I agree with SSS Dave-- my trip was 6 days, including driving. Why not just go to Rancheria Creek and camp. Then drop to Hetch Hetchy to fish. There are supposed to be big fish in Hetch Hetchy. There is a poor use-trail that drops to the lake level. You could also day-hike to Tiltill Valley. Or day-hike up to Rancheria Mountain. There are some nice viewpoints up there.
The trail to Beehive is in the recently burned area. Look at it on Google Earth and see if it is something you really want to do. Personally, I think Laurel Lake and Vernon Lake are not worth the effort, if that is all you will do and just turn around and come down that burned up trail.
Not sure if you could get a permit, but one of the more spectacular early season trips is Happy Isles, Mist Trail, camp past Little Yosemite Valley (easier permit to get) and then to Merced Lake. Return on the connector to the JMT, climb Cloud's Rest. Return on the JMT. Or return via Panorama Trail to Glacier Point. There is a bus ($20??) that you can take back to the Valley. Once past Little Yosemite Valley you will see few people.
Of course, if Tioga Road is open, and you can get a permit, the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is the classic early backpack.
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Wandering Daisy wrote:Happy Isles, Mist Trail, camp past Little Yosemite Valley
LVY was also burnt out, by the Meadow Fire in 2014.
There is a bus ($20??) that you can take back to the Valley.
Only if Tioga Pass Road is open (should be) and only after May 30 for the Hikers' Bus, and YARTS only runs on weekends and they haven't set a start date.
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The Glacier Point bus is a private bus from Yosemite Lodge, not YARTS. Glacier Point Road is already open, but is temporarily closed when it snows. You would have to call Yosemite Lodge to for the bus schedule and when it will (or already is) open. May is a prime visitation time for Yosemite Valley. Much of the shuttles and services are already in full swing.
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