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Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite

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Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 09, 2010 12:43AM
Howdy,
Y'all helped with some previous guidance. I've been watching/reading these Topics the last few weeks and it's encouraging to read water crossings changing from waist to thigh to ankle deep water; but I'm sure it all depends on the specific area. I'm coming out with 10 Sr/Jr High youth (AZ desert rats) for a 4 day hike starting July 20th; TM, Vogelsang, Merced Lake, LYV, YV. Planned to day hike from LYV to Half Dome 2nd half of Thur.

Our equipment is inexpensive and we have nothing but hiking boots of various vintage (nothing extra for snow or for water). We weren't planning on needing the HSCs but will need enough dry ground for 4 - 7x7ft tent pads.

My experience and their limited experience is crossing water on forest service bridges, strategic logs, or boulder hopping with some splish splash in 4 to 6 inch streams. Reading the other trail descriptions I'm concerned about foot root by day 2 or 3. Working to get them all in wool or blend socks. It appears that the week of July 19th will be like a normal early June?

Now that I've described our in-ability.... Would you think that things will dry out enough in the next 10 days for a reasonable trip?
- some discomfort will be healthy for the young!
- we are still hoping for this specific hike (have Permits)
- trying to find new trails (permit issue) or campgrounds without reservations is iffy for an 18 hr drive

By the map I see that on some days there are multiple ways to get from point A to B. Any suggestions on better way between each camp site?

Thanks for your time reading through the babble of a nervous man...



"Atlas is Shrugging"
avatar Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 09, 2010 06:24AM
Once the snow begins to really melt, it goes quick. Last year some buddies of mine hiked up Sentinel Dome and said that it was completely covered in snow. I went the following week and there were just small patches.

I think you should be good by July 20. Your chosen route is a great one, be prepared for mosquitoes.
avatar Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 09, 2010 09:20AM
Dude-

Thats the same trip (1st backpacking trip) that I took many years ago with the local YMCA, at the age of 12. Great memories to this day. I think that you will be fine with trail crossings and water by then. Three cautions for you and your kids...first, bears, but you probably know about that through the permitting process and having the required bear cans for food storage will resolve any concerns. Second, watch the weather closely on Half Dome, afternoon thunderstorms are fairly common that time of year. Finally, downstream from Merced lake the trail runs alongside the Merced River. At various points there are some very inviting "waterslides" as the river flows down sloping granite slabs (a quick youtube search can give you a clue about these). I can say that these are safe enough for me to enjoy with my kids in late season in normal water years. I would guess that they will be nothing short of dangerous while you are there...too cold and too much flow.

Depending on how the kids are doing, you might consider doing Clouds Rest on your way from Merced Lake to LYV.

Have a great time!
Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 09, 2010 06:25PM
My wife and I hiked from Merced Lake to Tuolumne via Fletcher Creek, Vogelsang, and Rafferty Creek. You should have few snow or water issues by July 20, unless you decide to go over Vogelsang Pass. The only "deep" crossings I can think of would be near the Emeric Lake junction (along Fletcher Creek) or the Lewis Creek crossing on the south side of Vogelsang Pass. The one on Fletcher Creek can be bypassed on a sturdy log, but it's maybe 1/2 mile before you get to the crossing, which doesn't help if you don't know the area well.

You should have no problems finding camping spots for your tent pads at the backpacker's camping area near Vogelsang, Merced Lake, or Little Yosemite, unless you hit any of these on a weekend.

As for the route, you have several options:

1) From Tuolumne to Vogelsang, there's the Rafferty Creek trail or the Ireland Lake trail (longer) (but your permit may mandate which one you take)

2) From Vogelsang Lake to Merced Lake, there's the Fletcher Creek trail or the Lewis Creek/Vogelsang Pass trail (longer/higher)

3) From Merced Lake to Little Yosemite Valley, there's the river route and the "high" route.

I would recommend the Rafferty Creek route, then day-hike to the top of Vogelsang Pass, Townsley, or Evelyn Lake. Next day, go down Fletcher, with possible side-trips to Emeric or Babcock Lakes. From Merced Lake, take the river trail to LYV. It's a great, classic trip!
avatar Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 09, 2010 06:33PM
Quote
basilbop
3) From Merced Lake to Little Yosemite Valley, there's the river route and the "high" route.

Is this "high route" the JMT along Sunrise Creek? If so, there are nice camping spots along there that I'd recommend over LYV.
Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 09, 2010 06:54PM
Yes, I was referring to the trail that climbs out of Echo Valley and eventually joins the JMT near Sunrise Creek.

The campsites near Moraine Dome (at the east end of LYV) are another good alternative to camping in the LYV campground itself.
avatar Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 10, 2010 07:04PM
Quote
basilbop
My wife and I hiked from Merced Lake to Tuolumne via Fletcher Creek, Vogelsang, and Rafferty Creek. You should have few snow or water issues by July 20, unless you decide to go over Vogelsang Pass. The only "deep" crossings I can think of would be near the Emeric Lake junction (along Fletcher Creek) or the Lewis Creek crossing on the south side of Vogelsang Pass. The one on Fletcher Creek can be bypassed on a sturdy log, but it's maybe 1/2 mile before you get to the crossing, which doesn't help if you don't know the area well.

You should have no problems finding camping spots for your tent pads at the backpacker's camping area near Vogelsang, Merced Lake, or Little Yosemite, unless you hit any of these on a weekend.

As for the route, you have several options:

1) From Tuolumne to Vogelsang, there's the Rafferty Creek trail or the Ireland Lake trail (longer) (but your permit may mandate which one you take)

2) From Vogelsang Lake to Merced Lake, there's the Fletcher Creek trail or the Lewis Creek/Vogelsang Pass trail (longer/higher)

3) From Merced Lake to Little Yosemite Valley, there's the river route and the "high" route.

I would recommend the Rafferty Creek route, then day-hike to the top of Vogelsang Pass, Townsley, or Evelyn Lake. Next day, go down Fletcher, with possible side-trips to Emeric or Babcock Lakes. From Merced Lake, take the river trail to LYV. It's a great, classic trip!

Regarding 1), your trail permit is only enforced in respect to the entering trailhead. You are free to change your exit trailhead, regardless what it says on the permit.
avatar Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 10, 2010 07:47PM
Quote
tomdisco
Regarding 1), your trail permit is only enforced in respect to the entering trailhead.

With a few exceptions such as camping the first night at LYV.
Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 15, 2010 09:19PM
See my posting "toulumne to yv".........my 7 yr old and I just completed this 40 miles route (to include a few side trips like Ireland lake).....stream crossing are of little issue - one or two will be boots off but not too deep.....the biggest issue will be mosqutos at Evelyn lake, vogelsand and Merced lake.......you'll enjoy the route!!
Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 10, 2010 12:48AM
Many thanks.... unless something happens and y'all suggest otherwise; we'll be heading that way the 17th. We'll backtrack to the log over Fletcher Creek if necessary.

Since our intent is to day hike Half Dome; I had been wondering about the Echo Valley/Sunrise Creek trail (high route) from Merced Lake. If we're allowed to camp along that trail somewhere prior to the Half Dome trail cut off.... it looks like it would take about a 1.5 mile and 1000 ft climb off coming up from LYV (and I assume be less folks and maybe? less mosquito).



"Atlas is Shrugging"
avatar Re: Need your help in making final decision to hike Yosemite
July 10, 2010 01:26AM
Quote
GrandDude
If we're allowed to camp along that trail somewhere prior to the Half Dome trail cut off.... it looks like it would take about a 1.5 mile and 1000 ft climb off coming up from LYV (and I assume be less folks and maybe? less mosquito).

I've done that several times.
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