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April Yosemite Backpack

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:59 pm
by archive
Author: Mike (
Date: 04-02-02 11:34

We are planning a back packing trip to Yosemite 04/05/02 - 04/13/02. We have heard mixed feelings about backpacking this time of year. Can we do a 7 day back country trip at this time without skis? We are planning on bringing snow shoes and would like to do day hikes to elevations of 6000-8000 ft. Is there a trip where we can stay under 6000 ft. for seven days and not have to back track over terrain and not see many people? Is going at this time and staying under 6000 ft. worth it? Should we consider going at a later date? I would appreciate any info or suggestions.
Thank You,

Re: trip planned for 04/05/02
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 04-02-02 11:54

It's still winter conditions in the park. You can backpack in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir area. If you go too high you'll run into snow. Hetch Hetchy Valley (Reservoir) is low in elevation and not crowded.

There's also backpacking around Wawona. It's mostly in low forest with few views.

I would wait a little bit myself. The days are getting longer and the nights warmer. It won't be crowded until near Memorial Day around the last part of May.

long hike or backpack in april

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:35 am
by archive
hikes in april
Author: kevin (
Date: 03-07-03 11:56

I'm driving to california in april and am looking for a good 3-5 day hike below the snow line. Any recommendations?

Re: hikes in april
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 03-09-03 00:19

For a long hike or backpack in Spring, the best place is out of Hetch Hetchy reservoir. The elevation is low, 4000 to 6000 feet. Cross north over the dam and head north to some of the lakes.

The entrance station is closed at nite on the road to Hetch Hetchy.

Hiking to lakes April 9th?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:36 am
by archive
Hiking to lakes April 9th?
Author: jim u. (
Date: 03-13-04 19:14

I'll be camping in the Valley April 9-16 and would like to do a two or three night backpacking trip to one of the lakes. I am equipped with cold weather/rain gear but don't want to hike anywhere where the snow is real deep. Initially, I was thinking of ten lakes area or Ostrander, but it seems they might be too high. Is that the case? Are there any lakes at an altitude where there is little snow at that time of year?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Re: Hiking to lakes April 9th?
Author: Dan Anderson (10.11.12.---)
Date: 03-14-04 22:13

Ostrander is still buried in snow in April. So is the Ten Lakes area and area around Tuolumnee. The road isn't even close to being plowed.

Hetch Hetchy Resevoir is free of snow, but it's a low-elevation resevoir, not a lake.

My best bet is to take the John Muir Trail up little Yosemite Valley. You should be able to reach Lake Merced without too much trouble.

Re: Hiking to lakes April 9th?
Author: Martin (
Date: 03-18-04 19:41

I would ask around about conditions heading to Merced Lake in April. I have always encounter a fair share of snow that early in the season. It's do-able, but there will be snow.

Backpacking in late April and early May

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:09 am
by archive
Author: Chris (
Date: 03-19-04 08:23

Iam an experienced winter backpacker and novice mountaineer. I want to backpack Yosemite and surrounding areas in late April and early May. I have 2 to 3 weeks to commit to this trip. But Iam concerned about snow conditions. Also the maps I have obtained of the area do not show trails to many peaks. Can one scramble to their summits? Any information that can be provided to answer these questions would be very helpful.

Thank You

Re: Backpacking in late April and early May
Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 03-19-04 10:00

In April and early May there's still a lot of snow around anywhere in the backcountry (say 8000' or above). You can try lower areas in the northwest corner of the park around Hetch Hetchy or the north rim of Yosemite Valley (which gets a lot of sun). Anywhere else, expect to posthole a lot in the snow (or bring snowshoes).

Most peaks don't have trails, but they have routes. Get a mountaineering guide. I recommend R. J. Secor's The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails
Also, gget a 7.5' topo map or Wilderness Press 15' (updated) topo map of the area.

Re: Backpacking in late April and early May
Author: George (
Date: 04-12-04 08:23

The snowpack this year is melting fast, and it is now a little less than average. From Little Yosemite Valley camp above Vernal-Nevada Falls you should be able to make treks east towards Merced Lake and possibly beyond, and north toward Tuolumne Mdws, including the route up to Clouds' Rest. And you can try exploring the north rim of the valley from a basecamp near the top of Yosemite Falls-including trips to the top of Eagle peak and El Capitain (bring gaiters since you will have to go through some snow patches and lots of muck). Don't forget other parts of the park: The trail up to Chilualna Falls is a great early season choice (near Wawona), and the trails out of Hetch Hetchy are also good bets. Get the Schafffer book for details on all of these and more.

3-4 days in high country in April

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:11 am
by archive
Author: James (
Date: 03-15-05 10:57

We're 3 experienced hikers looking for a good loop to do towards the end of April. We have good equipment but are not experienced in any technical stuff. We're from New England and winter camp there but this will be our 1st time in Yosemite at this time of year. Any suggestions?

Author: Dan Anderson (
Date: 03-15-05 14:01

In April, the Tioga Road is still closed and the high country is snowbound.

I would try Little Yosemite Valley and expect lots of snow (large patches and mounds with bare spots).

You can try the north Rim of Yosemite Valley. Climb up 3000' up the Yosemite Falls Trail or Snow Creek Trail out of the Valley. Hike along the Rim Trail, which will have snow, but also several snow-free stretches.

For more isolation, you can try hiking out of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in the Northwest part of Yosemite National Park. It's lower and doesn't have as much snow. As you climb higher to the north, you'll find more snow.

Some people snowshoe and snowcamp from the Badger Pass Ski Area toward the South Rim of the Valley or toward Glacier Point. Lots of snow--you need snowshoes.