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Campsites in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne?

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Postby markskor » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:51 pm

Dog,
In response to your Harden Lake question...
The trip down to Pate is only a half-day hike - short and steep (loses 4,000 ft elevation fast)...nothing really wrong with camping at Harden, (maybe a bit boggy and wet…I myself would avoid it – walked right past, but…)...I propose there are much better places for a first night camp before the big trip, especially after the long drive. Why not stay in Tuolumne backpacker (never a reservation needed – 1 night) and bag dinner (many options), and maybe a hot breakfast (Cafe) before heading out? Even from here is only 30 minutes to White Wolf.
Alternatively, perhaps stay at the drive-in campground at Yosemite Creek...just across the road from White Wolf - you still have plenty of time to get down to Pate Valley, even with a late morning start. See: http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=37. ... &layer=DRG

Secondly, why push on to Morrison Creek…makes it too short a first day.
Anyway, been on this trip twice…starting from White Wolf is by far the easiest way, but depending on water conditions, you may not be able to get across Pate Valley if the river is flooded/ too high. Maybe instead, a “down and back” out of Tuolumne might suffice/ suit you better. Better ask around when you get up there…remain flexible…always the best way.
Mark
Mountainman who swims with trout



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Postby Lightning Dog » Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:47 pm

So we leave on Friday. There are six of us going now instead of four. Any last minute advice from the more experienced? Moquitos? Favorite fishing flies for the river? Special day hikes we shouldn't miss? We're going to make this a leisurely trip and have fun exploring.
Our current plan is to leave LA at 4 AM Friday morning, get to Yosemite and hike down to Pate from White Wolf in the afternoon. Then we camp/fish/explore making our way up to Waterwheel by Monday night and hiking out Tuesday via Glen Aulin.
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Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:55 am

Well, I covered this very same hike here:
http://www.sierra-trails.com/tuolumne/stcoverv2n03.htm
It should give you some camping ideas too.
And yes, it is much better to go up the Toulumne R. than down. You will see why when you go down into Pate Valley...
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Postby Lightning Dog » Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:57 pm

Hi Doyle,
Thanks for the response. Its a little embarassing but one of the reasons we are doing this hike is your article. Originally only 4 of us were going, but I emailed your trip report and two more had to come.
After last year's hike in King's Canyon, the original four of us decided we should be a little less agressive and have more fun this year - a little fishing and exploring can go a long way. The Sierra is beautiful and we just need an excuse to go hiking after all these year (last year was the first time in 30 years for some of us). We've already planned another trip for late August. Its funny how the years between hikes don't really matter. The skills don't change and fortunately, the scenery doesn't really change too much too.
Any cool ideas for day hikes on this trip? We thought about bringing a float to cross above the Gorge, but it seemed really dangerous this time of year so we decided against it. We love to cave, climb, and fish - any ideas would be great. Since fish might happen, I have packed foil, pesto and harissa sauce (in tubes) just in case we catch some. And this time we may actually have time to cook and enjoy.
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Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:29 am

Lightning Dog wrote:After last year's hike in King's Canyon, the original four of us decided we should be a little less agressive and have more fun this year - a little fishing and exploring can go a long way.


I heard that. Tomorrow I leave for a backpack trip that will be miles and miles every day. Sometimes it is just nice to layover and explore or just kick back.

Any cool ideas for day hikes on this trip?


Well, you are sort of locked in the canyon most of the way. That first camp on the Toulumne, if you can find it would be worth an extra day to fish or dayhike a ways on the trails. Yeah, it would be a real chore to stay there ;^):
http://www.sierra-trails.com/tuolumne/tuolumne010.htm

If you atre really adventurous, you could try to get to Mattie Lake:
http://www.sierra-trails.com/tuolumne/tuolumne019.htm

And a stay at McGee Lake would insure a getaway from the crowds at Glen Aulin and their friendly bears:
http://www.sierra-trails.com/tuolumne/tuolumne036.htm

Other side trips would require some miles, probably up Cold Creek.

Have fun and Happy Trails!
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Postby SSSdave » Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:18 pm

Ozark Flip wrote:I was kidding about the uphill hiking. My wife cannot hike with me because of her knees and it is the downhill that kills her.....uphill she does okay. It was the way it was worded that sounded funny to me. :D

Reqarding the 100' requirement, yes there are camping, campfire, and general trail rules that every ethical hiker should know. However, if you have ever hiked this trail, you know there are many campsites either RIGHT on the water or at the edge of streamside cliffs/banks. I always see people camping right next to the fall at LeConte & Cathedral and witness people camping in these spots every time I hike the trail (during normal/low flows). WAY more people camp within a mile of GA than actually at GA. The rangers must not be concerned because these campers simply cannot be sneeky about this, it is too obivious. It is the LYV area where you are really harrassed by rangers. Just my observance. :)

Personally, I find camping in some of these sites way too noisy because of the river/falls. You cannot hear anything but water.


Ozark, rationalizations that if others are doing something against the rules then it must be ok is of course usually non-sense. Just like at a crowded event where parking is hard to find when some bozo parks in front of a "NO PARKING" sign and then before long several other small minded drivers notice someone parking there so "I guess it must be ok!" Of course shortly later the local cop comes by, tickets all the cars, and calls the tow truck operators.

There are of course places where it is legal to camp within 100 feet of lakes or streams IF terrain does not permit camping otherwise. For instance along the Tuolumne River, the steep rock canyon has few campable spots in some areas so in those areas if there are not nearby usable campsites further away, one can use such spots. That rule breaker infers that the person made some effort to check that was the case.

The two greatest rules broken in the backcountry by backpackers are camping illegally close to water which are usually lakes that some often newbies are drawn to like a magnet and making fires and firerings where such are illegal. In either case one will always see signs where a few others have broken these rules. The main reason is because the park and forest services are habitually lacking in funds for enforcement so those who decide to flaunt rules or rationalize their own rules know they can do as they wish and rarely get nailed. I would hope you bother to talk to a real Yosemite ranger the next time it is convenient for you and listen to what they actually have to say.

I could criticize some of the current regulations as being simplistic and inflexible. In some matters as bear containers, regularly will continue to butt heads with those making the rules. ...David
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