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Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby thompsonpat » Thu May 26, 2011 8:01 am

i should add that mom/dad have backpacked a fair bit (mom lived in a tent in the white inyo area for a summer) but that we've been away from it all for a while...our daughter is totally into vista - will hike for hours for a good view, or spend a half hour looking at/drawing a pic of a new critter.



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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby amigo » Sun May 29, 2011 10:45 am

Can you stay at any backpacker campground in the Park on the day before and day after the dates on a wilderness permit good for any trailhead in the Park, or can you only stay at a backpacker's campground closest to the trailhead on the permit?
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby maverick » Sun May 29, 2011 11:02 am

According to regulations on the Yosemite NPS site:

Backpackers' campgrounds are available for wilderness permit holders to spend one night before and one night after a wilderness trip. Camping is limited to one night at a time. Reservations are neither necessary nor required. However, a valid wilderness permit is required to stay at the campground. The fee is $5 per person (pay using envelopes at the campground). Parking is not available directly at campgrounds; instead park at designated overnight parking areas and walk to the backpackers' campground.

Yosemite Valley: The backpackers' campground is behind North Pines Campground (and across the footbridge). Open April through mid October (approximately). If arriving at night, please be quiet as you unload your car in the unloading zone and walk to the campground. This campground has vault toilets and no potable water (potable water is available nearby in North Pines Campground).

Tuolumne Meadows: These sites are inside the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, behind the A loop. Open July through late September (approximately).

White Wolf: These sites are at the back of the White Wolf Campground. Open July through mid September (approximately).

Hetch Hetchy: The campground is next to the overnight parking area. Open all year.

Wawona: No backpackers' campground.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby amigo » Sun May 29, 2011 12:51 pm

Don't see anything limiting which backpacker campground one can stay at in relation to whichever trailhead is marked on the wilderness permit so that's good. Thanks for the info.

Do the backpacker's campgrounds have food lockers like at the other campgrounds?

In mid-August, would arriving in Yosemite Valley by car (from Tuolumne Meadows) on a Friday late afternoon/early evening likely be bumper-to-bumper? Sorry for all the questions but I've never been there and I'm trying to be prepared for the worst.

Thanks very much.
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue May 31, 2011 3:29 pm

I have stayed at the Yosemite backpackers CG a number of times, for some reason one of the darkest camps I have ever been in. Must be the high walls and trees. I believe it features a bathroom. One time I had it all to myself, and the most people I have seen there is maybe one or two other parties. Not once did a Ranger come around, but that does not mean they won't.

I have day-hiked to the top of Yosemite falls in all seasons from the valley floor. One of the easiest ways to get to the top of the falls is from the Tioga Road, either from the Yosemite Creek CG or from Porcupine Flats CG (or the turnout a mile east of there where the North Dome trail really begins). There is a trail that goes down to the Yosemite Creek CG, as well as another west of there that goes down to Yosemite Creek. I expect the bus can drop one at any of those TH's. I have gone down to Indian Rock, the Natural Arch and North Dome and back as a day-hike, and it would be a medium-small matter to get to the top of Yosemite Falls from the area of North Dome. If you take this route, be sure to check out Yosemite Point and Lost Arrow, and don't forget that at Yosemite Falls there is a way to get down the face of the cliff next to the falls to a nice observation area. It is a long slog down to the valley: this whole hike takes some time, so start as early as possible.
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The viewing area next to the top of Yosemite Falls on the face of the cliff. (Yup, that is me.)
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby thompsonpat » Tue May 31, 2011 3:59 pm

Thanks Doyle, especially re the comment on distance to go from above to a viewing location of the "falls".... care to speculate on August conditions in this snow year? :-) We've settled on a round trip from Porcupine to the upper falls and back around to Yosemite Creek campground for an inaugural backpacking trip for our daughter. i think the vistas will be rewarding (indian rock, northdome and the points you mention) and the aerial maps i found from this site will be a great opportunity to talk about glaciation etc. It's important that the first "serious" :-) outing be fun so we can keep on getting out.
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby amigo » Tue May 31, 2011 5:49 pm

Thanks for the info, Doyle. I can't imagine just a few people at that CG on a weekend in August, but I guess I get the picture. NIce photo - thanks for sharing. Can't wait!

Does anyone know what bus I have to take from Yosemite Valley up to the Porcupine Creek trailhead? Is it a free shuttle or a YART? We hope to leave early in the morning so we get a relatively early start from the trailhead. How long is the hike from the trailhead into the Valley via North Dome and Yosemite Falls? I think it's somewhere in the vicinity of 13 miles, is it not ... and mostly downhill? If so, it should be ok as long as we get a start before 9-9:30am. Not sure what time the bus goes by the trailhead.
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue May 31, 2011 7:32 pm

thompsonpat wrote:.... care to speculate on August conditions in this snow year? :-)

For your proposed trip, and easy one, snow will not be an issue. Your whole trip is under 8000 feet and most of the time below 7000 feet. Just keep a tight grip on yer kid near the walls, please. :paranoid:

I am wondering when spring will finally get here. Sure still feels like winter... :angry:
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 31, 2011 7:40 pm

amigo wrote:Does anyone know what bus I have to take from Yosemite Valley up to the Porcupine Creek trailhead? Is it a free shuttle or a YART? We hope to leave early in the morning so we get a relatively early start from the trailhead. How long is the hike from the trailhead into the Valley via North Dome and Yosemite Falls? I think it's somewhere in the vicinity of 13 miles, is it not ... and mostly downhill? If so, it should be ok as long as we get a start before 9-9:30am. Not sure what time the bus goes by the trailhead.


The hiker bus leaves Curry around 7:30 am, I believe. YARTS is another option if they would allow you to specify where you are dropped off as the hiker bus does... I think they have set stops tho. Hiker bus should be about 14 bucks per person unless it's gone up. You also should reserve seats.

The mileage sounds about right. The downhill on the Yose falls trail is brutal on the knees - granite steps and short switchbacks. You have to walk at least to the Lodge for bus service of any kind. Fortunately it's a short walk.
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 31, 2011 7:49 pm

The YARTS schedule and fees are on the internet. I may be wrong, but I thought the YARTS bus only goes once a day leaving about 4PM from the Valley heading towards Tioga Pass. I was looking into that for an early season trip when they only do weekends. On full summer schedule, they may have more options. They say that they will let you off at trailheads as long as there is a safe place to pull over and it does not slow them down too much. They are kind of wishy washy with that. I expect that if everyone on the bus wanted to get off at every trailhead between the Valley and Tioga Pass, they may not do that.

YARTS is definitely the cheapest ride. I think the Yosemite tour bus is $20+ per person. You also get a senior discount, and discount for kids on YARTS.
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day hike

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue May 31, 2011 7:55 pm

Oh, another thought. If you are coming from Tuolumne, why not just park at the trailhead on Tioga Road and hike to the valley. Then leave the family in Yosemite to sight-see while you take a bus back to pick up your car. That way it is only one ticket and less stress on the family. And then you do not have to even think about traffic to the Valley to catch a bus.
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Re: Pocupine Creek to North Dome and Yosemite Valley as day

Postby rrrice » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:20 am

What should I expect this year in terms of water availability along this trail by late-July?
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