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Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations

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Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 10, 2017 12:57PM
Hi All,

I'll be staying a few days in Yosemite Valley in mid-May. I'll be doing some day hiking and also have a backcountry permit for a couple nights via Happy Isles > Little Yosemite Valley. I don't have any illusions about conditions at elevation -- I know there's going to be snow in some spots.

In planning my hikes, I need to account for hikes that may be affected (and potentially not possible) given the snowpack this year. For instance, I know that Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road will not be open during my visit.

So, Glacier Point Road will not be open but does that also mean that the 4 Mile Trail will not be open? Does that open separately? (typically earlier or later?). If 4 Mile Trail is not open, could I take the Panorama Trail up to Glacier Point since I'll be over towards the Mist Trail anyway? Or would the conditions just make this unadvisable?

How about Upper Yosemite Falls? I've read that it can be difficult hike when snow is present.

Finally, my goal / intention with the backcountry permit is to shift my base (to around LYV) and do mostly some day hikes using that as a base on those days. Regarding that, Cloud's Rest is also high in elevation. What do you think it will be like in mid-May?

Sorry for so many questions -- just trying to get a picture of what I should expect during my stay.

Thanks,
Dave
avatar Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 08:03AM
Have you been before?

4 Mile Trail probably still only open to Union.

Yosemite Falls to lookout will be fine then.

To LYV is no snow. No snow in canyon until twin bridges... more or less...
No snow until HD junction at moment... melting fast...

Clouds Rest will be ill advised to cross then. Maybe the snow on the
long traverse under the pinnacles will be open by then but I wouldn't
count on it. You should be able to see this from LYV.
If you see snow... think "there is a LOT of snow".

I'd enjoy where you are... and not worry about "having" to get to GP.
Right now... there is loads of snow on the trail.
(I know this because I saws it)

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 09:07AM
Quote
chick-on
Have you been before?

4 Mile Trail probably still only open to Union.

Yosemite Falls to lookout will be fine then.

To LYV is no snow. No snow in canyon until twin bridges... more or less...
No snow until HD junction at moment... melting fast...

Thanks for the update Chick! Are you saying there is no snow to LYV currently even after this past weekend's snow? Or are you saying you expect there won't be by mid may?
My brother/brother-in law/Father are heading to Yosemite the end of April, and want to do a 1 night backpack. LYV would be my go-to, but wasn't sure how much snow we'd be on at this point.
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 09:42AM
No, I have never been to Yosemite before so any thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time.

Here's my current plan and I'd take any thoughts you might have.

I have 4 days and nights in Yosemite. I have lodging at a combination of Yosemite Valley Lodge and Half Dome Village for all 4 nights. I also have a backcountry permit for Happy Isles to LYV for last 2 nights of this stay.

My current plan is to do a bunch of day hikes / viewpoints the first 2 days -- Yosemite Falls, Mist Trail, Tunnel View, Bridalveil, etc. Whatever I can fit in.

Then, depending upon weather conditions, I planned to head into the backcountry just a bit staying at LYV at least one night and doing some day hikes from there. I knew there would be snow at elevation but figured that I could do *some* of the hike to Clouds Rest, *some* of the Panorama Trail, etc. basically shifting the base of my hikes to LYV.

I'd take your opinions on this plan.

One more question. Assuming Four Mile Trail will still be closed at Union, is it still worth doing? I'd assumed that it would be -- that I'd go ahead up Four Mile Trail as far as I could just enjoy the hike.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave
avatar Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 11:27AM
4 Mile Trail to Union is stellar (so yes, it's worth doing)

Do Lower Yosemite Falls

Do to Columbia Rock... then go around up a bit more to nice view of Upper...
then decide there if you want to continue to top...

Mirror Lake

Bridalveil

Anywho... LYV... to clouds rest... 2000 ft. from LYV there aren't a LOT of views...
Same with Half Dome.

I dunno... I'd probably vote for heading up Merced River Canyon... and then turn
around when you hit something you don't like... or at your turn around time.

If never been... it's honestly gonna all be good.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 11:35AM
Thanks once again -- I agree that it's probably all going to be amazing -- but let me follow-up with a little different question.

The way I structured my trip is based on the fact that I enjoy both day hiking and backcountry camping.

So I structured it to do both -- 2-3 days of staying in the valley and then 1-2 days of backcountry hiking/camping.

But, that being said, I also have lodging in the valley for the entire trip. Do you think that I'd be better served just staying in the valley and leaving the backcountry for a better time of year (when I could get to Clouds Rest, etc.)? Or do you think I'm on the right track?

Thanks again,
Dave
avatar Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 02:39PM
I have no idea what backcountry camping / backpacking you have done...
So I don't know your expectations.

I would classify Little Yosemite Valley as nearly a Tent only campground.
It will be very busy there and you have to camp IN that campground with
an LYV permit. If you want solitude... then LYV is not your cupa.

If you are an AVID backpacker... then yes, I'd do some valley hikes...
and then do a 2 night overnight trip.

I'd do these hikes:
- Mirror Lake loop (if you are spry you could hike up Snow Creek for a bit for added fun)
* this loop is spectacular in so many ways... especially with the recent rock slide
- Lower Yosemite Fall
- Bridalveil Fall
- 4 Mile Trail
- Upper Yosemite Fall to Columbia Rock and Oh My Gosh! Pt. and/or the view of Upper Yose Falls
- Mist Trail to top of Vernal

You can dayhike Clouds Rest from Sunrise TH / Tenaya Lake. You will have crazy amount of
company on that hike... much like Mist Trail (ok, not AS bad... but LOTS of peeps)

For 2 night trip... since you have permit... I'd get to LYV... then if you doing great... then dayhike
up Merced River until you say no mas....
Next day either do that... or head up Panorama Trail to where trail heads down to Illilouette Creek.
I wouldn't worry tooo much about getting to Glacier Point...
since you can drive up there (heck, you may be able to drive up there when you go)...

Anyway, you'll enjoy. Don't try to do them all... just enjoy and take it easy



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 02:41PM
O... if backpack go up JMT to Clark Pt. from there depends on closures.

Normally I go up and down Mist Trail (conditions depending) .. it's what I prefer...
but JMT is less crowded is stellar and nicely graded for your enjoyment



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 03:04PM
Awesome information. Thanks. This will be really helpful. It's exactly what I was looking for.

I have no illusions about LYV -- I know it's going to be busy and I won't be getting any solitude there. That's okay. I'm not one to sit around the tent all day expecting peace and quiet. I use the tent as a base and hike all day.

In terms of my preferences for hikes, I'm kind of a sucker for elevation and climbing. I love the tough climb followed by the rewarding view.

Are you familiar with / do you have opinions about the lodging for Yosemite?

Right now, I have lodging reservations at a combination of Yosemite Valley and Half Dome Village. In addition, I still have my original reservations at Yosemite View in El Portal.

My thinking is that staying right in the valley is preferable -- even if I have to change rooms once during the trip. Am I missing anything? Is there reason to stay in El Portal?

Dave
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 06:50PM
Quote
DCHook
Awesome information. Thanks. This will be really helpful. It's exactly what I was looking for.

I have no illusions about LYV -- I know it's going to be busy and I won't be getting any solitude there. That's okay. I'm not one to sit around the tent all day expecting peace and quiet. I use the tent as a base and hike all day.

In terms of my preferences for hikes, I'm kind of a sucker for elevation and climbing. I love the tough climb followed by the rewarding view.

Are you familiar with / do you have opinions about the lodging for Yosemite?

Right now, I have lodging reservations at a combination of Yosemite Valley and Half Dome Village. In addition, I still have my original reservations at Yosemite View in El Portal.

My thinking is that staying right in the valley is preferable -- even if I have to change rooms once during the trip. Am I missing anything? Is there reason to stay in El Portal?

Dave
When you say Yosemite Valley are you referring to Yosemite Lodge that is in the valley? My preference has always been to stay right in the valley if I am doing things in the valley or hikes that start in the valley. This way you don't waste time in your car waiting at the entrance to get into the park and the time actually driving in to the valley. You are right there in the thick of things. Changing rooms can be a pain for people that like to hang around their accommodations all day but since you will be out hiking until after the time your next room is ready, then it is worth changing rooms to stay in the valley. I have changed places in the past and asked at the front desk at the next place I was going to stay at if they would store my things until I checked into my room and so far they have.
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 07:25PM
Yes, you were right -- I meant the combo of staying at Yosemite Valley Lodge & Half Dome Village right in the valley vs. Yosemite View in El Portal.

For me, the only advantage to YV in El Portal is that I would have the same room for all 4 days and could just leave my stuff but, from your comments, sounds like it's a greater advantage to stay right in the valley even if I have to change rooms / lodging once.

I'll have a car so it just means that on that particular morning I'll have to get everything packed up and back to the car before checking in to the second location later that day.

Dave
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 06:46PM
Two more quick trail questions:

You didn't mention heading up Half Dome Trail or Clouds Rest from LYV -- even part way. Are these just not advisable given the conditions in mid-May?

Regarding this:

> O... if backpack go up JMT to Clark Pt. from there depends on closures.

This would be a day hike though, right? You're talking about heading up JMT from the valley to Clark Point?

Dave
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 08:34PM
Quote
DCHook
Two more quick trail questions:

You didn't mention heading up Half Dome Trail or Clouds Rest from LYV -- even part way. Are these just not advisable given the conditions in mid-May?

Regarding this:

> O... if backpack go up JMT to Clark Pt. from there depends on closures.

This would be a day hike though, right? You're talking about heading up JMT from the valley to Clark Point?

Dave

Chick-on is suggesting that if you do overnight backpack, take the JMT up to Clark Point. At that junction, depending on trail closures, continue up the JMT past the Ice Cut to the top of Nevada. OR head down to above Vernal Falls and up the upper Mist Trail to the top of Nevada.

From Clark Point, if you opt for the JMT, you have little more elevation to gain to get to the top of Nevada.. If you opt to drop down and over to the Mist trail, you'll face the steps up the side of Nevada. Both are beautiful. One just requires more work.

I, personally, despise going up and down the lower Mist Trail to/from Vernal Falls when there are a lot of people. So many are rude and pushy and don't know uphill has the right of way.. and well, people run, it's slippery, blah blah.

if it's early in the day and quiet, the Mist Trail is lovely. Otherwise, I'm on the JMT and I enjoy it.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2017 08:37PM by JustKeepWalking.
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 08:46PM
I see. That makes sense now.

I've never been to Yosemite before so this will all be a learning experience.

I hope to use the day hike days (non back-country) to explore a bit and get comfortable. I'll certainly do some of the Mist Trail on those days to get a feel for it.

And, then, you're probably right that I'd be best heading up the JMT as I head to LYV.

Thanks,
Dave
avatar Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 12, 2017 11:20AM
Quote
jchapell
Quote
chick-on
Have you been before?

4 Mile Trail probably still only open to Union.

Yosemite Falls to lookout will be fine then.

To LYV is no snow. No snow in canyon until twin bridges... more or less...
No snow until HD junction at moment... melting fast...

Thanks for the update Chick! Are you saying there is no snow to LYV currently even after this past weekend's snow? Or are you saying you expect there won't be by mid may?
My brother/brother-in law/Father are heading to Yosemite the end of April, and want to do a 1 night backpack. LYV would be my go-to, but wasn't sure how much snow we'd be on at this point.

Correct.

The snow from last week pretty much melted. There was a BIT of snow... but it was trivial.
The most snow is always on the southern trail. Take the northern trail.
Even if it snows between now and then... it will be pretty clear by your trip.

You should be able to get to the HD jct on the JMT without any snow (there wasn't any yesterday)...
and also all the way up Merced River pretty much to the twin bridges...
beyond that... um... best of luck. That may be yummy for another month.. ?
Didn't go that way this past trip... but could see from above that there is little to no snow...
even tho the Merced River went under a snow-a-lanche near Bunnell Cascade area.

Anyway... you'll be fine and dandy

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 13, 2017 07:00AM
Quote
chick-on
Quote
jchapell
Quote
chick-on

Correct.

The snow from last week pretty much melted. There was a BIT of snow... but it was trivial.
The most snow is always on the southern trail. Take the northern trail.
Even if it snows between now and then... it will be pretty clear by your trip.

You should be able to get to the HD jct on the JMT without any snow (there wasn't any yesterday)...
and also all the way up Merced River pretty much to the twin bridges...
beyond that... um... best of luck. That may be yummy for another month.. ?
Didn't go that way this past trip... but could see from above that there is little to no snow...
even tho the Merced River went under a snow-a-lanche near Bunnell Cascade area.

Anyway... you'll be fine and dandy

Have fun

Great, thanks again Chick-on! I've enjoyed meandering down the Merced from there, so we may do that a bit or head up towards sub dome for some views if the snow isn't too treacherous by then. Woohoo!
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 13, 2017 07:10AM
Speaking of the snow conditions, do you guys feel like bringing snowshoes is a good idea?

Again, this trip in mid-May will be my first trip to Yosemite.

I'll have my crampons and trekking poles but hadn't planned on bringing my snowshoes mostly because I figured that there would be plenty of trails such that I'd just turn around if it got too bad.

(And, it's always nice to cut some weight if I can.)

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Dave
avatar Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 13, 2017 07:27AM
Don't bother.

You are like kid in candy store!

You have WAY too much to do!

You won't need crampons unless u attempt Clouds Rest.
You might want an ice axe... ?
I'm certain the guys who walked RIGHT THRU our campsite
on Monday needed them!
"no this is not the trail"
"no we are not summitting"
and
"you probably really want an ice axe and crampons right now to
get to top of CR"

Anyway, um... I really think you gotz too much to do for the days
you are there... have fun!

And if you REALLY want to do CR from LYV... then ask
peeps in LYV and such... see how they did...
I've gone up in Feb, Apr, May, and conditions vary...
I'd just carry them this year up there... but that's me... or
I'd ..

wait... I'd just go up Merced River... hehehehe
I already said that...

ok, I'm off to mountains


Quote
DCHook
Speaking of the snow conditions, do you guys feel like bringing snowshoes is a good idea?

Again, this trip in mid-May will be my first trip to Yosemite.

I'll have my crampons and trekking poles but hadn't planned on bringing my snowshoes mostly because I figured that there would be plenty of trails such that I'd just turn around if it got too bad.

(And, it's always nice to cut some weight if I can.)

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Dave



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mid-May Yosemite Hiking Limitations
April 13, 2017 08:09AM
Ha! I kinda figured that would be the response and I appreciate it. 4 less pounds for my pack.

And, no, I have plenty to do without worrying about getting to the top of CR on this trip.

Thanks again,
Dave
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