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Reds Meadow to Yosemite Valley trip plan

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Re: Reds Meadow to Yosemite Valley trip plan

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:46 pm

Be aware that the NPS is currently restricting climbs of Half Dome on weekends. A temporary rule is in effect that requires a specific permit to climb Half Dome on Fri-Sun. So when you get your permit, be sure to specifically request whatever paperwork you need to climb Half Dome. Rather than carry your pack over Cloud's Rest, it may be easier to set up camp near the trail junction and just quickly hike up Clouds Rest in the afternoon.

To be totally legal and use the backpackers campgrounds (one at Tuolumne and one in Valley) you have to permit two specific trips - trip 1 Reds Meadow to Tuolumne. Trip 2 Tuolumne to Valley. If you spend one night out of the wilderness area (in Tuolumne) it is not considered one trip.

I prefer the River Trail to the high trail to Shadow Lake. I think the river is quite pretty.

I did not like the campground at Sunrise Camp. The sites are over-used, dusty and crowded. I see no reason to stay at these campsites unless you are having dinner or breakfast at the camps. There are lots of other better sites nearby.

I would take the Mist Trail from the top of Nevada Falls to the Valley, not the John Muir Trail. It is about a mile shorter and very spectacular - gets you up close and personal with Vernal Falls - I just love to get soaked by the spray! There are lots of rock steps - no problem - just go slow. Trekking poles help. I have been up and down the Mist trail with light to heavy packs. Do not let anyone tell you that it is not "backpackable". If you have time, drive up to Glacier Point. The best sunset view of the valley is from the Wawona Tunnel parking area (called Inspiration Point).



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Re: Reds Meadow to Yosemite Valley trip plan

Postby ChinMusic » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:25 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Be aware that the NPS is currently restricting climbs of Half Dome on weekends. A temporary rule is in effect that requires a specific permit to climb Half Dome on Fri-Sun. So when you get your permit, be sure to specifically request whatever paperwork you need to climb Half Dome.

Thanks for the reminder. I had read about that but we hit Half Dome on a Tuesday. I believe our permit would have been good for HD on any day but I didn't read that closely since I knew we would be there on a weekday.

Wandering Daisy wrote:I would take the Mist Trail from the top of Nevada Falls to the Valley, not the John Muir Trail. It is about a mile shorter and very spectacular - gets you up close and personal with Vernal Falls - I just love to get soaked by the spray! There are lots of rock steps - no problem - just go slow. Trekking poles help. I have been up and down the Mist trail with light to heavy packs. Do not let anyone tell you that it is not "backpackable".

Would the Mist Trail or JMT be better for photography after Nevada Falls?
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Re: Reds Meadow to Yosemite Valley trip plan

Postby markskor » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:31 pm

Thoughts:
Waugh Lake – Last season they were doing work on the dam (finished?) and lowered the water…looks nice from the trail but it is a muddy bog – Avoid! I would stay at 1000 Island a night, or maybe small lake near Island Pass.

Two places to camp over Donahue. Small green tarn ~1 ½ miles Tuolumne side or Twin Bridges – a mile further and down another 1000’.

Since Rangers do not check Permits at Tuolumne BP camp, staying over a night – fruit, burgers, and soft ice cream…still all one permit.

You cannot camp atop Clouds Rest anymore – (Why you ask?) - Have to camp 100 feet off trail and the knife-edge trail bisects the summit block – thus no camping there (legally). Many still do – plenty of room for 8. That being said, after an hour or so on CR, head down the regular South trail towards HD. About 1 ½ miles (maybe 2 ) down and having lost ~1000 feet elevation, right on the trail, there is a small but year-round artesian spring popping out, (cannot miss it – even marked on 7.5 series maps) - and a few truly great places to camp nearby, under large Ponderosas . You will not see anyone else and the views are spectacular.

Or,
about 2 miles farther, after you hit the HD trail junction and made the right (still ~2 miles to HD cables), there is another artesian spring about ¼ mile after the junction…also ample and good water…it is behind a large fallen log…stay alert and you should not miss it… or ask everyone coming down where it is, remember, only ~1/4 mile after you are on HD trail.
An early morning start from there, (without packs) will get you to the cables before all the LYV folk, having the Dome to yourself.
After the Dome, back to your packs and continue through LYV and down.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Reds Meadow to Yosemite Valley trip plan

Postby ChinMusic » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:23 pm

2 weeks til we start this trip....really pumped.

I've decided to drive from Illinois instead of flying. Will leave 5 days before the backpacking segment and plan on stopping at Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Death Valley on the way out.

I won't be able to hike much on the way out so most of the sightseeing will be from a car.

Any other suggestions on for must-sees on the way out (I70) or the way back thru Salt Lake (I80)?
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