Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Dogwood bloom in Yosemite Valley

The Moon is New


Advanced

Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 09:31AM
I am traveling with my family of four from Chicago in August. We are flying into Phoenix, visiting the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, a night in Las Vegas, Death Valley, and most importantly, Yosemite.

The relevant portion of the trip begins with my family dropping me off early morning at Tenaya Lake. They will spend some time at Tuolumne and then drive around to the valley picking me up about 12 hours later. I am planning a day hike to top of Clouds Rest, Half Dome (I have a permit!) and then down to the Valley.

I have solicitations for suggestions and thoughts:

1. Will (or could) the trail beginning at Tenaya Lake still require a “wet” crossing August 23?
2. What is the best advice on gauging weather the day before and day of the trip? I suppose the main concern would be thunderstorms but those don’t develop until afternoon so it seems like I probably will make it to Clouds Rest without a problem and access Half Dome like everyone else does later in the afternoon.
3. I know it is personal preference but any thoughts on Hiking Poles? I have a very nice pair I bought at a REI garage sale but can’t decide if I am taking them or not.
4. Water: I am considering carrying 5 liters (HEAVY) and then some type of backup system. I have a 3 liter CamelPack that fits in my backpack and considered taking two Nalgenes. I also have an MSR Hyperflow Filter but reconsidering taking it because of time required to pump and filter.
5. I think I have convinced my wife that the Bears in Yosemite do not eat people. I have a Bear whistle but she has thoughts of the Denali Bears that hunt animals such as moose and remembers the rangers there who suggested Bear “guns”---strong pepper spray for hikes.
6. Will my ATT Blackberry work at the top of Half Dome or Clouds Rest? If possible, I’d like to give the family progress updates. And if they find someone with high powered binoculars or telescope maybe they can spot me.

Finally a non-Yosemite related travel question. We are renting a car in Phoenix and dropping it off in Fresno (will spend a few days there with family). I’ve done one way rentals before but this time every rental car I can find is charging an exorbitant one way fee-up to $500. Anyone know of a way around this? Anyone want to drive a car from Fresno to Phoenix for me for $100?
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 09:45AM
Quote
chicagocwright

1. Will (or could) the trail beginning at Tenaya Lake still require a “wet” crossing August 23?

It will still be a wade, but probably not knee deep.

Quote

2. What is the best advice on gauging weather the day before and day of the trip? I suppose the main concern would be thunderstorms but those don’t develop until afternoon so it seems like I probably will make it to Clouds Rest without a problem and access Half Dome like everyone else does later in the afternoon.

The NOAA website lets you drill down to the region - you can view forecasts a week before. What's of more concern is the weather right as you get to the high open areas - if the clouds are dark and looming, think about postponing. If you feel electricity along your skin and your hair stands on end, get low fast. Read about what to do in a storm and then don't worry about it much.

Quote

3. I know it is personal preference but any thoughts on Hiking Poles? I have a very nice pair I bought at a REI garage sale but can’t decide if I am taking them or not.

I rarely go without mine. They help on steep ups and down, and if you use them properly, even on the straight and (relatively) flat places.

Quote

4. Water: I am considering carrying 5 liters (HEAVY) and then some type of backup system. I have a 3 liter CamelPack that fits in my backpack and considered taking two Nalgenes. I also have an MSR Hyperflow Filter but reconsidering taking it because of time required to pump and filter.

???? this is overkill. I carry at most two liters at a time in Yosemite. What are you using in place of the filter?

You'll need to filter. That region is so heavily used that I wouldn't trust the water to not have bacteria. the Merced has tested positive for e coli....

Quote

5. I think I have convinced my wife that the Bears in Yosemite do not eat people. I have a Bear whistle but she has thoughts of the Denali Bears that hunt animals such as moose and remembers the rangers there who suggested Bear “guns”---strong pepper spray for hikes.

DO NOT need pepper spray in Yosemite. DO need to follow the food storage rules. Clean your car out good, don't leave wrappers, food, ice chest, anything that looks or smells like food inside. Rent or get an approved bear canister for backpacking and practice packing it - people get there, rent the can, find out their food won't fit inside, and either leave the can in the car or leave food outside it under rocks or hanging it (those are illegal, food, trash and anything with a smell goes inside the can) and then the bears get it. This is a potentially huge fine! Store food properly and be aware of countermeasures and you will not have a problem.

Tell your wife to read the page on the Yosemite website - your car, your backpack and your food are at more risk than you are. Bears recognize things like ice chests and backpacks by sight now, and have been known to break into vehicles for an empty ice chest, or drag away a backpack even without food in it.

Quote

6. Will my ATT Blackberry work at the top of Half Dome or Clouds Rest? If possible, I’d like to give the family progress updates. And if they find someone with high powered binoculars or telescope maybe they can spot me.

There is reception in Tuolumne Meadows, on top of Half Dome, and probably on Clouds Rest. Reception at Curry as well. Otherwise you're out of range.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 10:04AM
chicago,

In mid to late August the crossing below Tenaya Lake is likely to be nothing other than a few flat stones sticking out of what is left of the stream. That's what it looked like in mid July of 2009. This year has more water but wer'e talking a month later.

Question: You are planning on doing over 20 miles (including the round trip to Half Dome) in 12 hours? Is this normal for you? No wonder you don't want to stop to filter water.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2011 10:07AM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 09:55AM
Tenaya Creek had ZERO water in it last year Aug 27, 2010.

5 Liters is just ridiculous. Get water from the pond or stream before clouds.
Then from Merced. Bring your filter.

For the love of ... you do not need spray or bear bells or bear wistle or anything.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 16, 2011 09:08PM
Thanks for sharing your photo sets. Ledge Trail is still on my to-do list.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 09:59AM
Thanks much!

1. I'm trying to figure out what to do at the beginning of the hike. I really don't want wet feet that early in the morning. Can I make it across barefoot?

4. The "5 liters" is so I don't have to filter. I'm suggesting 5 liters for the entire hike. For a backup, worse case scenario I was probably going with the chlorine tablets.

5. Gotcha on the Bear thing. Mostly I am teasing my wife. We've been to Yosemite dozens of times and she knows the drill on the food in cars. This trip we aren't even spending the night so no issues.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 10:49AM
You're gonna wanna stop and take a break. It only takes minutes to filter a couple liters.
My suggestion is to take 2 liters and then fill up 4 liters for over clouds and up HD.
1 liter = 2 pounds.
But, yeah, since you are dayhiking... it's not that much weight really.
What I did last year was Clouds->1/4->1/4->1/2->Liberty
If you don't mind a small bit o bush a whacking... 1/4's are worth it
and you save a little bit of elevation loss... then you can say you did a full-a-dome

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 10:27AM
20 miles in one day is doable, but only if you're in decent shape and somewhat acclimated to hiking at the altitude. Half Dome and Clouds Rest seems rather ambitious for 12 hours. You might not have enough time to actually soak in the views. You mentioned getting your feet wet in another post, but I'm thinking it won't be an issue that late in the season. Even if it is, perhaps some sort of waterproof membrane lined shoes (e.g. Gore-Tex) will help.

Carrying pepper spray is not legal. It's considered a "weapon", and other than firearms, weapons still aren't legal in Yosemite. Even personal defense pepper spray isn't legal in Yosemite.

Your phone will probably work at the peaks that you mentioned, although capacity can always be an issue. I've even encountered someone talking on the phone where I wouldn't have thought there was a line of sight to a cell phone tower.

Still - bring plenty of ibuprofen (or whatever you prefer), and be ready if it takes more than 12 hours. This will be really hard on the knees/hips, doing it in one day. The final part of your planned hike is almost all downhill and across some very hard surfaces.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 10:34AM
Quote
y_p_w
Carrying pepper spray is not legal. It's considered a "weapon", and other than firearms, weapons still aren't legal in Yosemite. Even personal defense pepper spray isn't legal in Yosemite.

Not that I have any desire to carry pepper spray in Yosemite (or anywhere else) but this strikes me as way up there on the bureaucratic idiocy scale (not on your part, y_p_w...I know you're just the messenger here): you can shoot somebody...just don't do anything that might sting them! confused smiley
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 11:47AM
Quote
DavidK42
Quote
y_p_w
Carrying pepper spray is not legal. It's considered a "weapon", and other than firearms, weapons still aren't legal in Yosemite. Even personal defense pepper spray isn't legal in Yosemite.

Not that I have any desire to carry pepper spray in Yosemite (or anywhere else) but this strikes me as way up there on the bureaucratic idiocy scale (not on your part, y_p_w...I know you're just the messenger here): you can shoot somebody...just don't do anything that might sting them! confused smiley

You hear reports of people getting nauseated by intentional or accidental pepper spray discharge. It's not exactly pleasant.

If Yosemite's current Superintendent wanted to make the carrying of bear spray legal, he could probably hold some public meetings and then decide to make it legal. As it is, why bother when Yosemite bears have rarely been physically aggressive.

Other weapons are illegal, including paintball guns and slingshots. I actually wish I had a slingshot (with plastic ammo) when a bear invaded a neighboring campsite. I'm not sure where the line is drawn with knives. People are using pocket knives all the time when backpacking or other knives when camping. I suppose there are clearly some types of knives that are clearly not meant as utility tools.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 11:54AM
Quote
y_p_w
I actually wish I had a slingshot (with plastic ammo) when a bear invaded a neighboring campsite.

Would you be picking up all that plastic when you were done? In my experience a whistle works very well. Just blow it will running towards the bear.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 12:17PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
y_p_w
I actually wish I had a slingshot (with plastic ammo) when a bear invaded a neighboring campsite.

Would you be picking up all that plastic when you were done? In my experience a whistle works very well. Just blow it will running towards the bear.

Probably. If I could find it. On second thought, there might be something more appropriate, such as clear paintball ammo. That's one of the tools that Yosemite bear hazing teams use, although they've got real paintball guns. It should be legal to have a slingshot ready in a Forest Service or BLM campground. Actually - the paintball gun would probably be legal too, as long as it's not being used wantonly to deface the landscape with colored paintballs.

We tried noise, rocks, etc. I did have bottled water, and maybe hitting it would have done the trick. They key was probably that the bear was already into the food, and nothing short of physical means (or the threat thereof) was going to make it leave. It left when the ranger arrived. That bear knew not to mess with her.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 04:50PM
Quote
y_p_w
We tried noise, rocks, etc. I did have bottled water, and maybe hitting it would have done the trick. They key was probably that the bear was already into the food, and nothing short of physical means (or the threat thereof) was going to make it leave. It left when the ranger arrived. That bear knew not to mess with her.


Paraphrasing, I believe, Mike (mrcondron):
'As far as the bears are concerned, possession is 100% of the law.'
(Note: as far as people are concerned, this means that you are actually holding it, not just nearby. Once the bear has it, it's his; don't try to get it back.)
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 10:47AM
I've done that same route over 2 days, and we're doing a very similar one again this summer, but starting from Cathedral Lakes trailhead instead of Tenaya Lake. Actually some family are flying out from Chicago to join us! We're breaking it into MUCH smaller days though - 6-9 miles per day. Bottom line - I have to agree that you're potentially being over-ambitious. You'll be coming from the lowest place in the U.S. up to 8000+ feet at the start - the altitude alone will kick your butt a bit. The switchbacks out of Tenaya Lake and then up to Half Dome are strenuous, and there are also many steep downhill sections along the way as noted above. If you want to try to wrap it all into one day though, just be ready to be hiking out in the dark. Have backup light sources, filter your water along the way to move light and fast, and don't sweat the bears - they're more of an issue in the big campgrounds than moving on the trail. Good luck!
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 12:46PM
I’ve got great hiking boots (Asolo Moran) but just heard some conflicting reports about possible “wading”. The hike is approximately 22 miles so I know I am biting off a lot. Unfortunately I can’t train much at altitude or hills (except I plan on hiking up and down building stairs with my pack) but otherwise am training like a marathon which I am skipping this year.

I plan a little bit of trail running---especially some sections of the first leg from Tenaya Lake to Clouds Rest and then down from Nevada Fall where I am very familiar with the territory. I want to make good time there so I can spend some quality time just soaking in the view. And the time frame is largely why I didn’t want to spend time filtering. I am also used to carrying lots of water because I am always the camel for dayhikes with the family---they make me carry everything (in some sections even carrying them!). It is worth it though---there was nothing like having my wife and young kids on top of Yosemite Falls with me. I do plan on carrying backup items such as headlamp and extra warm clothes—just in case. Although, my family will have to go on to Fresno without me if I don’t make it!

I am very intrigued about the Quarter Dome bushwhack. In perusing this forum I thought I remembered someone referring to the route from Clouds Rest to Half Dome via Quarter Domes and I loved the idea but haven’t found much info. Can you provide more details? Is it a “shortcut” of sorts? It isn’t that I’ll be in that much of a hurry but I do need to make sure it won’t take much more time. And I have done bushwhacking before and really would prefer that route if I can get comfortable with the idea that I won’t get lost and need to backtrack.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 01:36PM
Aug 27th, 2010

Tenaya Creek Crossing:




Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 01:49PM
w/r to 1/4 Dome route.

Here's a thread with map:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,29842,29842#msg-29842

As you are coming down just don't take the BIG switchback... just keep going straight.
You'll get this view:


You can stay close to the edge and it's pretty cool.
Should look something like this:


It is steep... but use your poles. Stay in shrub-ish or use the blocks to work your way down.
IMO it's not that bad. YMMV. Don't yell at me if you don't like or it gets too steep for you.

After going up both 1/4's just stay close to the edge and you will run into less shrub.

To the west of the western 1/4 is another little gem you may want to go out on.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 02:03PM
I think I can manage to stay dry through that...

Is there any significance to the line of rocks in the middle of the photo? And is that a trailhead mileage sign in the upper middle of the photo?

By the way, I intend on arriving at Lee Vining the day before the hike and spending the night there. I show about 30 minutes from Lee Vining to Tenaya Lake so I hope to scope the trail out the mid-afternoon before the early morning beginning of my hike.

A few more questions:

1. Any suggestions on where to stay in Lee Vining? family of four, we won't be there long so it doesn't need to be nice
2. I should know this but how early do you think I can start?----what time will there be a smidgen of daylight? Earlier the better because we have to finish the drive to Fresno that night.
3. Family has done the Mirror Lake horse trip in Yosemite Valley----I've heard the horse rides and views in Tuolumne are even better? Thoughts?

I really appreciate this kind of resource. I hope I'm not asking too many questions. I'll definitely post a trip report when I get back.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 02:10PM
Quote
chicagocwright
1. Any suggestions on where to stay in Lee Vining? family of four, we won't be there long so it doesn't need to be nice

Camping or lodging?
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 02:18PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
chicagocwright
1. Any suggestions on where to stay in Lee Vining? family of four, we won't be there long so it doesn't need to be nice

Camping or lodging?

Lodging. We travel too light to camp. Likely will fly with carry-ons only.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 17, 2011 12:02AM
I prefer staying at Murphey's Motel in Lee Vining. A no frills motel, but the rooms are clean, with good bedding, good working bathrooms, and the staff is friendly. The Lake View Lodge is another option in Lee Vining. The rooms are decent, but it's pricier than Murphey's Motel, and I don't think there's anything about it that's worth the extra cost.

If you haven't been there before, I would recommend that your family stop by the Lee Vining Mobil service station for a meal (lunch or dinner). It actually has a nice deli (The Whoa Nellie Deli) inside its convenience store. Excellent meals at a very reasonable price.

If you don't mind a pricier lodging option, up Hwy 120, quite close to the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite National Park, is the Tioga Pass Resort. You can stay overnight in one of their cabins or motel rooms. A bit more rustic and pricey than the motel options at Lee Vining. OTOH, it will help you get acclimated to the Yosemite's high country elevation.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2011 11:06PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 17, 2011 12:50PM
Quote
plawrence
I would recommend that your family stop by the Lee Vining Mobil service station

And stop by the Lee Vining Chevron to see the highest prices for gas short of Bridgeport.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 17, 2011 12:59PM
If you pull into the Lee Vining Mobil ( aka the Whoa Nellie Deli ) I'd suggest you also check out the vista point just past it at the top of the hill.
It has one of the best views of the Mono Lake basin!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2011 01:02PM by qumqats.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 02:15PM
I REALLY want to do the Quarterdome hike but have a ton more questions. I'm going to do more research, check my map before I bombard you more. Thanks much for these pictures. But what about my biggest question: will it take more time than the trail or is it a shortcut?
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 02:17PM
The rocks are for walking on when there is a little bit of a stream present and also to mark the trail. This photo is typical of August. Two months earlier it will be a fast runnung 3' deep!

I personnally recommend Murphy's Motel in Lee Vining.

Plan for at least 45 minutes from Lee Vining to Tenaya Lake. From Lee Vining to the park entrance you will climb Tioga Pass which in many places is not built for high speed. Once inside the park you have well enforced speed limits, particularly in the Tuolumne Meadows to Tenaya Lake area.

As for checking out the trail ahead of time, the second half of the first 2.5 miles is a steep switchback up to the Sunrise Lakes junction.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 02:23PM
I would get up and going as soon as convenient. The earliest place in town to get breakfast opens at 6:00AM. It's called Nicely's. The Sun will up by that hour in Lee Vining. If you don't care about breakfast you can get started earlier and your family can get breakfast at the little take-out resturant at Tuolumne Meadows after they drop you off at Tenaya Lake. If you hit the park real early there may not be anybody at the entrance gate and you would pay upon exit from the park.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2011 02:27PM by tomdisco.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 02:41PM
Quote
tomdisco
I would get up and going as soon as convenient. The earliest place in town to get breakfast opens at 6:00AM. It's called Nicely's. The Sun will up by that hour in Lee Vining. If you don't care about breakfast you can get started earlier and your family can get breakfast at the little take-out resturant at Tuolumne Meadows after they drop you off at Tenaya Lake. If you hit the park real early there may not be anybody at the entrance gate and you would pay upon exit from the park.

By the way, I should have asked but I am assuming Lee Vining is the closest place I can stay for my early morning start. Google maps says 28.5 miles. 33 minutes.

There is no way I'm waiting until after breakfast. I literally would like to be on the trail at the crack of daylight. Even with a 5:00 am start, if I make it in 12 hours, I still have almost 3 hours to Mom and Dads in Fresno. I'm hoping for fresh strawberries in the jacuzzi that evening--if everything goes well by 11 pm.

If we go in the day before, I'll pay then. I may just get the Annual Pass covering Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Yosemite.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 06:26PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Quote
tomdisco
I would get up and going as soon as convenient. The earliest place in town to get breakfast opens at 6:00AM. It's called Nicely's. The Sun will up by that hour in Lee Vining. If you don't care about breakfast you can get started earlier and your family can get breakfast at the little take-out resturant at Tuolumne Meadows after they drop you off at Tenaya Lake. If you hit the park real early there may not be anybody at the entrance gate and you would pay upon exit from the park.

By the way, I should have asked but I am assuming Lee Vining is the closest place I can stay for my early morning start. Google maps says 28.5 miles. 33 minutes.

There is no way I'm waiting until after breakfast. I literally would like to be on the trail at the crack of daylight. Even with a 5:00 am start, if I make it in 12 hours, I still have almost 3 hours to Mom and Dads in Fresno. I'm hoping for fresh strawberries in the jacuzzi that evening--if everything goes well by 11 pm.

If we go in the day before, I'll pay then. I may just get the Annual Pass covering Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Yosemite.

Yes, Lee Vining would be the closest practical place to stay for lodging a family traveling by car. As for Google maps, it is telling you that you can travel this distance at nearly a mile a minute, or 60 MPH. Speed limit in Lee Vining is 25; limit in the park where you are going ranges between 25 and 45; limit up Tioga Pass I think is 50 but 50 is not possible part of the way, especially if you get behind somebody where there may be no place to pass.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 06:41PM
I did this hike last September. I took the hiker's bus up from the Valley. Looking at the time stamps on my photos...

Stepped off near Tenaya Lake around 10:30 am, Cloud's Rest 1:40 pm, base of Half Dome cables around 4:40 pm (I did not go up, which is a story unto itself), Vernal Falls at 7:20 pm, and no pictures of Happy Isles, so I'm not sure when I finished but it couldn't have been too much later. My pace wasn't too crazy, since I was taking pictures most of the time. It was a fantastic trek.


Half Dome and Cloud's Rest from Tenaya Lake -- day hike by urbandispute, on Flickr



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2011 06:52PM by bbb.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 07:22PM
Quote
bbb
I did this hike last September. I took the hiker's bus up from the Valley. Looking at the time stamps on my photos...

Stepped off near Tenaya Lake around 10:30 am, Half Dome cables around 4:40 pm (I did not go up, which is a story unto itself), Vernal Falls at 7:20 pm, and no pictures of Happy Isles, so I'm not sure when I finished but it couldn't have been too much later. My pace wasn't too crazy, since I was taking pictures most of the time. It was a fantastic trek.

I really am not trying to be too aggresive but I think my 12 hour goal is conservative. I want to hike fast and enjoy the views while I am stopped. Will also be taking lots of pictures. Looks like your trek was only 9 hours plus Vernal to Happy Isles. If that pace is right I'll probably spend at least an hour on top of Clouds Rest and Half Dome each.

I definitely won't try to be making up time on the road. 45 minutes it is. I almost thought the family might go back to the hotel after dropping me off so early but that is a little longer trek than I was thinking. I wish I could figure out an alternative ride to Tenaya Lake from the hotel that morning. But my wife won't let me hitchhike.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 09:04PM
If you're in decent shape and don't bonk at elevation 12 hours should be plenty.
Enjoy the journey and the destinations. You have other options around Clouds:
- Go to the top of Clouds and almost over where you start back down,
turn around and then come back towards Sunrise Lakes and take the
"horse trail" down... you look up at the face of Clouds from the SE-ish..
pretty cool
- Go complete over and then go check out the Pinnacles (I need to do this one)
Atop Half Dome:
- check out the "Kings Chair"
- start going down the West side - and check out the Snake Dike - really cool

Enjoy



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 16, 2011 09:52AM
Quote
chick-on
If you're in decent shape and don't bonk at elevation 12 hours should be plenty.
Enjoy the journey and the destinations. You have other options around Clouds:
- Go to the top of Clouds and almost over where you start back down,
turn around and then come back towards Sunrise Lakes and take the
"horse trail" down... you look up at the face of Clouds from the SE-ish..
pretty cool
- Go complete over and then go check out the Pinnacles (I need to do this one)
Atop Half Dome:
- check out the "Kings Chair"
- start going down the West side - and check out the Snake Dike - really cool

Enjoy

I'll definitely be at Kings Chair. And maybe one day I'll hook back up with my friends who had the equipment necessary to climb Snake Dike.

Very cool indeed.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 16, 2011 10:41AM
Quote
chicagocwright
I'll definitely be at Kings Chair. And maybe one day I'll hook back up with my friends who had the equipment necessary to climb Snake Dike.

Very cool indeed.

Go in the "cave". You'll be right there.

As for the Snake Dike... What I meant is that from the top you can hike down the west side
a bit and check it out some. I think I went down a couple hundred feet when I did that
at which point had snacks in peace and decided the more I climbed down... the more I had
to go back up.

ala:


Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 06:43PM
Speed limit in Lee Vining is 30...used to be 35 until last year (assuming we're talking about 395). As for 120, I think the probability of getting behind someone in a place where one can't pass is key, but if he really wants to leave Lee Vining by 5:30 AM then that risk may be low. A bigger risk may be the sharper turns that appear above, about, 8000'. Speed limit in the park is 45, with stretches of 25 and 35 (the latter, lengthy) through Tuolumne (with quite a few barely-off-the-road parked vehicles along the west end of the meadow). I think it drops back to 35 just before Tenaya as well.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2011 06:45PM by ttilley.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 17, 2011 12:17AM
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
chicagocwright
Quote
tomdisco
I would get up and going as soon as convenient. The earliest place in town to get breakfast opens at 6:00AM. It's called Nicely's. The Sun will up by that hour in Lee Vining. If you don't care about breakfast you can get started earlier and your family can get breakfast at the little take-out resturant at Tuolumne Meadows after they drop you off at Tenaya Lake. If you hit the park real early there may not be anybody at the entrance gate and you would pay upon exit from the park.

By the way, I should have asked but I am assuming Lee Vining is the closest place I can stay for my early morning start. Google maps says 28.5 miles. 33 minutes.

There is no way I'm waiting until after breakfast. I literally would like to be on the trail at the crack of daylight. Even with a 5:00 am start, if I make it in 12 hours, I still have almost 3 hours to Mom and Dads in Fresno. I'm hoping for fresh strawberries in the jacuzzi that evening--if everything goes well by 11 pm.

If we go in the day before, I'll pay then. I may just get the Annual Pass covering Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Yosemite.

Yes, Lee Vining would be the closest practical place to stay for lodging a family traveling by car.

Actually the Tioga Pass Resort on Hwy 120 (about two miles from Yosemite's Tioga Pass park entrance) would be the closest lodging option. But it would also be the priciest.

avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 06:48PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Quote
tomdisco
I would get up and going as soon as convenient. The earliest place in town to get breakfast opens at 6:00AM. It's called Nicely's. The Sun will up by that hour in Lee Vining. If you don't care about breakfast you can get started earlier and your family can get breakfast at the little take-out resturant at Tuolumne Meadows after they drop you off at Tenaya Lake. If you hit the park real early there may not be anybody at the entrance gate and you would pay upon exit from the park.

By the way, I should have asked but I am assuming Lee Vining is the closest place I can stay for my early morning start. Google maps says 28.5 miles. 33 minutes.

There is no way I'm waiting until after breakfast. I literally would like to be on the trail at the crack of daylight. Even with a 5:00 am start, if I make it in 12 hours, I still have almost 3 hours to Mom and Dads in Fresno. I'm hoping for fresh strawberries in the jacuzzi that evening--if everything goes well by 11 pm.

If we go in the day before, I'll pay then. I may just get the Annual Pass covering Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Yosemite.

Foresta might be an option, although it's about 40 miles to Tenaya Lake. if you don't already know, Foresta is an inholding located East of Yosemite Valley, which has some pricey cabin rentals.

The absolute closest lodging to Tenaya Lake other than inside Yosemite would probably be the following:

http://www.tiogapassresort.com/yosemite.shtml

One mile from the entrance, although I've heard it may be difficult reserving. Apparently they don't have a regular phone (a sattelite phone only?) and typically take reservations via email. They also haven't updated their rates on their website since 2006.

Your other options may be the first-come first served campsites outside the Tioga Pass entrance on Forest Service land. Not sure how easy it would be to get a site or whether your party is willing to camp.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 06:50PM
The National Park Traveler had a 2009 article on the Tioga Pass Resort:

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/10/lodging-parks-tioga-pass-resort4687

Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 10, 2011 02:14PM
A friend of mine and his two sons did this route last year in August to celebrate his 70th birthday. I think it was 13-14 hours. I had advised them to bushwhack from the bottom of the switchbacks near the Q-Domes to the HD trail, which they did (no complaints). You could check that out on topos and Google Earth. I backpacked Tenaya L. to Q-domes and back a few days after their trip and did an early morning bushwhack across and climb of HD and back to Q-domes. It saves some elevation and distance rather than staying on the trail. The stream crossing was just a few stepping stones.

Regarding water, noone has mentioned the spring (Is it a secret?) below the set of 12 switchbacks below the Pinnacles. It is shown on some topos. Cold and sweet and requires no filtering (IMHO). You need a cup to dip from the small dugout pool.

Hiking Poles? You know your knees better than anyone, but those long downhill steps below Clouds Rest, Sub-dome, and Nevada Fall are hard on my old knees without poles.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 10:17AM
Quote
Strix
A friend of mine and his two sons did this route last year in August to celebrate his 70th birthday. I think it was 13-14 hours. I had advised them to bushwhack from the bottom of the switchbacks near the Q-Domes to the HD trail, which they did (no complaints). You could check that out on topos and Google Earth. I backpacked Tenaya L. to Q-domes and back a few days after their trip and did an early morning bushwhack across and climb of HD and back to Q-domes. It saves some elevation and distance rather than staying on the trail. The stream crossing was just a few stepping stones.

Where do you hook back up on the Half Dome Trail coming from the Quarter Domes?
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 10:54AM
Sir, if I may say so...
If you open the link that was pointed to above you will see a map with an explanation.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 08:12AM
Regarding the hiking poles, a group of eight of us have hiked parts of the High Sierra Camps loop the past two years in August and each time unanimously voted poles were well worth taking. We also each carry no more than two liters at any one time, and carry a filter that weighs much less than another liter of water. Pumping/filtering takes little time. One ranger told us last year the only water he carries is in his stomach. When he is thirsty he stops and pumps a liter. Of course he knows all too well where the water sources are also.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 08:38AM
Well I'll do some training mileage with various amounts and see how it feels. I have a three liter Osprey reservoir system that fits in my pack. If I take that I also need a one liter nalgene bottle to use for filtering. So I am already at 4 liters there. Since I was thinking 5 liters for the whole trip my original plan was just one more liter Nalgene with gatorade instead of water. I know that is a ton of weight so I may need to reconsider as I haven't found anyone that likes my plan of carrying 5 liters.

Myabe my estimate of needing 5 liters for the whole trip is off?
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 05:15PM
You can travel most anywhere across there, but as Chick-on said, the easiest going is along the canyon edge. You can't miss the HD trail (unless you fall into the canyon). My switchback route takes you past the spring (which was important for me), but makes the Q-domes out of the way. Chick-on's steep route goes direct to Q-dome but misses the spring. His map (middle of page 1) with red lined GPS tracks shows multiple routes. Have a great hike.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 07:14PM
We also talked about Water Sources here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,32423,32423#msg-32423

The map in that thread could be augmented to contain sources like the
Half Dome Spring and Clouds Rest Spring.
Later in the year they may become less reliable though.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 08:20PM
Thank you guys again so much for all this information. Much for me to consider regarding Quarter Dome. At that point in the hike I will how adventurous I feel about some bushwhacking.

"unless you fall into the canyon"
At least I might have extra water!

And speaking of bears on the other forum, how often are bears seen during long day hikes like this? I would love to get a shot with my camera. Don't really expect it though.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 09:31PM
I doubt you will see any bears on that route until maybe Little Yosemite Valley. Your best bet is on the valley floor at night. Put some peanut butter on someones car door and sit back and watch.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 09:32PM
Quote
mrcondron
Put some peanut butter on someones car door and sit back and watch.

Door? I thought the peanut butter is supposed to go on the generator.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 11, 2011 09:38PM
I've slept through the nightly ranger chase through Curry Village tents a few nights. I suppose I could hang outside for a while or put peanut butter on my neighbors doorstep. I just don't quite have the heart to do that. Ofcourse, after leaving some sort of food in the tent cabin during one day we came back to a scattered mess from a squirrel who managed to find a hole in the floor. And the squirrels at Vernal Fall will practically take your backpack from you as you sit down to rest.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/11/2011 09:40PM by chicagocwright.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 12, 2011 05:17PM
all this talk about liters of water, camelbacks, stopping to filter and wasting time.....if time is of the essence, then ....

just finish off your current single bottle, and without hardly missing a beat, just scoop up a new liter at a stream, pop in a Micropur tablet
http://www.amazon.com/Katadyn-MicroPur-Purification-Tablets-Choice/dp/B000R2ND6O
and let it work for an hour. Tasteless. Yes, 1 hr is minimum, and 4 hrs is for "the works" but with my umpteen liters consumed ...no problem.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 12, 2011 06:13PM
The SteriPEN takes 90 seconds per liter Nalgene bottle, and in my experience does a great job of preserving the taste of mountain water. Which leaves me with a variety of options...I use filters in places like Henry Coe SP's ponds/"lakes" where the water otherwise tastes skunky, as well as glacial outflow where I'd otherwise be chewing the water, as well as places like Isle Royale where the water has stuff living in it that other options don't kill. The SteriPEN gets extensive use in the Sierra, and anywhere else I go in the west. My MIOX is now relegated to less-than-clear-but-otherwise-decent waters like those of the Boundary Waters.

Anyway, in Yosemite the SteriPEN would allow for fairly quick water treatment without having to carry amounts of water more appropriate for the desert.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 27, 2011 07:39AM
I will have faith in the steripen when I can go out hiking and NOT be asked to filter water for them when it doesn't work!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 27, 2011 07:45AM
Quote
AlmostThere
I will have faith in the steripen when I can go out hiking and NOT be asked to filter water for them when it doesn't work!

I hear you. Have one... and it is finicky. Key is batteries. Take an extra set. Always.
My story is the opposite. Old Dude clogged his filter almost immediately at Cath. Pass pond and we used my Steripen on the trip...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 12, 2011 11:03PM
Quote
h_lankford
all this talk about liters of water, camelbacks, stopping to filter and wasting time.....if time is of the essence, then ....

just finish off your current single bottle, and without hardly missing a beat, just scoop up a new liter at a stream, pop in a Micropur tablet
http://www.amazon.com/Katadyn-MicroPur-Purification-Tablets-Choice/dp/B000R2ND6O
and let it work for an hour. Tasteless. Yes, 1 hr is minimum, and 4 hrs is for "the works" but with my umpteen liters consumed ...no problem.

I used those back in 2007. I didn't find them tasteless at all. The taste was funky and it leaves the water with a distinct yellowish tinge. It smelled somewhat like chlorinated pool water. I did have a 1 gallon plastic bottle that I left overnight with it, followed by leaving it in sunlight for the remainder of the day while I went out. After that, the color had nearly faded away and the chlorine taste was less perceptible.

I'm not sure how long it really takes. They've had various recommendations over the years. Now they have a blanket 4-hour disinfection period, which I'm sure is only required for cryptosporidium. It's probably about 30 minutes for giardia cysts and less than 15 for bacteria and viruses.

BTW - my tablets were labeled as made in Spain.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 24, 2011 10:19PM
I have reservations at Murphey's. Thank you.

I've also tried to get contact with Tioga Pass Resort but apparently they only accept reservations by email. I am kind of assuming they are full. It would have been nice to be there for elevation acclimation.

Also, my family has to drop me off at the trailhead VERY early in the morning unless I somehow figure out another way to Tenaya Lake at the break of dawn. I'm thinking about milling around the hotel lobby that evening and seeing if I can spot any other hikers that may be headed out early so my family can sleep in----just a little at least!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 24, 2011 11:01PM
There's isn't much of a hotel lobby at Murphey's Motel, but there's a pretty nice outdoor patio deck between the parking lot and the highway. You might find some would be hikers enjoying the evening over there.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 25, 2011 07:02AM
Quote
chicagocwright
I have reservations at Murphey's. Thank you.

I've also tried to get contact with Tioga Pass Resort but apparently they only accept reservations by email. I am kind of assuming they are full. It would have been nice to be there for elevation acclimation.

Lee Vining's around 6,700 feet in elevation, not as much acclimation as if you were at Tioga Pass Resort, but it'll work.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 26, 2011 08:45PM
My planned trip is approaching. Reservations at Tioga Pass Resort.

The consensus a couple months ago was that the Tenaya Lake Crossing would be dry on August 23. Has anyone changed their mind? I'm doing it either way but do want to be prepared for a wet crossing if it is remotely possible in late August!!!

The pictures posted and trip reports have been amazing. I can't wait to post my report! I can't decide if I should be more excited about Clouds Rest or Half Dome.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 04:35PM
Quote
chicagocwright
The consensus a couple months ago was that the Tenaya Lake Crossing would be dry on August 23.
IMO it was a yawner last Tuesday.... It won't matter if it's dry by then or not... b/c by then the rocks to walk across will be showing...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
May 25, 2011 08:53AM
I've never, ever seen a wet crossing of Tenaya Lake in late August. And I usually hike Clouds Rest 3-4 times every August for may decades. You'll just have the stones and a dry bed.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 03:10PM
I sent my scout team for my hike in three weeks.

My parents, who live in Fresno, embarked on an early morning trip to Tenaya Lake. They hiked almost to the Sunrise Lake junction.

Report:
---Tenaya Lake outlet almost knee deep water
They crossed with river shoes
---Second creek crossing was not quite as deep
They crossed barefoot on sand
--Third Creek Crossing they rock hopped and used a log

They didn't bring bug spray and the mosquitoes ate them up. They are on their way back to Fresno now.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 03:12PM
Quote
chicagocwright
They didn't bring bug spray and the mosquitoes ate them up.

But at least it wasn't the biting flies that were eating me this week.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 03:33PM
Quote
eeek

But at least it wasn't the biting flies that were eating me this week.


You forgot your bug spray too?
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 03:45PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
eeek

But at least it wasn't the biting flies that were eating me this week.


You forgot your bug spray too?

No, but it didn't seem to bother the flies much.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 03:20PM
They are both very familiar with the biting black flies. My mom is native to New Hampshire.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 03:53PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Finally a non-Yosemite related travel question. We are renting a car in Phoenix and dropping it off in Fresno (will spend a few days there with family). I’ve done one way rentals before but this time every rental car I can find is charging an exorbitant one way fee-up to $500. Anyone know of a way around this? Anyone want to drive a car from Fresno to Phoenix for me for $100?

Wow, can't believe I didn't notice this part of the question when it was first posted!

No, I don't want to go to either Fresno or Phoenix. However, I've done open-jaw itineraries and for future reference...if you experiment a bit on car rental reservation sites, you might find city combinations that don't result in a drop fee. Look for both cities rental agencies being corporate owned and not franchisee owned. Get the air ticket after finding city-pair combinations that work for the car.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 04:32PM
Quote
ttilley
Quote
chicagocwright
Finally a non-Yosemite related travel question. We are renting a car in Phoenix and dropping it off in Fresno (will spend a few days there with family). I’ve done one way rentals before but this time every rental car I can find is charging an exorbitant one way fee-up to $500. Anyone know of a way around this? Anyone want to drive a car from Fresno to Phoenix for me for $100?

Wow, can't believe I didn't notice this part of the question when it was first posted!

No, I don't want to go to either Fresno or Phoenix. However, I've done open-jaw itineraries and for future reference...if you experiment a bit on car rental reservation sites, you might find city combinations that don't result in a drop fee. Look for both cities rental agencies being corporate owned and not franchisee owned. Get the air ticket after finding city-pair combinations that work for the car.

Thanks. I found something reasonable by doing a pickup away from the Phoenix airport---in Glendale I think. It's not far away, I will take a cab or something.

You probably didn't notice because I asked so many questions. I just can't believe it is about August and the outlet is still knee high water. No one here predicted that. It really isn't a problem---I just needed to know what to expect to be prepared. I've been running and climbing stairs in my office building. I'll be as ready as I can be without being able to replicate the elevation.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 04:55PM
But as my parents said, like only a mom could, if I fall off the rock, then I am all wet, pack and all.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
July 30, 2011 04:56PM
Of course those rocks would BY FAR be the best place to fall off a rock considering the others rocks I am visiting later in the day...
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 04, 2011 10:03AM
Just stayed in TM and drove down to Lee Vining twice (and back up once) It's not even close to 45 mins, 30 mins TOPS. I videod the entire drive down, starting just past Tioga lake and took 10:45 to get to the Mobile Station.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2011 10:05AM by hotrod4x5.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 04, 2011 03:58PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Just stayed in TM and drove down to Lee Vining twice (and back up once) It's not even close to 45 mins, 30 mins TOPS.

It depends on what you get stuck behind.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 04, 2011 04:11PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
hotrod4x5

Just stayed in TM and drove down to Lee Vining twice (and back up once) It's not even close to 45 mins, 30 mins TOPS.

It depends on what you get stuck behind.

I've found that there's more than enough places on Hwy 120 between Tioga Pass and Lee Vining where one can legally and safely pass slow moving vehicles that I'm not unduly impeded by slower traffic on that stretch of Hwy 120. I find it pretty easy to travel at (or slightly below) the posted speed limit. I don't think it has ever taken me more than 20 minutes once I've turned off Hwy 395 to get near the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite. (I say near, because there's times when traffic backups by that entrance of the park, so if I hit that backup, I could be waiting up to 15 minutes to get into the park.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/04/2011 04:20PM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 04, 2011 04:15PM
Quote
plawrence
I've found that there's more than enough places on Hwy 120 between Tioga Pass and Lee Vining where one can legally and safely pass slow moving vehicles that I'm not unduly impeded by slower traffic on that stretch of Hwy 120.

That usually works. But I've been caught a few times where I just couldn't get around.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 15, 2011 03:28PM
Quote
chicagocwright
I am traveling with my family of four from Chicago in August. We are flying into Phoenix, visiting the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, a night in Las Vegas, Death Valley, and most importantly, Yosemite.

The relevant portion of the trip begins with my family dropping me off early morning at Tenaya Lake. They will spend some time at Tuolumne and then drive around to the valley picking me up about 12 hours later. I am planning a day hike to top of Clouds Rest, Half Dome (I have a permit!) and then down to the Valley.

I have solicitations for suggestions and thoughts:

1. Will (or could) the trail beginning at Tenaya Lake still require a “wet” crossing August 23?
2. What is the best advice on gauging weather the day before and day of the trip? I suppose the main concern would be thunderstorms but those don’t develop until afternoon so it seems like I probably will make it to Clouds Rest without a problem and access Half Dome like everyone else does later in the afternoon.
3. I know it is personal preference but any thoughts on Hiking Poles? I have a very nice pair I bought at a REI garage sale but can’t decide if I am taking them or not.
4. Water: I am considering carrying 5 liters (HEAVY) and then some type of backup system. I have a 3 liter CamelPack that fits in my backpack and considered taking two Nalgenes. I also have an MSR Hyperflow Filter but reconsidering taking it because of time required to pump and filter.
5. I think I have convinced my wife that the Bears in Yosemite do not eat people. I have a Bear whistle but she has thoughts of the Denali Bears that hunt animals such as moose and remembers the rangers there who suggested Bear “guns”---strong pepper spray for hikes.
6. Will my ATT Blackberry work at the top of Half Dome or Clouds Rest? If possible, I’d like to give the family progress updates. And if they find someone with high powered binoculars or telescope maybe they can spot me.

Finally a non-Yosemite related travel question. We are renting a car in Phoenix and dropping it off in Fresno (will spend a few days there with family). I’ve done one way rentals before but this time every rental car I can find is charging an exorbitant one way fee-up to $500. Anyone know of a way around this? Anyone want to drive a car from Fresno to Phoenix for me for $100?

My trip is in one week! I can't wait. Thought I would provide a pre-trip report with answers to my questions. I will be back with pictures and a post trip report! I leave for Phoenix on Friday. Drive to Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, one night in Vegas, Death Valley, Bishop then Yosemite.

1. It appears by all accounts August 23 will indeed be a "wet" crossing. Simply amazing. I don't think anyone got this question right.
2. Already looking at week ahead forecasts which don't mean much. Mostly I am "concerned" about smoke. You guys have any predictions (guesses) on whether the fire smoke will be cleared up by then?
3. I am going with the hiking poles!
4. I am carrying 4 liters (or at least 2.5 - 3 in my 3L Osprey Reservoir and another 1L Nalgene bottle to filter with). Also taking an MSR HyperFlow Filter.
5. No worries about bears. I do have a bear whistle.
6. Just got a Signal Mirror to help my family spotters from Olmsted and the Valley (and maybe Glacier Point)
7. I found a decent one way rental rate by going to Glendale (away from Phoenix Airport)

Also packing beef jerky, peanut M&Ms, and twinkies, a little bit of candy, headlamp, National Geographic Map #206, fleece, REI Ultrathon Mosquito Repellent, extra set of shoelaces, maybe extra set of socks, Sony Camera, knife. Wearing Asolo Fugitive Boots. I'm pretty sure my Gregory Z40 Pack will be less than 20 pounds (even with the water)

Other notes and questions asked:
--I am spending the night at Tioga Pass Resort (originally chose Murphey's because TPR was so hard to track down but my parents gave my name to the nice folks at TPR back in June who contacted me and set everything up)
--Original plan was for my wife and kids to drop me off at Tenaya Lake and drive around to the valley. Unfortunately, my wife broke her arm. Instead of attempting one arm Tioga Pass driving my parents are coming and my dad will drop me off at the Tenaya Lake trailhead and parents will drive them around.

One last question: Dawn is listed at about 5:45 that day. Is that a good indication of when I can hike without a light?
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 15, 2011 03:43PM
Quote
chicagocwright
One last question: Dawn is listed at about 5:45 that day. Is that a good indication of when I can hike without a light?

Dawn at Tuolumne Meadows on 8/23 is 6:19. Using This Site, which I've found to be pretty accurate.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 15, 2011 04:21PM
I still stand by this:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,35468,43173#msg-43173

Any weather site should show you sunrise/sunset, moonrise, etc.
YV listed as 6:21.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 15, 2011 05:34PM
Quote
chicagocwright


Also packing beef jerky, peanut M&Ms, and twinkies, a little bit of candy, headlamp, National Geographic Map #206, fleece, REI Ultrathon Mosquito Repellent, extra set of shoelaces, maybe extra set of socks, Sony Camera, knife. Wearing Asolo Fugitive Boots. I'm pretty sure my Gregory Z40 Pack will be less than 20 pounds (even with the water)

I like to carry a large garbage bag (40 gallon)-- makes for great pad for midday nap, use as emergency shelter, cut holes for raincoat, etc.

Quote

One last question: Dawn is listed at about 5:45 that day. Is that a good indication of when I can hike without a light?

Usually there is sufficient ambient light 30 minutes before sunrise to function without a light, depending on local conditions.


If you can scope out the trailhead the night before, that may be helpful. Also, visit Olmstead Point (just down the road from Tenaya Lake) with your family prior to your departure (will be able to see Half Dome) if circumstances allow.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 15, 2011 05:56PM
Quote
Frank Furter
If you can scope out the trailhead the night before, that may be helpful. Also, visit Olmstead Point (just down the road from Tenaya Lake) with your family prior to your departure (will be able to see Half Dome) if circumstances allow.

Will do. Plan on spending Sunday night in Bishop somewhere. Driving from there to Yosemite so I may even do the crossing with the family and hike just a tiny bit in. Definitely going to Olmstead Point (I'm not even sure I have ever been there---if so a long time ago). We will also spend some time in the Meadows.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 15, 2011 08:52PM
Quote
chicagocwright

5. No worries about bears. I do have a bear whistle.

Too bad no one has invented an effective marmot whistle (or repellant). Marmots will most likely be the mammals that end up being the biggest nuisance on your hike.


Quote
chicagocwright

Also packing beef jerky, peanut M&Ms, and twinkies, a little bit of candy, headlamp, National Geographic Map #206, fleece, REI Ultrathon Mosquito Repellent, extra set of shoelaces, maybe extra set of socks, Sony Camera, knife.

Don't forget the Cheetos®.


Quote
chicagocwright

One last question: Dawn is listed at about 5:45 that day. Is that a good indication of when I can hike without a light?

The start of civil twilight is listed as 5:50 AM PDT on August 23rd for Tuolumne Meadows. Barring heavy overcast skies, there should be sufficient light at that time to travel without a light.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 24, 2011 12:39PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Quote
chicagocwright
Other notes and questions asked:
--I am spending the night at Tioga Pass Resort (originally chose Murphey's because TPR was so hard to track down but my parents gave my name to the nice folks at TPR back in June who contacted me and set everything up)

Be sure to sample some pie at TPR - it's the best!

Berry-Peach cobbler:

Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 15, 2011 05:15PM
I am trying to be over-specific with "sun" rise and figure out what time it will be where I can see good enough to hike. Twilight 5:52, Sunrise 6:19

By the way Chick-On I am skipping the Quarter Domes and staying on the trail between Clouds Rest and Half Dome. Wife and parents were nervous about the "bushwhacking".
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 05:52AM
"Barring heavy overcast skies"

I should say so! If so, I have MUCH bigger problems than daylight.

But in the spirit of contingencies, if it is heavy overcast do I hike at all? And skip Clouds Rest and Half Dome if clouds are still threatening on arrival?
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 07:22AM
You're unlikely to see storm clouds threatening at 5:50 AM next Tuesday, there was a weird early-season front bring light snow to the high country late August last year, but it was weird and in any case it was still mostly clear first thing in the AM. Anyway, the NWS forecast is looking good through next Monday, by this afternoon it'll include Tuesday. NWS Tuolumne Meadows Forecast. If there were storm clouds at 5:50 AM, as I understand your hike someone's dropping you off at the lake and leaving for the valley, meaning your only bailout is to take the TM Shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows and catch YARTS in the evening. Might be more fun in that case to spend the day in the Valley w/ your family. But I really don't think its a likely thing to worry about.

If vertical cumulus is threatening in the afternoon, yes, stay off Clouds Rest and Half Dome.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 08:52AM
EXACTLY one week from right now I should be at or getting very close to the Peak of Clouds Rest.

It seems as though the potential of storms is very improbable until at least after the Clouds Rest portion of my hike. So I think I probably will be getting to Half Dome right about the same time as most of the Day Hikers from the Valley (early afternoon) and make the same assessment they make. I certainly would not want to backtrack to Tenaya Lake.

I plan on hiking very fast but spending a considerable amount of time on top of both Clouds Rest and Half Dome. I'm still guessing 12 hours total.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 09:02AM
Quote
chicagocwright
I am traveling with my family of four from Chicago in August. We are flying into Phoenix, visiting the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, a night in Las Vegas, Death Valley, and most importantly, Yosemite.


FYI:
Phoenix:
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=33.46810795527896&lon=-112.1044921875&site=vef&unit=0&lg=en&FcstType=text
Death Valley:
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=36.477619571094515&lon=-116.87667846679687&site=vef&smap=1&marine=0&unit=0&lg=en



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/16/2011 09:04AM by szalkowski.
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 09:14AM
Oh yes, I've been checking those as well. And I am disappointed in the Death Valley temps. I was hoping for at least 120.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 09:27AM
Quote
chicagocwright
Oh yes, I've been checking those as well. And I am disappointed in the Death Valley temps. I was hoping for at least 120.


Phoenix is somewhat disappointing also:
Around this time, one can usually expect triple-digit temperatures around the clock.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 09:42AM
Quote
chicagocwright

Oh yes, I've been checking those as well. And I am disappointed in the Death Valley temps. I was hoping for at least 120.


By any chance, are you planning to partake in a round of golf at Furnace Creek during your stay in Death Valley? The green fees are very reasonable during the summer, only $30 for a round of 18 holes (it even includes a cart rental at no extra charge). wink

Furnace Creek Golf Course in Death Valley


Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 09:47AM
HA! I've got to hide this from my boys now. They would want to do it!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 10:07AM
Maybe I shouldn't then mention that there's a nine-hole course at Wawona in Yosemite too!

(The green fees at Wawona do not include the cost of a cart rental though. sad smiley )

The Wawona Golf Course in Yosemite National Park
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 16, 2011 10:16AM
I know that golf course well. It used to be the place we would spot our first Yosemite deer driving in from Fresno. Rumor has it the mountain lions have chased them away...
Re: Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles
August 24, 2011 08:15AM
I made it!

Amazing day. Amazed how few people I saw starting at Tenaya Lake. Nobody until 2 hours in and finally saw two sets of campers packing up. Saw no hiker until top of Clouds Rest. After Clouds people were headed from Half Dome and were being told Half Dome may not open. That didn't sound right to me-closed a whole day? More report and pictures to come.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login