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Honeymooning in Yosemite

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Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby Goat » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:50 am

In a week I will be a married man, luckily my soon to be wife has become a great backpacking / adventure partner. A big part of the honeymoon plan is a trip to Yosemite. She has never been. I have been a few times. So to get down to it, I have a few potential itineraries for a 3-4 night backpacking trip heading out of the Tuolumne meadows area and ending with trips up Clouds Rest and Half Dome.

#1
the most direct route is through Sunrise Lakes => Clouds Rest => Little Yosemite

#2
Similarly, but with a different start goes through Cathedral Lakes => Sunrise => CR => Little Yosemite

#3
Leaving from Lyell Canyon we could head up Rafferty Creek to Boothe Lake => Babcock Lake => CR =>Little Yosemite

or
#4
Continue down Lyell and up to Ireland Lake => Emeric Lake => CR => Little Yosemite

I picked a few routes because I know the permit system is pressured, but also because I know the general area is mind blowing. I welcome any advice on great camping spots or fishing. I've caught fish in Ireland Lake, but the others I mentioned are unknowns to me. I know this trip is going to be awesome!



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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:38 am

remember walk in permits are available 11 am the day before you want to start and get to the tuolumne office earlier to get in line...


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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby Goat » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:28 am

I wish I could have lined it up for mid week, but we'll have to be waiting on Thursday morning for the permits leaving Friday. I'm thinking around 9am hanging out at the permit office in Tuolumne, or maybe driving down to the valley in the morning.

Among Boothe, Emeric, and Babcock, how do they rank for camping and fishing? Its probably a dumb question, assuming they are all great spots for one or the other.

If we do start out of Lyell Canyon, theres no way to avoid dropping down into Merced Lake / Echo Valley before heading back up to Clouds Rest. I've heard that there is decent camping at the intersection of the JMT and Clouds Rest trails, but wonder if there might be some other options in the vicinity as a staging area for the hike up. I dont think I'd push the hike from Emeric or Babcock with the near 2k drop and subsequent 3k gain. As much as I love exertion, that might suck some of the fun out.

Lastly, does anyone have a recommendation for a nice layover day with a side trip at one of the locations described? We both love scrambling and catching a view in the solitude of a mountain top.
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:22 am

Hi Goat,

Congratulations! Use the "search" feature at the top of "The Fishing Hole" section to get intel on the lakes, on your purposed routes.
Will get back to you on some camping idea, gotta run.
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:42 am

Is CR and HD a must? Fill out this form so we know you experience and limitations, so we can then advise the both of you accordingly (keep your brides experience in mind when filling it out). viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby Goat » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:42 pm

What level of backpacking experience do you have? I'd put myself at a 4 and my fiance at a 2-3. We climbed Mt Rainier with lots of gear as a two person team last summer if that means something. As far as nights in the backcountry, she's fairly limited so I wasn't planning a weeker right off the bat. This trip may set the stage for many more :nod:


What terrain are you comfortable/uncomfortable with? Im comfortable with my awareness of my abilities concerning all of the below. We both have experience with and enjoy class 3. Obviously I'm not comfortable crossing a glacier unroped, nor crossing a fast moving waist deep river.
- Class 1 terrain/trail hiking
- Class 2 terrain/pass/x-country
- Class 3 terrain/pass/x-country
- River crossings
- Snow travel/Glacier crossings

What is your main interest? Such a tough question. Id have to rank lakes and big mountain scenery at the top, because they usually lead to fishing and climbing opportunities
- Lakes
- Forests
- Big Mountain scenery
- Photography
- Fishing
- Climbing

How many days/nights is your trip, not including travel to trailhead? We have about 4 nights to sleep in the backcountry with the possibility to extend

How many miles did you want to do a day, any layovers? I'd prefer not to do huge miles (less than 10 unless its pretty flat ie. Lyell Canyon). The goal is to really enjoy ourselves with a bit of relaxation rather than push the mileage

Do you have a route logistics preference: loop, out and back, point to point (which
may require 2 vehicles or hitchhiking)? Open, but looking to hike one way and take advantage of the free transportation
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:57 pm

This post will give you some ideas, there are plenty more, use the search feature Goat: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10348&hilit=fishing+in+sunrise+lake+in+yosemite#p78242
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:36 pm

By the way, if fishing is really important, would recommend the lakes west of Ireland all the way to Bernice, then go down to Merced Lake, make sure to go visit Washburn Lake and drop a line while there, use the Merced High Trail to get to the CR/SR junction campsite. Add on another night (5), and you will have a trip, that will have your to be wife hooked on the Sierra for good. Vogelsang Peak is a fun climb, and the scenery is just outstanding. The Merced High Trail is much better than the Merced Trail which gets a lot of traffic, it has an alpine feel to it, with great views of the Merced River below and of the Cascade Cliffs.
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby Tom_H » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:41 pm

Congratulations and best of luck on your permits!
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby oleander » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:39 pm

First of all, congratulations!

Personally, I find the Rafferty Creek Trail really dull. If possible, I wouldn't pick that one.

Haven't been to Ireland Lake, but I keep hearing amazing things about it. That lake itself may be enough off the beaten path to be considered your "side trip."

It sounds like you have enough days (or you could make enough days) to make the Lyell Canyon start work.

- Elizabeth
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby Goat » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:55 am

Maverick, thank you for the excellent insider info. I had actually seen the thread you linked. There's a few good ones on fishing beta if one were to search for Boothe Lake in the Fishing Hole. I will keep Vogelsang peak in mind if we are not in a rush heading from Ireland to Bernice. I've always been curious about Washburn and wish I'd made the trip on a backpacking trip in 2011 with a buddy. We may take an extra day to explore and of course fish it. We'll be sure to take the high trail for Clouds Rest if coming from Merced. I have a feeling this is going to be an awesome trip!

Elizabeth, If Rafferty Creek trail is similar to the trail heading out of Lyell toward Ireland, I can imagine that it is rather uninspiring. The 1.5 mile trail that cuts over toward Ireland, on the other hand is quite unique once it levels off. I would recommend it. No trees for protection around the lake, but plenty of level ground and a really nice alpine feel up at 10,700.

Thank you, of course for the congratulations. Life is good with an always ready hiking partner.

Image
Its tough to get the whole lake in a picture since the approach is level with the lake. I got this on the way out x-country toward Evelyn.
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Re: Honeymooning in Yosemite

Postby oldranger » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:17 pm

I'm a little confused. What is your exit point? Heading up Lyle canyon to Ireland then working your way to clouds rest and half dome on a 4 or 5 day trip seems more like a death march than a honeymoon. Another alternative would be to head up to Elizabeth lake then take the user trail toward Nelson lake but instead tun west off trail to Mathes lake where you can fish and probably have the lake to yourselves. Then it is an easy walk to the trail that leads to Sunrise and the hundreds of people you will encounter on the rest of your trip. Also wondering if there is an issue getting a half dome permit.

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