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Yosemite - High Camp Loops (w/out Camps)

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Yosemite - High Camp Loops (w/out Camps)

Postby sambieni » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:05 pm

Prepping the routing, etc for my trip to Yosemite early August. He has less experience than I and opted we do Yosemite loop instead of Rae Lakes. We are permitted for 5 days heading out of Tuolomne to Glen Aulin. Our return is permitted for Cathedral Lakes (not sure why), but I gather that can be changed when we pick up our permit. My goal is ~10-12 miles a day, but my friend may be sluggish so unclear what we'll be able to do. He is coming from the Midwest and limited mileage going into this trip....

Welcome any feedback on our proposed route. I realize going north is not quite as scenic, but I am looking for full ~50 mile loop and just going north to ease in w the downhill to Glen Aulin. Plus we're permitted there at this point and all other permits appear gone...

I am looking for guidance/feedback of areas to camp that may be away from the designated camps. I know I can use the high camp CGs, but really curious for suggestions beyond.

Potential itinerary:

Day 1: Tuolumne CG to Glen Aulin. But prefer continue on to McGee Lake or Polly Dam Lakes (if he has the energy past Glen Aulin).
Day 2: Hike to Sunrise Lakes or Sunrise CG (anywhere nearby?)
Day 3: Hike to Merced Lake or possibly even Babcock Lake
Day 4: Hike to Boothe or Fletcher Lake
Day 5: Out to Tuolumne

I am certain I could do this route in 4 (possibly 3 if really wanted) days. I would like to get up to Cloud's rest easily, if feasible. Welcome any feedback on itinerary and areas to consider differently, especially in/around Merced/Vogelsgang area. I know down south there are a few more options for travel since trails seem to split a bit.

Thanks a ton for any tips.



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Re: Yosemite - High Camp Loops (w/out Camps)

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:04 pm

Day 1: Tuolumne CG to Glen Aulin. But prefer continue on to McGee Lake or Polly Dam Lakes (if he has the energy past Glen Aulin).
Day 2: Hike to Sunrise Lakes or Sunrise CG (anywhere nearby?)
Day 3: Hike to Merced Lake or possibly even Babcock Lake
Day 4: Hike to Boothe or Fletcher Lake
Day 5: Out to Tuolumne


Day 1: There are some campsite on the northern end of McGee, ain't the greatest, otherwise you will have to set up right next to the trail, avoid that if possible, Polly Dom Lakes would be a much better option, about 10 miles.

Day 2: Sunrise/JMT Junction (11.7 miles) From there you can go do a morning/sunrise hike to Clouds Rest, hike is around 6.5 miles rt to the top of Clouds Rest, or stay at Sunrise Lakes and go up Clouds Rest, and camp at the Sunrise/JMT Junction (7.2 miles), a shorter day but sunrise on Clouds Rest is sublime. :nod:

Day 3: Use the Merced High Trail>Echo Valley>Merced Lake (7 miles) Avoid the zoo at LLV, top of Moraine Dome is an alpine setting which is quite nice, just be careful with water, there is no reliable source after the trail leaves Sunrise Creek about 1.6 miles in, the small lake may be dried up with no water till you get down to Echo Valley.

Day 4: Go Lewis Creek to Bernice Lake (7.2) More scenic then Fletcher Creek.

Day 5: TM via Vogelsang Pass (10.4 miles)
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Re: Yosemite - High Camp Loops (w/out Camps)

Postby sambieni » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:34 pm

Maverick - you the man! Thanks. I will take a look at this route.

I have heard of folks camping on top of Cloud's Rest. I was not sure if that was legit or not. Info?
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Re: Yosemite - High Camp Loops (w/out Camps)

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:21 pm

Yeah, you can sleep up on the ridge, if there are no thunderstorms in the forecast and the wind isn't howling, otherwise there are spaces for smaller tents or you could cowboy camp, it is well worth it, oh don't forget there is no water, so you will have to haul some up for the evening.

PS Last water source is the stream crossing the trail coming down from Sunrise Mountain, if that is dry then the tarn about 1/2 mile north on the western side of the trail will have water for sure.
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Re: Yosemite - High Camp Loops (w/out Camps)

Postby sambieni » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:10 pm

Not sure where you mean by Sunrise/JMT junction?

What about camping the junction just below Cloud's Rest? Reasonable place to camp? Near water?
Its about 1.5 miles below and maybe 2 or so miles SW of the junction that heads just north/east towards the Sunrise Lakes?
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Re: Yosemite - High Camp Loops (w/out Camps)

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:24 pm

Not sure where you mean by Sunrise/JMT junction?

What about camping the junction just below Cloud's Rest? Reasonable place to camp? Near water?
Its about 1.5 miles below and maybe 2 or so miles SW of the junction that heads just north/east towards the Sunrise Lakes?


Should have written Clouds Rest/JMT (Sunrise Creek) Junction.

If you want to spend the night on or near the Clouds Rest summit your last water source is that creek coming off of Sunrise Mtn crossing the trail about 1/2 mile before the trail branches off (Clouds Rest Trail) or those two small tarns to the west of the trail about 1 mile before the trail branch.

The Clouds Rest/JMT Junction has numerous campsites, at the junction head north crossing a creek and start up a small hill, in about 200 ft there is a trail leading off to the right and down into a clearing near Sunrise Creek, there are nice level ground for a couple of tents there.
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Re: Yosemite - High Camp Loops (w/out Camps)

Postby sambieni » Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:02 pm

Awesome. Very helpful.
Thank you!
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