
My pack was roughly 45lbs , hers was 20.
It was brutal, but worth it.
We went the wrong way and took the JMT up to Clark's point, then back tracked and went up over the falls.

That, was insanely brutal. I got elevation sickness I think, when we were going up all those switchbacks up the falls. Couldn't breath, and I just felt awful. Took our time, and we made it to LYV and I camped not far past because I just couldn't go anymore. Definitely didn't eat enough.

Tues, we hiked up to clouds rest, that also, 2as very brutal mainly to just the elevation. We took multiple breaks, we left about 10 am and got up to the summit at 530pm. We almost gave up numerous times, when we got to the flat granite part, with the crazy view I told her it was up up her if she wanted wanted continue. We did , and we were completely alone up there. Got 20 pics and the full video of it all.
It took roughly 2hrs to get down.

Wed. We hiked down to the Valley, and someone left the campsite right by the bridge, and offered it to use so we took it so we didn't stay at that backpacker's camp. It was even difficult to eat , when I was starving.

Today, kicking back at the pool right now enjoying life with my new fiancé.

I can say it was without a doubt the toughest thing we both did, but it made it that much more worth it. I am unbelievably proud of her for toughing it out. We met so many awesome backpacker's along the way. We can't wait to do it amd more again. And to hear so many experienced backpacker's be so surprised at what we pulled off never bsckpacking like this, in such elevation.

Thank you so much Phil for helping make this happen. Also to everyone who gave their opinions, they were all seriously taken in great consideration.
We will be coming back once every year, to explore more parts of this beautiful park.
Truly humbled and truly blessed
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:58 pm

Forgot to mention, we made our way up to Glacier Point, had it to ourselves. Def wanted pictures from that viewpoint, to showcase where clouds rest was , where I asked her. Just as we were about to leave, a wedding photographer popped up, and she took our pictures showcasing that view with HD and clouds rest.
Once again, thanks. It meant the world to me, and I'm glad that yous were a part of it!
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:41 pm

Glad to hear all went well. And you survived the outing. Sorry to hear about the elevation sickness. It's a steep uphill for the un-acclimated.

You have a story to tell the grandkids. :) Congratulations!
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Manisha4 » Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:26 am

Phil wrote:I'm sorry you took it so badly. I had no intention of mocking you, but you yourself clearly indicated all those criteria in your abilities, and that makes a huge difference in so many ways, as does at what elevation you do it, which is what Yosemite is if you want to see anything beyond what most others never see or experience, elevation. I (and others) can help make your trip as close to perfect as possible, but what you can or can't reasonably do is sort of a big deal. And dealing with altitude and it's potentially inherent problems (that, as AT mentions, drop or thwart many people) is a consideration that can't be overlooked. For your proposal (an undoubtedly critical event and moment in life that you're obviously really excited about), are you at all willing to take any chances with anything/everything potentially not going as planned? Personally, I wouldn't risk a thing, for a minute. I would want it to be absolutely sure fire, hell or high water, nothing left to chance, zero snafus'...You're there to ask this girl to marry you and enjoy your time together memorably, safely, and maybe with some hard work thrown in, but as enjoyably as you can. That is your ultimate goal, is it not.?

While I run the obvious risk of being taken as counter productive or critical, I have to tell you, when I first opened this thread I had a hard time registering just what you had in mind. Hence, 'Um, WOW!!!'. I got the gist of it, but wrestled hard with how to help make it work. My mind went immediately to the problems with it, because it was overwhelming, scattered and geographically incongruous, full of logistical problems, and too much in too little time... I honestly didn't see a recipe for overall success, and I'm sorry, but that hits me like a ton of bricks, because we effectively then have to shoot down a few things first before we move to any kind of plan at all that I can try to help you with. Just that. We're moving in a direction, this is your trip, an important trip, and, believe it or not, I want you to succeed, not criticize or advise you how to fail. That wastes time and puts you into a bad place. I would rather cut immediately to the chase ( even if it means ripping it all apart and rebuilding it) and have you think I'm a total douche now, during the planning phase, than after I give you lousy advice that contributed to any failure at all when it matters and things can't be taken back for you. But AT was again absolutely right, I had a lot of serious concerns. Take them for what they're worth. If you say you're both good to go, I have no choice except to take you at your word on the basis of that and as it applies to whatever it is I have to contribute.

I also fully get the desire for Half Dome and Cloud's Rest. Having been to both many times, I can attest to all you anticipate and hope for. They are...iconic. However, so is Glacier Point. It's also a 100% guarantee that all goes exactly according to plan, otherwise I never would have suggested it as an "alternative". That view is to die for (world class), privacy can be found to some extent, and as smarmy as you think I might be, regardless of any of the three locations, people will use employee monitoring software in fact applaud and congratulate both you and your new fiancé, for no other reason than because they're there and sharing in something so obviously special. We all like to share in joy. It's cool, and we don't often get too much these days. And really, isn't that what wedding ceremonies are about anyhow? Sharing your joy with others?

You say you have more questions? Great, ask them, and let's see what we can do for you.

Thanks Phil for explaining this. You are one of the few people who speak the truth and without exaggeration are an example for all users on the forum
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Brianmtattoo » Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:49 am

AlmostThere wrote:Glad to hear all went well. And you survived the outing. Sorry to hear about the elevation sickness. It's a steep uphill for the un-acclimated.

You have a story to tell the grandkids. :) Congratulations!


Thank you!
I can't believe it came and gone so fast. But man o man, what an experience. Was a huge test for both of us, and we can't wait to go on more backpacking adventures and also come back and explore yosemtie more.

Thank you all so much
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Re: First time to Yosemite, help with itinerary

Postby Phil » Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:51 pm

You guys did it! Well done! Congratulations on the trip and proposal going so well, as planned! That's a tough haul for the uninitiated, especially with Clark Pt thrown in as a bonus. Now that you have a better sense of the lay o' the land, the next trip should be a whole lot easier to visualize and put together. I'll gladly help you out in any way I can, as I'm sure everyone else will as well.

A couple words about altitude: You may very well have been experiencing some altitude sickness, and it happens to even the toughest sometimes, but loss of appetite is pretty common at higher elevations. I get it all the time, usually at 10,000 ft +. You have to remember that you're burning lots of calories. Thousands, with 4,000-6,000 being not uncommon. So you gotta eat to replace those, no matter how much you may not want to. In my canister, always, are a few things that can serve a double purpose of easy on the stomach and/or emergency rations. I want bland, that I can manage to choke down almost no matter what. I know I'm going to get crap for this one because of the high sodium content, but one of the best I've found is the Mountain House Chicken and Rice...lives in its foil bag, last for years, perfectly edible even without adding hot water, food that's gentle enough to handle... I also like to carry a couple extra packets of plain instant oatmeal and a package of Ramen. Even a little plain pasta or white rice is better than nothing at all. Your stomach will get with the program eventually, and while you might throw up every once in a while, you'll definitely incinerate in short enough order without calories and hydration.

Glad I was able to help. See, not such a douche after all. Now all you two have to do is plan the wedding...and I'm looking forward to my invitation to little Philmtattoo's baby shower. I'm told I give somewhat strange, but interesting and fun gifts.

You guys take care. Until next time....

And yeah, being unrealistic isn't my thing. It serves nobody except those that want an illusion/delusion over a successful trip. Thanks for the kind words directed my way, but they rightfully belong to everyone that gives so much of themselves, and I'm just one little part of it all.
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