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Pothole Dome (Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park)

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Re: critique this 7-day route

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critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 07:35AM
I've never been backpacking in yosemite before, and I picked this route based on maps and trail descriptions.

I could always continue down Grand Canyon of Tuolumne to Hetch Hetchy and hitch-hike back to valley. I also suppose I could cut off the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne by hiking west from Tenaya lake along hwy 120 back to Yosemite Falls.

Please let me know if you see any pitfalls in this plan, such as mandatory creek crossings that will be too high from snow-melt. Also, let me know if it's too ambitious for 6 or 7 days.

Re: critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 07:56AM
Which point is the start?
And what time of year is your trip?

Post Edited (05-02-07 09:57)
Re: critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 08:28AM
I would start next Thursday, May 10, at Happy Isles Trailhead up the Mist Trail.. I just talked to a ranger, and I think I would be pushing it to finish in a week. I'm 22, in shape, and a good hiker, but I'd like to finish in 6-7 days.

Perhaps I will stop at Tenaya Lake, head along 120, then cut south past Olmsted Point and back to the valley.

Or, if Tioga Pass Road is open, I will continue through Grand Canyon Tuolumne and be picked up at White Wolf by some friends on day 6 or 7.

Re: critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 12:58PM
I'm not much help because I've never gone that route. However, I thought I might put some resources here that might help you or others out there. I think you did the right thing by calling the Wilderness Center in the Valley, they should have the best information about residual snow, water crossings, etc. If you need to talk to a person and get good information, you should call the Wilderness Center in the middle of the day, after the morning rush. In the morning they are swamped trying to issue people walk-up permits.

Wilderness Conditions Update (not always current)

Trail Lengths and Descriptions:

General Yosemite Wilderness Page (permit availability & other info)

It's difficult to find this information on the website, so you might want to bookmark the pages for later reference.

Post Edited (05-02-07 15:25)
avatar Re: critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 02:24PM
Unless you are doing this trip very early you shouldn't have problems with stream crossings. That said I think it is a bit more than you might want to do in 7 days. I'd at least drop the Yosemite Creek leg. Starting at White Wolf might be a good option for you.

Re: critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 03:13PM
eeek, you don't think it's possible to do that second map route in 7 days? How many miles is it r.moore?

I don't know if you'll be crossing Illouette Creek, but there's only one bridge... I can't tell from your map if that's your route or not. If you're not planning on crossing at the bridge, it can be tricky. I have no idea how the water levels are this year since there hasn't been much snow, but when I went a few years ago at the end of June after a high snow year, crossing the Illouette was at least at my knees, freezing cold, the water was a-movin and it was a pretty wide crossing. And it was early in the morning when the water was shallowest. I was a little scared. Ok maybe more than a little. We camped nearby the night before with the hopes we could cross it at its lowest before the late afternoon snowmelt made it deeper. You can always ask the rangers/wilderness center about your particular crossings.
avatar Re: critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 03:37PM
letterknit wrote:

> eeek, you don't think it's possible to do that second map route
> in 7 days?

The second one is doable. I was responding to the first.

> I don't know if you'll be crossing Illouette Creek, but there's
> only one bridge... I can't tell from your map if that's your
> route or not.

Looks like he starting from Happy Isles to me.

Re: critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 09:03PM
thanks for the replies! Half Dome cables aren't up yet, so that side-trip is cancelled, and Tioga Rd. won't be open when I start next Thursday, so I can't start from White Wolf.

I need to be finished at the end of day 6. Here's what I've come up with:

Once I get to Tenaya Lake, see if Tioga Rd. is open. If it's open, head north to Glen Aulin, hike to White Wolf, have someone meet me there. If it's closed, head south to North Dome and Yosemite Falls.

Are both of these routes good 6 day trips? Would you propose any detours or alternate routes?

avatar Re: critique this 7-day route
May 03, 2007 12:12PM

Suggested route: (Yellow Route with modifications)

Day One - Floor to junction of trail to Clouds Rest and the John Muir Trail. This is right by the little l in Little Yosemite Vally (summer only) text on your map. There is a great campsite there and water close by. about 6 miles and +3000 feet

Day Two - Up over Clouds Rest and on to the first of the Sunrise Lakes. Once you are over Clouds Rest the hike to Sunrise isn't too bad. about 7 miles and +2800 feet and -1000 feet.

Day Three - Sunrise Lakes to Mount Wadkins. This will take you past Olmstead Point and Highway 120. Mount Wadkins is about 0.5 miles off the trail but it is very visible and the terrain is open granite. Get water at the creek you will cross after Olmstead point or go to Hidden Lake to get water. This time of year the creeks should be running. about 8.5 miles -1400 feet and +600 feet. These elevations are broken into chunks. The side trail to Mt. Wadkins is obvious when you get there.

Day Four - Mount Wadkins to North Dome. This leg will take you past the side trail to Indian Arch which adds about 1.2 miles but it's worth it. Get water at Snow Creek and there may be water at Royal Arch Creek which is a little past the junction to North Dome.

Day Five - North Dome to Yosemite Creek. After you get through playing at Yosemite Falls hike up the Yosemite Creek Trail to about 1/4 mile past the Eagle Peak junction and you will be able to camp near the creek. about 5 miles and +200 feet and -1400 feet.

Day Six - Yosemite Creek to El Capitan. This will be a short and easy day. You can take a side trip to Eagle Peak which is about one mile round trip. If you decide to stay on top of El Cap you do get certain bragging rights. "Yeah, I've been to the top of El Cap." There should be water along the way. about 3.5 miles and +600 feet not counting the side trip to Eagle Peak.

Day Seven - El Cap to the Valley floor via Yosemite Falls Trail. This is the long slow route. about 6.5 miles and -3500 feet. The quick short route is a once in a lifetime event.

If you don't have seven days and six nights you can go to the valley floor from North Dome via the Yosemite Falls Trail or from the Yosemite Creek campsite. That way you can knock off either one or two days. I wasn't sure if you had 6 days and five nights or seven days and six nights.

Carry about two liters of extra water bladders per person so when you are in a scarce water area you can load up a bit.

I did not plot the trip down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne but I think it would be more that 6 days would allow.

Be sure you have decent topo maps of this area. 7.5 min are recommended.

Post Edited (05-04-07 14:58)

Old Dude
avatar Re: critique this 7-day route
May 04, 2007 04:50PM
How did you get the maps to post?

Old Dude
avatar Re: critique this 7-day route
May 04, 2007 05:02PM
Re: critique this 7-day route
May 02, 2007 09:29PM
The views from north dome are cool, good choice!
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