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Re: Anything open come May?

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Anything open come May?
April 15, 2008 12:10PM
Well, my week-off from work keeps getting bumped later and later ....

Originally, I was going to simply go to the "King Range" ... which is Lost Coast- Sinkyone Wilderness backpacking ... I'm not too far from there;

Because, while I reeeeeally want to do is to go to the sierras, nothing's open in Yosemite backcountry in April ,,, right?

I've been doing the TM to Virginia Canyon and thereabouts the last few seasons ... but late in the season; though last season, there was plenty of water.

I'd really like to do that [or similar] ealry this season ... I'm finally free come beginning of May ... anything open up there for a 6-7 day backpack?

Thanks!

Anvanho
avatar Re: Anything open come May?
April 15, 2008 03:25PM
Anvanho wrote:

> Well, my week-off from work keeps getting bumped later and
> later ....
>
> Originally, I was going to simply go to the "King Range" ...
> which is Lost Coast- Sinkyone Wilderness backpacking ... I'm
> not too far from there;
>
> Because, while I reeeeeally want to do is to go to the sierras,
> nothing's open in Yosemite backcountry in April ,,, right?

There's always snow camping. You might try Hetch Hetchy, Wawona, or wilderness camping out of Yosemite Valley. Call up the Wilderness center and ask about current conditions. It actually looks pretty good from the Valley, although there seems to be smoke in the air (a controlled burn?).

http://www.yosemite.org/vryos/index.htm

Re: Anything open come May?
April 21, 2008 11:22PM
Hi there,

How likely is May Lake to be open in the end of May (Memorial Day)?

Any suggestions of May Lake -like places, meaning short hike (enough to scare the crowds), small campground?

Thanks,

AZ
avatar Re: Anything open come May?
April 22, 2008 08:16AM
Andrez: Define “open.”

May Lake is open right now - nothing is stopping one from going there if you want to ski, snowshoe, or (possibly - not sure about the NPS rules on this one) parachute in. All that you need to do is get your wilderness permit (self-registration should apply here) and follow the normal camping regulations.

If you are asking if the Tioga Road will be open so that you can drive to a trailhead where you can hike in, consult Mother Nature and the NPS plowing/road prep. crews. Most likely the gate to the access road leading to the May Lake parking area will still be locked (by the way, history buffs, that road is part of the old Tioga Road). However, you can always park outside the gate and hike the access road in or hike in from the trailhead on Tioga near Olmstead Point.

If you are asking if the High Sierra Camp will be open, the answer is no (currently scheduled for 27 June).

I‘m also not certain what you really mean by May Lake-like places, but any backcountry lake that is accessed by an established trail normally has “campsites” (i.e., you will find a previously established fire-ring, unless the elevation is too high so that campfires are not allowed). If you truly seek solitude, just go cross-country to any lake that is a mile or so off of any trail or road and the population density will almost certainly be zero, even during the peak summer rush.

During the spring and early summer, it is usually not all that advisable to camp immediately adjacent to a lake or meadow unless you enjoy experiencing insect swarms. Better to camp a few tenths of a mile away under a tree canopy near the creek feeding/draining the area.



Post Edited (04-22-08 10:53)



THE YOSEMITE POST
Voice of the Rocky Marmot Empire
avatar Re: Anything open come May?
April 22, 2008 09:59PM
Anything off of Hwy 120 will probably only be accessible by hiking up from the valley floor. Even then there might be a lot of snow above 7000'.

You might look at a trip out of Hetch Hetchy. Go up the switchbacks and then west to Miguel Meadow checking out Gravel Pit Lake and perhaps Swamp Lake and then up to Laurel Lake. If Frog Creek is impassable then you could go west to Lake Eleanor. If Frog Creek is passable and you get to Laurel Lake you could then go on to Lake Vernon. After Vernon go over to Tiltill Valley and then back out via the trail along the north shore of Hetch Hetchy. This loop would make a great 5-6 day trip. Plenty of water and camping most anywhere. If you run into too much snow at the higher elevations then just do trails at the lower elevations.

Another advantage of hiking out of Hetch Hetchy is the backpacker's campqround that you can use the night before your trip and the night after your trip. It's about $7-$8 per person per night. A wilderness permit is required for use of this campground.

Last year there were virtually no mosquitoes so there shouldn't be too many hatching out this year either but still have some repellent with you.





Old Dude
avatar Re: Anything open come May?
April 23, 2008 10:32AM
mrcondron wrote:

> Another advantage of hiking out of Hetch Hetchy is the
> backpacker's campqround that you can use the night before your
> trip and the night after your trip. It's about $7-$8 per
> person per night. A wilderness permit is required for use of
> this campground.

$5 I think. Technically all backpackers campgrounds are open to people who arrive on foot, bus, bicycle, or motorcycle.
avatar Re: Anything open come May?
April 23, 2008 12:22PM
YPW,
You're right about the $5 but I'm sure the BP campgrounds require a wilderness permit regardless of your mode of travel. Enforcement was very strict at HH a few years ago but now it seems to have dropped off to almost nothing.

From the YNP site:

"Walk-in campgrounds are available seasonally in the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, at Hetch Hetchy, and behind North Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley. Wilderness permit holders may spend one night before and one night after a wilderness trip in any one of these campgrounds. The cost is $5.00 per person per night. Reservations are not necessary."





Old Dude
avatar Re: Anything open come May?
April 23, 2008 02:10PM
mrcondron wrote:

> YPW,
> You're right about the $5 but I'm sure the BP campgrounds
> require a wilderness permit regardless of your mode of travel.
> Enforcement was very strict at HH a few years ago but now it
> seems to have dropped off to almost nothing.

I don't know how the manage the enforcement, but this comes straight out of page 18 in the 2007 Yosemite Superintendent's Compendium. They don't publicize it very well, and I'd take a guess that they don't want to encourage it. I may have been wrong about the motorcycle part, but I thought I read a Yosemite Association list that said that it could be used by motorcyclists when Camp 4 was full. By the same token, off-trail travel isn't mentioned much but is legal.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=193143

Quote

Backpacker camps are intended for use by visitors in possession of an overnight
Wilderness Permit or for visitors arriving in the park by foot, bicycle, or bus.
• Wilderness permit holders may stay in a backpacker camp the night prior to
departure and the night after returning from an overnight Wilderness trip.

avatar Re: Anything open come May?
April 23, 2008 05:56PM
i just got me a campsite yesterday via website in Yosemite Valley (Upper Pines) in May. if you look hard enough, you'll find things.
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