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Mono Pass (Yosemite) Camping and Fishing

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Mono Pass (Yosemite) Camping and Fishing

Postby BigPsycheDadee » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:16 pm

I was planning do a 3-4 day backpack in September to get acclimated for a Whitney hike (I'm optimistic about getting permits) a week or so later. I was thinking of parking on the Tioga Road (Dana Meadows) hike up to Mono Pass, set up a basecamp and spend a few days dayhiking and fishing. I had a few questions:

- It's my understanding you can't camp within the Parker Creek drainage and need to get to the east side of the crest (outside of Yosemite NP) before you can set up camp. If so, are there decent places to camp near Upper Sardine Lake? What about just east of the pass? Do these areas tend to get crowded w/ backpackers?

- Since I would be starting my hike in Yosemite NP, but camping outside of the park, who do I get the overnight permit from?

- Does anyone know about the fishing at Upper Sardine Lake, Parker Pass Lake, Spillway Lake, Helen Lake, and the unnamed lake about 1/3 mile due west of Helen Lake?

- How tough is the cross-country travel over to Helen Lake and the unnamed lake to its west?

- For peak-bagging, which did you like better, Mt. Gibbs or Mount Lewis?
A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire.
To win without risk is a triumph without glory.



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Re: Mono Pass (Yosemite) Camping and Fishing

Postby Snow Nymph » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:20 am

We started at Mono Pass TH and camped east of Parker Pass last August. We didn't see anyone the 3 days we were there. On day 2 we bagged Kuna, Koip, Parker and Wood. The others did Lewis the first day. X-ctry travel on all was easy. I think there might have been use trails on parts of the peakbagging.
Trip report: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2284

Mtflyer got the permits, and 3 of us hiked in later in the day so I'm not sure where they got our permits.

A few years ago, two different trips, I dayclimbed Lewis and Gibbs from Mono Pass TH, and both were cool. Mt Lewis didn't have a trail, but it was easy hiking.
Mt Lewis: http://snownymph.smugmug.com/gallery/2161802
Mt Gibbs: http://community.webshots.com/album/470760281zSgEvA


I don't know about fishing since I don't fish. Haven't been to Helen Lake so I can't help on that question either. I took a side trip to the lake and cabins by Mono Pass, but not east of it.
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


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Re: Mono Pass (Yosemite) Camping and Fishing

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:42 am

I can speak to a bit of the fishing and peak bagging. Gibbs is an easy class 1 walkup, but it's best done from a point near the road (leave trail something like 0.5 mile from the road or so) rather than from your base camp. Spillway is a very interesting lake containing both brookies and browns. The browns are alleged to attain pretty decent size, but the best we could do was about a foot. Both species were very numerous though (accounts for lack of large average size). Most of the fisheries in this drainage are reported to be brookie lakes with fish of small to medium sized (with high fish densities). The best reference I know of lakes on the Yosemite side of the boundary in this area is Steve Beck's Yosemite Trout Fishing Guide (Frank Amato Publications). I know nothing of the lakes east of the border.
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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Re: Mono Pass (Yosemite) Camping and Fishing

Postby Sierra Maclure » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:04 pm

Get permits in the jurisdiction you start in - in this case , YNP. I've camped just beyond Parker Pass within the park by some lakelets filled with turkoise glacial flour. I don't know about those regulations you state about having to camp outside the Park.
Great place to acclimate as testified by my own bout of AMS up there after waking in the Bay Area, driving up and hiking in. With this body, I know better. #-o
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Re: Mono Pass (Yosemite) Camping and Fishing

Postby snusmumriken » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:27 pm

Yep, no camping in this part of the park. It's marked as a no camping zone on all the maps and they'll make sure to let you know when you get your permits as well. Supposedly it is to protect water quality - although I'm not sure what makes this area different from others.

Permits are picked up in Tuolomne Meadows and BTW they almost never run out of permits for the Mono Pass Trail, because there is no camping in this part of the park. So unless your group is large, a free walk-up permit should be readily available.

It's an short, easy walk from Spillway Lake up to Helen Lake. However no easy way from Helen to Parker Pass, just go via Spillway.

I did a trip that started in this area a couple of years ago. Pictures here http://www.bernalhill.com/ParkerPass06.htm . (You'll see here that I broke the no camping rule at Helen Lake. I'd planned to go beyond Parker Pass, but lost my way a bit and ended up returning to Helen at the end of the day.)

A map I like for the area is National Geographic Yosemite NE. The scale is 1:40,000 which is more detailed than most.

It's a beautiful area, and because you start out above 10,000 feet you're in tru alpine country without almost any effort at all.

Sorry, I know nothing about fishing.
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Re: Mono Pass (Yosemite) Camping and Fishing

Postby Sierra Maclure » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:15 pm

Well, dang if you can't camp up there. I looked thru the Yos website and found this pdf with all the info: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/trailheads.pdf
It's on pg 6 that it says no camping in that area. I wonder when this was instituted. It's been a number of years since I stayed there. We did see Big Horn Sheep in the area. Perhaps they're protecting them.
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Re: Mono Pass (Yosemite) Camping and Fishing

Postby Sierra Maclure » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:38 pm

Just another aside about rules and regs in Yos: I was camping with a group at Glacier Pt this past wkend. When we got our permit the ranger told us to hang our food. I guess they count on the bears sleeping.
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