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Re: Pohono Trail Advice

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Pohono Trail Advice
May 29, 2011 07:06PM
I have never been to Yosemite before and I want to hike the Pohono trail, starting at Glacier Point. The idea is that we hike to a good spot, camp, and hike back to where we had parked.
How far can we go from Glacier Point in one day?
Also how does camping work exactly...? Where is a spot that we can do it?

THank you!
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 29, 2011 09:53PM
Quote
jacobgre
I have never been to Yosemite before and I want to hike the Pohono trail, starting at Glacier Point. The idea is that we hike to a good spot, camp, and hike back to where we had parked.
How far can we go from Glacier Point in one day?
Also how does camping work exactly...? Where is a spot that we can do it?

THank you!

OK. Here's the deal. You need a wilderness permit. You probably also need to find out if overnight parking is allowed at Glacier Point this early in the season, since they are still cleaning things up from plowing out the road. Or did you mean later in the season?

You also have to select a legal camping site along the trail. Problem is, that's almost nowhere, due to the requirement that you be four miles from a trail head and an air mile from any road. Somewhere there is a map showing what's allowed, but I can't find mine. But I do recall that the only place that I have been able to legally camp on the Pohono Trail is in on a triangle of land centered around the Pohono Trail Bridge over Bridelveil Creek. That's pretty nice place, as I recall. Anyway, that's where you would have to say on your wilderness permit that you plan to camp.

Where you actually camp can be a little ways away from that, since there won't be anyone else around this time of year. It's OK to be "honestly confused" as to where you are. Just don't camp anywhere near Glacier Point or the road going to it, or right on one of the famous lookout points (which are all less than a mile from the roads in the Valley). Here are the first few lines of the regulations

click on regulations link

A wilderness permit is required for all overnight wilderness use and MUST be in your possession while in the Wilderness

The permit is only valid for the trip leader, trailheads, dates, and number of people specified on the permit.
You must camp at least four trail miles from Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Hetch Hetchy, and Wawona, and at least one air mile from any road. Camping is prohibited in the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River.....
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 29, 2011 10:18PM
Quote
wherever

A wilderness permit is required for all overnight wilderness use and MUST be in your possession while in the Wilderness

The permit is only valid for the trip leader, trailheads, dates, and number of people specified on the permit.
You must camp at least four trail miles from Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Hetch Hetchy, and Wawona, and at least one air mile from any road. Camping is prohibited in the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River.....

So on the Pohono Trail, one must be at least four miles away from Glacier Point. That's clear enough. But at the other end of the Pohono Trail (Tunnel View Vista Point & Parkling Lot), is that considered to be within Yosemite Valley, or out of the Valley?
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 29, 2011 10:29PM
Quote
plawrence

So on the Pohono Trail, one must be at least four miles away from Glacier Point. That's clear enough. But at the other end of the Pohono Trail (Tunnel View Vista Point & Parkling Lot), is that considered to be within Yosemite Valley, or out of the Valley?

It doesn't matter. Everything at that end is within an air mile of some road. Any road....it isn't only those in the Valley that count. Only near Bridalveil Creek does the trail swing far enough south to be a mile away from them, and also at that point the Glacier Point Road is far enough south that it's also a mile away.

When you are outside the Valley, anywhere in the park, the "four trail mile" rule doesn't apply, but the "one air mile" rule still does.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 12:50AM
Quote
wherever
Somewhere there is a map showing what's allowed, but I can't find mine.


Here is the page that has the link to the pdf of that map:

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



Old Dude
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 08:07AM
Quote
mrcondron
Quote
wherever
Somewhere there is a map showing what's allowed, but I can't find mine.


Here is the page that has the link to the pdf of that map:

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

No, the one that I mean has all the camping-forbidden areas grayed out. So you can just point to your proposed camp sites. There is a copy under the glass counter top at some of the wilderness permit desks.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 09:32AM
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wherever
Quote
mrcondron
Quote
wherever
Somewhere there is a map showing what's allowed, but I can't find mine.


Here is the page that has the link to the pdf of that map:

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

No, the one that I mean has all the camping-forbidden areas grayed out. So you can just point to your proposed camp sites. There is a copy under the glass counter top at some of the wilderness permit desks.


From the National Geographics Trails Unlimited Map #306:



Note: using the distance scale from the map legend, Dewey Point is 2/3 airmile from the Wawona Road. So, you actually would be legal camping from another 1/3 mile S along the Pohono Trail to the footbridge going across Cathedral Creek (where the Glacier Point no camping zone ends...the light mauve color).
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 11:32AM
Quote
wherever
Quote
mrcondron
Quote
wherever
Somewhere there is a map showing what's allowed, but I can't find mine.


Here is the page that has the link to the pdf of that map:

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

No, the one that I mean has all the camping-forbidden areas grayed out. So you can just point to your proposed camp sites. There is a copy under the glass counter top at some of the wilderness permit desks.

But going back to the topic of this thread, according to the link that Mike (mrcondron) posted, which is an official NPS map, dispersed camping is allowed off of the Pohono Trial (heading up from the Glacier Point trailhead) once one passes the McGurk Meadow Trail junction up until one turns the bend (beyond Old Inspiration Point) and heads downhill in a northeasterly direction towards new Inspiration Point. That's a pretty long swath of trail to pick a spot so close to the rim of the Valley.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 12:09PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
wherever
Quote
mrcondron
Quote
wherever
Somewhere there is a map showing what's allowed, but I can't find mine.


Here is the page that has the link to the pdf of that map:

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

No, the one that I mean has all the camping-forbidden areas grayed out. So you can just point to your proposed camp sites. There is a copy under the glass counter top at some of the wilderness permit desks.

But going back to the topic of this thread, according to the link that Mike (mrcondron) posted, which is an official NPS map, dispersed camping is allowed off of the Pohono Trial (heading up from the Glacier Point trailhead) once one passes the McGurk Meadow Trail junction up until one turns the bend (beyond Old Inspiration Point) and heads downhill in a northeasterly direction towards new Inspiration Point. That's a pretty long swath of trail to pick a spot so close to the rim of the Valley.


From the YNP Wilderness Regulations ( http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildregs.htm ) page:
"You must camp at least four trail miles from Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Hetch Hetchy, and Wawona, and at least one air mile from any road. Camping is prohibited in the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River."

Old Inspiration Point is within one air mile of the Wawona Road.
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 12:20PM
Quote
szalkowski
Old Inspiration Point is within one air mile of the Wawona Road.

Right. So we have an inconsistency. The guy who drew the arrows on that map used one trail mile, instead of one air mile. It's wrong. The regulations trump any map.

On the other hand, like I said, do specify a legal campsite in your wilderness permit. The bridge over Bridalveil Creek is a good one. If you run out of oomph before you get there, then camp where you have to and wave the map as justification if questioned. I still wouldn't try to camp at the valley rim, though. Too obviously wrong.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 01:20PM
The simple solution to this inconsistency would simply to ask the ranger working at the Wilderness Center when one picks up their wilderness permit.

If the wilderness map published by the NPS is wrong, then they need to correct it.

I doubt that a federal magistrate would let any citation stand if one had shown that one had clearly camped where a map issued by the NPS said it was o.k. to do so.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 01:50PM
There isn't really any place to camp at Old Inspiration. Maybe a spot for someone like
me who ultra-stealths camp at times when going solo. You'd be snuggling under a tree.
East of there you can camp anywhere up to the bridge. When I picked up permit
two weekends ago now for Pohono I said I was going to camp at Dewey.
The ranger was adamant about not being allowed to camp anywhere near Glacier Pt.
I personally feel this is stupid when the road is still closed... but I abided.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 14, 2011 10:44PM
Quote
chick-on
There isn't really any place to camp at Old Inspiration. Maybe a spot for someone like
me who ultra-stealths camp at times when going solo. You'd be snuggling under a tree.
East of there you can camp anywhere up to the bridge. When I picked up permit
two weekends ago now for Pohono I said I was going to camp at Dewey.
The ranger was adamant about not being allowed to camp anywhere near Glacier Pt.
I personally feel this is stupid when the road is still closed... but I abided.

I day hiked to what I think was Old Inspiration Point last evening. One set of campers had already set up camp and a second couple was about to pitch their tent. Am I confused about old vs. new Inspiration Point? This was a fairly open area with a visible old paved road.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 15, 2011 01:59AM
Quote
Kristin
Quote
chick-on
There isn't really any place to camp at Old Inspiration. Maybe a spot for someone like
me who ultra-stealths camp at times when going solo. You'd be snuggling under a tree.
East of there you can camp anywhere up to the bridge. When I picked up permit
two weekends ago now for Pohono I said I was going to camp at Dewey.
The ranger was adamant about not being allowed to camp anywhere near Glacier Pt.
I personally feel this is stupid when the road is still closed... but I abided.

I day hiked to what I think was Old Inspiration Point last evening. One set of campers had already set up camp and a second couple was about to pitch their tent. Am I confused about old vs. new Inspiration Point? This was a fairly open area with a visible old paved road.

"open area with a visible old paved road" ?

Then you weren't at Old Inspiration Point, you were at Inspiration Point.

It's very confusing! There's 3 Inspiration Points, at least one of them Old. And it kinda depends on who you're talking to and what map you're looking at.

) The old road, before the tunnel was there had a pullout and vista point called "Inspiration Point". This is where you saw the illegally camping campers. ( I don't think you're supposed to camp there! )

) Nowadays you have the new road with the tunnel. Where the road exits the tunnel has a couple of names. The most common ones are "Discovery View", "Tunnel View", and for some people "Inspiration Point". The old road's "Inspiration Point" is a short hike up Pohono trail. I guess some people might call this old "Inspiration Point".

) Looking at the topo maps you'll see a couple of miles up Pohono trail a place off trail called "Old Inspiration Point". There's not a trail to it, you have to bushwack your way there.

Look at the topo map here. This might make it clearer.
Topo map of Discovery View, Inspiration Point, and Old Inspiration Point



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2011 02:04AM by qumqats.
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 15, 2011 06:05AM
Before the Old Wawona Road was built, the Mann Brothers (early entrepeneurs in the Wawona area) built a horse trail from Wawona to the Valley. This trail went to (and obviously beyond) Old Inspiration Point. I'm pretty certain that part of this trail is still maintained down near Wawona (I've not taken it but I think it starts behind the visitor center and heads up along Alder Creek). I've not confirmed it but people who've looked for it have told me that there are no real remnants of the trail between the Valley and the Chinquapin area so it's safe to say that there WAS a trail to OIP but I think you'd pretty much need to be an archeologist to find it now! There's something called the Historic American Engineering Record which has detailed histories of many historic roads around the country. You can find their history of the Wawona-Valley routes here.

To add a bit of confusion to the various IP's, when the Old Big Oak Flat Road was completed, the owners decided to call the first big view of the Valley New Inspiration Point. The roads to the Valley were all privately owned at the time so there was fierce competition by each company to get travellers to use "their" road so pre-emption of a well-known name was a big advertising move. Ironically, this was before the Old Wawona Road was built so the historical sequence of these names is actually Old Inspiration Point, New Inspiration Point, Inspiration Point. In any event, the New Inspiration Point moniker never really stuck so far as I know (although there was a sign on the Old BOFR for several years identifying it) and it eventually became known as Rainbow View. You can read the HAER history of the OBOFR here.

Lots of place names change over time but, at least in Yosemite, I don't know of any name that's gotten moved around as much as Inspiration Point.

FWIW, I've also heard people refer to Discovery View/Tunnel View as Inspiration Point but I don't think that's ever been an official designation...I think it's just one of those mistaken attributions that people tend to perpetuate.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 17, 2011 07:41PM
Quote
DavidK42
FWIW, I've also heard people refer to Discovery View/Tunnel View as Inspiration Point but I don't think that's ever been an official designation...I think it's just one of those mistaken attributions that people tend to perpetuate.

Personally, I think Discovery View is even a worse name for Tunnel View than mistakenly calling it Inspiration Point. For me, in regards to Yosemite Valley, the Discovery View moniker should be relegated only to a vista that is located approximately where the Mariposa Battalion first laid their eyes on Yosemite Valley, and that would probably be closer to the actual present-day Inspiration Point or the Old Inspiration Point that's shown on most topo maps of Yosemite Valley.
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 15, 2011 11:59PM
OK, yeah, I was at Inspiration Point. It's officially confusing! The map you linked makes it more clear than mine though. Thanks.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2011 12:00AM by Kristin.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 15, 2011 06:53AM
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 14, 2011 10:59PM
Quote
chick-on
There isn't really any place to camp at Old Inspiration. Maybe a spot for someone like
me who ultra-stealths camp at times when going solo. You'd be snuggling under a tree.
East of there you can camp anywhere up to the bridge. When I picked up permit
two weekends ago now for Pohono I said I was going to camp at Dewey.
The ranger was adamant about not being allowed to camp anywhere near Glacier Pt.
I personally feel this is stupid when the road is still closed... but I abided.

Isn't Dewey more than 4 miles from Glacier Point? Looks like it to me.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 15, 2011 03:19AM
Quote
Kristin
Quote
chick-on
There isn't really any place to camp at Old Inspiration. Maybe a spot for someone like
me who ultra-stealths camp at times when going solo. You'd be snuggling under a tree.
East of there you can camp anywhere up to the bridge. When I picked up permit
two weekends ago now for Pohono I said I was going to camp at Dewey.
The ranger was adamant about not being allowed to camp anywhere near Glacier Pt.
I personally feel this is stupid when the road is still closed... but I abided.

Isn't Dewey more than 4 miles from Glacier Point? Looks like it to me.



However, Dewey is less than 1 air mile from the Wawona Road, therefore not legal to camp there.

Here is a link (to a post above in this thread) showing/describing where you can legally camp along that route:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,37230,37285#msg-37285
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 15, 2011 08:25AM
Ah, right.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2011 08:25AM by Kristin.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 15, 2011 09:04AM
Quote
Kristin
Ah, right.

When you get your permit ask "Can I camp at Inspiration Point?"
and when they say no then just say "Well, then why are there always people with tents there when I go there?".

I'll repeat.

You CAN camp at Dewey. For that matter... you CAN camp at Crocker.
I know this one too b/c when we got a winter permit the ranger sez
"Don't camp where people camp in the summer... that includes out on Crocker".



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 16, 2011 08:29PM
Quote
chick-on
Quote
Kristin
Ah, right.

When you get your permit ask "Can I camp at Inspiration Point?"
and when they say no then just say "Well, then why are there always people with tents there when I go there?".

I'll repeat.

You CAN camp at Dewey. For that matter... you CAN camp at Crocker.
I know this one too b/c when we got a winter permit the ranger sez
"Don't camp where people camp in the summer... that includes out on Crocker".

OK, I previously quoted the "air mile" rule as to why camping is not allowed there. But I stopped at the Wilderness Center on Tuesday, and observed that the map under their glass counter top (showing allowed camping areas) is not the one that I remember. In particular, it shows no camping anywhere between the Pohono Trail bridge at Bridalveil Creek and Glacier Point, but it showed camping anywhere west of that on the trail.

I asked how that could be, and he said that this is how they enforce it now. Never mind the official rules. When pressed, he said not to camp before Inspiration Point, but the map doesn't even show that restriction.

My guess is that the first hill up out of Tunnel View is so long and so hard that they just gave up trying to make people go very far. Or maybe they figure that the "air mile" rule with respect to roads down in the Valley is ridiculous when you are way up there. In any case, the ranger blessed camping almost anywhere on the western half of the Pohono Trail.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 17, 2011 08:15PM
Quote
wherever
OK, I previously quoted the "air mile" rule as to why camping is not allowed there. But I stopped at the Wilderness Center on Tuesday, and observed that the map under their glass counter top (showing allowed camping areas) is not the one that I remember. In particular, it shows no camping anywhere between the Pohono Trail bridge at Bridalveil Creek and Glacier Point, but it showed camping anywhere west of that on the trail.

I asked how that could be, and he said that this is how they enforce it now. Never mind the official rules. When pressed, he said not to camp before Inspiration Point, but the map doesn't even show that restriction.

My guess is that the first hill up out of Tunnel View is so long and so hard that they just gave up trying to make people go very far. Or maybe they figure that the "air mile" rule with respect to roads down in the Valley is ridiculous when you are way up there. In any case, the ranger blessed camping almost anywhere on the western half of the Pohono Trail.


As of now, I think if one just follows the guidelines shown on the Wilderness Trailheads map provided by the Park Service, one will be fine and should not worry about being cited, even if one camps within one "air mile" of a road:

NPS.GOV/YOSE: Yosemite Wilderness Trailheads Map

And here's a cropped portion of that map, showing where camping is now permitted along the Pohono Trail. (Just disperse camp BEYOND the colored arrows.)

avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
June 15, 2011 06:55AM
You can camp around Dewey.

IMO you should not camp AT the point.

When I did the Pohono b4 GP road opened that is where I said I was gonna camp
on day 1 when the ranger was adamant that I couldn't camp anywhere close
to Glacier Pt. I ended up going further than that... but was still well away from
GP road....



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 05:31AM
Odd that that Eleanor and Kibbie aren't listed on that page of trailheads...
Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 06:57AM
Quote
oakroscoe
Odd that that Eleanor and Kibbie aren't listed on that page of trailheads...

Why would they be? Those are destinations, not trailheads. The trailhead you take is Beehive. Unless you start outside the park.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2011 06:57AM by AlmostThere.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 10:10AM
Actually you take Miguel.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 10:15AM
Quote
chick-on
Actually you take Miguel.


What if Miguel dosn't want to go?
(Playfully Yours)
The Marmots
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Advice
May 30, 2011 10:25AM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
chick-on
Actually you take Miguel.

What if Miguel dosn't want to go?
(Playfully Yours)
The Marmots

Miguel hasn't wanted to go for a number of trips now.



Chick-on is looking at you!
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