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Must do dayhikes in Yosemite

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Must do dayhikes in Yosemite

Postby Aviprk » Mon May 21, 2007 1:38 pm

I will be part of a group of people who are going car camping in Yosemite. I will be in charge of the hiking and was wondering what are some of the must do hikes in Yosemite - namely the valley area. We've done Half Dome and are likely to do it again. Another one is the 20 lakes basin if we go from Hwy 395. I do know Cloud's rest and the Falls (Nevada, Brideveil and Yosemite) are pretty popular too. Other than that I'm clueless.



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Postby maverick » Mon May 21, 2007 1:47 pm

How many days are you going for?
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Postby maverick » Mon May 21, 2007 2:02 pm

1. Three Brothers via Yosemite Falls Trail (11.8 miles)
2. North Dome via Snow Creek Trail (16.6 miles)
3. Panorama Trail to Glacier Point 8.3 miles (take bus back to
Valley) or hike down 4 Mile Trail(4.6 miles)to the Valley total 12.9 miles
These are round trip mileages.

Do not miss Clouds Rest best viewing point in the middle of the Park!!
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Postby TehipiteTom » Mon May 21, 2007 2:09 pm

If you're up for a short hike with a little adventure, Sierra Point has an awesome view (including every waterfall except Bridalveil). The trail is officially closed, but if you scout around on the net you can get the info you need to find it. And as I said, it's short--you can easily combine it with another hike out of Happy Isles.
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Postby Aviprk » Mon May 21, 2007 2:23 pm

How many days are you going for?


We will leave on Sunday July 1st and come back July 4th (wednesday). Sunday will be unpack day and wednesday is when I plan to hit the 20 lakes basin or do a very short hike. So we do have Monday and Tuesday to do hiking.
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Postby maverick » Mon May 21, 2007 3:09 pm

9 Lakes Basin is on the eastern side of Tioga Pass near Saddlebag
Lake which is a long haul from the Valley.
You could visit it will coming into the park from 395 if you have the time
otherwise its quite a ways off.
You might see if you can camp at Porcupine Flat or Yosemite Creek
for the night and do Clouds rest from Tenaya Lake 15.6 miles as
opposed to 20 miles round trip from the Valley.
Last edited by maverick on Mon May 21, 2007 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby markskor » Mon May 21, 2007 4:08 pm

I know it is not a "hike" per se, but rafting on the Merced...always holds a dear spot for me.
Nothing better than 5+ hours floating and baking down the Valley...peaceful and serene...stopping wherever. Great photo opportunities abound...what better way to spend some Yosemite time.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Postby giantbrookie » Mon May 21, 2007 4:20 pm

Here's a few more recommendations:
1. Mt. Hoffmann. Great views and an enjoyable class 2 hike from May Lake that features some variety (I don't recall the exact specs on this but this is a short hike in the 4-6 mi RT/2000' gain range, as I recall). This has unusually good views because of the central location west of the crest. My dad would always take relatives and guests here (as long as they were reasonably mobile).
2. Mt. Dana. Easy walk up on unofficial trail from Tioga Pass (about 3100' of gain though). Terrific views from the second highest peak in the park.

I agree that if you are in the Park vicinity, some time just exploring the Tioga Pass-Saddlebag region is time well spent, too.

Clouds Rest is nice, but it is a rather long dayhike, even from Tenaya (although my mom was able to pull it off as her longest dayhike ever--and she was the least hiking inclined of our family).

If you or your group is into fishing, then one might have other priorities (lots of good lakes that are within dayhiking range).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby BSquared » Mon May 21, 2007 5:19 pm

My personal valley favorite has already been mentioned: Panorama Trail up, Four-Mile Trail down. It's really a great hike!

If you're going to have a few minutes in Tuolumne, you could hardly do better than to climb Lembert Dome. There's a trail to the top, and the views of the Cathedral Range are fantastic!
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Postby AfterSeven » Thu May 31, 2007 1:37 am

I was the law clerk for the Federal Judge in Yosemite Valley for many months and had quite a bit of spare time to explore. If you have done Half Dome and plan on doing it again, that tells me your group has a bit of spare energy. Here goes:

All of the following are good day hike peaks:

Mt. Dana
Mt. Hoffman
The Matterhorn *
Cathedral Peak **
Unicorn Peak **
North Peak *
Mt. Conness *
Ragged Peak *

I garuntee that any group that can get up Half Dome in a Day can do any of these peaks in a day....(A single star means it's probably scary for the average guy, and 2 stars means its definitely scary for the average guy.) Climbers guide to the High Sierra tells you all you need to know....

Also if you can do Half Dome in a Day, consider going from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley on the John Muir Trail...it's 24+ miles....but it's all 90% downhill. Park a car at the bottom and drive to the top for your day hike....it will take a full day.

Inside the Valley if you've done Half Dome you have done most of the "hiking" that's both worthy and doable from the valley flow....The Four Mile Trail or the Inspiration Point Trail being exceptions...Also a quick hike up Sentinel Dome from the Glacier Point Road is a Must ...2nd best view in Yosemite according to many, 1st being just about any view from the valley floor.

If you aren't into climbing Mountains, The Chilnualna Falls Trail is a good 1/2 day hike, and the same can be said for any hike to any lake within 3 miles of Tuolumne Meadows....You have a lot of options there.

Good luck.
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Postby giantbrookie » Thu May 31, 2007 8:25 am

AfterSeven wrote:that tells me your group has a bit of spare energy. Here goes:
All of the following are good day hike peaks:

Mt. Dana
Mt. Hoffman
The Matterhorn *
Cathedral Peak **
Unicorn Peak **
North Peak *
Mt. Conness *
Ragged Peak *
I garuntee that any group that can get up Half Dome in a Day can do any of these peaks in a day....(A single star means it's probably scary for the average guy, and 2 stars means its definitely scary for the average guy.) Climbers guide to the High Sierra tells you all you need to know....

Also if you can do Half Dome in a Day, consider going from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley on the John Muir Trail...it's 24+ miles....but it's all 90% downhill. Park a car at the bottom and drive to the top for your day hike....it will take a full day.
Good luck.

That is indeed a nice list of peaks. Here are a few additional comments. based on both climber's guides (Roper and Secor) and personal experience:
Dana, Class 1, unofficial use trail, 3000' of gain but short distance, second highest peak in Yosemite. A must do in my estimation (as noted earlier).
Hoffman, Class 2, use trail much of the way, less than 2000' gain (?) and short distance. Minor scrambling just below summit but no exposure (possibility of damaging fall). Also on my must do list, although one may opt for the unconventional alternative and do Tuolumne Peak instead (see below).
Matterhorn, Class 2. No more difficult than Hoffman (in terms of exposure or scare factor) if correct route is taken. Rather tedious treadmill scree (loose small rocks one step up two-thirds step slide down) on final approach. That is one of my unfavorite scree slopes of all time. A very long dayhike which necessitates driving all the way from south Park entrance to Twin Lakes out of Bridgeport, then doing a hike with 5200' of elevation gain. This is one of the finest summits of northern Yosemite, though.
Cathedral Peak, Class 4. Ropes (belay) required for nearly everyone.
Unicorn Peak, Class 4. As above. Both of these are very rugged and impressive peaks and short hikes. Climbers must have experienced in actual rock climbing, however.
North Peak, Class 2. Beautiful peak from Saddlebag Lake and no exposure at all encountered on climb of correct route. This is a walk up and a gorgeous one. Some talus blocks and scree (about the level of Mt. Hofffman or easier except that this is a bit longer) About 2200' of gain. Highly recommended.
Mt Conness, Class 2+. The king of Saddlebag country. For dayhike best done from Saddlebag Lake. There is a class 2 to low class 3 route that goes up the south side of the east ridge. This is a pretty long route that involves some route finding skills to keep this at class 2 as well as not doing any unpleasant sidehilling. This route joins the standard route (from Young Lakes--too long for practical dayhike) on the south ridge that is rated class 2 but has some pretty impressive air on a knife edge ridge and some ledges that surmount the summit "castle". Although this is well engineered as an unofficial trail (who on Earth placed some of those slabs there?), I have seen this exposure turn back several would be climbers. From Saddlebag this is a somewhat elaborate but very fun and varied route. This is my favorite peak in all of the Tioga Pass area (I really enjoy the route), including Dana.
Ragged Peak, Class 1 except for spectacular summit block (class 3). This is a nice looking peak with a summit that is worthy of the name (looks like the crest of a rooster). You can pretty walk up sand to the summit rocks, where the scrambling begins. However, the last few moves are supremely airy and not for the acrophobic.

I'd certainly add Cloud's Rest to the top dayhike list as it is perfectly practical as a long dayhike (all trail) from Tenaya Lake and one of the classic views of the Park.

Honorable mention:
Shepherd's Crest, Class 2 with correct route. Another beautiful Saddlebag area peak. Some unpleasant loose metamorphic talus if one is not on the optimal route.
Tioga Peak. Class 1 or 2. Very easy and a superb view down Lee Vining Canyon. Gardisky Lake encountered en route is a very nice place, too.
Tuolumne Peak. Class 2. An easy set of big broad ramps (no exposure) along with talus and sand breaches what appear from the distance as well defended walls. This is the neglected "brother" peak to Hoffman. This one has almost all the advantages of Hoffman without the crowds. Just a hair longer hike than Hoffman from May Lake.
Tenaya Peak Class 1 or 2. Gorgeous view and an easy walk up.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby Aviprk » Thu May 31, 2007 7:15 pm

Thanks guys, but looks like we will stay at the southern terminus of the park (neary Wawona) and going over Tioga Rd all the way to the TH's past Tioga Pass is kind of out of the question. If we do go it has to be somewhere at max up to Tenaya lake.
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