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Intro to Yosemite

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Intro to Yosemite

Postby sheapr73 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:12 am

Thanks to everyone who gave input on the HIgh Sierra Trail in Sequoia. I am also looking at a alternate trip to Yosemite. This would be a buddy and I who have done a decent amount of backpacking in the Smokies and other eastern destinations, and want to tackle the Sierra. Tentatively we would be traveling to the park on 8/31 and hitting the trail on 9/1 for 5-6 nights. Considering that is the Sunday-Monday of Labor Day, should we plan on avoiding the valley? Could anyone suggest a trip that starts and ends at Tuolumne or starts at Tuolumne and ends in the Valley?



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Re: Intro to Yosemite

Postby The Other Tom » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:32 am

Here's a couple of options:

1. High Sierra camp loop. There are 5 camps spaced ~8-10 miles apart. The entire loop is ~50 miles and you can start and end in Tuolumne. The High Sierra camps might be closed by then, but you're probably not concerned about that as you'd be staying in the backpacker campgrounds anyway. Actually, you can camp anywhere along the trail if you follow the rules about distance from water, etc.
If you don't want to do the whole trip, you can exit at May Lake (actually between May Lake and Sunrise at Teyna Lake) and take the shuttle back to Tuolumne. You can also hike back to Tuolumne from Sunrise camp, following the John Muir Trail(~8 miles from Sunrise to Tuolumne).

2. If you want a shorter trip, you can follow the John Muir trail from Tuolumne to the valley. Or, take the shuttle to Tenya lake, hike to Sunrise camp. Take a day trip to Cloud's rest. Hike back from Sunrise to Tuolumne. Obviously, you could do this in reverse as well.

You'll need a backcountry permit for any overnight stay in the backcountry.
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Re: Intro to Yosemite

Postby markskor » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:56 pm

a few trip ideas...(see maps)

Day 1 - Tuolumne Campgrounds...park car near wilderness office & stay at the backpacker camp - no reservation needed...$5.00 pp...(located just in back of store)
Day 2 - Vogelsang * or Booth Lake (trail splits)...about 7 miles and 2,000 elevation gained
Day 3 - If fishing...*Bernice over Vogelsang Pass...6 miles or if not
Booth all the way down to (trail meets up again...see Topos) Merced Ranger Station...left 2 miles to Washburn - 11 miles total...
Day 4 - Bernice to Washburn
Day 5 - Washburn to LYV...all level trail...13 miles
Day 6 - LYV...bag Half Dome and down via mist
Stay in backpacker camp in Valley behind stables...no reservation needed...one person takes bus to Tuolumne...($20.00 pp) & drive back to Valley

or

Day 1 - Tuolumne Campgrounds - same
Day 2 - Trail to lower Cathedral...camp at upper Cathedral (6 miles total)
Day 3 - Sunrise Lakes...stay at lower of the 3
Day 4 - Clouds Rest overnight
Day 5 - Bag the Dome on the way by, and either stay in LYV or all the way down as previous trip...
bus to Tuolumne


or a short loop

Day 1 - Tuolumne Campgrounds
Day 2 - Lyell fork to Ireland cutoff
Day 3 - up to Ireland, Hanging Basket, Townsend...Vogelsang?
Day 4 - Bernice,
Day 5 - back to Booth and down to Tuolumne via Rafferty Creek

or

Day 1 Tuolumne to Glen Aulin
Day 2 - Waterwheel Falls
Day 3 - Pate Valley
Day 4 - up to White Wolf
Day 5 Tuolumne

or...
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Intro to Yosemite

Postby sheapr73 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:34 am

Those are some awesome recomendations. Thanks for taking the time. What about JMT from the Valley or Tuolumne to Devil's Postpile? Is the do able in six days? Maybe this is the wrong forum to ask, but I see YARTS goes from Mammoth to the Valley. Could we stay the night we fly in (planning on arriving in Reno about 11AM) and leave a car at Devil's Postpile take YARTS to the valley? How do you get from DPP to YART stop? Night 1 LYV, Night 2 Cathedral Lake, Night 3 Ireland Creek Junction, etc (right now I only have a YNP map). Also how do you cache food in Tuolumne? Arrange with store? Pick a bearbox and hope? Sorry every answer seems to spout more questions.
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Re: Intro to Yosemite

Postby Rosabella » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:27 pm

Getting to Reds Meadow from either the Valley or Tuolumne is definately "do-able" in 6 days. There's some beautiful country that you'll go thru... If you start at Happy Isles and go up the Mist Trail (which, of course, is technically not the JMT) you'll be climbing right next to Vernal and Nevada Falls - very dramatic.

All of it is beautiful....the views at Sunrise, the long, level stretch of trail of Tuolumne Meadows/Lyell Canyon, Donahue Pass and Island Pass are easy passes with amazing views of Sierra (one of my favorite places to camp is just below Donahue Pass, above Lyell Canyon), the Ritter Range, Thousand Island Lake is SO photogenic... it just goes on and on....

It's not a good idea to just "cache" food in one of the beaboxes on the trail. Unfortunately, people have had food "dissappear"... plus if it's a busy "bear" area (i.e. Lyell Canyon), bearbox space is paramount for people camping there that night.

You can send a re-supply to the Tuolumne Meadow Post Office - Just address it as:
(your name)
General Delivery
Tuolumne Meadows, CA 95389

Make a note on the outside of the package approximately when you'll be picking it up.

You can rent a Garcia bearproof canister from the Ranger Station, either in the Valley or at Tuolumne Meadows.

Sorry, I can't help you with the YARTS thing... I've always pre-arranged for vehicle shuttle, or hitch-hiked :) .

Have a great hike, wherever you decide to go!
Rosie
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Re: Intro to Yosemite

Postby markskor » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:28 pm

Agree with Rosabella above...a great trip.
Since you only have 5 - days, why not just do Tuolumne to Mammoth (Reds Meadows) -
It is an easy 28 mile hike, but allows a lay over at 1000 Island Lake...great fishing and scenic plus.

Day 1 - Tuolumne Backpacker camp as stated previously. Leave the car at the signed wilderness office lot there. (after getting your permit)..make sure no food left visible in car as the rangers do check...safe though to leave car. Take your packs and walk the 1/4 mile to the main campground/store complex/ burger shack and stay in backpacker camp (real close)...soak up the scenery...worth it just to hang out at the store a while....Tuolumne!
Day 2 - Take the Lyell trail (JMT...in back of campground) towards Donahue Pass...first 7 miles is river flat...then it dramatically goes up 3000 ft or so. I always stay 1/2 the way up the hill, just past the creek/small bridge about 2 miles below Donahue ...about 9 miles total that day.
Day 3...Over Donahue in the morning to 1000 Island Lake and the base of Banner...can't do much better. If fishing (hint), plan a layover day and explore options aplenty....about 8 trail miles that day.
Day 5 - an easy 9 miles down to Agnew Meadows/Reds (3 different trail options here),...camp along the river or at many lakes close. There is a tram every half hour...costs ~$9.00 a head to take you up to Mammoth ski area, from which you can take a free shuttle bus down to the town of Mammoth...burgers /pizza/ and beer!...and in front of the Shilo Inn there in town is the Yarts bus stop to take you back to Tuolumne....~$20 or so...back to your car. I am not sure when exactly the Yarts bus leaves Mammoth this season - varies in past years...call Yosemite Yarts to check it out.
Great 5 Day trip...highly recommended.
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Re: Intro to Yosemite

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:58 pm

Good info from Markskor. My son and I did exactly that trip two years ago,except we left our car in Mammoth and shuttled to Tuolumne. That way, we had our car there when we exited at Mammoth. We couldn't make the Yarts thing work, seems like it didn't leave when we needed it to, so we arranged for a private shuttle between Mammoth and Tuolumne. If I remember correctly, the cost wasn't much more. As Markskor said, call Yarts, but be prepared for ignorance. Seems the shuttle only runs in the summer and some of the Yarts people who answer the phone don't know about it. Also google it for more info.
Thousand Island Lake is beautiful, but a lot of people know it and there seemed to be a lot of people there when we passed by. I wish we had camped at Island Pass ( a mile of so before Thousand Island Lake) for more solitude. Can't comment on the fishing , though.
Consider this in your planning...From Reno to Mammoth is ~3 to 4 hour drive. So if you get in at 11, and spend 30 min. or so getting your luggage and car, you'll get to Mammoth around 3pm at the earliest. If you go to Tuolumne first, maybe knock 30 min. off that ? Because of that, we spent the first night in Mammoth (Motel 6 for a cheap room).
One more thing...get a Tom Harrison map of the area. I got the full JMT pack, but I think there's one of the DPP area (may not include Yosemite, though). Again, google is your friend, but I think the website is tomharrisonmaps.com.
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