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

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (64% of Full)


Advanced

Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June

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.

Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
January 06, 2017 08:53AM
Hi everybody,

I saw some stupid cheap flights to SFO and jumped on the opportunity as a chance to get back to Yosemite. I'm planning a three day, two night backpacking trip for a group of 8. We're in our late 20s, in great shape, and have done some backpacking trips, but we don't have much experience in the Sierra. I would call us intermediate hikers at best because of our lack of experience.

I got off to planning, and in my eagerness was able to snag us all wilderness permits from the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead leaving June 17th and exiting at Happy Isles (Yosemite Valley) on June 19th! Score, right? Our tentative plan is to camp at either Sunrise High Sierra Camp or near one of the Sunrise lakes on the first night, and at Little Yosemite Valley campground or somewhere near the Cloud's Rest and JMT intersection on the second night. We plan on going up and over Cloud's Rest on day 2.

What's the level of snow like in mid-June around Cathedral Lakes to Sunrise Lakes? Do you think it will be passable in hiking boots only, or will we need snowshoes or crampons?

Any idea what the stream crossings are like? I think we're crossing about 7 creeks on our route. Any idea how deep or fast moving this time of year?

I also hear mosquitoes are insane this time of year. Any comments?

I know this all depends on the amount of snow we get this year, but hearing of any experiences from this timeframe will help me out. I've got reservations in the valley in case we need to scrap this hike completely.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2017 10:00AM by drh177.
Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
January 06, 2017 09:21AM
First off it is Sierra...never Sierras...sigh..

Nice plan but maybe a bit ambitious for only 2 nights - three nights would make a much better trip -. (I would just tell the Ranger to add another day when you pick up your reserved permit and take a little more time to enjoy the journey)...YMMV
Have you ever hiked at altitude? 9.000+ foot elevation? Acclimate?

Suggest if starting Cathedral TH...camp backside Upper Cathedral (south end) first night.
Rather than staying near the Sunrise HSC...that particular meadow, while scenic, is a notorious mosquito magnet early season...better to go all the way to the lowest of three Sunrise Lakes...camp south end, right behind the big rock....night 2.
Next morning, bag Clouds Rest first thing and then also do HD too, on the way down to camp LYV...which is a zoo, but fun..
Down the Mist...Curry Pizza...stay Valley BP camp (one night only, no reservation needed) and next day take YARTS - (only runs weekends in June...daily service starts in July), back to car at Cathedral TH..
Great trip though.
Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
January 06, 2017 09:25AM
It's way too early to know how much snow there will be, but it's doubtful you'd need snowshoes or crampons. IMHO it would be better to put up with some late-season postholing (and wet feet) than carry snowshoes for the few sections that may require them. At most you may want "micro-spikes" (such as Kathoolas) for the Clouds Rest portion--in case it's icy. You'll be on popular trails, so the numerous JMT and Clouds Rest hikers will most likely have packed down the trail.

Stream crossings shouldn't be a problem for your route even if we get a lot of snow. If you have to bypass Clouds Rest and end up crossing Sunrise Creek, it shouldn't be a problem.

Mosquitoes? Yeah, they will probably be out, so plan accordingly (heatnets/tent/deet...) Unfortunately Long Meadow (near Sunrise HSC) and the Sunrise Lakes are notorious for mosquitoes. You may be able to avoid them by camping father from water or meadows, but there's no guarantee--when mosquitoes are bad, they can swarm even on open granite far from any trees or standing water...

Have a great trip and let us know how it went--ideally with pictures!
Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
January 06, 2017 09:53AM
Thanks markskor and basilbop!

Sierra! Not Sierras! My ignorance shows again...Pounding head on desk

I've done some altitude hiking - recently did the Inca Trail in the Andes in November (8,000 - 13,800 ft range) but that was after acclimating at 11,500 ft for two days in Cusco... We won't have any time at all to acclimate really - we're coming straight from sea level, spending the first night in Yosemite Valley at only 4,000 ft (Upper Pines). Most of the others have done some altitude hiking, but it will still be tough - especially carrying all of our gear.

Because of the flights I have unfortunately we won't be able to stay a fourth day.
avatar Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
January 06, 2017 11:27AM
Since it looks like it is shaping up to be a wet winter, check out this thread from back in 2011...our last wet winter. Lots of fun stuff (nonsense) in this very lengthy thread, but also lots of good info about trail conditions that you might run into.
avatar Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
January 06, 2017 11:32AM
since it looks like it will be perhaps a very wet winter, check out this thread from a few years ago...you might have similar trail conditions...
Its a lengthy thread with lots of goofing around going on, but there is a lot of good info about what you might expect.
Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
February 17, 2017 09:53AM
This seems like a very wet year so far.

Any predictions if this trip will even be viable without making everyone in my group buy snow shoes? Think Tioga Road will even be open on June 17th?

If not, I've got some reservations at Curry Village. Any good ideas for day hikes from here? I'm thinking Panorama Trail (from Glacier Point) and Yosemite Falls to Yosemite Point (round trip).
avatar Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
February 17, 2017 11:11AM
Quote
drh177
Think Tioga Road will even be open on June 17th?

I'd say it's quite likely to not be open by then. YMMV.
Re: Need Advice on Cathedral/Sunrise Lakes Area in mid-June
February 17, 2017 03:26PM
Historic opening dates are shown at https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tiogaopen.htm . Once we get the April 1st snowpack % we can start speculating.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login