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7 day hike - trail help

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7 day hike - trail help
January 02, 2008 05:44PM
I am new to the forum and have only been to Yosemite once in August of 2007 with my son. we spent a week in the backcountry.

I am planning a backpacking trip with my sister and 15 year old nephew in late August 2008. I would like to start at Happy Isles trail head an go up the mist trail, camp the first night near the half dome trail split. Found site back there last year. We could climb Half dome either late in the afternoon day one or early morning day 2. Then off to Sunrise to camp the 2nd night. From there to Cathedral lake area for R&R and night 3. Head around to Tenaya lake on day 4 and camp near the south end south of the trail.
Day 5 head sout and over Clouds Rest with gear (35lbs) and to the section of trail that meets the 1/2 mile jog to the JMT. Plan to camp at the eastern part of the 1/2 mile stretch. Day six will bring us down to the backpackers camp near North Pines.

From personal experiences can anyone share their thoughts on this trip plan?

I did the mist trail and Half Dome last year as well as up to Sunrise camp. To me it was tough especially the switchbacks on the way to sunrise. After day three I felt much stronger.

Any advice would be appreciated.
avatar Re: 7 day hike - trail help
January 02, 2008 08:15PM
tm1961 wrote:

> I am new to the forum and have only been to Yosemite once in
> August of 2007 with my son. we spent a week in the backcountry.

Hope you enjoyed it.

> I am planning a backpacking trip with my sister and 15 year old
> nephew in late August 2008. I would like to start at Happy
> Isles trail head an go up the mist trail, camp the first night
> near the half dome trail split. Found site back there last
> year. We could climb Half dome either late in the afternoon day
> one or early morning day 2. Then off to Sunrise to camp the 2nd
> night. From there to Cathedral lake area for R&R and night 3.
> Head around to Tenaya lake on day 4 and camp near the south end
> south of the trail.
> Day 5 head sout and over Clouds Rest with gear (35lbs) and to
> the section of trail that meets the 1/2 mile jog to the JMT.
> Plan to camp at the eastern part of the 1/2 mile stretch. Day
> six will bring us down to the backpackers camp near North
> Pines.
>
> From personal experiences can anyone share their thoughts on
> this trip plan?

The difficult part will be securing a wilderness permit reservation starting from Happy Isles. It's the most popular entrance point, since people want to break up their Half Dome trips with a night at Little Yosemite Valley. Going up the Mist Trail is hard enough, although I did go down it with 35 lbs last June.

I did a three night trip last June, but starting from Tenaya Lake (permit calls it Sunrise Lakes Trailhead like it says on the trailhead sign). I spent my first two nights at the junction of John Muir Trail and Clouds Rest Trail. There were several decent sites although one was taken up by a very loud group of kids. Cells phones also work in this area (found out because of one particular loud kid).

> I did the mist trail and Half Dome last year as well as up to
> Sunrise camp. To me it was tough especially the switchbacks on
> the way to sunrise. After day three I felt much stronger.
>
> Any advice would be appreciated.

You might consider another entrance trailhead. Maybe somewhere along Tioga Pass or Glacier Point. Definitely ask for a parking permit to display in your vehicle. They have shuttles that run in the summer, although starting time varies depending on weather conditions and the progress of plowing. I was fortunate that the Tioga hikers bus started up in late June, or my permit would have been difficult to use.
avatar Re: 7 day hike - trail help
January 03, 2008 12:26PM
They start taking reservations today. I'm assuming that the phone lines will be busy. The trailhead full-quota reports aren't up yet.

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

(209)372-0740

avatar Re: 7 day hike - trail help
January 04, 2008 07:20AM
Use the on-line reservation method and you should get a permit for that far in advance.

You could do pretty much that same trip coming in from Tanaya Lake and making a big loop of it.





Old Dude
avatar Re: 7 day hike - trail help
January 04, 2008 07:29AM
tm1961 wrote:
> I am planning a backpacking trip with my sister and 15 year old
> nephew in late August 2008.


Can he make a reservation for late August?

I thought one could make a reservation 24 weeks out at the earliest?





Dan
avatar Re: 7 day hike - trail help
January 04, 2008 09:50AM
Dan-O wrote:

> I thought one could make a reservation 24 weeks out at the
> earliest?

"reservation requests for summer trips (mid-May through September) are accepted from 2 weeks to 24 weeks in advance"

Re: 7 day hike - trail help
January 06, 2008 03:29PM
Thank you everyone for your input and advice. I always hear that it is hard to get a permit for Happy Isles but last year my son and I got them in July for August. Our plane was delayed in and we didn't arrive in time to claim them. we went to the wilderness center the following morning and began waiting at 4:00AM. we were 3rd in line and got 2 permits for that day over memorial day weekend. Maybe we were just super lucky.

Anyway the suggestion of reversing the loop and starting at the meadow is a good alternative.

Thank you again everyone.
Re: 7 day hike - trail help
January 06, 2008 03:53PM
Several problems with your plan.
1. About 20,000 other people want to do about the same thing, at least in part.
2. Your idea of camping near the split may be untenable. You have to camp in the designated camp area in Little Yosemite Valley.

From the NPS website:
================
Little Yosemite Valley

This is one of the most heavily-visited areas in the park. In order to minimize impacts in Little Yosemite Valley, there is a designated area for camping that contains toilets, bear boxes, two communal fire pits and a ranger station. The ranger station in Little Yosemite Valley is for emergencies and some information - do not depend on this as a fully staffed and/or supplied station.

Half Dome and Vicinity

If you are going to travel beyond Little Yosemite Valley for your first night’s stay, you must be a least two miles past Little Yosemite Valley in any direction.
=============

Good Luck!
Re: 7 day hike - trail help
January 07, 2008 03:59AM
There is a backpacker's campground at Tuolumne Meadows, too.

My opinion is that going from 4,000 feet to 8,000 feet and then back down again is really difficult. Maybe consider starting at Tuolumne Meadows and go down (ending in the valley) or start in the valley and finish at Tuolumne Meadows. Or just stay up, starting and ending at Tuolumne Meadows. It's still by no means easy. But if you're looking for difficult, go for it!

Another last-ditch effort is to start at Mono Meadow from Glacier Point Road and head to Half Dome. We did that because it was the only permit we could get. There were probably less people on that route, at least at the beginning. We did sort of lose the trail at some point where there had been a fire, but we followed topography and made it to where we needed to go.

Have fun!
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