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Re: First time to Yosemite!

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First time to Yosemite!
August 14, 2010 07:47PM
Hello, We are heading your way from Washington State in two weeks. We have permits for a week-long backpack and are very excited! I have a few questions for you all. First off, I talked to a ranger on the phone, and she said that the best backpacking maps are the National Geographic maps. Is this true? Secondly, what can we expect for bugs? We will be hiking out of Tuolumne Meadows up Rafferty Creek and then looping around and back out Cathedral Lakes. Do you guys get mostly mosquitoes or do you get black flies too? I've got some weird bug allergies, so am hoping for the best on that! Thanks in advance for any help! smiling smiley
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 14, 2010 07:56PM
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flower sniffer
First off, I talked to a ranger on the phone, and she said that the best backpacking maps are the National Geographic maps. Is this true?

A lot of people seem to like them.

Quote

Secondly, what can we expect for bugs?

Just got back from a four day trip and saw/felt almost none. No flies and no mosquitoes. YMMV.
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 05:53AM
Regarding maps, I've used the Nat Geo ones but prefer Tom Harrison maps. They're more compact and better annotated, IMO. You can get them from Tom Harrison's website or Amazon.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 09:26AM
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flower sniffer
First off, I talked to a ranger on the phone, and she said that the best backpacking maps are the National Geographic maps. Is this true?

Quote
The Other Tom
Regarding maps, I've used the Nat Geo ones but prefer Tom Harrison maps. They're more compact and better annotated, IMO. You can get them from Tom Harrison's website or Amazon.

The National Geographic, Tom Harrison, and Wilderness Press maps are all fine for on-trail use. For cross-country excursions, I find that the bolder topographic lines on the Wilderness Press maps are a definite asset from the aspect of readability.



Quote
flower sniffer
Secondly, what can we expect for bugs?

If you want them, bring your own... but please take them back with you when you leave.
September and October are usually the best times for combined bug-free and snow-free (generally) backpacking in the Tuolumne Meadows area.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2010 10:37AM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 10:13AM
I like the Nat Geo Trails Illustrated maps which are good for on-trail hiking. If you go with those there are actually 5 of them for Yosemite. There is one that covers all of Yosemite but the detail is too small. The other 4 cover the same area but in 1/4 segments. They are numbered 306, 307, 308, & 309. About 99.5% of your hike is on Map 309 titled Ansel Adams Wilderness. The other .5% is the beginning of your departure on map 308 titled Tuolumne Meadows & Hoover Wilderness.

On Wednesday the 18th I will be doing a somewhat similar route in reverse beginning at Cathedral Lake Trail but exiting at Lyell Canyon. Most of my first day will be off trail (going to Budd Lake, etc.). Somebody said there is a greater likelyhood of mosquitos above 10K. If that's still true you may more likely run into them on your first day in the Vogelsang area if they are still around. I'll be back home by the 26th and let you know what the bug situation is like if you have not left yet. I probably will not have much problem with that because I treat my clothing heavily with Sawyer's Permethrin. Worked like a charm last year.
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 10:03AM
The only Tom Harrison Yosemite map I found on Amazon was for the high country. Is there another one, or is that it?
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 12:24PM
Wow! Thanks for all the great responses! I really appreciate it! Tomdisco, a bug report when you get back would be greatly appreciated! We're flying out the 27th. We were looking at the Sawyer's Permethrin yesterday at REI. I think we've decided to get the pretreated shirts and then use the Permethrin spray for hats, etc. Anyone have any experience with the pretreated clothing (Exofficio makes it)? It's crazy expensive, but we figured if it really works it might be nice to have at least the shirts. They're supposed to be good for 70 washings. Anyway, thanks again for all the info! I'll probably think of more questions before we leave. smiling smiley
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 02:03PM
FS,
Don't waste a lot of money on the treated shirts or pants. A tight weave on long sleeved shirts and long legged pants will prevent them from biting through. A small amount of repellent containing DEET sprayed into the palm of one hand and rubbed onto the other palm and then spread on you neck and face and exposed hand parts will keep them from biting. Repellent will not keep them away, it only keeps them from actually biting.

At this time of year they are very few and in most places in the park nonexistent.



Old Dude
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 25, 2010 05:50PM
Quote
flower sniffer
Wow! Thanks for all the great responses! I really appreciate it! Tomdisco, a bug report when you get back would be greatly appreciated! We're flying out the 27th. We were looking at the Sawyer's Permethrin yesterday at REI. I think we've decided to get the pretreated shirts and then use the Permethrin spray for hats, etc. Anyone have any experience with the pretreated clothing (Exofficio makes it)? It's crazy expensive, but we figured if it really works it might be nice to have at least the shirts. They're supposed to be good for 70 washings. Anyway, thanks again for all the info! I'll probably think of more questions before we leave. smiling smiley

Just got home from my trip. Leave your bug repellant home and eliminate the extra 2-3 oz of weight in your packs. I think I saw 5 mosquitos in 40-45 miles. Three of them were in a damp shady area on the Lewis Creek trail so you might want to watch out for that area. LOL Head roll Seriously, mosquitos are not an issue this time of year. Enjoy.

For the regular gang curious how I made out this year I'll post a later time;---got too much catching up on work crap to take care of. In short, I had a fantastic trip.

Jim
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 25, 2010 06:18PM
Hey! Thanks for the info! I'm happy to hear that. How was your trip? I'm super excited to see your neck of the woods!
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 01:20PM
He has one for TM, Half Dome, Yos Valley, Yos High country, Mammoth high country (which has some Yos as well). Check his website
http://tomharrisonmaps.com/locationmap.html
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 02:33PM
The maps you mention are fine unless you plan on actually using a compass with them, triangulate your position, etc... that's generally going to be easier with a 7.5 - 15 minute map. Harrison maps are generally more accurate with quoted mileage. I prefer maps that allow one to navigate off trail if needed.

Take some bug spray. I use permethrin on things, but more because of ticks, which crawl on your clothing. You need protection on your skin for mosquitos. Or a headnet. Since it is getting later in the season this is less of an issue - I just got back from 8000-9000 foot elevations, did not see a single mosquito out there, but we were not in wet meadows or near lakes/ponds.
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 16, 2010 07:47PM
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AlmostThere

Take some bug spray. I use permethrin on things, but more because of ticks, which crawl on your clothing. You need protection on your skin for mosquitos. Or a headnet. Since it is getting later in the season this is less of an issue - I just got back from 8000-9000 foot elevations, did not see a single mosquito out there, but we were not in wet meadows or near lakes/ponds.

i have yet to see a tick-on.....me in the higher elevations..
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 16, 2010 09:00PM
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rroland
Quote
AlmostThere

Take some bug spray. I use permethrin on things, but more because of ticks, which crawl on your clothing. You need protection on your skin for mosquitos. Or a headnet. Since it is getting later in the season this is less of an issue - I just got back from 8000-9000 foot elevations, did not see a single mosquito out there, but we were not in wet meadows or near lakes/ponds.

i have yet to see a tick-on.....me in the higher elevations..

I have yet to see ticks in Yosemite... but have encountered them at lower elevations, and some of the trails go through those... Mentioned the permethrin only because others did. Mossies only bite through very thin shirts, so permethrin hardly affects them, leaves your face and any bare skin unprotected. Unless you put on a burkha you still got to do something for your face. Headnets can be a pain if there are few bugs, a little bug spray on the cheeks works and the diluted DEET does best. Been bit through picardin and that lemon-eucalyptus stuff.

eye rolling smiley
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 16, 2010 10:56PM
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AlmostThere
Mossies only bite through very thin shirts

Tell that to the mosquitoes that bit right through thick jeans.
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 17, 2010 05:53AM
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eeek
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AlmostThere
Mossies only bite through very thin shirts

Tell that to the mosquitoes that bit right through thick jeans.

You must be really tasty.

I'm generally not wearing jeans and my nylon pants don't hug my legs close enough. Skeeters would have to have beaks two inches long...
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 05:26PM
Okay, new question. Now I'm starting to fine tune the route. It looks like there are a couple of choices to get from Vogelsang to Merced Lake. One goes along Emeric Creek and the other along lewis creek. Is either one more spectacular than the other? Also, at Vogelsang, would you guys recomend camping in the area of the high camp, or is there a better option? On the map Townsley Lake looks pretty neat? Lastly (for now!) can you actually camp on top of Clouds Rest? Thanks again for all of the advice. If anyone wants to ply me with questions about hiking in Washington, feel free! smiling smiley
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 06:11PM
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flower sniffer
Okay, new question. Now I'm starting to fine tune the route. It looks like there are a couple of choices to get from Vogelsang to Merced Lake. One goes along Emeric Creek and the other along lewis creek. Is either one more spectacular than the other? Also, at Vogelsang, would you guys recomend camping in the area of the high camp, or is there a better option? On the map Townsley Lake looks pretty neat? Lastly (for now!) can you actually camp on top of Clouds Rest? Thanks again for all of the advice. If anyone wants to ply me with questions about hiking in Washington, feel free! smiling smiley

As for route from Vogelsang area it's your choice. I'm going the Vogelsang Pass route on Lewis Creek because bill-e-g at one time highly recommended a stop at Bernice Lake. Plus, you get the higher views from the Pass. I've also gotten the impression from posts a year ago that the steep portion of the trail on Emeric Creek coming down to the bridge where it joins Lewis Creek consists of some awful cobblestone steps that some folks find annoying. Others can speak to the accuracy of that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2010 06:12PM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 15, 2010 07:49PM
Townsley Lake has some very nice sites but they are a bit out in the open. A nice one hour hike is to go up to Hanging Basket Lake after you set up camp.

Take the trail that goes by Emeric Lake and spend some time to wander off trail a bit to check things out. There is a little ridge that overlooks Emeric and is worth the climb.

I would not recommend camping on Clouds Rest as there isn't really what you'd call a flat spot up there. If you want a little adventure then go over to Quarter Domes and camp there. Not sure which direction you are approaching Clouds Rest though. If you do stay at Quarter Domes you will have to pack in a couple extra liters of water per person. I've camped at the eastern Quarter Dome and it was very cool and not just because Bill-e-goat was with me.

I've done a little hiking around the base of that big mountain with the snow on top near Seattle but I prefer Yosemite. I have a dear cousin that lives in Lakewood.



Old Dude
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 16, 2010 04:04AM
As for camping in the Vogelsang area, it's all good. Townsley lake is indeed picturesque and will probably be a little less crowded than the Fletcher lake area, but again, it's all good.
+1 on the Vogelsang pass route. One of the best views in the Sierra is from the pass, IMO. Pause there for a while to take it all in.
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 19, 2010 05:52PM
I thought of a new question! We will be staying in the backpacker's camp at Tuolumnie Meadows. What I would like to know is if there is a place to get breakfast there. A store with coffee and some muffins would probably do just fine, but even better would be a place to get some pancakes or something. Also, is there a good store there to get stove fuel canisters? Again, thanks for all the help! smiling smiley
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 19, 2010 06:13PM
There is a store/grill near the camp. I don't know if the grill is open for breakfast or not, but TM lodge is (about a mile east of the campground and "on your way" up Lyle canyon. The store near the camp should have gas cannisters.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 19, 2010 06:41PM
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The Other Tom
I don't know if the grill is open for breakfast or not

It is.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 19, 2010 06:17PM
There's the Tuolumnie store/post office/grill that's a short walking distance from the BP campground.

You'll most likely pass it if you drive into the campground. It's on the main road just west of the road into the campground. It's a pretty small store, but I expect you'd have a good chance of getting your stove fuel canisters. Since it's next to a campground, and PCT and JMT hikers are stocking up there, it has a lot of that kind of stuff.

Last time I was up there ( a year or two ago ) the Grill was serving breakfast ( although I'm not sure how early they open ) so you should be able to get something you'd like.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/19/2010 06:19PM by qumqats.
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 20, 2010 10:32AM
I love the TM grill for the basic burger and stuff, great to grab something and sit outside and take in the scenery.

What I REALLY love is the pie at the Tioga Pass Resort, about 15-20 minutes drive East of TM, about two miles outside the park. Take a drive out there and get some perspective on the Meadows, have a closer look at Mt. Dana and Tioga Lake, and grab a slice of some of the most delicious pie I've ever had - apple crumble, blueberry, mixed berry, strawberry rhubarb, banana creme and more! They have really tasty lunch and dinner items as well.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2010 03:33PM by vdrummer.
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 21, 2010 09:27PM
That's great you guys, thanks! Vdrummer, that pie looks freaking awesome!!! smiling smiley
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 21, 2010 10:20PM
Mmmm . . . and tastes even better! I'll be there Tuesday for a helping or two. Since home is less than a day's drive away, I try to bring home a slice or two for my lovely wife - which is a little self-serving, as she continues to support my efforts to explore the lovely Tuolumne area.
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 22, 2010 09:42AM
It's always good to have support on the home front! So, I was thinking this morning, and I realized that my trip plan does not include any of the classic Yosemite stuff like El cap, etc. Would it be feasible to set up camp at the Little Yosemite Camp at the JMT junction, and then leave our stuff there and dayhike out to Yosemite Valley? I thought maybe we could spend the day taking shuttle buses to see all the classic sights, have lunch and maybe even a shower (?), and then hike back into the Little Yosemite Camp to continue our loop? It's just a thought. I sort of hate to make the trip down there and miss all that stuff! Am I being too greedy? smiling smiley
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 22, 2010 01:52PM
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flower sniffer
It's always good to have support on the home front! So, I was thinking this morning, and I realized that my trip plan does not include any of the classic Yosemite stuff like El cap, etc. Would it be feasible to set up camp at the Little Yosemite Camp at the JMT junction, and then leave our stuff there and dayhike out to Yosemite Valley? I thought maybe we could spend the day taking shuttle buses to see all the classic sights, have lunch and maybe even a shower (?), and then hike back into the Little Yosemite Camp to continue our loop? It's just a thought. I sort of hate to make the trip down there and miss all that stuff! Am I being too greedy? smiling smiley

I believe that would be a violation of your wilderness permit unless you start over with a brand new permit when you get back to the Valley.
Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 22, 2010 06:37PM
Wow! I didn't even think of that. Thanks. It's okay, we need to just plan a second trip!
avatar Re: First time to Yosemite!
August 22, 2010 06:39PM
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y_p_w
I believe that would be a violation of your wilderness permit unless you start over with a brand new permit when you get back to the Valley.

It probably is. But I doubt one would ever be called on it.
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