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Vernel Fall, Merced River, Yosemite National Park

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Long car camping/day hiking trip report

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avatar Long car camping/day hiking trip report
July 09, 2010 09:58PM
I have been reading your posts throughout the years, but I rarely post myself and thought I would finally provide some feedback to anyone who is interested. I have learned so much from all of you, hopefully I can help someone else in return. Thank you so much for all of your valuable information!

Just got back from a two week stay in Yosemite. I am a teacher and have no choice but to visit during the summer. First week was spent in North Pines. Great site, quiet for the most part. The rangers and camp hosts are very hands off here. It seems as in the past, campsite limits of six are not enforced and neither were motor home sizes, more than two cars, etc. Our stay was fairly calm and most people were quiet by 10:30. Do not expect the people who camp in the valley to understand the concept of campground courtesy though as many people would walk right through out site to get to the trails or creek. Try not to let it bother you. Mosquitoes were active but nothing we couldn’t handle.

Second week was supposed to be at Tuolumne Meadows, but due to an email from the National Park Service we changed our minds, “This notice is to inform campers with reservations for the Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows Campground to expect early spring-time conditions for the first few weeks of July. Due to late season storms and cool temperatures, you should anticipate snow on the ground in some areas, excess water, and many mosquitoes in the campground.” We ended up staying at Hodgdon Meadow for a few nights and then Upper Pines for three more. (I had a feeling the conditions would be bad and had booked back up sites when they became available). If anyone wants to stay at this campground and you tent camp like we do, book an RV site. Much more private and you don’t have to walk through other people’s campsites to get to yours. The tent sites are walk in sites and the same price as an RV site. Again, mosquitoes were out, but nothing we couldn’t handle (or a little deet couldn’t).

Hiking – we love to hike!
- Mist trail was more like monsoon trail. Every inch of our body was soaked but we dried off by the time we reached Nevada. We came down John Muir because my sister was worried about coming down with her daughter on the mist trail. Again, we were soaked but this time on John Muir trail, right after Nevada. Refreshing, but not expected. Minimal mosquitoes.
- Already conquered half dome. Not sure if I want to do it again. A lot of confusion over the permits though.
- Took four mile up to Glacier, then Panorama to John Muir. Great hike, saw no one until the top of four mile (the bus just dropped off some downward hikers). Minimal mosquitoes. Going up four mile was easier than I imagined.
- Upper Yosemite/Yosemite Point. Lots of trail work going on and hikers are diverted in many spots. A lot of beach type sandy/dirt areas that were a pain going up, but very much appreciated going down. No mosquitoes.
- Wapama Falls in Hetch Hetchy. Great Hike, and a nice soaking at the end. Snakes are out – rattlers and we also saw a thin little snake with an orange stripe I think. Warm, but not too hot.

Bears are active, but only saw two. We heard rangers shooting the bean bag guns quite a few times one evening in North Pines. Saw one toward the backpackers camp during twilight hours. In Upper Pines, bears were entering the campground and being shooed away multiple times.

Meadows had the worst mosquito activity. We were munched on heavily with deet (one with 30% and the other 100%) on at Sentinel bridge/meadow and Hodgdon Meadow as well. Also saw a bear right by Sentinel bridge/meadow and he seemed happy to oblige picture takers (from a safe distance of course).

Yosemite Falls were roaring last week, but seems to have dropped significantly in a week and a half (still great to see though).

July 4th crowds didn’t affect us too much. We make camp and ride our bikes everywhere we want to go. The line of cars during the holiday was stretched back to the turn off for the Pines campgrounds, but it didn’t seem crowded anywhere else except Curry Village. Degnan’s loft was never crowded (first time in years).

The 41 – the drive just stinks! Some of the road in unpaved, but my blazer just loves dirt. However, convertibles, RVs and some drivers want to drive from Wawona to Glacier point going 5 miles an hour the whole way. There are virtually no turn outs because they are all coned off. Had to grin and bear it. Three times, no construction going on. Fourth time, had to wait for the pace car and the delay was about a half an hour to go, and then five miles an hour for another half. Breathe deep and enjoy the fresh mountain air. You might even see cars stopped in the middle of the road, doors on both sides open with no one inside, all just to take a picture of a deer. Ahhh, vacation.

Any questions, please ask. Happy to help if I can.

avatar Re: Long car camping/day hiking trip report
July 10, 2010 05:48AM
Nice trip report Robin. I enjoyed it.

What school district do you work for, if you don't mind my asking?
avatar Re: Long car camping/day hiking trip report
July 10, 2010 11:54AM

I was teaching history in LA County for Centinela Valley. I am now looking for a new teaching job closer to home in Orange County.
avatar Re: Long car camping/day hiking trip report
July 11, 2010 06:01AM
I'm a custodian with the Calaveras Unified School District. Only been w/ the district for a couple of years. My wife and I have a janitorial business that was heavy with Real Estate offices. Many of them started doing their own cleaning so, needing more work and a little tired of having so much on the weekends I started with the district. An unforeseen result is that business has picked up in the form of teachers wanting house cleaning. smiling smiley

Hope you're able to find a job closer to home.

Keep posting...informative trip report!
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