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Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions

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Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 06, 2019 08:19PM
Hello everyone - we are planning a family (me, wife, 2 kids) backpack from Tuolomne Meadows - the valley the first week in August (I've been trying for a couple years for this permit!), and I'd love some experienced insight on a couple questions...none are make or break, but would be helpful with my planning. Thanks in advance!
(Our tentative plan is relatively slow and steady - Night 1: Cathedral Lakes, Night 2: ~Sunrise HSC or Lakes, Night 3: Clouds Rest intersection or LYV Campground).

- Question 1: With the Sunrise HSC closed this season, is there any benefit to camping at the backpacking camp near here (where the privy/tap usually is open)...i.e. are there good views, better/worse mosquitos, etc. at this site compared to continuing to sites in the meadow to the South, or up to Sunrise Lakes?
- Question 2: With the Sunrise HSC camp closed, it appears there is a close stream on the map...I assume it's an easy filter location, but again am trying to decide between camping here or getting water and continuing on to the meadow/Sunrise Lakes to camp.
- Question 3: I know there are several campsites around the where the Clouds Rest Trail joins the JMT along Sunrise Creek - is anyone willing to share some beta on some with good views (but not dropoffs - little kids with us, you know...)? Normally we just gauge what we see and backtrack if we seem to have passed something better...but we'll have 2 little folks at the end of a long day, and I'm hoping to have a pretty good idea of where we'll end up that night. If nothing else, we'll end up in LYV Campground -I've camped there enough times and don't mind it, and the Merced close is a good option for the kids to play in.

Thanks again for all your help! Hopefully we see some nice snowmelt over the next month...



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Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 07, 2019 04:07PM
1. I'm not a fan of High Sierra camps in general, but with them closed, they are all but worthless (no water or toilet). Upper Sunrise Lake is one of my favorite lakes in the park, but it will be heavily used with the HSC closures. You might find a spot at one of the other Sunrise lakes, although the campsites are not as nice, but still adequate.
2. Sunrise Creek should still be running when you take your trip, but you may find it a bit miserable to camp near due to a high volume of mosquitoes. Hiking along it on the JMT, I rarely stop long enough to do anything but catch my breath because mosquitoes seem to be ravenous along this creek until it dries up. I prefer to camp near Echo Creek or Upper Sunrise Lake when I am in this area.
3. I've only seen one nice flat campsite at the junction of the JMT and the spur trail to Cloud's Rest, and it's technically illegal due to the closeness to the trail and creek. I would only use it in an emergency situation, since I haven't seen anything else near water in this area that is acceptable until LYV. The area around Cloud's Rest is pretty steep, and water is scarce, but I've found a spot along the Forsythe Trail that is close to a creek and flat. It's not worth the time and effort to find it unless you are using that trail to bypass Cloud's Rest. This area may have been burned by the fire a few years ago, so I can't guarantee it would be a pleasant place to stop. Keep in mind that any campsite you make in this area will be heavily visited by bears at night, likely costing you an hour or two of sleep. There really isn't any exceptional scenery in my opinion on the JMT between Sunrise HSC and LYV. Cloud's Rest and Half Dome offer the best views in that area.
Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 08, 2019 11:22AM
Thanks for the input rgliebe and balzaccom. Here I had planned this trip for August hoping for the mosquitos to have died down, and we have this snow year winking smiley

I'd been torn between either a) staying on the JMT south of the the Sunrise Lakes Trail Turnoff (most direct way toward LYV), or b)going to Sunrise Lakes --> Clouds Rest Trail until Forsyth Trail, and taking that back down to the JMT (which adds about a little over 2 miles and 650ft elevation) . It sounds like rgliebe doesn't have a lot of love for the JMT section in option A, but aside from Sunrise Lakes (which I know are fantastic), are the views nice along the section of the Clouds Rest Trail until the Forsyth trail connector? Based on the map it looks like there should be some nice views without trees into Tenaya canyon, but hard to tell what trees will allow at that point.

And good point about the rip roaring water balzaccom! Our kids are still in the "make sand castles and throw rocks in the water" age rather than swimming, but certainly worth vigilance with the water level when we are there.

Thank you again!
Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 07, 2019 05:20PM
^^ That. And please keep an eye on your kids in the Merced. It's just powering along right now, and dangerous.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 09, 2019 10:48AM
With kidz I'd do your plan. Lakes lakes lakes and LYV
They aren't going to care if there are other people around like some Old birds... smiling smiley

Over Clouds Rest...

Of course you need to keep kids safe. It's what you do, no? smiling smiley

Forsyth and JMT had a LOT of deadfall in early May. I love all but I'd take CR trail.
Forsyth technically is from Tenaya Lake to JMT. …

From May...





Kidz jaws will drop probably at Clouds Rest summit. Point it out on way to TH at Olmsted...

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 30, 2019 08:44AM
Thanks again for the good advice here on our upcoming trip...as we are about a week out, I'm curious for a couple more pieces of expert thought:
- Are Cathedral Lakes/Sunrise Lakes typically significantly colder thanTuolumne Meadows? NOAA provides the actual temp observations at TM, and the elevation difference would indicate just a couple degrees cooler at the higher elevation lakes...but obviously mountain aspects/wind are sometimes different than an elevation calculation. The kids' clothing choices are a bit more specific than ours winking smiley
- Mosquitos...Any location suggestions for limiting our flesh feast on Day 1 (either Cathedral Lake) or Day 2 (If we have energy we will go up to Sunrise Lakes, if the crew has less energy we will stick to the JMT closer to the Sunrise HSC turnoff). Obviously, we will be Permetheren/Headnet/Deet prepared...

Thanks again!
avatar Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 31, 2019 04:14PM
We were at Cathedral Lakes two weekends ago.

Mo-skee-toez were a 11/10.

Have fun

(you sound like ur prepared)

smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 31, 2019 09:03PM
Quote
chick-on
We were at Cathedral Lakes two weekends ago.
Mo-skee-toez were a 11/10.

Day hiked there on July 13th. Mosquitoes were bad on the Cathedral Lakes trail and at the east side of the lake. Not too bad in the swamp
Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
August 02, 2019 01:18PM
Quote
nwhkr
Quote
chick-on
We were at Cathedral Lakes two weekends ago.
Mo-skee-toez were a 11/10.

Day hiked there on July 13th. Mosquitoes were bad on the Cathedral Lakes trail and at the east side of the lake. Not too bad in the swamp
Thanks, surprised they're not too bad in the Swamp.

Balzaccom, do you mean the ridge W (SW) of lower cathedral lake, or all the way W/SW of upper cathedral lake?

Thanks!
Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
August 02, 2019 06:46PM
The ridge West of Lower Cathedral lake seems to get a nice breeze...which limits the bugs a bit...And the views are pretty killer, too.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
Re: Tuolomne - Valley questions
July 30, 2019 05:57PM
Temps should not be much different, as you note. To avoid bugs, head to the west of Cathedral Lakes...camp along the ridge in the breeze.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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