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Re: What to do?

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avatar What to do?
August 14, 2007 12:44PM
This was sent to my email address by Denise. I'm posting it here in the hopes that she will get all sorts of useful ideas from the forum members. My experience with camping in the the park campgrounds over the last 25 years is limited to one stay at Camp 4 and a few stays at the Hetch Hetchy backpackers campground. All other nights in the park have been in the back country. Well I did stay at Yosemite Lodge one night.

The email follows:

Hi there,

I've been trying to post the message below to the yosemiteinfo forum, but I get an error message every time for some reason. Would one of you be so kind as to post this for me? My user name is hoobie (just signed up today), and I'd prefer not to have my email address listed in the message to prevent spam.

Thanks for your help,

DT
--------START MESSAGE-----
SUBJECT: first trip to Yosemite

Hi there,

We're coming from the east coast for a somewhat last-minute (long story) first trip to Yosemite and Sequoia Nat. Park from 8/25 to 9/8 and I'm looking for suggestions on what trails to be sure to day hike (and therefore, where to stay).

We are serious hikers (but not backpackers due to recent injury) and plan to do long day hikes most days, and we're excited about hiking in the high country, so we did reserve a tent site at Toulomne meadows for 5 nights, 9/2-9/6.

But here are the questions:

1. We'd like to camp in Sequoia Nat. Park the first 5 nights (arriving late Saturday 8/25). We can get reservations at Lodgepole or Dorst, but are they the best spots or should we risk it and go first come/first serve to camp elsewhere in the park?

2. We have days during Labor Day weekend to fill (nights of Thurs. 8/30, 8/31, 9/1). We do want to see the Valley sights but aren't looking forward to the crowds. Is the valley really as overrun as it sounds, or would we be OK staying at Curry Village those nights (because we can still reserve it) and just heading out really early to the valley sites and valley hikes? Or should we instead try for a First Come site at a valley area campground, and if so, which one would you recommend? I know it's one of the busiest weekends of the year, just trying to figure out how to make the best of it.

3. Would love to know your favorite hikes in the park.

Thanks!





Old Dude
avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 01:14PM
Denise,
Day hikes in no particular order or degree of difficulty:

1. Mount Dana from Tioga Pass entrance station
2. Lembert Dome at Tuolumne Meadows
3. Clouds Rest from Tanaya Lake
4. Merced Grove on Big Oak Flat Road near the Big Oak Flat entrance station
5. Glen Aulen and Cold Canyon from Tuolumne Meadows
6. Taft Point off Glacier Point Road
7. Mount Wadkins from Olmstead Point on Hwy 120
8. Smith Peak off Hetch Hetchy Road
9. Devil's Dance Floor from the Tamarack Flat campground
10. Mariposa Grove by the South Entrance



Post Edited (08-14-07 16:26)



Old Dude
Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 02:07PM
I might be helpful for some of us to rate these hikes for difficulty so that people don't get in diificult situations.

My two-bits:
Dana is a SERIOUS hike because of the altitude.

Mike
avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 02:14PM
AlpenGl├╝hen wrote:

> My two-bits:
> Dana is a SERIOUS hike because of the altitude.

It's not a real trail either.

avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 02:35PM
Serious hikers looking for long hikes.





Old Dude
avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 06:43PM
mrcondron wrote:

> Serious hikers looking for long hikes.

Define "long".

I think of a "long day hike" as anything from four hours to a whole day affair like Happy Isles to Half Dome and back. For that matter, seeing Vernal and Nevada Falls is a decent trip, although not the toughest.

Upper Yosemite Fall to the bridge over Yosemite Creek or to Yosemite Point takes at least 4-5 hours RT and I thought the elevation gain (was it around 1700 ft?) was pretty tough. The payoff at the top is pretty nice too. The first time I tried it in Dec 2005 I gave up about halfway since it was raining and my cotton clothing and jeans (under waterproof jacket/pants) didn't leave me feeling great; I also had reservations in Reno that night. I remember meeting some kid who was gung-ho about making it to the top. When I turned around, I didn't see him or his family; they must have turned around earlier than I did.

I liked your suggestion of Tenaya Lake to Clouds Rest and back. I didn't get to Clouds Rest as a day trip, but I did enjoy the view there. That's about 16 miles RT.

avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 07:03PM
I think the gain is closer to 3000 feet for Yosemite Falls not counting any humps you go over.

avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 11:16PM
eeek wrote:

> I think the gain is closer to 3000 feet for Yosemite Falls not
> counting any humps you go over.

Yeah - you're right. The NPS says 2700 feet (I knew there was a 7 somewhere in the number. ;-) ). Yosemite Falls is supposed to be about 2425 ft, and the trail starting point is at lower elevation than the base of Lower Falls. They quote an estimated time of 6-8 hours, which much slower than 2 miles/hour.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/valleyhikes.htm

I'd think it might be reasonably crowded, but it's a great trail. I'd like to do complete when there's less snow on the ground. I crossed the bridge and stopped before getting to Yosemite Point. I think I picked the right day, because the weather was clear and sunny on that Saturday. On Sunday, it turned snowy which was fine for snowshoeing at Badger Pass.

avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 11:38PM
y_p_w wrote:

> Yeah - you're right. The NPS says 2700 feet (I knew there was
> a 7 somewhere in the number. ;-) ). Yosemite Falls is
> supposed to be about 2425 ft, and the trail starting point is
> at lower elevation than the base of Lower Falls.

You are also going a bit higher than the base of the falls.

> They quote an
> estimated time of 6-8 hours, which much slower than 2 miles/hour.

With a backpack I usually figure 2 miles per hour plus another hour for every 1000 feet of altitude gain.

avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 02:20PM
mrcondron wrote:

> This was sent to my email address by Denise. I'm posting it
> here in the hopes that she will get all sorts of useful ideas
> from the forum members. My experience with camping in the the
> park campgrounds over the last 25 years is limited to one stay
> at Camp 4 and a few stays at the Hetch Hetchy backpackers
> campground. All other nights in the park have been in the back
> country. Well I did stay at Yosemite Lodge one night.

I got this too, but was beaten to the punch.....

> We're coming from the east coast for a somewhat last-minute
> (long story) first trip to Yosemite and Sequoia Nat. Park from
> 8/25 to 9/8 and I'm looking for suggestions on what trails to
> be sure to day hike (and therefore, where to stay).
>
> We are serious hikers (but not backpackers due to recent
> injury) and plan to do long day hikes most days, and we're
> excited about hiking in the high country, so we did reserve a
> tent site at Toulomne meadows for 5 nights, 9/2-9/6.
>
> But here are the questions:
>
> 1. We'd like to camp in Sequoia Nat. Park the first 5 nights
> (arriving late Saturday 8/25). We can get reservations at
> Lodgepole or Dorst, but are they the best spots or should we
> risk it and go first come/first serve to camp elsewhere in the
> park?

Lodgepole is fine if you can get a spot. It's really nice because all the services (market, laundromat, post office, visitor center, food services) are within walking distance of the campground. Even though everything you need is there, it doesn't seem like a zoo. I was just chilling out there doing my laundry, taking a shower, and waiting for a friend for a couple of hours. It's definitely more serene than almost any place with similar services in Yosemite.

If you really want a nice meal, try the restaurant at Wuksachi Village.

Last June I stayed at Stony Creek in Sequoia NF/Giant Sequoia NM. They have gas, showers, a store, and pizza about a half-mile from the campground. However - there wasn't any easy access from the campground to the store because of the creek. I preferred the services at Lodgepole.

I don't know about the first-come, first served campgrounds. They all seem to be far away from main attractions and sequoia groves. There's also construction on the Generals Highway south of Moro Rock. I waited there about 20 minutes with one-way controls and construction equipment being moved around. If you can book Lodgepole, I'd say go for that first. Dorst Creek is OK, but it's not near any services.

I took the following at Redwood Mountain Grove in Kings Canyon NP (in the section on the NW border of Sequoia NP). I felt extremely fortunate to have the experience of seeing a mama bear with cubs. On top of a downed sequoia tree no less. I was somewhat cautious, and made sure the cubs were back with mom before proceeding; there was another cub up a tree near the trail, and we waited for it to get back to mom before proceeding back to the trailhead.





> 2. We have days during Labor Day weekend to fill (nights of
> Thurs. 8/30, 8/31, 9/1). We do want to see the Valley sights
> but aren't looking forward to the crowds. Is the valley really
> as overrun as it sounds, or would we be OK staying at Curry
> Village those nights (because we can still reserve it) and just
> heading out really early to the valley sites and valley hikes?
> Or should we instead try for a First Come site at a valley area
> campground, and if so, which one would you recommend? I know
> it's one of the busiest weekends of the year, just trying to
> figure out how to make the best of it.

I know some people don't like crowds. However - some parts of Yosemite are so spectacular you can just marvel at the beauty and just forget that the crowds are there. Then reality set in. Still - if you think of it as a big 'ol block party where you can meet people from all over the world, the crowds don't seem as bad. If you're intent of seeing what's in the Valley, then by all means stay in the Valley. The Valley shuttle is excellent, although crowded. It's rather nice to see what's in the Valley without getting in your car.

BTW - the only first-come, first-served campground in the valley is going to be Camp 4 at $5/night. I think you might be able to stay at the Pines if space is available, but supposedly that means checking in at the campground office at Curry Village.

> 3. Would love to know your favorite hikes in the park.

Upper Yosemite Fall Trail. I took the following photo from there last winter:



One more thing - learn everything you can about Yosemite's black bears. They know how to break into cars, and there are strict regulations for food storage in your car and campsite. They will break into cars over anything they associate with food (even a brand new unused cooler in the back seat) or that might smell like food (toiletries or gum). Same goes for Sequoia/Kings Canyon or Lake Tahoe. These places have a bear population where mother bears have taught their cubs how to peel open car doors, unlike bears in the Rockies or Cascades.
Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 11:13PM
Tenya lake to Clouds Rest is a great hike, but the first hour is a killer. Young Lakes is another good day hike that takes you up to an amazing lake. Mono pass is pretty nice because you can see Mono Lake, old mine shafts, and you can actually get to the border of Yosemite. The Waterwheels past Glen Aulin, however with the low water level I think this will be a huge disappointment. Cathedral Lakes, is another lake with huge mountains surrounding it.

avatar Re: What to do?
August 14, 2007 11:40PM
Javmp wrote:

>The Waterwheels past Glen Aulin,
> however with the low water level I think this will be a huge
> disappointment.

Water Wheel is best saved for early in the season and perferable a year with a lot of snow.

> Cathedral Lakes, is another lake with huge mountains surrounding it.

And Cathedral Peak is a nice class IV climb if you want more.

avatar Re: What to do?
August 15, 2007 07:01AM
Here's More:

- Mount Hoffman
- Taft Pt./Fissures and Sentinel Dome (do this so that you time it so you
are on top of Sentinel at sunset)
yes, there will be people there but alot less than Glacier Pt... smiling smiley
- Budd Lake/Cathedral Lake CC/JMT Trail back to car
- Mono Pass/Parker Pass/CC to Parker Pass Lk/Helen/Spillway/ Trail back to Car
- Anywhere! IMO ... there is NOT a bad trail in the park...
(I bet that you will fall in love with the place .. unless maybe you get
stuck in Loop C .. smiling smiley )
You NEED to come back in the spring anyway so don't worry about
missing anything!

Of course. Hiking in in the backcountry entails unavoidable risk to the
senses. ... (and you do so at your own risk)

Enjoy!





Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: What to do?
August 15, 2007 11:47AM
I agree with whoever recommended the restaurant in Wuksachi Village (Seq. Nat. Pk.), they are very good.

a couple more Yosemite hikes:

May Lake (I think that is out of White Wolf campground)

Sunrise Lake (out of Tenaya) this is a very steep, strenuous zigzaggy trail.

Elizabeth Lake (out of Tuolumne campground)

I also agree that the Glen Aulin hike is a good one. Did that 2 weeks ago, saw alot of deer, but the water was very low. We didn't go all the way, stopped at that large granite area. If you walk to the top of the granite, the view is spectacular.

Gaylor Lakes from Tioga Pass entrance station. The climb is moderate to difficult depending on how fit you are. Did it last year and mosquitoes were bad. This year, mosquitoes shouldn't be a problem.

Mine Creek/Bennetville: This is actually out of the park, past the Tioga entrance by Saddlebag Lake campground.

Gardinsky Lake: also out of Saddlebag Lake area, difficult, very bare, steep rocky approx. 2 mi. climb, but beautiful alpine meadow & nice lake when you get to the top.

p.s. and if you enjoy sleeping at night, stay out of C loop at TM! winking smiley



Post Edited (08-15-07 17:40)
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