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Rafferty Creek to LYV

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Rafferty Creek to LYV

Postby msjjpsu » Tue May 11, 2010 7:47 pm

I am planning on hiking from Rafferty Creek to LYV this June. This is my first time through this section of Yosemite and am curious just how strenuous it will be. I am trying to see if I can get to LYV within 2 days (leave Wednesday morning and arrive at LYV on Thursday night). Is that possible or am I completely nuts?



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Re: Rafferty Creek to LYV

Postby rlown » Tue May 11, 2010 9:08 pm

completely nuts would be a good start, unless you're just about hiking a death march. not even a day or two to enjoy the scenery?

You probably need to share more about your goals along the trail, because all you told us so far is that your into aLOT of hiking..

There's a post at: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205

you might want to fill us in on your goal.
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Re: Rafferty Creek to LYV

Postby msjjpsu » Wed May 12, 2010 4:27 pm

Appreciate your feedback. In reality, I was originally trying to find a nice hike to trek to LYV then to Half Dome. If I can do Half Dome from the Valley (up and back) in a day, then I'll take 2 nights around Vogelsang. A two night/three day round trip from there would be good.

I have a backcountry pass, however, has me exiting in the valley. Is it a problem if I exit where I entered?

If I sound a bit confused it is because I am. 20 years ago I spent two weeks in the backcountry. It seems today that there are so many rules, etc. that I am having a hard time trying to plan this trip.

If I can pick up an overnight pass to hike from the valley to LYV and Half Dome, stay overnight in LYV and then back to the valley the next day, that would be first prize.

Thanks
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Re: Rafferty Creek to LYV

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 12, 2010 6:17 pm

Not completely nuts if you are in good shape and do not have problems at altitude. I personally would not hesitate to do this trip. First day you could get to the outlet area of Emeric Lake - about 9 miles. The elevation gain is to Tuolumne Pass. From here on it is mainly downhill. Second day to LYV is about 12 miles - all downhill. If you travel 2 mph and add an hour for 1,000 feet elevation gain (this is steady moderate pace) Day 1 would be about 7-8 hours travel. Day 2 would be about 6-7 hours. The key is to go light - no reason to carry more than 20-22 pounds.

By the way, there is no reason you have to spend 2nd night in LYV. You can camp in places other than the "campsites", however you then have to carry a bear cannister (just rent it). There is camping above Bunnel Falls, just where the trail crosses the Merced River. This would make 2nd day only about 10 miles. It is an easy half day walk out to Happy Isles from LYV. I usually take the Mist Trail because it is much shorter and very spectacular. Plus, when it is hot I love to get "misted".
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Re: Rafferty Creek to LYV

Postby rlown » Wed May 12, 2010 8:40 pm

You don't have to worry so much about the rules.. They will be explained to you over and over and over.. First you need to decide what you really want to do. 2 days from Rafferty down to LYV and then maybe an HD ascent sounds a little fast and furious.

You can get walk-in permits if you show up early to get them, or call to see if you can change your exit point or length of stay. It sounds like you have a basic plan and a permit. You can either try to change that permit, or do the walk-in.

Personally, I wouldn't do a 10 mile day anymore. It's just to pretty up there to waste most of your day hiking, only to repeat it the next day.
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Re: Rafferty Creek to LYV

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 13, 2010 4:18 pm

This brings up a good point. What kind of a backpacker are you?

I love to move and to me hiking a 10-mile day is wonderful. On good trails a 10-mile day means 5-8 hours of travel, or even less if all is downhill. With a reasonable AM start (say 8:00 on the trail) and if you only take about a 5-minute rest stop each hour, this leaves most of the late afternoon for other activities. To really enjoy walking distances like this, you have to carry a very light pack, be a minimalist camper (I do not use a tent- just a bivy sack) and be able to set up and take down camp very quickly.

Others prefer to take a nice tent, gormet food, walk shorter distances, take longer rest stops, spend lots of time fishing or engage in auxillary hobbies (birding, flower identification, cooking, reading) or getting a later start. Nothing wrong with either method! It is all personal choice.

I also, usually just get the first-come permits. Most of the time I have had no problems getting a permit. If you do this, be sure to be one of the first in line and the Wilderness kiosk. Another tactic is to wait until about 10:30 and see if you can get a permit that is left over from "no-shows". This however means a late start for your first day.
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Re: Rafferty Creek to LYV

Postby msjjpsu » Thu May 13, 2010 6:29 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

My pass is for 4 days. I can actually spend 3 nights in the backcountry and go to HD on the 3rd day. I was considering a daily hike of about 10 miles. If my calculations are correct its about 30 miles from Rafferty Creek to the Valley.

I want a moderate hike versus speedy run through the high country. My original itineary had me starting at Sunrise Lakes but could not get a backcountry pass. That's about 18 miles and I feel really comfortable with that length of trip over 3 days.

Its been 20 years since I've been in the backcountry so I'm not as young as I was before. Love Yosemite and am excited to be returning.

Rafferty Creek was the only trail opening that I could get prior to my visit.

Thanks
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