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camping at Half Dome

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camping at Half Dome

Postby don norton » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:00 pm

Can anyone help me I am planning on a trip to Tenaya Lake, and 1st night I want to camp close to Half Dome so I can be on the top when the sun rises. Does anyone have any suggestions. Also I am from the east coast what is the most senecic route from Tenaya Lake going to Toulumne Meadows. Email me email is donnorton@comcast.net Thanks

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Postby LarBear » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:32 pm

The closest palce to camp at half dome is at a stream just below it. I don't think you are allowed to camp there anymore though so you would have to stay with the mob in Little Yosemite Valley. Half Dome at night? With or without a full moon? I guess the cables are doable at night but I would hate to do the rest by flashlight.
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Postby markskor » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:57 pm

Regarding camping at Half Dome, the last water is that little artesian spring about 2 miles below...after the trail junction with Clouds Rest. My understanding about camping there, anywhere up there is legal as long as you are not on the Dome per se...thus that flat spot above Quarter Dome...near that one big tree just below the cables...should be OK. (ask a ranger?) You just have to carry enough water.

The problem, as I see it, is that you are coming from Tenaya. I do not know how many days you have allocated for this trip...it can be done in one...better two...three even better. One nice route is taking the fisherman's trail up the waterfall to Lower Cathedral...then camping at Upper Cathedral 1st night...or maybe taking the Budd Lake trail, popping over the ridge, and x-country also to Upper Cathedral......camping at the lower of the Three Sunrise Lakes is possible if a straight shot from Tenaya is desired...so is staying atop Clouds Rest...best views in the park...9900ft. You can also go around Clouds Rest and, from there it is a short jaunt and all downhill to the Dome junction and then up again to 8800 ft of Half Dome.

So many possibilities...need more information on your plans.
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Postby The Other Tom » Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:30 am

Mark gave some good info. Here's my experience...
We decided to go the other way, ie, start in the Valley and go up. I also wanted to be near the top early moring, so we planned to get as close as possible. Get a good topo map (we actually bought one in the valley the day before the hike) and you'll see there is a nice flat spot before quarter dome...at least I think that's what they call it. It's a great place for camping, and camping is allowed there (we asked a Ranger to make sure). By the way, make sure you rent a bear canister for your food. It's mandatory. Only issue is that there's no water so we had to lug our water with us. Worked out well for us. As a side note, a group came through the area at about 3 AM heading to the summit so they could be there at sunrise. We met them as they were coming down in the early morning. The advantages of an early morning summit are...solitude, and the threat of thunderstorms is low.
You could then continue your hike up to Tenya lake if you desired, or go back to the valley, etc.
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