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Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike

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Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 03, 2007 10:11AM
I am looking to find if anyone has done the loop hike through the High Sierra Camps including Glen Aulin, May Lake, Sunrise, Merced, and Vogelsang, this year. While I realize that this year may be an exception as to previous years, and conditions may change, I will be there at the end of July and I am trying to get a feel for the following, so far:

Weather
River water levels
Mosquitos
Non-essential 'must-have' items
The ususal menu items served for breakfast, lunch, dinner

Any tips, tricks, or ideas welcome.



Post Edited (07-06-07 11:12)



Jennifer
http://www.sponsorhouse.com/Members/JenniferWilliams/Default.aspx
avatar Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 03, 2007 10:18AM
tothetrail wrote:

> I am looking to find if anyone has done the loop hike through
> the High Sierra Camps including Glen Aulin, May Lake, Sunrise,
> Merced, and Vogelsang, this year. While I realize that this
> year may be an exception as to previous years, and conditions
> may change, I will be there at the end of July and I am trying
> to get a feel for the following, so far:

This seems to be a very different year. I've heard anything from 29% to 45% normal snowpack. I went from Tenaya Lake down to Happy Isles, and the water level in streams and creeks were extremely low. I barely saw any snow - maybe three or four patches and none on any trail.

> Weather

Warm days and cool (40 deg F) nights.

> River water levels

Low.

> Mosquitos

Almost none in the Valley but I got bitten in the backcountry. This may change in a few weeks because there may be little water left.

> Non-essential 'must-have' items

Reading material. I forgot to bring some and wish I had.

> The ususal menu items served for breakfast, lunch, dinner

Can't help you there. I did it in my own tent.
Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 31, 2007 01:36PM
ypw: how did you make reservations to camp in your own tent along the high sierra loop? what was the cost? thx.
avatar Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 31, 2007 02:31PM
S Nusser wrote:

> ypw: how did you make reservations to camp in your own tent
> along the high sierra loop? what was the cost? thx.

Wilderness permit. I wasn't exactly on the High Sierra Loop, but my National Geographic Trails Illustrated map indicates there are designated backpackers campgrounds near each of the High Sierra Camps. I followed the guidelines for using a "previously impacted" site, carried a bear canister, and took other precautions to reduce the chance of animals entering my campsite or destroying my stuff. You're also not guaranteed any particular spot. I had a particular trail junction where I wanted to spend my first two nights. Turns out it was fairly crowded in the area, and I ended up with a less desirable campsite. By the next day, almost everyone had moved on and I relocated a few hundred years to a nicer spot. I spent my third night at Little Yosemite Valley in the backpackers campground. It's a little bit different in there is a fancy solar powered pit toilet, there are a limited number of bear boxes, and the normal backcountry food storage rules (bear canister and cooking 30 ft from any tent) are unenforceable. All the sites are too packed to space out your cooking site from another tent.

http://www.nps.gov/archive/yose/wilderness/permits.htm

It was a $5 reservation fee for me. It's free if you get the permit first-come, first-served (on or one day before the start of the trip) at a wilderness permit station. The catch is you need to haul everything on your back and follow the rules.

Just check some posts, and the procedure for reserving a wilderness permit are described quite often.

Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 31, 2007 08:05PM
S Nusser wrote:

> ypw: how did you make reservations to camp in your own tent
> along the high sierra loop? what was the cost? thx.

I actually entered the lottery system last year. I think the deadline was around the end of November/beginning of December. I was informed around March that my application was not drawn. Around May they list the dates that are still available on the NPS Yosemite website. I created the trip from those available dates. There are actually many cancellations this summer because of the low water levels.

The cost was around $136.00 per person, per night. That included dinner and breakfast. Lunch could be ordered the night before and cost around $12.00.

The trip was phenomenal and was well worth the cost, especially for those who would otherwise be unable to travel in the backcountry with a full backpack.





Jennifer
http://www.sponsorhouse.com/Members/JenniferWilliams/Default.aspx
avatar Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 31, 2007 08:51PM
tothetrail wrote:

> S Nusser wrote:
>
> > ypw: how did you make reservations to camp in your own tent
> > along the high sierra loop? what was the cost? thx.
>
> I actually entered the lottery system last year. I think the
> deadline was around the end of November/beginning of December.
> I was informed around March that my application was not drawn.
> Around May they list the dates that are still available on the
> NPS Yosemite website. I created the trip from those available
> dates. There are actually many cancellations this summer
> because of the low water levels.

Well - when I said "camped in my own tent" I was referring to backcountry camping in the Yosemite wilderness. My comments on this thread were primarily answering the questions about conditions in the high country. Of course I wasn't referring to staying at the High Sierra Camps, where the accomodations are tent cabins. I understand the point is that one doesn't need to carry a tent, sleeping bag, pots, stove, or large amounts of food. One also won't need to carry out all the trash.

> The cost was around $136.00 per person, per night. That
> included dinner and breakfast. Lunch could be ordered the
> night before and cost around $12.00.
>
> The trip was phenomenal and was well worth the cost, especially
> for those who would otherwise be unable to travel in the
> backcountry with a full backpack.

My pack kept on slipping off my waist. I suppose it might be possible to to the High Sierra camp loop with a large daypack that isn't stuffed to capacity.

Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 03, 2007 10:40AM
They had steak for dinner when I went past Vogelsang last August. We didn't stay for dinner, but it sounded good! It's pretty expensive. Sometimes they have walk-in spots for dinner available (if someone cancelled) if you haven't made a reservation.
Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 05, 2007 08:57AM
Thanks so much y_p_w and letterknit.

Definitely good info, I'll bring plenty to read and I look forward to that steak dinner!





Jennifer
http://www.sponsorhouse.com/Members/JenniferWilliams/Default.aspx
Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 09, 2007 01:29PM
I just got back from this hike on June 15/16th. Up Rafferty Creek, Back Lyell Canyon.

- Weather - 70/80 day, 40's night
- Water Levels - Plenty, but nothing very high or fast. I was able to cross everything using boulders.
- Mosquitoes were terrible around the Vogelsang area. They swarmed and were aggressive. They cleared up around Evelyn Lake.
- Must-haves - I was glad I had hiking sticks. I could have left my sleeping back at home and gotten by with a fleece jacket and blanket.
- Food - Trailmix, Bagels, coffee, apples, Dinner - Fresh tortellini with sauce in bag. heat tortellini and drop into sauce. Eat out of bag. Tortillas to sop up sauce.
- Snow - I only crossed snow in 3 places and only 10 steps at the most.

Check sig for pictures





http://picasaweb.google.com/john.stream
Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 18, 2007 09:14PM
Hi JohnStream:

Great info, just what I was looking for. And those are awesome pictures. I'll have to take a look at all of your albums. Looks like you had a fantastic trip.

I'll definitely take those hiking sticks, I decided to try them on the Kalalau Trail on Kauai a few years ago and I think they saved my life. Now I swear by them!





Jennifer
http://www.sponsorhouse.com/Members/JenniferWilliams/Default.aspx
Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 19, 2007 09:14AM
Some of my pictures are similar to JohnStream's, but if you're interested, here are photos from my trip around Vogelsang Peak:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2carolyn/sets/72157594277008328/
Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 19, 2007 10:56AM
letterknit:

Another set of great photos, love the descriptions about each shot.

I can't believe you guys passed up that steak dinner, what restraint!

I appreciate the link.





Jennifer
http://www.sponsorhouse.com/Members/JenniferWilliams/Default.aspx
Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 19, 2007 05:52PM
It wasn't my idea to pass it up! Although, I admit, it wasn't really on the schedule to stick around for dinner. My husband said "I don't go backpacking to have a steak dinner." Oh well. Maybe next time.
Re: Yosemite High Sierra Camps Loop Hike
July 24, 2007 12:10PM
Hello, Tothetrail!!
I just returned from doing the loop you described (July 16-21, 2007.)
1. Weather: It was glorious, temperatures between low 80s during the day and 40s at night. Almost no clouds, incredible sunsets. Get out of your tent after the moon sets for spectacular stars.

2. River water levels: Not an issue. All creeks were very easy to cross. There was running water along the way each day. If you bring a water pump/filter, you will never need to carry more than a liter of water at a time.

3. Mosquitos: I think I used DEET once. The whole area is pretty dry.

4. Must-have items:

WALKING POLE/S!! You will be doing your knees a favor. I used only one. Some of my companions used two. I'm not sure there was much difference. Since I was taking photos along the way, I liked having one hand free.

SUN SCREEN. The sun is very intense, especially walking over bare rock.

FOOT CARE PRODUCTS (e.g. Moleskin). After the ten-mile walk downhill from Sunrise to Merced Lake, several of us worked up truly spectacular blisters.

CASH!! Although you can buy whatever you want at each camp with a credit card, you will also want to bring cash to tip the young people who work there. They really do rely on tips, and they do a terrific job, so I'd suggest $5 a night minimum as a way to say thanks.

5. Food: The food served at the camps was terrific. At 7 AM, tey set out hot coffee and water for tea and hot chocolate. Then breakfast at 7:30 AM. Breakfast each day was hot cereal with raisins, brown sugar and coconut, then pancakes, bacon, sausage, and eggs. Lots of coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Hot beverages are set out again at 6 PM. Dinner is at 6:30 PM. Dinner each night was plentiful and delicious. They serve the same food at each camp each night (e.g. Monday was chicken night, Tuesday was pasta, Wednesday was fish, etc.), although each cook can prepare it the way he/she wants to. For example, we had halibut baked in parchment one night, steak teriyaki another, chicken with a basil pesto sauce, etc. There were also excellent vegetables, freshly baked bread, sinful desserts. I don't think the box lunches were worth the price ($12+). You can buy an excellent, filling sandwich a la carte for $3+. The stores at each camp sell candy bars, trail mix, fruit, etc.

I'll be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

HAVE A GREAT TRIP!!!

NinaJane





NinaJane
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