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Re: End of May 3 days trip

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End of May 3 days trip
April 13, 2017 03:55AM
Hi I'm planing a trip to Yosemite while wisiting West cost of America. The problem is I dont know wich date exactly... I have a few questions.

The plan is to get to Yosemite with a car and leave it on parking spot.
First day plan is to hike Yosemite fall and sleep at the backpackers' campground is behind North Pines Campground (and across the footbridge).
Second day the plan is to hike Sentinel Dome and Nevada Fall and sleep in the willderness if I get my permit.
Third day plan I dont have because it all depends on permits, if i win lottery for Half Dome I would like to go up, but if I don't i'm open for suggestions...

First question do I need to reserve parking spot for my car.
Second question do I need to reserve caming spot and do I need willderness permit to stay at the backpackers' campground behind North Pines
Third question can I get my permit the same day I want to start hike or do I need to wait one day.
Forth question is can I camp everywhere in willderness if I have permit or I need to go back to Yosemite valley and reserve camping spot?
Fifth question do I get permit for exactly one hike or do I get permit specific day.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2017 05:10AM by zmisura.
Re: End of May 3 days trip
April 13, 2017 05:42AM
You'll need a wilderness permit if you want to stay in the backpackers' camp in YV. See https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wpres.htm. You can either reserve the permit in advance (check www.nps.gov/yose for availability) or get one on the spot (on the day you leave or from 11 AM the day before). Even if you reserve in advance, you'll need to pick up the permit in person. If don't reserve in advance and plan to get one the day you start your trip, you can expect to spend some time waiting in line to get the permit, so take that into account. If you've got the permit, you'll be allowed to leave your car in certain parking lots in YV. If not, and you're not staying in one of the campgrounds or at one of the hotels, I don't think there's anywhere to park overnight in YV, but there are others who can answer that question.

If you're planning to stay at one of the campgrounds (other than the backpackers' campground) or at a hotel, you'll need reservations; those generally sell out far in advance, but check with yosemithospitality.com and recreation.gov for availability. There's also Camp 4 in YV, which is a "walk-in" campground, i.e. first-come-first-served, but I don't know from what time you can try to get a spot there or how quickly it fills up.

Keep in mind that you'll have a (much) better chance for campground reservations and wilderness permits if you go mid-week. And there are some places outside the park on highway 140 and highway 49 where you can stay.

Permits are issued for leaving on a specific trailhead on a specific day and returning from a particular trailhead on a specific day. Subject to certain restrictions (see the website), what you do in between is up to you.

As for camping in the backcountry, on the same web page where you get info about wilderness permits there's also a map showing where you can camp (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/upload/wildernesstrailheads.pdf). Most of the backcountry is wide open to camping, but there are some restrictions (e.g. no camping between Yosemite Valley and Little Yosemite Valley, no camping in Little Yosemite Valley itself between the LYV campground and Merced Lake, no camping along Panorama Cliff).

Consider arriving early in the morning, hiking up to the upper falls, coming back down while the permit office is still open and getting a permit for the next day. Then you can camp at the backpackers' campground and start your backpacking trip the next day. Given what interests you, you could start from Glacier Point and hike from there to Nevada Falls, camp at the LYV campground or partly retrace your steps and then branch off into the Illiloutte creek basin (toward Mt. Starr King) where camping is permitted, then the next day go back down to the footbridge and back up to GP, and do the short hike to Sentinel on your way out. (As recent discussions here have noted, trying to cross Illilouette Creek not at the footbridge will probably be dangerous this May.) Or if you get a HD permit, continue past Nevada Falls and stay at LYV or closer to HD, start early on HD, come back down the John Muir trail to YV and then take the tourist bus back to your car at GP (but don't know the time of the last bus).

Lots of possibilities, poke around this site and you'll find lots of info. The most important thing (as JKW has said many times, and it can't be said enough) is to be flexible and have several alternative plans in mind. If you're a strong hiker and score a HD permit, you can do that as a day hike out of YV, so maybe a backpacking trip isn't necessary. If you don't get a HD permit and are a strong hiker, you could do upper YF and Nevada Falls in the same day, then do Sentinel and Glacier Point, and some other stuff (Taft, Dewey) the next day.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2017 05:48AM by Not quite The Geezer, but getting there.
Re: End of May 3 days trip
April 18, 2017 04:47AM
Thanks for all the input,

I try to get permit for most popular trails and they denied it because thay are all booked, now i'll try again with some less popular trailheads...

One little question about my second request for permits:
as all of my starting trailheads are located near Glacier point do you think that there will be much snow on 25th of may?

The other question is abouth Camp 4:
is it hard to get a place for tent there? It says that you must register with the ranger in order to stay at Camp 4.
The ranger arrives at the campground kiosk around 8:30 am, although, a line has often formed well before then and the campground may fill before everyone in line is registered.
avatar Re: End of May 3 days trip
April 18, 2017 06:59AM
End of May will be very busy.
Especially if you hit Memorial Day weekend...

I'd recommend forget about backpacking... and try to stay in Camp 4.
Dayhike all your stuff from there... especially if Glacier Point road is open...

Have fun and best of luck

EDIT: ok, I just looked.. and yeah, that is Memorial Day weekend...
since you are coming on the 25th though... you have a much better chance.
Try to get Camp 4... and/or go to Wilderness office in valley and talk to
rangers there...
I have no idea your experience and all but from what you have said so
far you have never been to Yosemite and why limit yourself with a
backpack trip if you can get into Camp 4 and dayhike Yose Falls,
etc. etc. etc.... and since you have a car you can drive up to GP and
hike in snow to Taft or Sentinel Dome ... if GP road is open.

Have fun

Chick-on is looking at you!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2017 07:02AM by chick-on.
Re: End of May 3 days trip
April 20, 2017 10:38AM
Thank you so much for your help.

Just for information my girlfriend and I are experienced hikers, I`m also mountain guide in Croatia. But yes this is my first time in USA. Plan is to go in as much National parks as possible in one month stay.
We start in San Francisco (after to Yosemite but now I switch it to end) -> L.A. -> Joshua tree -> Las Vegas -> Grand canyon -> Zion -> Arches -> Salt Lake -> Grand Teton -> Yellowstone -> Reno -> Yosemite -> San Francisco

I manage to switch my dates and stay in Yosemite in middle of June. I called them in permit center and manage to score my permit
Entry Date: 06/15/2017, Entry Trailhead: Glacier Point->Illilouette, Exit Date: 06/17/2017, Exit Trailhead: Happy Isles->Little Yosemite Valley

So we will be there on 14th June early in the morning maybe try to go up Yosemite fall after picking up permits and stay at Backpackers' campground for first night.
On 15th June we go early up on 4 mile trail to Glacier point, and from there to Illilouette, find some camping ground after Buena Vista Trail junction...
On 16th June we will go from Illilouette over Panorama trail to Little Yosemite valley (if we score HD permits maybe go up if not go back to Happy Isles)
There are few option for that day and I`m open for suggestions?

And if someone can please tell me what is the situation with camping ground after Buena Vista Trail junction, maybe some pictures or places on map will be helpful.

Best regards, Zvonimir
Re: End of May 3 days trip
April 21, 2017 02:54PM
There are several campsites and campable spots along Illilouette Creek near the Mono Meadow/Buena Vista trail junction. You will likely find fewer people on the north side of the creek if that is your preference, but that might involve some heavy wading in mid-June this year. Just scout around along the creek near the junction, spots are pretty obvious. I think there are campable spots at the side creek crossing about 1/2 mi. before the junction too though I never paid much attention when hiking through.
Re: End of May 3 days trip
April 20, 2017 05:44PM
Super jealous of your agenda for seeing U.S. National Parks!

Nice job getting permits.

Your last agenda seems pretty good. You might also think about trekking up to Clouds Rest after your night in Little Yosemite Valley. There will probably be some snow on the trail so microspikes might be helpful.
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