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Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

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Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Scouter9 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:42 am

If one permits for the same route as the High Sierra Camp loop, ie Tuolumne to Glen Aulin to May Lake, to Sunrise, to Merced, to Vogelsang, to Tuolumne, it is my impression that we're appropriately restricted from camping in certain locations near the Curry camps.

We want to do it, but "out of sync" with the camps, ie without using their sites and without tempting the fellas with bathrooms, hot showers and real food... hmmm. So, how far out of camp do we have to situate?

My initial thoughts were to descend past Glen Aulin to the vicinity of California Falls on Day One, then to backtrack toward May Lake on Day Two, but how far on either side of May Lake and Sunrise would make good targets for camp?

Where would you basecamp for Half Dome and would you stash/leave gear in that part of the park?

Oh, I have more... ha ha



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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby The Other Tom » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:29 am

Each HSC has loosley desginated back packer's camp. I seem to remember Glen Aulin, May Lake and Sunrise are near the HSC with Vogelsang being more removed. Don't remember about Merced. FWIW I have done this numerous times. You can ask at the camp if they have extra meals available (you have to pay, or in the case of Markskor, wash dishes, but....). BTW, the May Lake back packer's camp has a flush toilet !
Of course, since you have a back country permit, you can pretty much camp anywhere the regs allow....

Regarding basecamping for Half Dome, I would suggest Sunrise creek, or, if you don't mind a dry camp, go as far up as you can before you see the "no camping" sign. There are nice flat areas there.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby overheadx2 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:13 am

I can only tell you about Vogelsang, Merced and Sunrise. There are nice areas relatively close to the camps that are very nice but will have other campers. Booth lake by Vogelsang is nice, Camping up or down the merced from Merced lake is nice and the Sunrise lakes are very nice places to camp. I tried to camp at Sunrise creek prior to climbing Half Dome in August 2 years ago and was told by the Ranger that the creek was dry. I didnt check, but assuming they were correct I wouldn't expect much water at Sunrise creek this year.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby markskor » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:14 am

Just a few thoughts - (BTW, I peeled potatoes for my dinner - a lot of potatoes, not washing any dishes... [-X )

First off, other than once getting out of a windy snowstorm - (Vogelsang, June 2012), or the food/weight thing - meals... dinners, (which I highly recommend), and maybe breakfasts - which are just OK... why would you want to camp at/near the HSCs? Just to use the toilets?
Indeed the HSCs showcase beautiful surroundings but there are also lots of people (many old farts) milling about and additionally are mule-train supplied, (which means big biting horse-flies?)...IMHO, most here would generally avoid staying in sight of any the camps.

But, if you must:
Glen Aulin - just over the small ridge north from the HSC proper, plenty of sandy BP sites awaiting you - riverside. Down a bit more, also along the river - a mile or so more, much preferred.

May Lake - I generally just walk on by as a zoo...YMMV.

Vogelsang - 1/4 mile north of the camp, on the trail at Fletcher, (near the old, boarded-up, solar crapper) are a few bear boxes and the consolidated backpacker site...exposed and gets crowded. Much prefer eastward, far end of Fletcher at the waterfall, maybe up at Townsley, or even Evelyn...all fairly close.

Merced has a backpacker's area just north of the tent complex, (close enough to hear the dinner gong) - well situated, shady, a water spigot, and flush toilets too...can get super- crowded though. If no dinner reservation wrangled, I would rather stay at Washburn.

White Wolf is closed for the season for a remodel.

Sunrise sort of sucks where they put you - mosquito city. Strongly agree with staying at one of the close Sunrise Lakes?

Tuolumne has the famous BP camp, behind the store.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Scouter9 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:53 pm

Thanks for all the beta!

Our intent is to use the same route, but not to camp "at" the HSC sites. We're Scouts, so that means we're gonna carry all our own food, buy no meals on trail and that the Scoutmaster doesn't want to let any squeamish kids near a porcelain crutch, ha ha!

The mileages are about right, though, so I just need to get us "out of synch", somehow. Essentially, I'm looking to over-shoot each camp up past Sunrise, add a day before Merced in order that we can dodge loose Nalgenes on Half Dome and then find someplace up/downstream of Merced before we head up to the south side of Vogelsang (undershooting), before a short day over and down to "Ansel Adams Camp" on the Lyell, which sets up a luxurious morning of fishing before we stomp into Tuolumne like champions (big fan of the easy/descend last day).

The thing is, I haven't been anywhere other than Lyell Creek in over 30 years and I can't remember where the Starbucks all are. You know?
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby oldranger » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:15 pm

Scouter 9

Not sure what your actual itinerary is but would strongly advise agains "marching" your scouts all the way from the Lyle Fork to Tuolume Meadows in one day if that is your intent. There is a lot of uphill before the extended downhill.

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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby markskor » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:42 pm

Didn't know you were the fishing scouts...impressed.

Why not make fishing the priority, not the miles? Maybe a layover day or two somewhere too...just to fish?

Just a suggestion - Lose the Glen Aulin/May Lake segment and start Tenaya or Cathedral THs...Target (in trail order from Cathedral TH)... Upper Cathedral, Upper/ Middle Sunrise, Merced, Washburn, Bernice, Townsley, Evelyn, Ireland,...then down to the Lyell ...maybe squeeze Clouds Rest or the Dome too right after Lower Sunrise.
Be flexible.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Scouter9 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:31 pm

Every Scout on our treks carries a fishing rig and our treks usually include "zeroes" (days we don't move camp), in order that we can fish! There's something special about pulling rainbows out of Thousand Island at sunrise, etc... This year, they want to hit Yosemite and I want to see some country I haven't, since the 80's, and... to have a nice evening and morning at Ansel Adams' Camp. That last bit they'll enjoy, but it's for me, dammit! Ho ho.

Okay, educate me on the lakes along "the loop", fellas. I'd appreciate it.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Scouter9 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:42 pm

Mike, the spot along the Lyell Creek I'm referring to is across from Potter's Point, about six, nearly flat, miles from Tuolumne trailhead. It's on the east side of the creek, and was a favorit spot for Ansel Adams to take guests. My family used to camp there for a weekend every summer, too.

I have fattened and evolved from my Scouting days of death marches. I prefer shorter days with plenty of time to fish in the morning or relax before sunset (generally in the alternative) and the fellas have really taken to it.
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby oldranger » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:12 pm

Scouter

Ok you are talking about Lyle fork of the Tuolumne. Indeed that is a cruise down to the Meadows. But if you really want fishing for more than little brookies marskor's suggestion is first rate.

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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby markskor » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:29 pm

Scouter9 wrote:
Okay, educate me on the lakes along "the loop", fellas. I'd appreciate it.

I thought I just did...named the worthwhile fishing lakes, in order, "on trail" on your proposed Yosemite loop route...pay attention Grasshopper!
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Re: Question: High Sierra Camp loop, not using the camps

Postby Scouter9 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:42 am

Master Po, one thousand pardons. I shall scroll up, and review.
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