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Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome during a summer storm, Yosemite National Park

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June 10, 2008 08:05PM
We are doing the Half Dome hike soon and wanted to get an idea of the best way to get to Happy Isles at 5:30am coming from Yosemite Lodge.
We are aware the shuttle doesn't operate this early. I'm not sure how far parking is away from Happy Isles.

Here are our ideas.

1. drive car from YL to day parking lot near Curry Village, walk to trailhead

2. drive car with bicycles on rack from YL to day parking lot near CV, then ride bikes from lot to trailhead

3. ride bikes from YL to trailhead (least favorite idea)

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

avatar Re: Logistics
June 10, 2008 09:37PM
Drive to the hiker parking and walk from there. I don't think it'd be worth the bother of bringing bikes.

Re: Logistics
June 11, 2008 05:46AM
Okay, I'm glad to not bring the bikes!
Is the hiker parking lot the one near Curry Village or is it closer to Happy Isles trailhead? Or are these lots one in the same?

Thank you

Re: Logistics
June 11, 2008 07:05AM
The hiker's parking lot is *about* halfway between Curry Village and Happy Isles, which means it is not far from either one. If you are willing to hike up Half Dome, the 2,000 horizontal feet or so between the lot and Happy Isles won't matter much. Parking there at 5:30 AM and hiking would be an ideal way to start.

Regarding taking your bikes - for this short hop it would not be worthwhile - but bikes in Yosemite Valley can be a godsend. Bikes are far and away the best way to get around between the major areas, on your own schedule, better than traffic jams, can be faster than shuttles for many routes.

Have a great time!

Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Logistics
June 11, 2008 04:57PM
Thank you very much for the insight regarding the start of the Half Dome hike. We can't wait! We are definately bringing the bikes too, all the way from Colorado. I much prefer my own schedule too!

Thanks again for your assistance.


avatar Here's a previous thread on the subject, and eeek's photo of the trailhead sign
June 11, 2008 05:46PM

The sign status is changed by hand, and often the full sign will be up even when the status hasn't been checked in a while. They sort of keep the full sign there and tell the permitted backpackers that the sign won't always be accurate. I saw the full sign up last year on a Tuesday and parked in a lot that was less than half full.

Here's a satellite map of the parking lot:


Google Maps even has a "Street View" snapshot of the entrance to the parking lot.

More helpful info! Thank you so much.
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