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yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

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yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby john barrett » Mon May 30, 2011 4:54 pm

Hello,
I have become frustrated trying to plan a 30-40 mile hike in Yosemite for the dates listed above. The amount of snow and the road closures are making me not sure what I should do. I am staying a night or two in the valley and was planning on doing the Grand Canyon hike from Tuolumne back to the valley, but its not looking like the road is going to allow for this. My original idea was a loop through the Clark Range and that does not seem plausible either. I have hiked on the PCT all the way through in 08 so I have plenty of experience. I am not picky but the better the scenery and the fewer people the better. I appreciate any recommendations that anyone has. Just found this site and it has already proven helpful. Thank you, John B.



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Re: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby AlmostThere » Mon May 30, 2011 5:29 pm

The road isn't the only problem - there's also the creek crossings! Grand Canyon has a few bridges along the route, but there are a couple of creeks without bridges that will be very dangerous. (The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne doesn't go into Yosemite valley, btw, it goes toward Hetch Hetchy.)

How about Hetch Hetchy high country? Maybe by then it will have melted out enough - the loop up Beehive and out to Jack Main and down Tiltill to Rancheria would be in your mileage range. You may be walking in water in some spots but p'raps it won't be snowy.
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Re: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby maverick » Mon May 30, 2011 6:09 pm

Hi JB

JB wrote ". I am staying a night or two in the valley and was planning on doing the
Grand Canyon hike from Tuolumne back to the valley, but its not looking like the
road is going to allow for this."
Which were you planning to do Tuolumne>Yosemite Valley or Tuolumne>GCT>Hetchy, no
Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne to Yosemite Valley possible?
A lot of people share you frustrations, with even more snow on Wed, and then more
on Sat and Sun, things are not going to start thawing out for a while.
You say you did the PCT, are you comfy with cross-country, how about snow travel
because you'll have to be if you want to get high up, otherwise you'll have to find
something out of the Hetchy area.
You could go to Lake Vernon area, and then up to Branigan Lakes area, which will
offer you all the solitude you want.
If you added maybe 1-2 days you could do an out and back hike thru the GCT from
the Hetch area up to the Waterwheel Falls area, though the area above Pate Valley
may be a problem.
It really depends on what your willing to deal with.
You could hike out of the Valley since you be there any ways and use those two days
to extend your back country trip.
For example you could hike up to LLV and back to Merced Lake, then use the High Trail
to get to Clouds Rest, the last section of the High Trail and the JMT will have snow.
Spend a night at the JMT/Clouds Rest Junction, and climb Clouds Rest one day
and Half Dome the next.
LLV will be a zoo, Merced Lake should be okay, and on the High Trail you should be alone.
If you're not interested in Clouds Rest or Half Dome because you have done it before
(highly recommend Clouds Rest if you haven't) then continue up to Washburn Lake
and then come back via the High Trail, and forget about CR and HD.
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: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby East Side Hiker » Tue May 31, 2011 8:20 am

The creek crossings are going to be a problem in late June in the Yosemite region. It would be wild to see the Tuolumne downstrem of Tuolumne Meadows though. It will be pumping. Wouldn't you think though, that in late June this year, Lake Vernon and the area would be pretty much still snowed in, especially because of the tree cover. That creek would be beautiful though, probably over the bank.
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thanks for sugggestions

Postby john barrett » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:19 am

Thank you for all your suggestions. If you have any more, please keep them coming.
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Re: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:05 pm

The issue is rather simple. There is going to be snow at higher elevations well into the early summer. Most of the destinations backpackers want to go to are in those higher timberline and alpine elevations. Generally the backpacking experience across snow is unpleasant unless one is of the few that have the gear, skill, and experience to enjoy it.

There are actually lots of lower elevation short hiking and backpacking alternatives to hiking in those higher elevations but one is not going to have that High Sierra experience and in fact would likely be boring to many. Alternatively there are many places to backpack even on lengthy trails if one is intent on doing so, in the Coast Range or our Southern California desert areas. But if intent on the Sierra, then you will have to forgo a long backpack and just do some short ones from trailheads that are available down lower. I know a number of such places though you are unlikely to get any advice here.

So the better strategy is to research such places out yourself by looking at topographic maps in the Sierra for elevations below 7000 feet. You be surprised at all the trails and jeep roads, many of which rarely see any people much less vehicles. For instance the FrenchTrail is 57 miles long in Sierra National Forest along the northern walls of the San Joaquin River. I'd bet no one here has even heard of it and there is probably little information about it on the web. The few popular areas that are known like Rancheria from Hetch Hetchy will be mobbed without any available permits. Its ironic that there are other trails and jeep roads even in that same area that will be devoid of hikers simply because 98% of people get there advice from other people as though all the worthy places are already in the public domain. And that is false.

David
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Re: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:43 pm

I have done 4-5 day trips early by staying near the Valley. For example: Start at the Wawona Tunnel - up the Pohono Trail with side trips to all the viewpoints, camp on Bridalveil Creek. Continue to Glacier Point, then down the Panorma Trail - you have to take a 2 mile side trip to camp on Illouette Cr above the bridge, or continue to LIttle Yosemite Valley (hard to get permits). Continue on Panorama Trail to Nevada Falls, down Mist Trail, where you could camp at Backpackers campground, or continue up Snow Creek trail where there is good camping on flat buttress just south of the bridge across Snow Creek. Continue on North Rim Traverse. You will get some snow but should be able to walk on it. You will have to haul water (there is supposed to be a spring near North Dome, but I have found it dry at times) but camping on North Dome is fabulous. Then out Yosemite Falls. Stash packs and walk through the Valley, either south or north valley trails to Bridalveil Falls parking lot. Then take the old Tioga Road back to car at Wawona Tunnel. There are many variations on this theme. And shuttle busses you can take to get to points in the Valley. The two trails that are easy to get permits are Pohono and Snow Creek. If you spend the night in the Valley at the Backpackers campground, you would have to get two separate permits. Simply take the shuttle to the wilderness office and get second half permit. Although you cross back into the Valley, if you want it to feel more like a continuous backpack, then just quicky pass through. This is a very challenging loop - lots of elevation ups and downs, spectacular scenery and shoud be prime watefall viewing. You have the option to start at many places - Wawona Tunnel, Glacier Point, Happy Isles, Mirror Lake, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls. You can go clockwise- or counter clockwise. You could take a slower pace and just to the Pohono-Panorma section. Or you could skip the Panorama trail and come down the Four Mile Trail. Although this is not a conventional backpack, it is a wonderful route. You could even resupply at the Curry Village store so keep packs very light. Could even take a quick shower!

Anyway- creative thinking is what is needed this year with the snow!
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Re: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:41 pm

SSSdave wrote:
So the better strategy is to research such places out yourself by looking at topographic maps in the Sierra for elevations below 7000 feet. You be surprised at all the trails and jeep roads, many of which rarely see any people much less vehicles. For instance the FrenchTrail is 57 miles long in Sierra National Forest along the northern walls of the San Joaquin River. I'd bet no one here has even heard of it and there is probably little information about it on the web.


You Lose.

The French Trail is remnants of old sheepherder trails in that area. It is in various stages of decomposition, mostly due to the many cattle that have obliterated parts of the trail. You need a map and compass skills to navigate the many side trails that hunters and cattle have made. There are some DUMB ducks/cairns that will leave you wandering crazily across steep hillsides.

I went part of the way on the trail. I wouldn't go down there in summer.
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Re: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:49 pm

Yes you get a prize haha!

You appear to be right AT about the condition of that old trail as I found one comment on the web similar to yours. Once I did go on a short section of it near the Fish Creek Camp trailhead that appeared ordinary like an old jeep road but it is a long trail and has apparently not been maintained in some sections. In any case there are other trails and jeep roads one will see on maps at low elevations that are also mysteries. Some are no doubt fine and it is up to a person to research such because most of us tend to hike and backpack at higher elevations. As WD noted in her post, if one can be creative there are good choices for heading out with a pack even when snows are covering up higher elevations.
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Re: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby East Side Hiker » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:16 pm

As always, I am pleased and amazed by the good advice from the HST members. Respect the advice. There is a huge Sierra world out there, and any time and any place one can go is going to be good, even if you happen upon an old vehicle with bullet holes in it. Find a peak ad climb it. Look for a meadow off-trail full of flowers...
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Re: yosemite hike from june 21-24 or 25th

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:36 am

As backpackers we all want "big scenery" and "few people". This year, you may have to get into the snow to acheive both those goals. The valley rim traverse I mentioned above definitely has the "big scenery" but you have to occasionally sacrafice the "few people" concept and you may still have patches of snow. Only you can decide if that is too much compromise to make. A few more details on the traverse- 42 miles total, 13,000 feet gain and loss, 5-day trip would average 8.5 miles per day and 3,000 give or take gain per day. I have done this route, even when the valley was crowded, and yes, you bump into people but except for the Mist Trail and Yosemite Falls trail you really will not see many people. Granted, not like a High Sierra trip, but I personally rather deal with a few people rather than backpack in inferior secenery just to avoid people.

If you really want to do the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne , have you thouhgt about going to Harden Lake from Aspen Valley (about 7 miles and 1,500 feet gain), then down to Pate Valley and go up the Tuolumne as far as you can go, and simply return same route. Also, it is possible that the road will be open to White Wolf before the entire road opens to Tioga Pass. You could at least see the lower half of the canyon.
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Hetchy/Rancheria Falls/Lake Vernon/Beehive/Hetchy Loop

Postby john barrett » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:32 am

Thanks again to all. At this point I am leaning towards the loop from Hetchy/Rancheria Falls/Lake Vernon/Beehive/Hetchy. Other suggestions are welcome but I would appreciate some more info on this loop and what to expect condition wise. I am thinking of getting some Kahtoola microspikes for this trip. I have poles. Any comments on the microspikes?
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