Sept Cathedral Lakes permit secured - advice please

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Sept Cathedral Lakes permit secured - advice please

Post by 2mutts » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:26 pm

First, thank you Mike for directing me to this site. I have found it very helpful in planning my trip to Yosemite. My husband and I are in our mid 30's, in good shape, and seasoned backpackers. We're comfortable in just about anything you don't need cramp-ons or ropes for. Solitude and cross country trips are great. With the major altitude change we'll be experiencing, 10 mile days are probably tops. I'm steeling myself for that lack of solitude (and O2 :lol: ) while in Yosemite enjoying the views. I guess sometimes you just can't have it all!

I have a few questions regarding planning my trip.

To begin, we plan to spend a couple days leisurely hiking around North Dome, etc. trying to get acclimated. I have a permit for starting at Porcupine Flat CG. I have heard that water is typically available in Lehamite Cr, are there any good camp sites near water mid Sept?

I then have a four day permit secured for Cathedral Lakes TH (last two on opening day, wow those things go fast - I tried a couple other TH's that were already gone, and I don't want to drive that far and not have a firm plan). I was thinking staying a night near Sunrise Lakes, then on to Clouds Rest for another night near Sunrise Creek and the John Muir, then meandering our way out towards the CLTH. Are there any must see's that we should make within that section? Also, does Sunrise Creek tend to have water mid Sept, or should we plan on camping elsewhere? (Obviously a lot depends on the weather between now and then, but I'm trying to get an idea.)

Our last day we'll probably take in Gaylor lakes, but I'm open to suggestions for any other must see's for an easy day hike.

In between trips, my husband wants a hot shower and a bed, so I'm thinking about staying in Lee Vining. Any thoughts/suggestions there?

We're planning to come back in Feb/Mar next year for some xc-skiing around Glacier Point/Ostrander Lake, so we plan on taking in the valley at that time. (Open to suggestions here, too).

Thank you very much for your assistance. I'm super excited about this trip, and it was almost excruciating to have to narrow it down to what to see in 7 days. My parents were rangers there from a year prior to my existence to my toddler years, so I've heard stories my whole life, but haven't seen the park since I was a kid. I'm sure a lot has changed the the last 30+ years!

Thanks again.

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Re: Sept Cathedral Lakes permit secured - advice please

Post by Mike M. » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:48 pm

Not sure about what kind of water availability you will find in mid September (suspect you should be OK), but wanted you to know that mid September is a fantastic time to hike in Yosemite. You won't see the hoards of hikers that descend on the area in the summer through Labor Day weekend. After Labor Day weekend, you might have the place to yourself. Have a great time!


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Re: Sept Cathedral Lakes permit secured - advice please

Post by adam » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:55 pm

I did a trip in the cathedral area with my wife early last october. It was a combination of trails and easy cross country. pictures are here, including a map: ... hedralLoop#" onclick=";return false;

That whole area is very scenic, and very easy for off-trail travel. I absolutely hate the trail from T.meadows to Cathedral lakes-- it's stuck in the forest, built as a horse highway, and always dusty. To me, the "only" way to get to the lakes is via the semi-official (but very real) trail to Budd lake, then XC to cathedral. But that's just my opinion-- obviously if you want to make time, the big trail is the way to go.

Getting off trail is, as everywhere, the best to avoid crowds, but you may not get complete solitude-- between climbers and other campers I've had about 50% success having places to myself off trail around there (of course, for that other 50% I ruined someone else's tranquility!)

I don't want to lead to any mishaps, but if you're in decent shape and take it easy, you probably wouldn't need extra days to get acclimated-- one (of many) of the great things about that area is that you can get right up into the high country with very mellow elevation gain. If it were me, I'd ditch north dome and spend more time up high.

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Re: Sept Cathedral Lakes permit secured - advice please

Post by balzaccom » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:22 pm

Don't count out North Dome. It's not one of my top three hikes in Yosemite, but it's well worth doing and seeing,. When we were there in late August last year there was water in the creek, and this year seems to be wetter (at least up to now) so my guess is that you should be OK. We did it as a day hike from Porcupine, and it was lovely.

You can see all our trail recommendations on the website below--there's a big list for Yosemite.

check out our website:" onclick=";return false;

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