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Re: End of June wilderness permit

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End of June wilderness permit
April 12, 2017 05:36PM
First-time posting, but I've been reading for a while an appreciate all the knowledge.

We have wilderness permits at the end of June for Sunrise Lakes, including Half-Dome permits. We've planned a trip from the east coast, hotels/etc around this wilderness permit. Between the immense snowpack and washed-out 120, I'm thinking there's a low chance we'll be able to use these permits?? We can hike on snow, but we need the road to be open to the trailhead. And while we can cross a 'normal' spring stream, it sound like the stream from Tenaya Lake may be biblical this year.

My plan B was Mono Meadow to Illilouette, but when I spoke with the ranger this morning, he said the creek at Illilouette will be at flood stage, and dangerous to cross.

We don't have another place to stay during the three nights we have the wilderness permit for, and the hotels are booked. What do people in our situation do? The only advice the ranger would give me is that when we arrive for the permit, they'll try to find us another trailhead. But with Tioga closed, a lot of trailheads will be inaccessible, and some of the remaining ones -- Mono Meadow for example -- require crossing a flood-level stream.

Thank you for any advice.
Re: End of June wilderness permit
April 12, 2017 08:14PM
Welcome, imchauncy!

First - have you EVER been to Yosemite before? The Sierra? Do you understand the terrain?

I find it hard, personally, to make recommendations to an individual or particular group without knowing their abilities (e.g. Does a 2-3000' elevation gain day concern you?), their desires, their past experiences.

Your plan B compared with your plan A (aside from crossing the Illilouette - which is entirely optional with a change in TH and walking) confused me. Half Dome is no cake-walk. If you can't walk down to the bridge over the Illilouette (from GP to avoid bigger stream crossing issues - until you get further up towards Merced Pass Lakes) and over to wherever you want to be.. I'm at a loss as to what to recommend to you without knowing a little more of your experience.

How much snow are you prepared to deal with?

But there will be something when you arrive. The park is huge. The key is being flexible and enjoying the beauty unique and inherent to every trail in the park. I'm not trying to be glib. I'm serious. I used to think poorly of some trails - until I hiked them. Timing wisely is probably more important than anything else!

There are several trail closures in Hetch Hetchy that hopefully will be open by the time you arrive: Beehive switchbacks heading to Miguel Meadows/Laurel/Vernon and Wapama Falls bridge heading to Rancheria Falls and beyond.

The current road closure is for Big Oak Flat Road and does not impact the Tioga Road (Highway 120 east of Crane Flat), and given the historic opening dates, you can still hold a little hope that Tioga will open in time, depending on what exactly "end of June" means. If it does and you are ok with snow and route-finding.. you will be golden.

If I knew more, I could give you more of my thoughts. I do wish you a wonderful trip, no matter what!
Re: End of June wilderness permit
April 13, 2017 06:07AM
Thanks for your response.

We can -- and have done -- 3000' elevation gains. We've hiked all many areas of Yosemite, as well as Sequoia, Glacier, etc, and I've day-hiked Half-Dome. But this will be my 12 yo daughter's first backpacking trip. She's day-hiked Cloud's Rest, and hiked out of Sperry Chalet in Glacier NP (15+ miles plus elevation), so she can do the work, but I'd like to avoid crossing raging, flooded streams. A spring-time swollen creek? Sure. Something with current and churn? Nope.

Our permits are for June 23rd. It's a close call on whether Tioga will be open. And if 120 isn't open up by Crane Flat, that leaves a *long* drive around to the Tioga rd trailhead (another post on this site gave me the impression that 120 may not open until mid-summer). Will they run shuttles that distance? We can't leave a car at both ends...

As for Mono/Illilouette, I haven't hiked that area before, but talking the ranger yesterday, he gave no mention of a bridge, and he specifically mentioned dangerous creek crossings. We can't start at GP because it doesn't have enough open permits for us. Mono Meadow does. We'd hike Mono Meadow, then turn left, just before Illilouette Creek, at the first intersection. This will get us us to the Panorama Trail so we can use its bridge to cross Illilouette Creek itself. But between this intersection and Panorama Trail, the map shows a creek crossing. I assume this is the crossing the ranger was referring to. What can we expect at this crossing? There's no bridge here, correct? We'd camp somewhere before or after this crossing (please advise if there are camping spots around here), then head to LYV the next day via the Panorama Trail and its bridge.

We have HDome permits, and we'd like a night in LYV so we can attempt HDome first thing in the morning.
avatar Re: End of June wilderness permit
April 13, 2017 06:53AM
The Mono Meadows Creek ... you have to cross it twice...
We talked about it a bit last year:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,85173,85173#msg-85173

The lower crossing used to have a bridge... it's long gone...
From the "flood stage" comment... I'd think ranger was talking Illilouette.
Anyway, I don't see any open reservable permits for June 23 for
GP or Mono Meadows.

Your 120 (Big Oak Flat Road) comment makes sense now... the typical
Sunrise to Valley trek.

To give you an idea of what it's gonna look like in June...

Here's 2011... Take a look and decide if you want to hike on snow
for your daughters first backpack trip. It may be fun... it may be
"what was I thinking?". I can't answer that.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: End of June wilderness permit
April 13, 2017 06:56AM
These are from June 24th of 2011. A similar snow year.
(there's more this year)

Tenaya Lake outlet (trail) :


Olmsted Pt. View:


Clouds Rest:


All dat an moor from Mt. Hoffmann:




Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2017 07:06AM by chick-on.
Re: End of June wilderness permit
April 13, 2017 04:59PM
Quote
imchauncy
Thanks for your response.

We can -- and have done -- 3000' elevation gains. We've hiked all many areas of Yosemite, as well as Sequoia, Glacier, etc, and I've day-hiked Half-Dome. But this will be my 12 yo daughter's first backpacking trip. She's day-hiked Cloud's Rest, and hiked out of Sperry Chalet in Glacier NP (15+ miles plus elevation), so she can do the work, but I'd like to avoid crossing raging, flooded streams. A spring-time swollen creek? Sure. Something with current and churn? Nope.

Good. You know what you are getting into..

Quote
imchauncy
Our permits are for June 23rd. It's a close call on whether Tioga will be open. And if 120 isn't open up by Crane Flat, that leaves a *long* drive around to the Tioga rd trailhead (another post on this site gave me the impression that 120 may not open until mid-summer). Will they run shuttles that distance? We can't leave a car at both ends...

I had assumed, had Tioga been open, you'd just head straight to the trailhead optimizing your route for 120 the entire way. Didn't realize you were staying in/near the Valley. Yah. Seriously doubt BOF road will be open by then. Will be super-stoked if it is!

Quote
imchauncy
As for Mono/Illilouette, I haven't hiked that area before, but talking the ranger yesterday, he gave no mention of a bridge, and he specifically mentioned dangerous creek crossings. We can't start at GP because it doesn't have enough open permits for us. Mono Meadow does. We'd hike Mono Meadow, then turn left, just before Illilouette Creek, at the first intersection. This will get us us to the Panorama Trail so we can use its bridge to cross Illilouette Creek itself. But between this intersection and Panorama Trail, the map shows a creek crossing. I assume this is the crossing the ranger was referring to. What can we expect at this crossing? There's no bridge here, correct? We'd camp somewhere before or after this crossing (please advise if there are camping spots around here), then head to LYV the next day via the Panorama Trail and its bridge.

The desire to summit HD has put more pressure on certain trailheads. Kinda peeves me, because there is more you an do from that trailhead than just head to LYV. Sigh.

And yah, I wasn't suggesting Mono to the bridge. Only GP to the Illy bridge. You saw Chick-on's link to a post with pics.. That creek isn't even Illy.

Quote
imchauncy
We have HDome permits, and we'd like a night in LYV so we can attempt HDome first thing in the morning.

If HD is your target, I have nothing to offer you. I was going to suggest other really nice hikes you can do.. but they won't get you to HD.

Sounds like you have 3 possible scenarios:

1) reschedule for a later date where your odds of doing HD are greater (you have a decent trailhead and HD permits reserved in a drier time of the year - or another year, since reservations are nearly all gone til late sep for the popular THs)

2) weather works out and Tioga opens in time! Just change your starting itinerary so you can get to the Tioga road more easily.

3) risk it and try for FCFS ticket from Happy Isles or GP to LYV. And be happy with something else and giving up on HD if it doesn't happen.

Others can pipe up if I'm missing something obvious. But what I'm hearing is that you guys want HD.. and well.. I don't have a lot of advice there. Best I can do is wish you luck on getting your permit!
Re: End of June wilderness permit
April 13, 2017 07:59AM
I appreciate the link to the discussion of Mono Creek from last year. I needed to see those images and the discussion.

We (my daughter too) have seen similar photos of the Tenaya Lake crossing, and we were good with that, as the water was quiet (despite being ice cold). The snow we're ok with too. That Mono Creek doesn't look as inviting to me.

My typo on permit date, it's for June 25th, not June 23rd. Two days more of snow melt in my favor.
Re: End of June wilderness permit
April 13, 2017 07:01PM
Quote
JustKeepWalking
The desire to summit HD has put more pressure on certain trailheads. Kinda peeves me, because there is more you an do from that trailhead than just head to LYV. Sigh.
I agree with you, there's a fair amount more to Yosemite than Half Dome smiling smiley The kids have asked to hike it, and as it's their first backpacking trip, we're letting them dictate the destination. We hope to backpack Glen Aulin in the next year or two, then branch out to more remote areas.

I appreciate the help with planning. When I called the ranger office today, this ranger said the Panorama bridge was a good answer, and that they had space for all of us departing from GP. Guess someone cancelled. Their loss was our gain.

Again, thanks for the advice.
Re: End of June wilderness permit
April 13, 2017 07:07PM
Quote
imchauncy
Quote
JustKeepWalking
The desire to summit HD has put more pressure on certain trailheads. Kinda peeves me, because there is more you an do from that trailhead than just head to LYV. Sigh.
I agree with you, there's a fair amount more to Yosemite than Half Dome smiling smiley The kids have asked to hike it, and as it's their first backpacking trip, we're letting them dictate the destination. We hope to backpack Glen Aulin in the next year or two, then branch out to more remote areas.

I appreciate the help with planning. When I called the ranger office today, this ranger said the Panorama bridge was a good answer, and that they had space for all of us departing from GP. Guess someone cancelled. Their loss was our gain.

Again, thanks for the advice.

YAY!!! So glad you got the permit reserved! GREAT start point and hike along that way... Maybe the "wishing you luck" worked! drinking smiley Coming from so far away, the peace of mind.. priceless.

Please post a trip report when you are done! Love to read about how things went!
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