Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Pothole Dome (Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park)

The Moon is Waxing Crescent (29% of Full)


Re: Plan my Yosemite trip

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.

Plan my Yosemite trip
March 01, 2015 04:32PM
I hope to be in Yosemite in September and am looking for some new spots.
Here is a list of places I've heard about on this forum, but have yet to visit:

MORAN PT-Accessible from somewhere on the 4FT
EAGLE TOWER-Looked (briefly) for a way to get there last year
POHONO TRAIL-Never been between Taft and Tunnel View
OH MY GOSH PT-Somewhere beyond Columbia Rock
MERCED LAKE-Would you try a 30 mile day hike to this lake?
OLMSTED PT-Any "erratic hunting" to be done in this area?
BASE OF HALF DOME-Ever gone from HDT to Diving Board via this route?
ARTIST PT-Worthy of the detour?
INDIAN CANYON-Easy to get lost on the upper reaches of this trail?
QUARTER DOMES-Somewhere between HD & Clouds Rest
BRIDALVEIL FALL BRINK-Has anybody billy goated their way to this spot?

I realize that the archives of this forum are slathered with info about these hikes/trails.
My questions are these:

If you could only go to Yosemite once per year, are any of these on the "don't miss" list?
Could your time/effort be better spent on hikes to other spots?

Also, if you've been to any of these spots, maybe you could share some info about
what to look for in these areas.

A thousand thanks.
Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 01, 2015 07:05PM

If you could only go to Yosemite once per year, are any of these on the "don't miss" list?
Could your time/effort be better spent on hikes to other spots?

Also, if you've been to any of these spots, maybe you could share some info about
what to look for in these areas.

I'd pick these from your list, with some twists:

1. Merced Lake: Try this: in early September, see if you can get a reservation at the High Sierra Camp. Since you threw out a 30-mile day hike, I'm guessing you're comfortable with 14-mile days. I'd start in Tuolumne (up Rafferty Creek), go over Tuolumne and Vogelsang Passes, then down to Merced Lake, spend the night at the camp (warm meal, hot shower, comfortable bed...), then hike down to Happy Isles the next day. There is a daily bus from the valley to Tuolumne to help with shuttling.

2. Start from Tenaya Lake/Sunrise Lakes T/H, hike over Clouds Rest, visit Quarter Domes before merging onto the Half Dome Highway, exit via Happy Isles. Maybe combine with a start down Tenaya Creek to the first cascade (just past Admonition Point) if you are feeling adventurous and have a full day to hike...

The others are all good, but if you don't get to see Yosemite a lot, the two above provide a ton of good stuff. The others are fun, but I think are more appealing for those who have seen all the other good stuff already and are looking for new places to explore.

Also, if you haven't gone down the Tuolumne to check out Glen Aulin and the waterfalls below, I'd look into a down-and-back-up hike to LeConte Falls (Waterwheel will be unimpressive in September...)
Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 01, 2015 07:09PM
You say "30 mile day hike" to Merced Lake? Does that mean you really only have one day? Or you were gonna cram some of the other points in before/after?

I've always thought every way in and out of Merced Lake is lovely/stunning. With the fire that hit LYV, it's definitely different and could be very dusty/dry next September. And that's a bit late in the year for a 30 mile, imo.. But i am partial to high county and a high country route to Merced Lake would be what I'd do if I could only do one from your list. I haven't done all the little points you mention, but I've been close to them all and know the terrain/general views.

Again, that's just my personal taste...
Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 02, 2015 04:48AM
I've always set up shop at Curry and done whatever round trip day
hikes could be done from there. Merced Lake looks like around
30 miles RT, that is where that came from.

I've done HD/CR round trip from the Valley as a day hike, (26 or
so miles) so 30 would seem possible.

The ideas you've both mentioned are things I haven't considered.
I'll look into them.
avatar Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 02, 2015 07:12AM
Will give you some routes sometime this week.

I wouldn't have to do any of those you mention if could only go once per year.
If I could only go once per year I'd make that once a 3 week backpack trip. tongue sticking out smiley

Here's Top o Bridalveil:

"Easy" from 4MT ... There's a zillion posts on the forum about this. Can direct
you easiest way there if you want to really go there... should take < an hour
from main trail with snack and goofing around and all.

Eagle Tower / OMG Pt.
OMG is trivial from Yose Falls Trail. Eagle is actually not that shrubby if you
go the best way... (you want to go BEFORE Eagle Pk Meadows or AFTER)
Can give you tracks if u want.

The points are incredible. The rest is a walk in the woods.
If you want to go off trail... just some great views. The more time you spend
at a place... the more you really can soak it in. Absolutely loved exploring
Crocker and Stanford this past weekend. Saw stuff I just hadn't recalled
seeing before when "blasting" thru dayhiking or "having" to get over yonder.

Merced Lake
You should be able to dayhike this no problem. Shortest is more like 26-ish.
There's so much more than the trail tho. Depending when you go...
Same thing as Stanford... wife complained a bit on recent Bernice trip
but she was loving the "Echo" from the waterfalls into Echo Valley.

Quarter Domes
blop is right. Go from Sunrise TH... over Clouds down to QD / 1/8 Dome /
then down... personally I dooz this and then up HD and then up Liberty Cap
as dayhike. Old guy was kind enough to dump me off at TH and then
wait down at Curry for me. You should have zero problem doing this one.

Artist Pt.
If you like old trails and benchmarks. Ok. But otherwise... same sorta
view from Insp. and Tunnel. And lots of similar from above.
Old Inspiration is a bush wack a doodle... btw...

Indian Canyon
Top and Bottom the trail is distinct and can be followed... it's the middle
that is fun. Mentioned this many times... but this is one the wife
just refuses to do again. Gone up and down with backpack and up
it with my wife and down Yose Falls with her as dayhike. There's a number
of write-ups.

Um... what else... HD thing.. yeah, that one haven't done. Good luck.
I've thought about it many times.... and decided not to yet... I want to get to face
from other side first and call it fun.

I'll put some routes up from what I actually would do if I could only go once a
year and hike around.

Maybe not first on list but high up would be that Clouds / QD / etc thingie.

Will post more later.

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 02, 2015 08:27AM
It's a good list of valley stuff. But for me, I'd much rather spend a single visit in the higher country. For day-hiking, I'd camp at WW, Porcupine, or TM and do day hikes along 120 like Cloud's Rest (as Basilbop mentioned), Cathedral Lakes/Columbia Finger, Lyell Canyon, Budd Lake and/or Elizabeth Lake, Mt. Hoffman, etc.
avatar Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 02, 2015 08:40AM
A couple I can chime in on:

Pohono west of Taft -- nice trail, lots of forest punctuated with about 4 stunning overlooks. Almost no views along the trail other than these overlooks. From Taft you will descend to Bridalveil Creek then up to Dewey Point, great views of El Cap and the Cathedral Rocks. Then Crocker and Stanford Points, similar views as from Dewey but a little further west. The descent to Tunnel View doesn't start in earnest until after Stanford Pt, where you'll drop over 2,000 ft in under 4 miles. About a mile before Tunnel View you'll come to Insipration Point, great view that is very similar to the one from Tunnel View but higher up and without the crowds and idling tour buses. From Inspiration down to TV is very rocky. You could also do a loop in and out of McGurk Meadow to hit Dewey/Crocker/Stanford and back to catch the main highlights and avoid the knee-cracking descent.

Quarter Domes are immediately southwest of Cloud's Rest, hanging on the Tenaya Canyon cliff. Access from the CR trail that comes down the southern face. Unlike the arĂȘte on CR, which from on top looks like it drops straight down into Tenaya Canyon but actually slopes down, the QDs truly are nearly sheer vertical drop-offs. It's a cool place, but I would consider it a worthwhile detour if you are doing CR, possibly if doing HD, but not something to climb up to from the Valley or LYV just for it's own sake. From the northeastern QD in particular you get a nice view of the face of Cloud's Rest. Here are some shots of the QDs from near North/Basket Domes, CR, and base of HD respectively:

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2015 08:43AM by JRinGeorgia.
avatar Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 02, 2015 09:23AM
Some sort of Quarter Domes/base of Half Dome/Diving Board trip would be a pretty cool day. If that wasn't enough for you, top out of Liberty Cap and Mt. Broderick on the way out.

Here's another view (from down in Tenaya Canyon) of Quarter Domes...its high on my list of to-do's.

You mention Indian Canyon (been up there...glad I did it but probably wouldn't do it again)...perhaps up Indian Canyon, hit North Dome, and then down Snow Creek. Lots of cool stuff up there as well, you could possibly add in one or more of Indian Rock, Basket Dome, Mt Watkins, and the Snow Creek Cabin. Even Better, take the Tuolumne bus up and drop off at the old Quarry, and do some or all of that stuff coming back down o the Valley.
avatar Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 02, 2015 09:48AM
I'm gonna assume u want some xcountry goodness routes. If not please say so... b/c then I won't
waste my time drawing you a few maps...

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Plan my Yosemite trip
March 02, 2015 10:15AM
Lots of good ideas/photos rolling in on this topic. Thanks for all the help.

I lack any backpacking equipment/skill/knowledge, so day hiking from
the Valley always seemed the easy and cheap way to see the most
cool sights. I'm getting quite a bit of that territory covered, so maybe
going into the back country is the next sensible thing.

Chick-on - No need to use your time for maps, etc. Just getting the names
of the places that the people of this forum like to go is help enough.

I've looked up (and down) at the Quarter Dome, Diving Board and Death
Slabs areas many times and wondered what they would be like. They look
like the kind of places that have to be explored at least once. (Prior to last
year's trip, I thought the same about the Ledge Trail)
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login