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Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip

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Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
March 30, 2015 09:51PM
I am heading to Yosemite, a few weeks too late, and would appreciate a few tips. Will be there in mid-April with a small group ( 6-8) and would ideally prefer to do both Pohono trail and Panorama trail over two days one night with a 7am start on Saturday morning. The most tricky part is that since the raod to GP is open now and I was not smart enough as some of the savvy people in the group, the camping restrictions might be in effect now.

Starting at: Wawona Tunnel, Saturday 7am

1. If we are doing both the trails over two days, what would be a good camping area? I would ideally prefer to split the trip in 60:40 or 70:30 for distance/elevation gain and looks like there are not many options to camp other than around Bridalveil Creek crossing.
2. Should I stick to just Pohono Trail to savor it all smiling smiley and head down via the 4-mile trail
3. What would be a good spot for quick overnight camping on Friday night? I guess the Backpacker's campground is not on the way (coming from the bay area) and not sure if one can sleepover at Crane Flats even if it is closed? Hodgdon Meadows might be an option. Any suggestions?

The plan is for 1-2 people to hitchhike back to cars at tunnel view on Sunday early evening.

Thanks a lot!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2015 09:52PM by nwhkr.
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
March 31, 2015 11:35AM
8 is a pretty big group.

With GP road open you are not allowed to legally camp east of Bridalveil Creek area.
It's about 14 miles I believe from there to Happy Isles via Panorama Trail / JMT.
You are not allowed to ever bail into any campground and sleep when it is closed.

All that being said... what I would recommend is to:
a) All arrive at approximately the same time... (caravan or coordinate, etc)
b) Park one car at Happy Isles ...
c) All other cars go to Tunnel View
d) Hike up from Tunnel View to Inspiration Pt. in the dark. the old turnout area
is huge there and can accommodate a large group like you have...
some could camp right at Inspiration Pt. ...

The next day you can hike up and enjoy the Pts. ... there is water flowing currently
in Meadow Brook... but it's not much...
I'd setup shop at Bridalveil and then go explore Taft... and then sleep at Bridalveil..
next day you can zip up past Taft again and so on to Sentinel Dome...
from there either down 4 Mile (you could leave a car here too if have nuff) or
down Pan Trail to JMT, etc. Mist... whatever you prefer to car at Happy Isles.

That's more or less what I would do now.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
March 31, 2015 11:38AM
Well... actually I wouldn't do that b/c I like sleep spots with views... but that's the general idea.
I'd sleep more at Dewey or Stanford or Crocker... or Taft or near Sentinel, etc. if the road was still closed ...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
March 31, 2015 02:02PM
Quote
chick-on
Well... actually I wouldn't do that b/c I like sleep spots with views... but that's the general idea.
I'd sleep more at Dewey or Stanford or Crocker... or Taft or near Sentinel, etc. if the road was still closed ...

Thanks for the great tips and poinnters. Totally makes sense. We wil shoot for Inpiration Point or if we start early enough, we will head for friday night at Stanford. Definitely plan to start all together. Will keep an eye for water at Meadow Brook as our trip is in 10 days. Will play it by ear for Pano trail vs 4 mile and I am keen to do Sentinel Dome too.

Thanks a lot...appreciate it!
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
March 31, 2015 03:36PM
Artist Creek will have a trickle of water in it... but Meadow Brook will w/o question have water still now.
It's just ridiculous dry though... and they should all be roaring ... well... that area should be under
feet of snow...
anywho... get water from Meadow Brook ... the creeklet that feeds "Widows Tears" Falls was dry
at the trail crossing about a month ago already... and nothing has happened really since then.

Coming up to Inspiration Pt. once you hit the signs... if you go due West-ish... you should see
a huge flat area... that used to be the parking area for cars, etc. for Inspiration Pt.

For a large group I'd say this is the place to plop. Or you could hang a right when you hit
Old Wawona Rd. and hike a couple of switchbacks (I think 3) .. until you hit a really nice flat spot.
There's some downed trees and whatnot along that way... so... maybe just walk right
across the road and stay on the main trail...

Have fun.. (and please... LNT)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
March 31, 2015 04:30PM
Quote
chick-on
Artist Creek will have a trickle of water in it... but Meadow Brook will w/o question have water still now.
It's just ridiculous dry though... and they should all be roaring ... well... that area should be under
feet of snow...
anywho... get water from Meadow Brook ... the creeklet that feeds "Widows Tears" Falls was dry
at the trail crossing about a month ago already... and nothing has happened really since then.
Thanks, Meadow Brook should work. I have only been to GP once when I was visiting from Seattle, and that was a drive in. So looking forward to it before it gets too hot.

Quote
chick-on
Coming up to Inspiration Pt. once you hit the signs... if you go due West-ish... you should see
a huge flat area... that used to be the parking area for cars, etc. for Inspiration Pt.

For a large group I'd say this is the place to plop. Or you could hang a right when you hit
Old Wawona Rd. and hike a couple of switchbacks (I think 3) .. until you hit a really nice flat spot.
There's some downed trees and whatnot along that way... so... maybe just walk right
across the road and stay on the main trail...
Thanks for suggesting the option. We are down to 5 people and based on what time we start, we will pick up a point that's reasonably far off from the trail.

Quote
chick-on
Have fun.. (and please... LNT)
Absolutely! I am a stickler for LNT and have received my fair share of hard stares in the bay area trails when I tell random people not to toss out orange peels or apple cores or when I offer to take that trash.
cheers
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
March 31, 2015 05:51PM
Two somewhat recent reports along this trail:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,78824,78824#msg-78824

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,77263,77263#msg-77263

With a group of 5 you are free to tromp off trail more and explore. Much of the Pohono is in the woods...
You could easily have a nice trip just exploring the Pohono Trail.
With GP road open... an easier trip would be to do the classic McGurk start... setup shop at
Bridalveil creek... or better yet, at Dewey Pt.... then dayhike over to Taft and back ... depending on time...
over to Stanford and back... then hike back out to cars...
For day 1 ... in the dark... it's quite possible to hike in ... and setup ... esp. since it's self reg.

All depends what you want to do and how much hiking with your pack you want to do.

With your car at McGurk... you could do other dayhikes on your last day...
Taft from Taft TH ... Illilouette Ridge, Ostrander Rocks, Sentinel Dome...
and if some people want more... and other in group are nice enough... some could fly down 4 Mile
and get picked up below.

Anywho. (and yeah, if this gives you an inkling into my Chick-on is looking at you! brain ... )

Have fun!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 01, 2015 11:59AM
Quote
chick-on
All depends what you want to do and how much hiking with your pack you want to do.
Thanks for the alternatives and link to TRs, those are great options. Anywhowinking smiley, I will prefer the route from valley even if adds the walk/hitchhiking back to car at the end of the trip.
Looking forward to it and thanks for all the tips...
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 01, 2015 01:23PM
You don't need to hitchhike. You can hike the entire loop. It's about 30 miles total.
Have done it a couple of times in early "season" as a two day trip.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 07, 2015 04:48PM
Quote
chick-on
You don't need to hitchhike. You can hike the entire loop. It's about 30 miles total.
Have done it a couple of times in early "season" as a two day trip.
Sounds great, we will do that.

Our group will start around 5pm on Friday, so we might even shoot to get to Stanford Point by 7/7:30pm as it looks like there are some camping spots there and we won't have to carry more than 2 lts of water as it's right at Meadow Brook. Weather forcast for today seems to be 3"-7" of snow today smiling smiley
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 07, 2015 05:40PM
Quote
nwhkr
Quote
chick-on
You don't need to hitchhike. You can hike the entire loop. It's about 30 miles total.
Have done it a couple of times in early "season" as a two day trip.
Sounds great, we will do that.

Our group will start around 5pm on Friday, so we might even shoot to get to Stanford Point by 7/7:30pm as it looks like there are some camping spots there and we won't have to carry more than 2 lts of water as it's right at Meadow Brook. Weather forcast for today seems to be 3"-7" of snow today smiling smiley

Just to be clear on this...
Stanfurd from Tunnel View - 2400 ft. climb
Tunnel View from Bridalveil Fall Parking lot - 1000 ft. climb (up Old Wawona then drop back down about 500 ft. to Tunnel View)
Couple of times I did this loop I did it before GP road was open (massive quantities of snow one year and snowshoed it)
And the other was minimal snow ... iirc both times I camped at/near Taft b/c afaik it is allowed when road is closed.

Near Harden Lake it dumped a foot of snow Sunday. And GP Cam looks about so... so... it will make ur hike slower going...
please plan accordingly...
Stanford may not have such great camping for a group of 8...

If you really want to do the loop please be aware you will do a bit of xcountry .... you need to get to Bridalveil fall parking lot
and then walk out of the lot... across the road and then find Old Wawona Road and hike it up and across the new road...
and then onto Old Wawona again... up up up to jct. and then back down ...
the section between BV parking lot and the new road is not / may not be obvious... but the upper section is...
I drew the route in here in red crayon:


I'd def. at least have a car at Happy Isles if avail for options.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 07, 2015 07:26PM
Quote
chick-on
Couple of times I did this loop I did it before GP road was open (massive quantities of snow one year and snowshoed it)
And the other was minimal snow ... iirc both times I camped at/near Taft b/c afaik it is allowed when road is closed.

I've camped near Taft once.

From the current Supervisor's Compendium (large PDF)

Quote
2014 Supervisor's Compendium
When Glacier Point road is closed due to winter conditions, camping is prohibited in the following
areas:
• Within 11⁄2 miles of the Badger Pass ski area boundary
• Summit Meadow, Dewey Point and the Glacier Point area

Which would say that Taft would be fine when the road is closed. There's also a map of the Glacier Point and Dewey closures - they're not large (e.g.: much, but not all, of the GP parking loop appears open).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2015 07:31PM by ttilley.
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 07, 2015 10:55PM
Quote
ttilley
Quote
chick-on
Couple of times I did this loop I did it before GP road was open (massive quantities of snow one year and snowshoed it)
And the other was minimal snow ... iirc both times I camped at/near Taft b/c afaik it is allowed when road is closed.

I've camped near Taft once.

Chick-on and Tom,
Those are great tips, really appreciate it. I believe at least half the group will drop out in snowy conditions and I was comfortable with 2.5 hrs to cover from tunnel view to Stanford Point ( 3.7 miles 2400' gain) in non-snow condtions. Checking with the team about the traction devices and I will probably carry yaktrax even if weather clears out as it has come in handy for me during my time in PNW. I will check the webcams tomorrow and talk to rangers on Thursday afternoon about the road and weather condition.

Our current plan is to do Pohono trail starting at Tunnel view and return back via 4 mile trail or Panorama trail. I am assuming that 4 mile trail might be more icy and exposed as it's north facing. What do you guys think?

Quote
chick-on
If you really want to do the loop please be aware you will do a bit of xcountry...I'd def. at least have a car at Happy Isles if avail for options.
[/quote
Great point. Will do so if the weather is iffy and if we have 2 cars. Thanks a lot
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 14, 2015 09:28AM
How goes it?

Saw ur (had to be) permit in Z box at Big Oak Flat on Saturday...
Group o 7... first night at Stanfurd..
(prolly shoulda said where to go for that big o group ... but hey, it's ur hike)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 14, 2015 06:22PM
Quote
chick-on
How goes it?
Sorry about the late reply/post guys, this week is going craaazy :-|. Thanks a lot for all your tips and we pretty much adhered to your suggestions.

Quote
chick-on
Group o 7... first night at Stanfurd..
(prolly shoulda said where to go for that big o group ... but hey, it's ur hike)

Yup, you were spot on about SP being not suitable for a big group. We started at 7pm from tunnel view and pushed through beyond Insipiration Point for a few reasons - ranger mentioned to me on phone that camping should be 1 mile (as the crow flies) from the road, so she suggested (instructed) Stanford Point and not at the old parking lot. Secondly, we wanted to have an easy start on Saturday morning and soak in the views. Arrived at SP by 10pm as one person was struggling going uphill. Camping at SP was tight and the early sun rays plus views made up for it smiling smiley.


Camping at Bridaveil creek resulted in a cold morning as the sun doesn't get there early enough. The only downside (for me) of the trip is that though we decided to head to Taft Point on Saturday to checkout sunset, got there at 4pm and rest of the group turned back around 5ish pm. I had the whole place to myself from 5:30 - 6:30pm and I also decided to turn back w/o seeing the sun putting on a show for me. video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/y7eq81vptiaqbru/Taft%20Point%20Yosemite%20NP%20CA.MOV?dl=0

Sunday morning we ran into a group highlining (30' - 40') at one of the fissures. Overall Pohono trial had some snowy patches and nothing too bad. Panorama was more or less clear. Both trails had some downed trees that were easy to navigate. Ice cut was open with very little ice and still saw 4-5 people (other hikers) slipping and falling there.

We left one car at Happy Isles and that worked great. Took minimal/no breaks on Panorama after leaving GP at 1:50pm as most of the group was in a rush to get back at a reasonable time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2015 06:38PM by nwhkr.
avatar Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 14, 2015 07:34PM
Hmm... problem is... some of the rangers may not really know all the exact
rules and regulations and nuances...
Stanfurd Pt. is not even 1 air mile from the road...
Go figure, eh? I haven't a clue why the ranger wouldn't just say...
absolutely... big group... camp right at the huge flat spot right beyond the
trail junction... b/c there isn't enough room down at the "real" point where
there is a fire ring...

Wife and I went from Glacier Pt. on Saturday to Red Peak Pass and back.
When we returned on Monday... there was really not much snow left...
Pretty crazy how fast it was melting around Ottoway (which was a frozen over)

Anywho. Glad you had fun... (you had fun, right?)
Woulda been nice if GP road had been closed and coulda camped at Taft...

Take care



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 16, 2015 09:04AM
Nice! I bet Red Peak Pass had less people. I am with you about the Rangers' thing, even though I was passed on to talk to the wilderness ranger.

Yeah was thinking about how cool it would be to camp at Taft Point. Taft Point was busy on Saturday afternoon and just the highliners on Sunday at 10am. We had a great tripsmiling smiley. My buddy took a video of people highlining at Taft Point and Twas this guy's first time highlining.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2015 09:05AM by nwhkr.
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 23, 2015 01:02PM
Here are some more pics, from my buddy w a fancy camera, of our mid-April trip to Pohono and Panorama trail around Glacier Point in Yosemite.. Thanks to chick-on, JKW, Mike C, and ttilley for all the invaluable tips to help me with trip planning, really appreciate it smiling smiley
https://plus.google.com/photos/102306834525447874694/albums/6140797701365458465
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 16, 2015 11:30AM
Was your group the one camping near Bridalveil Creek on Saturday night, and then continuing east on the Pohono trail at 9am on Sunday? I was taking photos of the creek and bridge, and caught a group of 8 people crossing the bridge in one of my pictures. If that's you, I'll send you the photo. We hiked starting on the Four Mile Trail to the Pohono Trail. Beautiful views.
Re: Tips for Pohono Trail and Panorama Trail - Two days One night trip
April 16, 2015 03:24PM
Quote
pakoR
Was your group the one camping near Bridalveil Creek on Saturday night, and then continuing east on the Pohono trail at 9am on Sunday? I was taking photos of the creek and bridge, and caught a group of 8 people crossing the bridge in one of my pictures. If that's you, I'll send you the photo. We hiked starting on the Four Mile Trail to the Pohono Trail. Beautiful views.

Awesome! Yup that was us.Will pm you my email. It was gorgeous out there. We started from Tunnel view and took the Panorama trail on the way down to avoid going downhill on 4 mile trail. Did you guys catch the sunset around Taft Point?
cheers
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