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Re: North Rim / South Rim / Merced

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North Rim / South Rim / Merced
March 31, 2019 01:20PM
We have four nights to backpack May 19-22. We have a permit for Yosemite Falls, planning on a day trip to El Cap, then North Dome, Snow Creek (bummer there is still no camping south or east of the footbridge) and out Mirror Lake. We're comfortable with the fact that there will be snow. I'll call the rangers a week beforehand to see what they recommend as far as traction goes. And we'll see what the April 1 snowpack data shows. My question involves alternate itineraries. We're flying into Fresno, arriving in Yosemite the afternoon of the 18th. Night of the 18th in the backpacker campground. Our sweet spot is around 6 hours of hiking, setting up camp in the early afternoon, and taking the rest of the day to soak it all in and explore. We're physically capable of doing a lot more (we had a 16 mile day in Glacier last year), it just isn't our preference.

Does anyone have any opinions on the following, in comparison to the North Rim hike?
1. Mist Trail to somewhere around Brunell Cascades, day trip around Merced Lake area, then Panorama Trail drop down to legal spot along Illiouette, then to Glacier Point, then Bridalveil Creek (that is a loooong day) and out at tunnel view. (or leaving a car at Glacier Point if the road is open by then).
2. Mist Trail to LYV, day trip to Merced, next day trip to base of Half Dome, etc. OR try to day trip to Cloud's Rest one of those days
3. Mist Trail to Illiouette, day hike to Glacier Point, then up to Brunell area, then out JMT.

The three night options would be with backpacker campground the last night. I have to be heading out of the valley around noon the last day.

I know there is a lot of uncertainty between now and then, but I was wondering if anyone had a preference if they had to pick. I've looked at a lot of trip reports from 2017 and 2011, looks like snow and/or wet, which is fine.

Re: North Rim / South Rim / Merced
March 31, 2019 02:57PM
The waterfalls will be roaring in mid-May, and you can't really lose. The North Rim will certainly be quieter and offer more solitude...but the scenery up into LYV cannot be beat. Have you been to Yosemite before? I'd suggest more time in the valley, day-hiking, if that's a possibility.

Check our our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Or just read a good mystery novel set in the Sierra; https://www.amazon.com/Danger-Falling-Rocks-Paul-Wagner/dp/0984884963
Re: North Rim / South Rim / Merced
March 31, 2019 04:00PM
Have you been to Yosemite before? I'd suggest more time in the valley, day-hiking, if that's a possibility.

Thanks! I’ve been to Yosemite a couple times and have hit most of the frontcountry areas. This will be my first time backpacking there
Re: North Rim / South Rim / Merced
April 01, 2019 06:52PM
I'd stick with what you have or #2. Personally, I'd skip el kap.

IMO, south rim in spring is best attacked as a monster day hike (valley-sentinel dome/glacier pt-panorama-mist). It's not for everyone though. Basically skip most of the rim.

That no-camping zone for snow creek isn't a big deal. You will want to camp towards watkins with the million dollar view anyways. Calling the rangers is pointless. Bring spikes and watch the weather for snow storms.
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