The Moon is Waning Crescent (7% of Full)

Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Yosemite Valley


Advanced

Re: Backpacking in May

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

Backpacking in May
February 16, 2014 05:32AM
Heyo, I'm new to the forum. I'm hoping to take my son backpacking in May and wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions as to where we should start. I realize that it's early in the season and that will limit our options, but that's the best time slot for us. Any thoughts on some low elevation trails that might work?

Our hope for a trip is a 3-4 day loop with camping along the way.
We are thinking that we can do between 6-10 miles per day.
My son is 11 and we are both in good shape.

Any input would be helpful, thanks!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 17, 2014 08:05AM
Matt,
Probably most any of the trails out of Yosemite Valley, Wawona, or Hetch Hetchy would be O.K. (there are many). It sort of depends on what time in May. In a normal year you could pretty well plan on running into snow either on the ground or coming down in a storm in the early half of the month. In this year's drought condition the likelihood of late season storms seems highly questionable. I believe present snow pack percentage is in the teens compared to a normal year. Some may respond with, "What snow?" The way we are going Tioga Road may even be open by early May.
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 17, 2014 01:33PM
Matt,

Look into the trail from the dam on Hetch Hetchy out to Rancheria Creek. This is about 7 miles one way and is from 3800 to about 4400 feet. Great views. Plenty of water. You can pitch at the campground at Rancheria and day hike a couple of trails out from there. There should not be any trace of snow then unless we get a much needed major dump in april.

Since the Rim Fire the trails from the dam that head up north and west have been closed. It could be that these trails will open and other possibilties will present.

Check out the trails out of Wawona. Chilnualna Falls is a good destination but is a bit higher at 6400' from the trailhead at 4200'. This area is on the western side of the park and the snow melts off a bit earlier than the eastern parts.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 18, 2014 12:49PM
Brings back great memories of early backpacking trips with my boys. From my experience, at that age you would be well served to keep it on the easy and fun side...because you definitely want them to finish the trip talking about wanting to come back for more. And having "bail out" opportunities is always a good idea if something goes awry (bad blisters, e.g.).

That being said, I would recommend against any hike that starts in the Valley as it goes straight up....a tough way to start for a newbie of any age.... maybe...maybe...think about getting up into Little Yosemite Valley, set up camp and do a day trip or two and come back...but you said that wanted a loop if at all possible...

The month of May this year could be a high country possibility...maybe. Possibilities if the roads are open would include Tuolumne to Glen Aulin, which is downhill, a nice way to start the first day when the packs are at their heaviest.

Another possibility IF the roads are open would be to take one of the YARTS buses to either Glacier Point or up the Tioga Road and to start a hike there, hiking back down to your car in the valley. Tioga Road down to the top of Yosemite Falls and down to the Valley, or even from the old Quarry to Mt Watkins, then along the north side of the Valley rim...this one would give you all sorts of bail out options (down Snow Creek Trail or down Yosemite Falls trail), incredible views, and some fin kid stuff at Indian Rock, North Dome, and Yosemite Point. Another would be Glacier Point over the Panorama trail to Little Yosemite Valley. Big downhills into the Valley which can be tough on older knees but usually pretty comfortable for the kids.

As always, be safe...despite the bad winter (so far) there will be water flowing and it will be cold. And watch the mosquito reports...a bad mosquito time, whether or not prepared...can make a trip miserable. Most of all, have fun!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 18, 2014 01:00PM
Quote
Bearproof

And watch the mosquito reports...a bad mosquito time, whether or not prepared...can make a trip miserable. Most of all, have fun!

Mosquitoes won't be an issue in Yosemite's High Country in May. Might be a very slight issue at lower elevations (Yosemite Valley or Hetch Hetchy) but no problem at all anywhere else.

The night's low temps in Yosemite's High Country still dip below freezing with regularity in May, wiping out any mosquitos that might have hatched early.

.
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 18, 2014 01:13PM
The guy needs to come back and say what time of May.

Mid-May last year... road open... didn't see a soul beyond Upper Cathedral... and even then..
very few floundering around in the snow to get there.. (for example)

Take the kid to LYV. Can be done anytime in May. It will be difficult. But rewarding.
As you know poof, I ALWAYS go up Mist Trail in entirety ... if possible.
(ok, I go down it too)

(fyi... it was COMPLETELY dry this last weekend)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 18, 2014 01:18PM
Quote
chick-on
As you know poof, I ALWAYS go up Mist Trail in entirety ... if possible.
(ok, I go down it too)

(fyi... it was COMPLETELY dry this last weekend)

Is it "open"?
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 18, 2014 01:38PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
chick-on
As you know poof, I ALWAYS go up Mist Trail in entirety ... if possible.
(ok, I go down it too)

(fyi... it was COMPLETELY dry this last weekend)

Is it "open"?
It's "open" but it's not open.
Abuse at your own risk... but it had zero snow or ice on it.
The only issue would be the area at the very top if it gets cold can ice up.
It's actually drier now than in autumn.

The Ice Cut had very minimal ice on it also.

The boss schooling me:


bzw... I mentioned this b4.. the default view of this forum is "time"... so a conversation
can make no sense unless peep log in... or peeps quote everything.



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2014 01:46PM by chick-on.
Re: Backpacking in May
February 19, 2014 07:25AM
You guys are amazing! These responses are incredible! Thank you very much. I am working on the first week of May as that may be the only time I can get off of work. I was originally looking outside of Yosemite at the Sky to Sea Trail up in Big Basin State Park north of Santa Cruz, but my son would love to fish if at all possible. I realize my parameters are narrow, but hey, if we're going to go on a trip, might as well see if we can make the best trip possible, right?

I'll take a look at the Hetch Hetchy one and I loved the recommendation about the YARTS bus! Thanks guys!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 19, 2014 10:26AM
So much of Skyline to Sea is ... well... nothing compares to Yosemite. smiling smiley

Not sure about the fishing. Most of the higher lakes will still be frozen over-ish.
This is what I was talking about w/r to Cathedral Lakes last year:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/CathyMatts
(the 3-d goggles are something like 4 dollars if you want to see the 3D stuff)

If you want a sure thing... w/o question... then just get a LYV from Happy Isles permit.
There may still be stuff available. Bearpoof has warned about LYV climb...
but it will be clear then. w/o question.
Everything else ... GP road open... Tioga open... is a guess at this pt.

As Old Dood said... Rancheria is a good one then also.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 19, 2014 12:09PM
Wow! Old Dude in 3D. I really like the one looking down from Marioulumne. Thanks so much for everything that you post.
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 20, 2014 07:28PM
Mr. Jim. Tanks.

You may like this one. The Boss... on Nevada Falls bridge... from last weekend:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-yA3xp4OFaYc/UwZIQB7W71I/AAAAAAAAifQ/EpVXvv7S4Ko/s640/BossCap3D.jpg



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 21, 2014 01:20PM
Here is a video looking down to the un-named dome from Mariuolumne in summer.
Hey chick-on, have you gone through the pass from south west of Upper Cathedral Lake to the saddle west of Tressidder Peak? Looks do-able on Google Earth, but video looks like it could be pretty steep getting over the saddle.


avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 21, 2014 06:35PM
Chick-on will respond, I am sure, but he is currently away...diving...got a bit board...(that's a hint)

Anyway, to answer your question, yes, sort of...if I understand your question correctly....Da Bird and I went up the ridge that ends at the top of peak 10,450...trip report here

Very doable as I recall.
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 22, 2014 07:44PM
Thanks Bearproof. Looks like great views up there.
Like the board hintspinning smiley sticking its tongue out
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 23, 2014 05:27PM
What poof said. It all looked pretty straightforward. Closer to the ridge with views of
Lower Cathedral... that is what I'd recommend... the way we went.. nice clean granite...
nothing difficult iirc... up 10450 then you can head due south towards Tressider

Wuz out Planking:


tongue sticking out smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Backpacking in May
February 23, 2014 07:16PM
Is that actually your sleeping bag in that picture? I realize that with that pitch, there's not much chance of rolling over the edge in the middle of the night but if you're comfortable sleeping that close to the edge, you're a lot better with heights than I am! spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 24, 2014 06:56AM
No chance of rolling over the edge. Or even sliding over the edge.
Up there you may start seeing things in the dark, like Turock, and that
may start making you think you are crazy. Just squash those thoughts
and you'll be fine.

Been wanting to get back up there and get some photosynths...
haven't been up since 2010... good news... well... maybe not...
is the non-technical route is 110% Old Dood rated.
(if he wants to go up there ever though... I'm sure that he will still want
to throw me over the edge once we get all the way up there).
Easier way is : LYV - Shrub Route (not really shrubby)
Most Picturesque: Lib Cap/Brod - Climb Route
Quickest: Left of Brod from Vernal - Shrub

One from up there:
...

hmm... on my puny screen pict is cut off.. maybe this:




Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2014 06:58AM by chick-on.
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 24, 2014 09:12AM
Quote
chick-on

Been wanting to get back up there and get some photosynths...

So I had to go take a look........... very cool. 1/2 Dome is definitely "in your face"!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 24, 2014 10:10AM
If you mean you looked a the two photosynth's of "Diving Board view" that are there now..
um.. those are from my iPhone. they are not that great. haven't gone thru all the
reg. cam photos yet... (I end up spending too much time farting around with 3D)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 24, 2014 02:40PM
Quote
chick-on
If you mean you looked a the two photosynth's of "Diving Board view" that are there now..
um.. those are from my iPhone. they are not that great. haven't gone thru all the
reg. cam photos yet... (I end up spending too much time farting around with 3D)

Yeah, the ones that are already up. If figured they were from your phone due to the small file size and how quickly they get blurry when you zoom, but it's still cool how massive HD looks right there.
Re: Backpacking in May
February 23, 2014 06:14AM
Follow up question (because I am a rookie...): Are the backpacker campgrounds are used as staging grounds of sorts for day hikes/multi-day hikes? If we go out from one of the backpacker campgrounds, do we wilderness camp along the trail or are we supposed to look for designated spots to set up a tent for the night. Again, I realize this is probably a very rookie question, but I'm not exactly sure how it works. Thanks guys!
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 23, 2014 07:17AM
Backbacker campgrounds can be used only the one night before the first day on your wilderness permit and the one night after you exit your hike. You must have a wilderness permit to use a backpaclkers campground unless you arrive by bus or on foot. They cannot be used as a base for dayhikes.

Once in the wilderness you can camp anywhere as long as you follow the rules relative to distance from the trail, waterways, lake shores, etc. Be aware though that there are some few areas where overnight camping is not allowed and in a few places there are designated camp sites. Lake Eleanor is an example.

Go to this site for complete info. http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm

Here is the link to the trailhead map: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/Wilderness-Trailheads_07-14-2013_28x38-1.pdf Study this map. You can zoom in on it.

Don't hesitate to ask questions. The more knowledge you have the better.

If you get cold put more clothes on or get in your bag. Please avoid making fires.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2014 10:12PM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 23, 2014 12:11PM
Quote
mrcondron
You must have a wilderness permit to use a backpaclkers campground.

Not if you arrive by bus.
avatar Re: Backpacking in May
February 23, 2014 10:13PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
mrcondron
You must have a wilderness permit to use a backpaclkers campground.

Not if you arrive by bus.

I said that.



Old Dude
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login