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Re: First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June

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First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June
January 16, 2017 09:08AM
Hi, I have always been an avid day-hiker but have recently discovered how much I love backpacking. I've done a few trips here in AZ on the Mogollon Rim and 3 Grand Canyon trips down to the River using various trails. I applied for Yosemite wilderness permits for June 20th and they were accepted! I am super exited as I've never spent any real time there besides a quick touristy visit as a child. The permit is for Cathedral Lakes trail exiting at Happy Isles. In my haste I only asked for 2 nights, but now wish I would have asked for 3 as I would really like to do Cloud's Rest, but from what I can tell, it would be a stretch to do all of that in 2 nights, 3 days. Or would it? We are planning on staying one night before the trip in the Tuolumne backpackers' camp to help acclimate. I've done a few day hikes in the San Francisco peaks in Flagstaff at about 9K feet and was fine, but I know past experiences don't mean much and I wasn't wearing a pack. I've also read about the mosquitoes in June and would welcome any suggestions for best places to camp to avoid the worst of them as well as to keep our mileage per day under 10 as my husband isn't quite as young and fit as I am! And one other question...I love my Moab Ventilator hiking shoes, but with all the rain and snow in Yosemite this winter, I'm assuming there may be some marshy or slushy conditions. Would you suggest WP shoes?
Any additional advice would be welcome!
Re: First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June
January 16, 2017 09:44AM
Before you finalize your summer's travel reservations - plane flights, car rental, etc...(BTW, Congrats on getting your Cathedral reserved wilderness permit...nice job!)
Realize that you can easily add a few days to your already reserved (Cathedral to Happy Isles) trip plan when you pick up your wilderness permit in person when physically at the wilderness permit office in Tuolumne Meadows. Yosemite understands being flexible. Just ask.
Nice trip plan but a little ambitious for 2 nights...adding a few days would make a better trip.

Suggest - Leave car in the Valley at Curry and take evening YARTS to Tuolumne. Stay TM Backpacker camp...no reservation needed - one night only. Shuttle to the TH next morning. Cathedral TH start and camp Upper Cathedral Lake night 1...south side there is preferred.
Day 2 - Hike to Lower Sunrise (there are 3 Sunrise Lakes) and camp somewhere there...see TOPO.
Day 3 - Do Clouds Rest first, and also can bag Half Dome too on the way down to Little Yosemite Valley (LYV). Additionally, a HD permit is also required (rangers check) to summit the Dome but free for the asking as your trip route passes right by HD...just ask for a free HD permit when you pick up your wilderness permit.
Down the Mist and stay over at Valley BP camp...same rules as the one in TM.
Have fun!
Re: First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June
January 16, 2017 10:22AM
Thanks Markskor! That's great to know about the flexibility. I like your suggestion because despite my acrophobia, I really did have my heart set on Cloud's Rest. I didn't apply for a HD permit because frankly, trekking up there on cables with a line of other people freaks me out. Cloud's Rest looks scary enough, and it's going to take all my wits and very small steps for me to walk up the "spine". But, since my husband and 16 year old son will be joining me, they may want to do HD without me. So you don't think the mosquitoes will be unbearable while camping at Upper Cathedral and Lower Sunrise?
Re: First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June
January 16, 2017 11:36AM
Quote
waninggibbous
That's great to know about the flexibility.
Yosemite has an enlightened approach to its backpacking guests...will try to accommodate all requests/changes if possible. Other than a few (necessary quota) rules, you can go almost anywhere in the park on just one permit. The one major requirement is that someone in your party must always have a permit in hand stating - starting TH, starting date, amount of days out (I always add a day or two extra here), and the number in your party. These are the hard and fast rules to be legal. They also ask you your intended exit TH but...(see flexible above) YNP appreciates that things can always change once out. Realistically, on a 2 night wilderness permit trip out of TM, you could come in a day (or two) over, and at a different TH than intended initially, and nobody (except maybe your better half at home) would know or care. Always good to be transparent though...first just ask the TM wilderness ranger, tell them all intentions...let them help. Then, if things trail-change afterwards, so be it.
Quote
waninggibbous
So you don't think the mosquitoes will be unbearable while camping at Upper Cathedral and Lower Sunrise?
Too early to tell yet but, in June, could be hell mosquitoes. Upper Cathedral not so bad but the meadow just before Sunrise HSC...ARGH! Pray for wind.

BTW, also hike in Moabs...nice choice...Trekking poles and maybe kahtoolas would be all that's really needed, as you're all "on trail."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2017 01:17PM by markskor.
avatar Re: First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June
January 16, 2017 06:28PM
They only have quotas on entry trailhead and number of people. I think they ask about first night's camp, number of days and exit trailhead to see if you have a reasonable plan, but nobody checks that in the field. Take an extra day no worries.
Re: First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June
January 16, 2017 09:01PM
Agree with all of the above....But watch the snow. A few years ago Tioga Road didn't open until late June. It's weather--it's hard to predict.



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Re: First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June
January 18, 2017 09:41AM
Thanks all for the info and advice. Yes, I am a bit worried about the snow given the winter we are having. The other concern I have is that since we would be leaving our car in Yosemite Valley, I'm not sure how we are going to get to Tuolumne Meadows. Yarts only runs on the weekends in June (our hike begins on a Tuesday) and the backpackers shuttle leaves at 9am meaning we would have to stay in the valley the night before (where?). If we drove straight to Tuolumne and left the car there I guess we could stay in the backpackers camp in the Valley after the hike and shuttle back to our car the next morning...
Re: First Yosemite Backpacking Trip in June
January 18, 2017 11:04AM
Quote
waninggibbous
... the backpackers shuttle leaves at 9 AM, meaning we would have to stay in the valley the night before (where?).
With your mailed receipt for the already guaranteed TM Wilderness Permit in hand, you could stay over Valley BP the first night - one night - (Just explain things to the campground Ranger - as logistical problems are common early season - Yosemite is flexible there too - if you have a logical plan). Morning Hiker Bus to Tuolumne, grab your permit, and acclimate - one night TM backpacker BP - and head out next morning. Does add one day but allows you to see the Valley.
BTW, Always better to hike back to your car if possible.
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