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Trail Time from Happy Isles

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Trail Time from Happy Isles

Postby dharter » Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:02 pm

To All,
According to the permit confirmation and more specifically the NPS Yosemite Trail Description, if hiking from Happy Isles and not staying in Little Yosemite Valley, you must camp at least 2 miles beyond LYV. Can anyone with experience on this section of the trail give me an estimate of the hiking time for the minimum 6.7 miles required to meet this criteria?
Thanks.
Doug
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Postby markskor » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:23 pm

Doug,
I cannot begin to tell you the time it will take you from Happy Isles to LYV...some may do it in as little as 3 hours, others maybe 6 or more, depending on which trail taken. (There are two different ways up...with options), stops for... lunch? - a swim in the Emerald pool?...how crowded, how hot, how fit, how much weight carried, a pause at the railing above Nevada Falls to overlook down, photo opportunities abound, etc. However, I can help with the rest of the question.
One level mile (well, maybe a short two)... maybe 20 - 25 minutes maximum, (following the trail up the Merced) is where you will find the Moraine Dome Waterslide and the next available "legal" camping site past LYV.
See: http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=37. ... &layer=DRG
Easy to recognize…a grand 100-foot high cascade, right off the trail right; just below the falls, there is/was a bear cable stretched high across…(look up), and ample room for 8 – 10 parties.
FYI, good lure fishing all along this stretch of the Merced below, and atop the falls, a great place to watch the sunset.
I always prefer staying here rather than at the sterile LYV. I do miss the old LYV campground that was set along the river, (Anyone remember the old blue Porta Potties?), but times change.
Mark
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Postby dharter » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:13 pm

Mark,
Sorry, forget to say we are hiking the JMT, so looking for the first available on JMT beyond LYV that would qualify.
Thanks.
Doug
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Postby BSquared » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:31 pm

There's quite a nice campsite, with water, very close to the junction with the Cloud's Rest Trail, as I recall. There's another at the junction with the Forsythe Trail (we were seriously harassed by a bear there in 2004, but I understand she was put down just days afterward). Both of these are a fair hike from LYV, though.
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Postby copeg » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:00 pm

I recall two distinct places where there were camps with water between lyv and Sunrise High Sierra camp. If my memory serves me each was located where the jmt crosses Sunrise Creek. As far as time to hike to each, as Mark mentioned it depends upon several factors. I hiked from happy isles to just before sunrise HSC, leaving at 3 and setting up camp at ~9 (so this time frame includes breaks as well as dinner - I consider myself a relatively fast hiker).
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Postby markskor » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:12 pm

Doug,

As I understand the situation now, you are fully loaded, first day on the trail, of a grand JMT adventure…very cool! I do not know if you are starting out doing the Mist, or the slightly longer Muir, (trail splits at the bridge below Vernal), but they both join up again atop Nevada Falls, and then add another level mile or so to LYV. However, that first day up to LYV can be a real grind….2,500 ft of elevation gained on new legs.

Have to agree with BSquared (He knows!) here...nothing really close to LYV other than Moraine Dome...which is easy and level, but it is 1 - 2 miles off your intended trail. Most stay at LYV but if you cannot legally stay here, you have only two (maybe three) options.

1) After LYV, if you are bent on following the Muir, you have another strenuous 2 - 3-mile, 1,500 elevation gain to the afore-mentioned Cloud's Rest junction - next water...and it is a mediocre site at best. Better is to go on another mile to Sunrise Creek...nicer. I say, why bust a gut, unless you are in great shape, and/or enjoy the punishment?
2) You can go on to Moraine Dome…easy and level…and backtrack the next day – up towards Cloud’s Rest and the Sunrise Lakes.
3) You can stay at LYV and risk the Ranger…but they do check around dinnertime for a permit…is it worth it?

Mark
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Postby dharter » Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:19 pm

I guess we'll play it by ear depending on our arrival time, shape once we reach LYV. We've done some pretty steep "UP" in our day - Grand Canyon, White's of NH, Glacier NP so not something we shouldn't be able to handle. Will probably send a resupply to Tuolumne just to have a lighter load out of the gate.

Thanks to all for your input.

Doug
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Postby markskor » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:35 pm

One more quick sidebar:
40% of the all the Yosemite wilderness permits are slotted "next day" only...not intended for pre-reservation…saved for just such a contingency. Add to this all the last-minute no shows and you always have a significant number of open slots possible.
First thing, before you head up, pop into the wilderness office and ask if they have any openings for that night, (or the next day) in LYV. Even though the trail quota is officially "full" right now, (the other 60%)...you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Have a great trip!

Mark
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Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:02 pm

dharter wrote: Will probably send a resupply to Tuolumne just to have a lighter load out of the gate.

Doug


Thats what we did. The first day we went past the CR junction, and camped about a mile past in the trees at a flat spot we found. The lighter packs helped a lot on the first day. We left the food cache at the post office. Make sure your pick up day is not on Sunday. Luckily someone knew where the key was.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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