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Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?

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Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 28, 2017 03:58PM
Hi everyone,

First post on this forum. Have read lots of great info. Brief background, I only started backpacking a few years ago, and maybe have gone 4-5 times (Emigrant, Pt Reyes area, Havasu Falls) - my last time in Yosemite was in 8th grade for a school trip (I'm now 34). Going with 5 high school buddies (we're all about the same level of ability/fitness, which is pretty decent). I honestly don't even know how I found the Pohono trail for a backpacking trip. it's like there was some trip report that really caught my fancy a year ago, and now I can't find it. Most things I read about this trail talk about a long day hike, or an overnight. I have a permit for 3 nights. I'm starting to wonder if this is way too long for this area, as I realized I won't have all these lakes to chill at (like in Emigrant).

What things could I do in the area to really fulfill the trip? Or are there alternative areas my group and I can venture off to? Any tips/suggestions are much appreciated!
avatar Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 28, 2017 04:18PM
What is your starting/ending trailhead?



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 28, 2017 04:23PM
Hi,

Starting at Wawona Tunnel, ending at Glacier Point
avatar Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 28, 2017 04:33PM
Ok...

Probably best if use 2 nights.
See how it's going and maybe stay near Stanford the first night.
Take it slow... and enjoy Crocker and Dewey .. and maybe camp at
the furthest east that you can camp at on night 2... Bridalveil.
From there you have to finish your hike... but hit Taft and Sentinel Dome...
then MAYBE go and get another permit and head towards Ostrander.

Kinda wild that there are 4 trailheads for Pohono:
Glacier Point
Taft
McGurk
Wawona Tunnel

You may realize... wow... um... hmm... I could have gotten McGurk and
made this whole thang a whole lotta easier...

Have fun tho... 3 nights probably too many... 2 should be ok tho...
depending on how fast you hike and get moving and such...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 28, 2017 04:38PM
Thanks for the info. What/where is Ostrander? Haven't heard of that before in my reading about Yosemite.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 28, 2017 04:56PM
Ostrander Lake:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.626774,-119.549876&z=14&t=t4

(you can search on this forum... also)

It looked like this earlier this year:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,89126,89152#msg-89152

Anywho... you could also hike down Panorama Trail or 4 Mile Trail to end your trip.
I'd lean towards Panorama / JMT and spend a night in Illilouette basin...

It's quite a climb up from Wawona Tunnel... 4400ft start to nearly 7000ft before Stanford.
From there it's anything but flat... also...
Anywho... As I said... I'd maybe plan for ending at Happy Isles... at least think about it.
I'm fairly certain that is allowed ... that would easily get you 3 nights...
I don't know but you could probably stay in LYV if you really wanted to on your last night.

You can ask when u get ur permit.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 28, 2017 05:21PM
Thanks a bunch for this information. I'm looking at a map of the area (calTopo website), and when you suggest spending a night in the Illilouette basin, does that mean hiking there and then backtracking back to the Glacier Point exit?

Also, if I were to end at Happy Isles, how would you get there from Glacier Point? Seems like it's across the valley?
avatar Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 28, 2017 09:12PM
If 3 nights is too much... then you could plan to have your ending be at Happy Isles in the valley
instead of ending at Glacier Point. (I am assuming you have two cars and that
you will be leaving one at Tunnel View and one at Glacier Point) ... this saves you from
setting up that kind of a shuttle...
To end at Happy Isles... at Glacier Point you take the Panorama Trail to the JMT ...
and down down down...
You cannot camp between Bridalveil Creek and Glacier Point.
You cannot camp ALONG the Panorama Trail.
Therefore, if you are going to end at Happy Isles TH then you need to camp at LYV
your last night or go into the Illilouette Basin by either not going across the
bridge (i.e. exiting Panorama higher up) (which you will have to backtrack to the
next day and either go back up to Glacier Point ... or get back on Panorama Trail
and hike down to the valley) or you continue on Panorama and and the
junction after the bridge you head towards Starr King to camp (you need to be
beyond the NEXT junction to camp))
It's unfortunate with those parameters though on account its about 12 miles
if you go from Bridalveil Creek ... hit Taft and Sentinel Dome... then go down
Panorama Trail to high trail and out that a bit in order to camp. (what I just mentioned)

Anyway, hopefully you have fun whatever you decide and don't regret the
climb out of Tunnel View... a lot of people get to Inspiration Point and
go "um... where ... what ... huh ... " and then you're in the woods for a long time
and climbing climbing climbing...

I mean you can ... well... I said too much already.. Sorry



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2017 09:14PM by chick-on.
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 29, 2017 10:55AM
Man, again thank you for all this information. My overall plan is starting to form. I think I will try going down to camp in the Illilouette Basin at the end. What's that area like for camping?
avatar Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
June 29, 2017 02:26PM
Typically people camp here:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.701682,-119.556914&z=15&t=t4

or here:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.687012,-119.545970&z=15&t=t4

This creek can be problematic to cross in spring runoff..
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.691155,-119.554854&z=15&t=t4

Maybe you will like those spots.. next ish to the Creek... and mostly wooded...

You used to be able to camp here:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.718624,-119.541078&z=15&t=t4

People can't just LNT so I don't think that is allowed anymore.
(i.e. your permit says to not build new firerings... so maybe follow what it says
and maybe everyone wouldn't be affected by not being allowed to camp
at places we used to be able to)
Ok, off my soapbox...

afaik... you have to be beyond this jct:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.714923,-119.544940&z=15&t=t4
heading south...
which leaves you with looking around for a spot..
maybe here:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.705689,-119.544082&z=15&t=t4

The should be water nearby there...

Of all of those... I'd pick the last option... and then the last day at least head out a bit further
south and get some views of Starr King... then head back north... pickup camp
and head down JMT to HI

Ok, have fun whatever you do



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 01, 2017 09:10AM
Wow, perfect timing. My wife and I have a planned trip for Pohono, July 6-11 (we have 5 nights available - I know, that's a lot), and I was looking at ways to stretch it out.

Our plan (to avoid the shuttle thing) is to do and out and back start/end at Glacier, with Tunnel View in the middle.

I looked at some side trails, off McGurk Meadow, just to add some variety and distance/time.

I was thinking of McGurk Meadow trail south to Old GP Road and back north to Dewey Point. I haven't been on these trails, so I'm kinda' guessing, and need some help.

My wife and I can do about 6-10 miles per day, depending on trail conditions. (We did a 3-day/2 night trip last month - Upper Yosemite Falls, North Dome, Snow Creek Falls, Mirror Lake loop).

Chick-on, what would you suggest?
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 01, 2017 11:41AM
If you want to do a long trip using the Phono Trail, consider heading towards Wawona using the old road. If you start on the east side of the Phono Trail (Glacier Point, Bridalveil Creek, or Sentinel Dome trailheads) and head west towards the Wawona Tunnel, before you drop down all the way to the tunnel you will hit the old road, which starts near the parking lot for Bridalveil Falls and climbs steeply until it gets above the tunnel. It's plenty wide, but does have downed trees across it and some trees growing in it. At this time of year, water shouldn't be a problem because of all the melting snow higher up. I can't see anyone spending more than one night out between the Wawona Tunnel and Bridalveil Creek, and there are enough day hikers out there that you won't get much solitude unless you really go far off the trail to camp. There is no one out on the old road, so you'll have a lot of quiet except when you are close enough to the new road to hear the cars. The old road disappears into the forest pretty well after a good lookout point over the Foresta area, so you will have to retrace your steps on it unless you want to go cross country (which will be really difficult because of the downed trees and slope of the area). Just keep in mind you need to stay at least 4 trail miles from the roads when you camp, so that means 4 trail miles from the west end of the Wawona Tunnel and the Glacier Point Road. That's the real challenge with doing backpacking trips in that area, which is so beautiful, so I usually day hike in that area.

The problem with heading up Illilouette Creek is you will have to backtrack, since the creek is probably too dangerous to cross right now. There are excellent campsites where the trail crosses over the creek, but the best one is on the east side where you can get a nice view from up high of the area. I've camped there several times, including winter when the creek is iced over and safe to cross.

Ostrander Lake is quite beautiful, but often overcrowded. I've seen more than twice the trail quota camped there before on weekends. You can get some solitude by heading cross country using a faintly marked trail to the largest of Hart Lakes. Edson Lake is big drop down in altitude, so I've never gone there. The campsites at the largest Hart Lake are not nearly as nice as Ostrander Lake, but you rarely see more than one group camped there. You will get some great views of the southern part of park along the way, which are second only to what you see from the top of Buena Vista Peak. You can head west from there cross country to the Buena Vista Trail and make a loop back to the Glacier Point road. Keep in mind if you take that trail north to Buena Vista Lake, you have to cross Buena Vista Creek, which might be difficult at this time of year. It's not the depth of the water so much as the speed that it flies down the mountain that makes it challenging. The Buena Vista area is extremely windy (and therefore cold), so I don't recommend camping near that lake unless you have no other choice or are really desperate to get away from mosquitoes.
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 01, 2017 12:24PM
thanks
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 01, 2017 02:44PM
Can I get some feedback regarding my attempt to increase my Pohono Trail trip - a 17 mile Loop: Pohono (Glacier Pt TH) to McGurk Meadows Trail, Glacier Pt Rd to Mono Meadows Trail, to Buena Vista Trail, back to Glacier Point.

Link here:
https://www.gaiagps.com/public/NQVFnHKpNohJANIte5ezCKeH

Are there good (secluded preferred) camp sites?
Water supply issues?

Thanks again, Tom
avatar Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 05, 2017 07:31AM
Please be aware that this section:
https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=37.665036,-119.613884&z=15&t=t4

I DO NOT RECOMMEND.
(did I say that loud enough)

It was the Old Glacier Point Road. It should not be on any maps.
You will not like. Do not do. It's not maintained. It's overgrown with small trees.

Take other trails.

It's not even on "Yosemite Trail Quest".

Check out Bridalveil Creek. It's probably crossable now....



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 23, 2017 12:09PM
Ok after some thought, and taking into consideration the fitness level of one of our group, I think trekking over to Illilouette from Dewey in one trek might be too much. I'm totally ok with zero days tbh, so long as there's something to explore. I'm thinking one day I might go to Sentinel Dome. Would going there and back to camp at Dewey be a total slog? Anything else to explore for day hikes going from Dewey or Bridalveil creek area?

Also, is it totally safe in Yosemite to leave your camp during the day? I never felt any danger of getting my stuff stolen in past trips, but this is my first backpacking trip to a national park, let alone an uber popular one like Yosemite.
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 23, 2017 01:19PM
My original plan: 20+ miles over 4 days: Day1: Glacier Pt ----> Dewey Pt. --- Day 2-4: Dewey Pt ---> McGurk Meadow ----> GP Rd ----> Mono Meadow TR & points beyond

My plan was changed after 1 sunset + 1 sunrise at Dewey Pt and views of the valley and the peaks beyond. INCREDIBLE!

the sunset/sunrise experience changed my long distance plan into enjoying 3 more days of sunrises and sunsets - a good rest for my soul

the trip was supplemented with day hikes from Dewey Pt (e.g., back to bridalveil creek for a swim), and meeting 4 new friends. together, we helped solve the world's problems :-) cool smiley


FYI: Easiest water access from Dewey Pt is a small creek ~0.75v- 1.0 miles back towards Bridalveil Creek.

We left our gear for the day hikes - w/ no problem/worry
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 23, 2017 06:10PM
Sounds awesome. Yea, based on what I heard about camping at Dewey, sounds difficult to leave there for a more forested camp site. How was the water and bug situation?
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 23, 2017 08:51PM
Re: Mosquitoes. we were there in early July, and mosquitoes were not a problem ( we were about a mile from water). IDK how they are now.
Re: Water. You will have to schlep water to and from a creek ~0.7 - 1.0 miles away
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
July 31, 2017 11:16AM
I'm trying to determine the best way to shuttle my group to tunnel view. I've read this:

"This is the most difficult part of the hike, and probably the reason we saw only a handful of other people during a busy holiday weekend! The Pohono Trail lies inside Yosemite National Park, running between Tunnel View on Wawona Road and Glacier Point, off of Glacier Point Road. To get to the trailhead, your options are as follows: A) Arrange a car shuttle with fellow hikers, leaving one vehicle at Glacier Point and one at Tunnel View; B) Leave your car in the Valley at Visitor Parking, then have someone drop you off at Tunnel View – plan to hike down from Glacier Point via the Four-Mile Trail, then walk back to the parking lot; C) Leave your car at Visitor Parking, walk over to the Yosemite Lodge, and take the Glacier Point shuttle bus ($25 one way, reserve ahead via the Lodge) to Glacier Point, hiking the trail in the reverse of this description; or D) Park at Glacier Point, then catch the first shuttle bus back down to Tunnel View to begin your hike."

How difficult would it be to hitch a ride from the valley to tunnel view on a Thursday morning (option B)? Or, once my group exits glacier point or LYV, would it be hard to hitch a ride for the driver back to tunnel view? This would likely be on a Sunday afternoon. Seems like relying on the shuttle to have space for 5 backpackers is risky. Any tips appreciated!
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
August 07, 2017 09:27PM
If there are five of you, one person can drop off the car and come back on the shuttle, sans pack, while the other four climb up the trail 200 feet and take a nap.
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
August 09, 2017 11:51AM
Which shuttle? I haven't been able to find any good information on a shuttle that I could take to do what you suggested. I've seen tour shuttles that stop at multiple points over the course of hours. Is that the shuttle you're talking about?
Re: Pohono Trail - is 3 nights too much for this area?
August 09, 2017 09:41PM
I was just replying to your concern about fitting 5 people in a shuttle... I haven't actually done this myself. I think the shuttle of interest is indeed the Glacier Point tour.
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