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Re: Advice for Hammocking through the north rim

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Advice for Hammocking through the north rim
March 08, 2017 04:18PM
Hey! So me and my friends are planning a trip this july to yosemite following this route:

http://www.traillon.com/routes/6xFCoBg

We've already gotten our permits for 6 people, and have 5 days to hike a total of 47.8 miles. Before we commit to this plan we just wanted to check here and make sure we weren't making any huge mistakes with this plan, so any advice is appreciated!

What we have:

  1. Hammocks with underquilts and top quilts, and tarps with mosquito netting.
  2. 65L backpacks leaving 10-12L of space for the bear canister rental.
  3. Lightweight and long sleeved clothing, along with hats and face nets for when mosquitos get really bad.
  4. Sawyer filters to refill water along the streams we cross on this trail.

What we're planning:

  1. Driving our van to our endpoint at Happy isles and taking a shuttle to our starting point at big oak flat road
  2. AirBnb for either a campsite or condo near the park, then driving in super early to get a good parking spot / get our permits

Thanks for the help!
Re: Advice for Hammocking through the north rim
March 09, 2017 07:45AM
Quote
Veovis
Hammocks with underquilts and top quilts, and tarps with mosquito netting.

The main concern I'd have with hammocks is that there are a lot of dead trees due to the recent drought and beetle infestations. A hammock requires that you camp near/in trees, vs. a more open area where you're not as likely to get hit by falling branches or trees. This last weekend, we camped in a forest area and were awakened at 4:30am with the loud sound of a crack, followed a second or so later by a loud thud as a dead branch hit the ground. If the weather is calm you might be fine, but one of the windiest experiences we've had was on Mt. Watkins, which is near your route.

Quote
Veovis
Driving our van to our endpoint at Happy isles and taking a shuttle to our starting point at big oak flat road

YARTS is the only "shuttle" that would go from the HI area (probably the not-Curry registration desk) to OBOFRT, and they may not be able to stop there (the parking lot would be on the opposite side of the road and is a small-ish, sometimes rough dirt lot).

If you can't make the shuttle work, another alternative, with many caveats and much hesitation, would be to switch your starting trailhead to Rockslides. You could drive in, park your car at HI, get your permit, camp at the backpacker's campground that night, then take the free El Cap shuttle to the trailhead.

Among the caveats:
- There is no signage at the trailhead, and it's not on many modern maps. But there are a lot of TRs on this site that should have enough info.
- Rockslides is not a maintained trail, but it is an old road (confusingly, it is the Old Big Oak Flat Road...)
- It requires crossing several large rockslides, including a ~200' climb up similar rock.
- Once you get past the rockslides, there are numerous fallen trees you'll need to climb over or under. I suspect there will be many more this year than in the past due to the dead tree/beetle infestation.

Another option: hitch-hike... but, I'd drive to the OBOFRT trailhead to start so that only one person has to hitch a ride from HI to retrieve the car at the end.
avatar Re: Advice for Hammocking through the north rim
March 10, 2017 02:10PM
Basilbop,

I'm curious why you posted "YARTS is the only "shuttle" that would go from the HI area (probably the not-Curry registration desk) to OBOFRT, and they may not be able to stop there (the parking lot would be on the opposite side of the road and is a small-ish, sometimes rough dirt lot)."

Doesn't the Tuolumne Meadows Hikers bus run? This is the info from last summer:

Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows Hikers Bus
Tuolumne Meadows is a perennial favorite of park visitors—yet less frequented than the park’s more famous landmarks. Gorgeous wildflower fields, outstanding views, and seemingly endless miles of trails will be the highlights of your trip. Hop the Tuolumne Meadows Hikers Bus and leave the driving to us.

Available: June 16 - September 11, 2016.
Re: Advice for Hammocking through the north rim
March 10, 2017 02:21PM
Quote
Coolburn
Doesn't the Tuolumne Meadows Hikers bus run? This is the info from last summer:

Yep, my bad--I forgot about the hiker's bus.. but I'd still make sure the driver is willing to stop at the OBOFRT trailhead on the Valley -> Tuolumne run. What date is your trip? I don't think the hiker's shuttle starts running until the facilities in Tuolumne Meadows are open--probably closer to the July 4 weekend this year. The Sonora YARTS line, which doesn't depend on the Tioga Road opening, will start May 15.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2017 02:23PM by basilbop.
avatar Re: Advice for Hammocking through the north rim
March 20, 2017 05:39PM
Just a word to the wise... perhaps..

Anyone thinking of backpacking up / or down .. Rockslides this year... should be
aware that with the amount of rain and such and in such quantities... this year..
There have been more slides... so ... pretty much this is getting to be a difficult
cross country route. I can show a picture if anyone desires. It looks like something
I'd want to not take someone who is not game for adventure... and/or willing to
turn back around and try something else...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Advice for Hammocking through the north rim
March 21, 2017 01:24PM
Quote
basilbop

Among the caveats:
- There is no signage at the trailhead, and it's not on many modern maps. But there are a lot of TRs on this site that should have enough info.
- Rockslides is not a maintained trail, but it is an old road (confusingly, it is the Old Big Oak Flat Road...)
- It requires crossing several large rockslides, including a ~200' climb up similar rock.
- Once you get past the rockslides, there are numerous fallen trees you'll need to climb over or under. I suspect there will be many more this year than in the past due to the dead tree/beetle infestation.

You seem to have forgotten the poison oak. Don't see how you could have forgotten, since you got a decent rash from it there!!

My personal opinion is bad idea to start here for many reasons, yours plus the new slides Chick-on mentioned.

It would be better to go up Yosemite Falls trail or down from Tamarack Flat Campground, imo, if OBOFRT TH is looking ugly because of water crossings or bus stop issues.
avatar Re: Advice for Hammocking through the north rim
March 10, 2017 11:27AM
Great route! You will have fun!

A couple of comments...mostly related to the starting portion of your route. I took that same trail from your starting point to Yosemite Falls last year at the end of April. As we all know, last year was a very low snow year. I still get grief for my query to chick-on, which went something like this...
Me: "Hey, I am doing the north rim next week...what are the snow conditions?"
Chick-on: "Very, very, very little snow below 8000 feet"

So off we went and, well, trip report here.

The point...well a couple of points...
The 'north rim", I am told, refers to the trails east of Yosemite Falls. At least that is what chick-on and JKW keep reminding me.
More importantly, I think that you will have more snow and marshy areas to cross in July this year than we had at the end of April last year, which could make the start of the trip a bit less than fun.

Suggestions...either start at the base of Yosemite Falls...admittedly a less than fun way to start a trip, lugging your heaviest backpack up a 3000 foot climb. But at least you could take the shuttle from your parked van.
Or start on the Tioga Road at Yosemite Creek...an easy first day cruise down towards the top of Yosemite Falls. The YARTS shuttle will get you to the starting point.
Basilbop makes a good point about the rockslides trail. I have done it a few times and the damaged portions of the trail were passable without too much worry, but I would expect that the winter's storms may have caused a bunch more damage to that unmaintained old road. Its a really cool route, but I would want to know that it is passable before heading off on it.

Whatever you end up doing, be sure to check the trail conditions here as you get closer to the trip.

Also, I would add that the very short side trip on a use trail to the top of Mt Watkins is definitely worth it!
avatar Re: Advice for Hammocking through the north rim
March 10, 2017 04:48PM
Another option or two would be to start at Tamarack Creek Campground (hike in on the road) or start at the Tamarack Creek trailhead a little further east on 120.

Tamarack Creek could be a roaring torrent and coming in from the north would allow you to cross it at the footbridge near the campground or at least at a flat area.

I don't remember how big Wildcat Creek is.



Old Dude
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