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Re: best day hikes

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avatar best day hikes
December 28, 2007 09:37AM
this coming spring / summer, i want to do a lot of day hikes in Yosemite. i've been to Vernal & Nevada Falls numerous times, and once from Glacier Point to the valley, but that's pretty much it.

any suggestions?
avatar Re: best day hikes
December 28, 2007 11:58AM
Upper Yosemite Fall Trail to Yosemite Point. I did that last February in the snow (to the bridge), and got a little less than half way to the bridge in Dec 2005 in unseasonably warm but rainy conditions. I would expect crowds during the Summer.

Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake would be a bit long but not too bad. Maybe North Dome from Porcupine Flat.

Of course there's Half Dome from Happy Isles, but I hear that's a killer on the body. I broke up my visit to Half Dome as part of a backpacking trip.

avatar Re: best day hikes
December 29, 2007 07:23PM
North Dome from Porcupine Flat is terrific - see http://rosano.com/NorthDomeTrail for photos. There's a very unique arch at Indian Rock (short detour). I spent about five hours round trip and had some extra time for photos (about 60 pictures); altitude there can slow you down if you're not used to it. The ups and downs of the trail slowed me down more than I expected.

Re: best day hikes
December 28, 2007 02:12PM
best hikes in summer, get out of the valley Tioga rd. has many day hiking options El Cap from tamarack flat campground,yosemite falls, 10 lakes,and tons of hikes from toulomne mdws. Best of all you dont have to hike up out of the valley and much less crowded!
Re: best day hikes
December 29, 2007 03:59AM
From Glacier Point Road - Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Great views from up there !
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2carolyn/414978165/in/set-72157594577780871/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2carolyn/414978024/in/set-72157594577780871/

I was also very impressed in the views from the top of Lembert Dome in Tuolumne Meadows.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2carolyn/420424897/in/set-72157594586920311/

I enjoyed basking on the rocks, a nice place to take a nap if it's not too windy.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2carolyn/420425061/in/set-72157594586920311/

Oh, North Dome is also great to see Half Dome up close.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2carolyn/420426302/in/set-72157594586920311/
avatar Re: best day hikes
December 31, 2007 08:30AM
There are some great hikes out of Hetch Hetchy:

Wapama Falls (easy)
Falls Creek Bridge (harder)
Rancheria Creek (difficult)

Up the old road towards Miguel Meadow and Gravel Pit Lake (easy to difficult)
Smith Peak via Smith Meadow (difficult) (trailhead off Hetch Hetch Road)



Post Edited (01-11-08 13:27)



Old Dude
Re: best day hikes
January 11, 2008 11:23AM
Chilnualna Falls...criminally underrated. People say, "but the main event isn't all that big." Yeah, but there are a bunch of cool small waterfalls all the way up. And since most people skip this wonderful hike, don't expect a crowd on the trail.
Re: best day hikes
January 11, 2008 12:43PM
For summer (these are from memory, so there may be minor mileage gaffes):

1 - Sentinel Dome and Taft Point - moderate 5 mi RT, lovely and dizzying views of the Valley and High Sierra; Glacier Point Road.

2 - Mt. Hoffman - requires some minor route finding skill, but a great 7 miles RT. A good deal is steep and strenuous, spectacular views. Off Tioga Road. If rain/thunder threatens, turn back. Good practice for Mt. Dana. Trail passes Sunrise High Sierra Camp.

3 - Upper and Lower Cathedral Lake, side trip to Medlicott Dome at northwest corner of Lower Cathedral - simply gorgeous, about 10 mi RT, moderate; Tuolumne Meadows.

4 - Gaylor and Granite Lakes Basin, about 5/6 mi RT, starts strenuous but this is short, then moderate with some easy cross-country if you use a topo map. Tioga Hill, old mines, gorgeous cirque lakes. IMO, the fastest and easiest way to see extraordinary alpine scenery in the park. At Tioga Pass. Watch weather for thunder - some exposed areas on this walk. Probably a good jumping-off point for peak bagging to the north.

5 - Pothole Dome - easy then moderate short walk/scramble onto low-slung dome with interesting geology, really fine views. West end of Tuolumne Meadows.

6 - If you have a bunch of stamina, Waterwheel Falls and back (about 16 mi RT, strenuous due to length). All the great falls of the Tuolumne River in one hike, starts at the Meadows. Note - the way back is uphill. Passes Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp.

7 - Mt. Dana - 6 mi RT, 3,100 foot elevation gain, very steep and strenuous, start early and give yourself a couple days to acclimatize at Tuolumne Meadows or better yet, Saddlebag Lake / Tioga Resort - the top of this summit is over 13,000 feet MSL! Start early as possible, right at Tioga Pass entrance station (park at Gaylor Lakes parking lot, Dana trailhead is immediately east of station on south side of road - not obvious or signed, but just walk into woods at large pullout at summit, and you will pick up the trail near some glades and continue past some small lakes). If rain threatens, turn back - this is not the place to be in a storm. If you get up to the area known as "Oh-My-God Ridge" just below the Summit, the views become utterly jaw-dropping as the entire Central Sierra and Mono Lake area come fully into view. Pikas and Marmots are your company at the top.

On this one, some minor route-finding and courage and knowledge of how to follow the trail is useful. There are several accounts of this hike on the web that are worthwhile reading, and some of them make it *sound* harder than it is - nonetheless, it requires care (scrambling up and down steep talus and rocks can be taxing) and strength and determination, and it is best to test yourself beforehand on somewhat lesser hikes before attempting this one.

All of these are genuinely rewarding and amazing. Not a dud in the bunch.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: best day hikes
January 11, 2008 01:05PM
bpnjensen wrote:

> 2 - Mt. Hoffman - requires some minor route finding skill, but
> a great 7 miles RT. A good deal is steep and strenuous,
> spectacular views. Off Tioga Road. If rain/thunder threatens,
> turn back. Good practice for Mt. Dana. Trail passes Sunrise
> High Sierra Camp.

Make that May Lake High Sierra Camp.

avatar Re: best day hikes
January 12, 2008 01:09PM
Half Dome. I'm surprised no one has mentioned it in this thread. Put up with the crowds (because you have to) but start your hike late, about 9 a.m. This will put you on the top of 4/5ths dome (aka Half Dome LOL) around 4 p.m. with few people on the cables. And you will be back in the valley around dark just in time to visit the valley store and buy steak and cheese for the grill.
avatar Re: best day hikes
January 13, 2008 09:54PM
Vince wrote:

> Half Dome. I'm surprised no one has mentioned it in this
> thread.

I could have sworn I wrote down "Of course there's Half Dome from Happy Isles"..... :-)

wbmyosemite wrote:

> Also, the hike is so splendid that why would anyone want
> to rush it? Stop and smell the roses. I like to stop at the
> top of Vernal Falls for some great pictures and then a nice
> 30-minute rest with my feet near the water above Nevada
> Falls - well, life doesn't get much better than that. Blue
> sky, crystal clear water, it's worth the stop. And it's also a
> nice place to stop on your way back down for a short rest
> before the final push to the Valley floor.

Well - as a practical consideration, wouldn't one consider stopping at the bathroom at Nevada Fall? I know - nothing you're likely to praise to your friends when you tell them what you did in Yosemite. Still - a humble pit toilet feels really good after you've been properly hydrating yourself. ;-)

Re: best day hikes
January 12, 2008 06:52PM
I think everyone should give Half Dome a try at least once. While I don't disagree with Vince, I always recommend an earlier start time around 6:00 a.m. for a first-timer.

I know 1 mph doesn't sound like a fast pace and even that would get you there in Vince's 9-4 time frame. But 1 mph in the mountains can be fast for some people especially if they aren't used to altitude or just aren't used to the 4500 feet elevation gain. And the summer heat can get you too. I was with a group in June of 199? and it was 104 degrees Farenheit that day. Not all in the group made it. I've also done Half Dome in September when the temp was 50F and I made it in half my normal time. So a lot can determine how long it could take a first-timer to get to the top.

Also, the hike is so splendid that why would anyone want to rush it? Stop and smell the roses. I like to stop at the top of Vernal Falls for some great pictures and then a nice 30-minute rest with my feet near the water above Nevada Falls - well, life doesn't get much better than that. Blue sky, crystal clear water, it's worth the stop. And it's also a nice place to stop on your way back down for a short rest before the final push to the Valley floor.

I do see some young fellows and/or military guys racing to the top and I understand that youthful inclination. But I also like to stop and watch the mule deer and I've been lucky enough to see one black bear and her cub on the trail several years ago. If you race to touch the top and then try to get down before dark, you aren't allowing yourself the reward of standing on the top of Half Dome - a place you may never see again. The top is much larger and quite flat than what it appears in pictures. The views from there are great.

Then again, a fit person can probably make it by starting at 9:00 as Vince suggests. And many certainly do it that way. But it's 16 miles roundtrip that you will never forget if you take the time to enjoy all there is to see. If you aren't sure of your fitness, I'd start early. You will give yourself some cushion if your trip takes longer than expected. Also, I left the top at 6pm one year and came down in the dark the last 2 hours. That was not fun. As Vince suggests, you should be heading down by 4pm.

Whenever you start, it is a hike that you'll remember for a long, long time.





Bill
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