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Re: Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles

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Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles
June 24, 2017 11:07PM
Hello,

I was hoping for a little advice in planning our trip. We obtained a 4 night permit from Cathedral Lakes to Happy Isles for early Sept. We also got Half Dome permits and were planning on doing that(probably the last day?). I was initially planning on going all the way to Sunrise on day one but then it seems like we get pretty far along rather quickly. I am hiking with my family which includes our son(9yr) who has done some long hikes and backpacking trips. I would really appreciate any ideas for itineraries that anyone would be willing to share.

Thank you!
avatar Re: Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles
June 27, 2017 07:05AM
Duz Half Dome have to be done on certain day?

Or are you fixed to that day?



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles
June 27, 2017 08:09AM
We don't have a specific day that we have to do it.
avatar Re: Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles
June 28, 2017 01:09PM
Quote
cjkohen
We don't have a specific day that we have to do it.

Bilko and others gave you ideas.
I was gonna say to explore a lot... take your time.. enjoy...
and with that extra time... if you do have... you can head
up The Merced River ... and then back down...
or you can go back up to Tuolumne and do a dayhike there.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles
June 27, 2017 08:13AM
With 4 nights you can easily stop at Cathedral Lakes the first night and still have plenty of time to finish. I have done this hike, we stayed at Cathedral Lake, Sunrise HSC and then near the junction of the JMT / Clouds Rest. We hiked to the top of Half dome the night we stayed at the Junctions then hiked out the next morning. You would still have an extra night to stay somewhere else.
Re: Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles
June 27, 2017 11:15AM
Cjkohen,

Thats' a great permit at my favorite time of year, I'm jealous:-)

You have plenty of time which means you have options. You main decision is if you want to take the easier JMT or take the opportunity to check out Clouds Rest, given the time you have it would be a shame not to experience Clouds Rest, on a clear day this is the best view in Yosemite plus it gives you the chance to look down on Half Dome to see what you are in for the next day.

In terms of planning camps it's a bit tricky because you have so much time which means you will have lots of time in camp. The good news is the bugs are not so bad in September so you should be OK camping by the lakes.

You could do something like this;

Camp 1 - Cathedral Lakes - Easy first day and a nice place to hang out especially if you have a pack raft

Camp 2 - Sunrise Lakes or on the summit of Clouds Rest, You will need to make sure you can carry enough water. On a clear night when its not too windy this is an incredible experience, if the summit is in the clouds it's not so good.

Camp 3 - Option 1 - About a half a mile before the Clouds Rest / Half Dome trail junction , there is creek that flows most of the year, this is a good camp site but there's not a lot to do or see.
Camp 3 - Option 2 - You may also want to consider Little Yosemite Valley where you can play in the river, have a good wash and use the Toilets
Camp 3 - Option 3 - On the approach to Half Dome or just below the Sub Dome where the Rangers hang out. This is a good option if you plan to do Half Dome in the evening or early morning but you will need to carry in water.

Camp 4 Little Yosemite Valley

Hike out - See other threads on the arguments for and against the JMT vs the Mist Trail
Re: Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles
September 10, 2017 10:21PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. We just got back from the trip and it was amazing! Spent the first night at Upper Cathedral Lake, then spent the second night at middle Sunrise Lake. From there we went up and over Clouds Rest and then back down to the JMT and CR junction. There were a good number of people already set up with sites, but we managed to find one just off the trail closer to Sunrise Creek. Got up early the next morning and did Half Dome, luckily remembered that our permit was in the other pack after only a half mile and didn't have to back track too far! Had a great trip up Half Dome on a clear morning, and then packed up camp with a short downhill hike to LYV. Spent the night there, fished, talked with some fellow hikers at the fire, and then made the trek back down to Happy Isles this afternoon. Only had a little rain on day 1 and 4, and luckily the smoke cleared out of the valley significantly by the time we were hiking down. Ended up clocking about 36 miles over that trip, which my 9 year old did like a rockstar! Thanks again for all the suggestions and indirect tips and ideas that I've gained from reading the posts. Can't wait to get back out there, already have a tentative trip planned including Vogelsang and Merced Lake.
Re: Help with itinerary: 5d/4n Cathedral to Happy Isles
September 10, 2017 10:32PM
Thanks for coming back to tell us how it went. Glad you had a good time! Congrats to the 9 year old! And you!
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