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Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?

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avatar Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
April 05, 2008 02:54PM
Last year in late July I went on a road trip with my friends and went from Cincinnati all the way to San Francisco, where my brother lives. On the way back, we spent a few days in Yosemite. We arrived very late the first night, and put together our tent in the dark at the Porcupine Campground (I know I got the name wrong but I think you'll know what I'm talking about). In the morning, we did the Elizabeth Lake hike and made it an overall lazy day of just taking in the scenery... we didn't want to burn ourselves out for the next day since we were going to do Half Dome as a day hike. We took down our tent, drove back down to the valley, and stayed the night in a tent cabin in Curry Village (I'll never do that again because of the crowds, btw) so we would be close to the Mist Trail trailhead. We woke up early to get our Half Dome hike underway. We took the John Muir trail both up and back accidentally- we meant to take the Mist Trail portion up and the John Muir portion down but we took a wrong turn :p. A ranger told us that between our little "detours" and walking to the trailhead rather than taking a shuttle, we probably walked around 20-22 miles round trip. Oops! It was a fantastic, but lengthy and grueling hike. So fantastic, in fact, that I am now coming back in late May (hoping for lesser crowds and cooler temperatures) this year.

So my question to you veterans is- what should I do this time around? I'll be here with my 51 year old father who is probably in better shape than I (22 years old), his friend who is more experienced in hiking than both of us, and possibly my brother (30 years old). We've all done the Mist Trail before, and I'd like to do something a little less trafficked and in a different part of the park. I don't want to do anything as grueling as the Half Dome hike this time, because I don't think my brother would be up to it... but we'd all be capable of 14-16 mile roundtrip day hikes. What do you guys suggest? We will be there at least two days, possibly three. We will NOT be backpacking so everything suggested should be a day hike smiling smiley

Personally, if the road and trail conditions permit (I've never been there this early so your estimations would be helpful) I'd like to spend the first day in the upper altitudes and possibly do some shorter hikes accessible by the Tioga Pass. The next day, I'd like to do the hike from Teneya Lake to Cloud's Rest. I've also given some though to a hike that overlooks Mono Lake, if any of you have suggestions for that area. What are the chances of these things being accessible in late May? Also, what are some good cabins, hotels, or campgrounds to reserve in or near the park that aren't too pricey?

Thanks for all your help everybody!

Post Edited (04-05-08 14:57)
avatar Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
April 05, 2008 08:31PM
Don't count on Tioga Pass being open. If it is, then Tenaya Lake (Sunrise Lakes Trailhead) to Clouds Rest would be really nice. It's about 7-8 miles one way. You'll be looking down on Tenaya Canyon and Half Dome.

If you can't access Tioga Pass, Upper Yosemite Fall Trail is usually open year round. I hiked it in the snow last year, but it should be fairly clear of snow and possibly crowded by late May.

avatar Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
April 06, 2008 10:57AM
Any more suggestions anyone? If the higher altitudes aren't open I might try Inspiration Point, the Upper Yosemite Falls, and/or a stroll through the Giant Sequoia Grove. I'm also still looking for places to stay as well, and wasn't sure what places to try and avoid or to try and get.
Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
April 06, 2008 08:18PM
If you guys are up to it, try Eagle Peak. It's the Upper Yosemite Falls hike plus 6 or 7 additional miles, not especially hard ones, to a great viewpoint that is at most lightly visited. It's the highest of the Three Brothers. Great views of Yosemite Fall, Half Dome, the High Sierra, and the back of someone's head (not!).

Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
April 06, 2008 09:48PM
I looked up Eagle Peak and the view at the top looks pretty spectacular. How is the scenery as you're doing the stretch from the Upper Yosemite falls and Eagle Peak itself? For example, is it kind of like the stretch on the Half Dome hike between the top of Nevada Falls and the beginning of the granite steps where the stunning vistas disappear from sight for a bunch of miles, or are you hiking alongside cliffs and so on?

I appreciate the info so far guys- you're giving me all kinds of ideas... it's so hard to choose what do in the 2-3 days I'll be there!
avatar Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
April 07, 2008 01:31AM
I dunno, I'm getting a bit bored with that tiny little valley. Yeah the view is nice and it's fun to wiggle-waggle down Hwy 49 but aren't there other nice views out there without all the elbows and a-holes?

avatar Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
April 07, 2008 02:43PM

By all means, tell me of some places outside the valley that will be open in late May smiling smiley The higher up the hike, and the crazier the view, the better. I just need roads to be cleared and opened that lead to the trailheads.

Post Edited (04-07-08 14:44)
Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
April 07, 2008 08:06AM
Don't listen to Vince, he's a grump ;-) Just enjoy his photo! The stretch between top of the falls and Eagle Peak is largely wooded. At first you walk along Yosemite Creek above the fall, which is pleasant, then veer westward into the forest, where you remain until about 500-1,000 feet before you reach the summit (which comes upon you without much warning). Not many expansive views between top of falls and Eagle Peak. However, you may find it a nice change to have some shade for awhile - there is almost none at all after you start the Upper Falls ascent on the steep trail.

The view from Eagle Peak is exemplary...a real spectacle.

Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
June 06, 2008 11:02AM
Well I'm back from the visit and in one piece. It was definitely neat to see that park while there was still snow on the ground. Lucky for me, the weather was bad enough to keep people out of the park but not bad enough to make it miserable. I saw lots of rain and some light snow while I was there, and I should have pictures up sometime soon.
Re: Return to Yosemite 5-27-08, suggestions?
June 08, 2008 11:11AM
Glad you had a good time. Funny how people flock to the park when it's 90 degrees, and stay away when it's 55, yet if you hike or bike around, 55 is much nicer.

One interesting thing about Yosemite Valley is that even though you have to plan way ahead of time to stay there, you really don't know what you're going to get...perhaps mid-summer is an exception. We've stayed in March or April when it was warm and springlike, gotten rained on for days, gotten run out by an incoming snowstorm (no chains), woke up to snow, had '70's springlike weather in February (and a week later a storm that had even the creeks frozen), and everything in between. In mid May this year we absolutely cooked on the Half Dome trail,

campgrounds were packed full, and a week or so later you're having a rain/snowstorm and people are staying away.

I've grown to like it that way, but it took some getting used to. 8^)

Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
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