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Re: Tuolomne -> Agnew Meadows or vice versa (w Kids)

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Tuolomne -> Agnew Meadows or vice versa (w Kids)
January 31, 2020 07:12PM
Happy Weekend!
We are working on our summer plans, and trying to decide (in our quiver of options) whether to hike along the JMT from TM south to Agnew Meadows, or North from Agnew Meadows to TM. I realize the permitting is more difficult for Southbound as it requires the Donahue Pass exit JMT permit lottery.

We will be with our 3 & 5 year old, which means 5-8 miles days max. Which may sound crazy, but we backpack with them consistently here in Colorado, last year did TM to the Valley along the JMT, and believe we are up for it as a challenge. They hike about 3-5 miles on their own, and then my wife and I carry them. Good times carrying 35+ pound kid along with 30 pound packs eye popping smiley

Anyhoo, my 2 main questions are:
- Any personal insight/preference on going SOBO or NOBO for this section? I see benefit of knocking out ~10 miles of flat-ish Lyell canyon before the Donahue pass climb going South (and being that much closer to weather reports, etc), but on the other hand it seems easier to break up the trip for campsites going North, and perhaps hitting Garnet/Thousand Island on the front end would be more enjoyable. I'd love any thoughts!
- If we start at Agnew Meadows, am I right that the only option to get back to Agnew Meadows is to take YARTs to Mammoth, then take the Mammoth shuttle to Agnews Meadows? Seems difficult to figure out with tired kids in tow...

Thanks for any thoughts! OR other suggestions (also thinking of the Vogelsang Rafferty loop, Or staying south to do Thousand Island Lake Loop out of Agnew Meadows, etc...something in the 20-30 mile range, ideally <5k elevation gain though I know my current plan pushes that).

A little eye candy, a timelapse reel from our adventures in 2019 including Yosemite: video: https://youtu.be/i5aupGdmqLs

See our photo website: www.jordanchapell.com
Re: Tuolomne -> Agnew Meadows or vice versa (w Kids)
February 01, 2020 04:30AM
I'd recommend hiking from AM to TM meadow because:
1. Permits are easier to get
2. IMO the best scenery is from AM to Donahue. If you need to bail for some reason then you've seen the "best".

As far as I know, the most practical option to get there is as you describe. Look at the schedules and plan accordingly. If YARTS gets you to Mammoth in the late afternoon, you probably don't want to start your hike then. If it gets you to TM in the morning, then maybe that's where you need to start.

Kudos for taking your kids with you. Happy travels.

Edit: The trail along the river from AM to Thousand Island Lake is somewhat sandy, and makes for tough walking. I saw several parents carrying their kids along this section.
Bonus: I think there's a hot spring at Island Pass. Might be good for the kids to explore.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/2020 04:33AM by The Other Tom.
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