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Re: itinerary help?

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itinerary help?
August 27, 2017 04:07PM
Hi,

I'm arriving at TM permit station around 4:00 on Sept 6th. I have to be back on the road the morning of the 11th. I kind of lucked out with timing on a number of things and took advantage of the opportunity. I've been to the valley a couple times and was mesmerized, I was hoping to explore around the high country part. I'm not sure when I'll get to go back, so I'm finding myself planning outrageous routes that will mostly be an exercise in survival and recovery. I have a permit for Murphy Creek entry on the 6th (wanted to have something in hand, figured I could loop around May Lake and down to Clould's Rest, etc). I've been obsessively reading this site and playing on CalTopo, but I wanted to see if any of you experts had any advice you'd be willing to share.

I'd like to do 8-10 miles a day and have time for jumping off rocks into lakes, taking pictures, and generally hanging around camp. I'm very LNT, I usually end up carrying out a lot of other people's garbage. I'd love to find some secluded, awesome places to camp (not too overused). Most of what I've been looking at has involved camping NE of Cloud's Rest (sunset and sunrise up top) at a spot I've seen mentioned on here, maybe Sunrise Lakes and / or Cathedral Lakes. I'm OK with waiting in line the morning of the 7th for no-shows. Or even waiting in line of the 7th to start the 8th, maybe dayhike after waiting in line on the 7th (I'd rather not do that, though).

I'm sure I'll love whatever I do, but I want to make the most of the time I have. Anything anyone could add would be great! And thank you for everyone that has contributed to this site. It is an amazing (and sometimes overwhelming) resource smiling smiley

Thanks,
Sean
Re: itinerary help?
August 27, 2017 10:41PM
If you've got a permit for Murphy Creek for the 6th, why waste time waiting for a permit on the 7th, which you won't be able to get until at least 11 AM? Just let the permit office know you'll be picking up your permit late on the 6th so that they don't cancel it and give it away. If you pick up at 4 PM, you'll still have a few hours of daylight, probably not enough time to get to May Lake from Murphy Creek but enough to get far enough from the road to camp legally. The next day you can then continue to May Lake, maybe detour up Hoffman, then down to the Sunrise Lakes trailhead, and up toward Clouds Rest or Sunrise Lakes, depending on your preference. To make things easier on yourself you could cache some of your food in the storage boxes at the Sunrise Lake trailhead before you start hiking on the 6th, then pick it up as you go past.
Re: itinerary help?
August 28, 2017 06:33AM
You could easily camp at Polly Dome Lakes from Murphy Creek the first night...



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Re: itinerary help?
August 28, 2017 10:27AM
Thanks! You're probably right. I got the permit with this in mind Polly Dome -> May Lake (+ mt hoffman) -> Cloud's Rest -> Sunrise Lake #2 -> Upper Cathedral Lake -> up early and out. Then I read too many trip reports, and started thinking about Nelson Lake, Echo Lake, Vogelsang, Merced and Brunell Cascades, and so on. Too much beautiful stuff to see in one trip. I see those pictures in the trip reports (especially the backpacking the sierra mentioned above), and I just want to be in all of those places!

I know "better" is relative, but if you had to pass up Polly Dome Lakes, May Lake, Mt Hoffman or pass up Budd/Nelson Lake area, which would you choose?

From reports, I have a potential spot at Cloud's Rest (north of base, overlooking Tenaya Canyon), Upper Cathedral (somewhere near the notch on the south side of the lake). Are there any legit off trail spots at Polly Dome, May Lake, or Sunrise that someone can share?

Thanks a lot. Can't believe it is just over a week away!

PS - The yosemite site is still reporting smoky conditions. Does anyone know if that is mostly in the valley? My extreme smoke backup plan is thousand island lake loop out of Agnew Meadows.
Re: itinerary help?
August 28, 2017 12:01PM
As the Pink One is fond of saying, it's all good. Haven't been to Budd myself, Shaffer in his book says if you're interested in geology it's worth the trip (there's a very recent moraine there) but otherwise there are nicer lakes. Both Budd and Nelson require some x-country, don't know if that's in your repertoire.

Based on your time frame, and the fact that (apparently) you've only got one vehicle, consider getting your permit, parking at the Sunrise Lakes trailhead and leaving whatever needs to be left in a storage box, then walking back up Murphy Creek (either along the road to the trailhead on the north side, which is opposite the day use area on the south side; or there's a trail starting closer to Sunrise that connect with the Murphy Creek trail), go far enough to get yourself a legal campsite (Polly Dome lakes would work), then the next day continue to May Lake and Hoffman. Depending on how you're feeling and the time, either stay by May Lake that night or already head down and then up to the Sunrise Lakes area (picking up your cached food on the way). That still leaves you the 8th, 9th and 10th to play around - lots of time to see CR, Sunrise Lakes and Upper Cathedral, plus some of the other stuff you mentioned. Then on your last morning head down to the car at Sunrise. If the shuttle is still running in the TM area when you arrive, you could leave your car in the TM area, take the shuttle to Murphy, and on your last day exit out by the Cathedral Lakes TH, or if you've spent the last night in the Vogelsang area, out via Rafferty Creek.

The main thing is to be flexible, there's a good chance you won't be able to see/hike everything you want to you. But it's Yosemite, it really IS all good.
Re: itinerary help?
August 29, 2017 08:24AM
Thanks. That will be Plan A! I'm definitely staying flexible. I may just stay at May Lake, because I'd like to do Mt Hoffman and doing that and getting to Cloud's Rest in the same day most likely isn't going to happen smiling smiley.
Re: itinerary help?
August 29, 2017 09:31AM
You know, given your time frame, if the shuttle is running you could do the High Sierra Camp loop, minus Glen Aulin: first day (6th), up Murphy Creek, next day (7th) to May Lake/Hoffman, next day (8th) to CR/Sunrise, next day (9th) to Merced Lake, next day (10th) to Vogelsang, and then out Rafferty to TM, where your car is waiting or where you catch the shuttle back to your car.
Re: itinerary help?
August 29, 2017 07:36PM
I called today and the shuttle is running until Sept 10, so that means I can get my car where I want and take the shuttle to the start. Although it does mean I have to know where I'm going to end up smiling smiley. That HSC loop is a possibility as a route, I'll probably camp a ways before or after each one. One more week!
Re: itinerary help?
August 28, 2017 09:57PM
I was in the Cathedral Range last week. The smoke seemed to be mostly south of the Merced River, but it did move around a lot whenever the wind shifted. Saturday afternoon I got my first good look at Mount Lyell, but it was mostly obscured by what looked like L.A. smog. Sunday morning -- mostly clear. I could smell the smoke from time to time, but it wasn't bad.

I think it's easier to recommend areas to stay away from. I would definitely assign the High Sierra camps to this category. Also parts of Ten Lakes, and much of Lyell Canyon (camping is allowed from the Ireland Creek area south, but I would go at least two or three miles before looking for a spot).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/28/2017 10:03PM by iivvgg.
Re: itinerary help?
August 28, 2017 10:30PM
Was around Nelson this past weekend and was smokey throughout the afternoon
Re: itinerary help?
August 29, 2017 08:26AM
Thank you for the smoke tips. I'm not sure if going to Thousand Island Lake instead will be any better. Or if I just not worry about it and take the views when the wind direction smiles on me.
Re: itinerary help?
August 29, 2017 09:34AM
KevinD, I'm planning on going to Nelson this weekend. How were the mosquitoes in the area? I'm assuming the smoke will be dependent on wind and time of day. I guess there's no real way of escaping it. Can't wait to see photos from your trip!
Re: itinerary help?
August 29, 2017 12:49PM
Hey Nelson,

I only one or two bites. My companions who wore short sleeves got a few on the shoulders. Overall on a scale of 1 to 5, I'd say it's a 1. You'll have a blast!
There was still some wildflowers around so that was a nice touch. I'll upload a TR asap!

-Kevin
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