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Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes

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Camping near Sunrise Lakes
October 31, 2010 10:28PM
I am thinking about my Half Dome trip next summer. I figure it would be fun to go during the Perseid Meteor shower. The full moon will be a problem around the peak time. I would like to camp as high as possible one day to improve the conditions. The area around Sunrise lakes is up near 10,000 ft and is not to far off my route. Is this area good for camping? I am thinking about hiking from Tuolumne Meadows towards Clouds Rest and then to Half Dome. Are there any better spots along that route? Ken
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
October 31, 2010 11:18PM
If you don't mind lugging a little water you stay over on top of Clouds Rest for the meteor watching. Getting a permit out of the Sunrise Trailhead can be a problem though. Shoot for a reservation and if you can't get an advanced reservation then plan to arrive a day ahead and get a walk-in permit.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 01, 2010 12:54PM
Otherwise, yes there are ample places in the Sunrise Lakes area for camping.
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 01, 2010 05:37PM
I don't mind the water, is the viewing better at Clouds Rest. I am planning on going there as part of the trip. I thought Sunrise Lakes would be better because it was higher.

I am not sure what you mean about the permit. I plan to start in Tuolumne Meadows. If Sunrise is not my fist night, can't I go in without a reservation? I wouldn't necessarily go to a HSC. I would be looking for someplace with the best view.


Quote
mrcondron
If you don't mind lugging a little water you stay over on top of Clouds Rest for the meteor watching. Getting a permit out of the Sunrise Trailhead can be a problem though. Shoot for a reservation and if you can't get an advanced reservation then plan to arrive a day ahead and get a walk-in permit.
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 01, 2010 07:23PM
You need a wilderness permit to backpack in Yosemite. If you had a reservation to stay at the HSC proper, that would be included. If you stay at the backpacking camp, or camp elsewhere, you need a wilderness permit from the wilderness office. If you don't reserve one far in advance (Sunrise is a popular trailhead, so is Cathedral, so is the trailhead at TM) you will have to try to get in line at the office in Tuolumne Meadows the morning of the day before you want to start hiking (note that they begin issuing first come/first serve permits 24 hours in advance). This can be quite an adventure on a weekend (friday/sat/sun) in late spring/summer.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2010 07:27PM by AlmostThere.
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 01, 2010 09:41PM
OK so the trailheads are filled quickly. Yes the reason I am bringing this up now is I was looking ahead to figure out the first day I could make my reservations. Six months early I believe. Since I hope to do this during the Perseids I have a limited window. thanks Ken
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 01, 2010 09:51PM
They have a handy table on the website to help you figure out when to start faxing for your permit.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm

Click on "24 weeks/168 days" for a look at the table.

It's closer to five months than six months in advance....
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 02, 2010 10:26AM
You may want to avoid Clouds Rest.
The bright lights of Turlock may make seeing the Perseids impossible.

Seriously though, how is Sunrise Lakes higher than CR? Not sure what you are thinking there.
Going off trail N of Sunrise #3 (eastern most one). ???

You went to Glen Aulin/Return Crk so I'm confused about you not being familiar
with permit requirements. Just saying.

Maybe try to camp on the NE shoulder of Clouds. Supa nice views. Highly
encourage peeps to NOT camp right on top of Clouds Rest.
Technically speaking it's not really allowed...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 02, 2010 04:34PM
Quote
chick-on
You may want to avoid Clouds Rest.
The bright lights of Turlock may make seeing the Perseids impossible.
I would want to avoid that.

Quote

Seriously though, how is Sunrise Lakes higher than CR? Not sure what you are thinking there.
Going off trail N of Sunrise #3 (eastern most one). ???
You are right. I was using Google Earth to check out elevations. I guess I didn't put the cursor in the right spot.

Quote

You went to Glen Aulin/Return Crk so I'm confused about you not being familiar
with permit requirements. Just saying.

Quote

Getting a permit out of the Sunrise Trailhead can be a problem though
I wasn't planning on of going out the Sunrise Trailhead. "I am thinking about hiking from Tuolumne Meadows" is what I said in my post. I understand about trailhead permits, It was just that he said I would have a problem doing something that I wasn't planning on doing. When reworded to include all trailheads I understood his point. I also think the permits are different if you are through hiking rather than staying at the HSC, (I may be wrong). I was not planning on staying at the HSC so I thought maybe he thought I was. Is that clearer?smiling smiley

Quote

Maybe try to camp on the NE shoulder of Clouds. Supa nice views. Highly
encourage peeps to NOT camp right on top of Clouds Rest.
Technically speaking it's not really allowed...
I would like a spot up near 10,000 ft, without any lights in the view, and fairly clear of nearby peaks and heavy tree cover. Thanks for the suggestions.
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 02, 2010 08:27PM
Ya. I knew what your route is. Sunrise Lakes #1 and #3 are not close to your route... they're right on it.
People camp E of sunrise #3 (eastern one). Wide open there... ya it's in a cirque type feature... but the sky is wide open there.
I wouldn't worry about open sky... if the moon is full... it's gonna be BRIGHT... if you haven't
been out w/ full moon... you're in for a shock.
Dunno how far you gonna hike per day but you can find plenty of open areas to see the sky.
Me... I'd consider... Granite N of Upper Cath., Long Meadow, W of Col. Finger, area S of Bug Dome
(I hate HSCs... won't camp in them), E of Sunrise #3, Shoulders of Clouds, Quarter Domes, ...
All those would be cool IMO.

You need a wilderness permit to camp overnight in the wilderness. People who have reservations at
the HSCs... that is their wilderness permit, per say. That is where you are possibly getting confused.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 02, 2010 08:58PM
Quote
traildad
The full moon will be a problem around the peak time.

Yeah, it'll wipe out all but the brightest meteors no matter where you go.
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 02, 2010 10:59PM
Yes the full moon is a problem. On the nights before the peak the moon sets before dawn. I hope to get a peek around 3-4am. Actually the tentative route I planned is from Tuolumne Meadows to Tenaya Lake and then Clouds Rest. I understand that I can take a route that does pass by Sunrise Lakes. Ken
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 03, 2010 05:32AM
Ken,

I'm confused. Why would you hike all the way from Tuolumne Meadows to Tenaya Lake, which is 90% along Tioga Road? The trailhead for Sunrise Lakes/ Clouds Rest is at Tenaya Lake. You are adding an extra 15+ miles (round trip view of the highway) onto a Clouds Rest hike. If that's what you want, to each their own. Just seems a bit odd.

Is it possible you meant you want to take the Cathedral trailhead at Tuoulumne Meadows and climb past Cathedral Lakes to Sunrise HSC and down to Sunrise Lakes on the way to Clouds Rest? This would completely avoid Tenaya Lake unless you returned that way, or vice versa.

In either case your point of entry would be Cathedral trailhead.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2010 05:38AM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 03, 2010 06:35AM
Quote
traildad
Yes the full moon is a problem. On the nights before the peak the moon sets before dawn. I hope to get a peek around 3-4am. Actually the tentative route I planned is from Tuolumne Meadows to Tenaya Lake and then Clouds Rest. I understand that I can take a route that does pass by Sunrise Lakes. Ken

Uh... wha!?

That route is not good. Really. I've hiked that trail. It's fine and dandy... when the road is closed...
You sorta hike around Pywiack Dome, that's cool... but other than that the views are not worth it..
(it's in the woods nearly the entire time... and it's hard to see anything much)

Go from Sunrise TH or from Cathedral TH. (I assumed you were going Cathedral)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 21, 2011 02:31PM
very helpful thread... I could use some suggestions for camping in this area.. I'm planning a 3-day, 2-night backpack trip to Clouds Rest from Tenaya, and I'm looking for the best place to set up camp about 1/3 of the way in. I understand there are essentially 2 reliable options, (1) around Sunrise Lakes or (2) in the valley north of Clouds Rest along the Forsythe Trail before it meets the CR trail. Any suggestions about which location is better?? I have permits for early July but I'm concerned about snowpack, especially around the lakes, so I'm also considering getting permits for mid-August which I know will be warmer and a little dryer but I'm concerned that valley area might be too dry and if there will be water there... Any suggestions will help How the Chick-on travels
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 21, 2011 04:29PM
Riley,

I would opt for Sunrise Lakes. I've not been to the Forsyth trail location. Sunrise Lakes give you the option of 3 different lakes and lots of places off trail in their general vicinity. Early July will be buggy near any water. August would be the better choice if mosquitos are a concern. I don't believe you will see noticable snowpack around Sunrise Lakes in early July. Maybe in some very isolated shady spots but nothing worth noting.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2011 04:31PM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 21, 2011 08:12PM
Go south instead of towards Sunrise Lakes at the junction at the top of the switchbacks and you will run into a creek about 1/2 mile before the junction going to Clouds rest. There are some use trails around the area where the trail crosses the creek to the east of the trail. Quite a few sites there. I would suggest on day one you hike to this spot, on day two go up to Clouds Rest and back as a day hike, and on day three hike out. This will be a very relaxed three day trip.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 22, 2011 07:37AM
Clouds is < 6.5 miles from Sunrise TH. Gotta agree with disco on this one.
Go to Sunrise Lakes (first one you hit is about 3 miles) and set up shop...
then go explore the other 2 lakes. (they're uphill from the first one)
Next day you got A LOT of time to go up Clouds... for fun you can go over and
then come back around on the "stock" trail. It's not that much add and not
"much" regain of elevation.... I think it's worth the view of Clouds from below.
Sunrise Lakes are much prettier view IMO than the stream Old Dude Mike
is talking about (and there WILL be water in that stream... year round)
(unless it's covered in 4ft of snow). The view of Sunrise Mtn. is pretty from
the trail... but you'll have to work to have a view of it from a camp spot.
I think it would be a shame to have that amount of time and not see all 3 lakes.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 22, 2011 07:43AM
btw... if you want to see some photos of the lakes you can look on Google Earth.
I see some goofball by the name of starmaster has some nice shots of the lakes.
wink



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 23, 2011 01:02AM
Quote
chick-on
btw... if you want to see some photos of the lakes you can look on Google Earth.
I see some goofball by the name of starmaster has some nice shots of the lakes.
wink

He's right. I'm starmaster on Google Earth. IMO the lower two Sunrise Lakes are some of the prettiest lakes in Yosemite and easy to get to. The second one is slightly off trail but hard to miss if you point yourself in the right direction.

I would love to post some of my 2010 photos on Google Earth/Panoramio but every since I got a new Windows 7 laptop I can not access the Google Earth imagery server. The only suggestions I can find on the internet to solve the problem are basically disguised pitches to sell computer clean-up programing which I already have. If anybody here has experienced this problem and found a solution then contact me via private message.
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 23, 2011 09:26PM
hey thanks for all the great advice!
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 03, 2010 12:23PM
What is the primary objective--to have a good place to view the Perseids?
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 03, 2010 06:56PM
Maybe when the subject came up before we go sidetracked over the whole idea if hiking to Half Dome was worth doing. I seem to remember someone saying that one trail that was not worth the hike. I have probably mixed things up. I have never hiked the area, and Google Earth isn't very good for picking a scenic trail. That is why I asked about it here. It really helps to talk to people that have "been there, done that".

The primary objective is to hike to the top of Half Dome. Secondary objective is to see lots of great scenery along the way. Watching the Perseids was an after thought. It seems like a reasonable time of year to plan the hike and should provide a good chance to view them.
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 03, 2010 07:13PM
I think this is where I got confused. But it is becoming clearer.
Quote
AlmostThere
Quote
traildad
Ok now I see Moraine Dome. I guess I was reading it with the idea of a hike to Half Dome, so I wasn't looking over there. I wouldn't think you would want to continue on past Moraine Dome if you were heading to Half Dome.

It looks like the hike from 120 by way of Clouds Rest, over to Half Dome and down to the valley could be enjoyable. What are the pluses or minuses of choosing the route going by Tenaya Lake instead of Cathedral Lake?

I like the views from the Sunrise trail better than the ones from the Cathedral trail. The Sunrise trail is shorter than HD from HI and we made it out and back well before sunset. The parking at Sunrise is ridiculous, but get there early and you won't have to park a mile away.

The plus for me would be going to Clouds, which is higher, less populated, and a better view than Half Dome. I would skip HD entirely, as well as LYV. Gone back twice, each time wondered why the heck I was doing this... I loved Clouds - the hike is better, not through deep sand (ugh) or with 1,000 other people walking two and three deep up the trail in inappropriate shoes... LYV jams you into a dark little campground with everyone else and the bears are bad, the permit checks are random (sometimes after dark) and it gets darn cold in there.

I would camp near the junction of the Clouds Rest trail - there's a water source and some good spots up there.
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
November 04, 2010 09:16AM
Cloud's Rest = much better views than HD. You campr near CR and you have the added bonus of being able to watch sunrise from CR summit, which is an incredible sight to see the perfectly pyramid CR shadow and then later the HD shadow going down the Valley and as the sun comes up, coming towards you. Then you can simply go down CR to HD and up it. Beat most of the crowd that way.

Remember about the new HD permit system...
avatar Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 22, 2011 01:59AM
I'd just like to point out that if you want to watch meteors, I haven't been to a better place than the ridge above Ten Lakes to watch them. The trail is basically a highway to get there, you can't lose it. You'll have the ridge to yourself, well you and any rangers who camp up there to see where people are camped in the Ten Lakes basin and then go contact them. The view is spectacular from that ridge. I remember sleeping out, watching the meteors then falling asleep for a while then waking up and watching them again. Granted, its only 9400-9600 feet elevation (I don't have a map in front of me), but the view is great, with minimal light pollution.
Re: Camping near Sunrise Lakes
February 22, 2011 07:18AM
You can't lose the trail unless you follow a water bar off into the woods without realizing it. (That's actually the trail we nearly lost someone, a backpacker coming across from Grant Lakes cross country turned her around before we lost her entirely.)

Never say never!

But the pass is absolutely gorgeous, for sure. Spent a while with a map playing 'what's that peak' with a few buddies.
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