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Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest

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Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
March 21, 2012 12:51PM
Hello! I, along with my girlfriend, friend, & his wife are going to attempt Tenaya Lake to the Valley via Clouds Rest (coming into the Valley on the Mist Trail) spending one night in the backcountry. I'm a fairly experienced hiker though the other 3 are not. I have a few questions:

1) We're attempting the hike sometime after the middle of May. Will there be much snow on the trail? Will it be a prohibiting factor? (I'm hoping not b/c of the low amount of snowfall this year)
2) The busses aren't running, does anyone have suggestions on getting from the Valley to the trailhead at Tenaya Lake? Hitchhike?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
March 21, 2012 01:16PM
Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles Trip Report

Trip Questions and Pictures of Crossing

Wow a question I can help with!

Last year I did a very similar trip although much later in the year. I couldn't have done my trip in Mid-May. In fact, several folks here and my parents gave pictures of the Trailhead creek crossing at the beginning of the trip and it was a swamp that needed to swim across until at least late June.

That said, this year the snow levels are much different. But we still have really no idea when the road will open that will allow your trip. There is another thread with a guessing game on that date. It is too early to really give you a good idea but I would guess a mid-May trip isn't too likely.

The links above take you to my trip report with a bunch of pictures Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Happy Isles Pictures and my original question very much like yours. The people here are wonderfully helpful so if you have specific questions ask away. I did my trip as a long day hike and included Half Dome.
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
March 21, 2012 01:30PM
It's hard to say how much snow there will be--it's been a dry year so far, but more rain/snow is in the forecast... The major early-season obstacles for this trip would be: 1) crossing Tenaya Creek right at the beginning (safe, but potentially deep and cold) and 2) the switchbacks up to the Sunrise Lakes junction, which hold snow fairly late. I think if you can make it to this junction, you'll be fine--most of the rest of the trail has good sun (south) exposure so has a much better chance of being clear.

As for getting to the trailhead from the valley, I'm thinking hitching or arranging a shuttle are your best options. Even if YARTS is running early, the Yosemite->Mammoth bus leaves the valley at 5:00pm...
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
March 21, 2012 04:14PM
Thank you chicago & basil! I guess what it boils down to is a wait and see over the next month and a half... thank you for the links, it's great! I'm hoping that staying the night on the trail builds in enough time to overcome any potential hiking obstacle (water, snow).

Would you recommend gaiters for everyone?

I called YARTS and they said they won't be running any service over Hwy 120 and the pass during May. sad smiley
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
March 21, 2012 04:31PM
You need to check on the hiker bus. YARTS isn't the only bus that goes out there. yosemitepark.com has reservation info for the hiker bus.

If you encounter high water that is too dangerous to cross your best bet is to turn around. There are methods to safe water crossings. Unfasten pack straps, link arms with others, cross together facing upstream and don't look down at the water. If you can't see the bottom you want to make sure you are stable before moving a foot. DO NOT take flip flops as water crossing shoes in spring. Either use your hiking shoes or a second set of enclosed, lug soled shoes. If the water is flowing too high, too hard, too fast - pick another route or turn around entirely. Don't choose logs that are spindly small or so high off the water that falling would injure you. Water and rocks are the top two killers in Yosemite....
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
March 21, 2012 04:37PM
Mid May May be too early for your liking. Clouds Rest may hold snow on the direction you are going...
and Tenaya Crossing may be delicious... and the road may not be open...

You may want to take a peek at this:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,39233

Take a look at the Tenaya Crossing picture to see just how different it can look.

Nom nom nom

Have fun (and by that I mean have a good time out there whatever you end up dew-ing)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
March 21, 2012 05:00PM
Quote
FirstTimeInThePark
I called YARTS and they said they won't be running any service over Hwy 120 and the pass during May. sad smiley

Just to reiterate: The road may not be open at all in May to any traffic.
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 01:28PM
Thanks for all the information and support guys. We're still planning on entering through trailhead Sunrise Lakes and making our way to the valley (now that the pass is OPEN!) but I'm still having trouble figuring out how to get a ride to the trailhead from our camp in the Valley. Any suggestions?

As a backup I'm thinking about purchasing Happy Isles->Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass through) passes. We could start/finish in the Valley if need be.

Also, any more thoughts, information on Tenaya Crossing at this point?

We arrive on the 18th!!!

Thanks again.
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 02:12PM
Be sure to check out the relatively recent trip report from Chick-On. The problem is, conditions have already changed so much since then. Last year as high as the water crossing was still in July (I had a scout team go to the trailhead for me a couple of times and take pictures), by the time of my trip I stayed completely dry by hopping on rocks. I'm curious also what the conditions are now----maybe someone will provide an updated report soon.

P.S. My scout team was my parents who live in Fresno. And by the way, Chick-On was right from the very beginning that I would be dry. I can't believe I am being so kind after his recent slander and libel against Curry Pizza Deck.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 02:42PM
I plan on checking out the crossing on Friday. (actually plan on boating across (if need be) and then checking out cascade in Tenaya Canyon).

Let's just say you got lucky.

In case you missed it... June 16 of last year the crossing looked like this:




Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 12, 2012 08:11PM
Quote
chick-on
I plan on checking out the crossing on Friday. (actually plan on boating across (if need be) and then checking out cascade in Tenaya Canyon).

But I'll post about the crossing before you do winking smiley





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2012 08:11PM by eeek.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 14, 2012 07:01AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
chick-on
I plan on checking out the crossing on Friday. (actually plan on boating across (if need be) and then checking out cascade in Tenaya Canyon).

But I'll post about the crossing before you do winking smiley

tongue sticking out smiley

Ya. Up to da mid thigh. No boat required. Although I used Scuba Booties on the way across.
BUT, if you know which way to go you don't need to get your feet wet at all. Did that on
the way back. The cascade was SPECTACULAR.

For these peeps... well... let's just say... if you don't like snow... you better not go.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 14, 2012 10:37AM
Very nice! Thanks, eeek. It certainly seems doable and a bit of baptism by, umm, water to start us on our hike. Chick-on, is it still super snowy? Is the trail "followable?"
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 14, 2012 12:21PM
Here's a picture of Clouds Rest I took from the overlook near Olmstead, you can see what the top looks like:

Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 15, 2012 06:18AM
Looks good! However, will the trail to Cloud's Rest be covered in snow? That's fine if it is, I just hope it's packed enough to walk over... we don't have snow shoes.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 15, 2012 07:06AM
You can see snow across the top in that picture.

I hiked up Rafferty Creek last weekend, the snow got pretty weak, its not forming good corn, and I put on my snowshoes when I got tired of postholing.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 15, 2012 07:08AM
Expect lots of snow. Last Friday it looked like this:

Last Friday morning I was the only one in the parking lot from about 9am to 11am.
On Sunday when drove out the parking lot had a lot of cars in it...
So... that means that lots of people are trapsing up to Clouds Rest or
attempting. Since the up to the Sunrise saddle is entirely in those trees...
expect that to be completely covered. Especially if it still looks like
that picture. After you drop back down and sorta traverse-ish west of Sunrise
Mountain... expect that to be all snow until the final zip up to Clouds.
Looks like Clouds itself should not be a problem.
That's my take on it. Somehow, and I mentioned this before, everyone is
thinking there is absolutely no snow.
The thing is... 3 ft. of nice compacted snow is a whole lot nicer than
1-2ft of poopy snow . So as stuff melts conditions go from nice walking
on Sierra Cement to a pain in the rump.
Go expecting a pain in the rump and then when things are not that bad then
you will be one happy birdy... like me.
Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 15, 2012 04:26PM
Seriously some of the best MS Paint / Photoshop I've ever seen, Chick-on. Thanks for that. I think you're right, just hope for the best re: poopy snow and suck it up and get through it. Rangers at the Wilderness Center seem to think it's melting pretty fast this week with warm temps and that snow shoes may not be worth it because of their weight. I'll have a USGS map and compass should the trail get covered and we can't easily eyeball which way to go (need to dust off my 'ol orienteering skills from Boy Scout days)

Anyways, thanks to you all for all your advice! I'll be sure to post pictures here as soon as my camera can upload them!
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 15, 2012 04:47PM
This seems like an appropriate place to shamelessly post my youtube video of the trek up Clouds Rest last year on my way from Tenaya Lake to the Valley.



avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 15, 2012 09:23PM
Quote
chick-on
Expect lots of snow. Last Friday it looked like this:

Last Friday morning I was the only one in the parking lot from about 9am to 11am.
On Sunday when drove out the parking lot had a lot of cars in it...
So... that means that lots of people are trapsing up to Clouds Rest or
attempting. Since the up to the Sunrise saddle is entirely in those trees...
expect that to be completely covered. Especially if it still looks like
that picture. After you drop back down and sorta traverse-ish west of Sunrise
Mountain... expect that to be all snow until the final zip up to Clouds.
Looks like Clouds itself should not be a problem.
That's my take on it. Somehow, and I mentioned this before, everyone is
thinking there is absolutely no snow.
The thing is... 3 ft. of nice compacted snow is a whole lot nicer than
1-2ft of poopy snow . So as stuff melts conditions go from nice walking
on Sierra Cement to a pain in the rump.
Go expecting a pain in the rump and then when things are not that bad then
you will be one happy birdy... like me.
Chick-on is looking at you!

That sure doesn't look like 1000 feet up to that saddle in your photo.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 16, 2012 10:13AM
Quote
mbear
That sure doesn't look like 1000 feet up to that saddle in your photo.

Sure feels like it when hiking.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 16, 2012 10:52AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
mbear
That sure doesn't look like 1000 feet up to that saddle in your photo.

Sure feels like it when hiking.

It certainly does, haha.
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 02:49PM
Thanks guys. Yeah, Chick-On, I saw that on your previous posts... I'm expecting to get a bit wet but it may all be a moot point if I can't figure a way to get us to the trailhead. No hiker bus and no bus line. sad smiley I'll look for your update on either Friday or Saturday. In the mean time, if anyone has any suggestions for getting to the trailhead on Friday, 5/19 I'm all ears!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2012 02:56PM by FirstTimeInThePark.
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 02:50PM
And yes, I did get lucky with you heading that way. Thanks again for checking!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 02:56PM
Quote
FirstTimeInThePark
And yes, I did get lucky with you heading that way. Thanks again for checking!

Sorry my meaning of you got lucky was in reference to the road being open and probably
the crossing is nothing like the picture above.
Chick-on rule #6 : if water contain ice me no put feets in it!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 02:54PM
Don't look until Monday. Why not hike to Clouds and just come back to car parked at Sunrise TH?
Either that or one or two depending on conditions hike back to car and the rest continue to valley
where you meet up. Just a suggestion...
With what you describe of your party I would be prepared to get them to only the first Sunrise Lake
and call that a win and hike back out the next day.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 16, 2012 06:46AM
Just for poo 'n giggles, what are the chances of hitch hiking from the Valley back to the Sunrise TH? Anyone on here wanna give me a lift???
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 03:02PM
Quote
FirstTimeInThePark
Thanks guys. Yeah, Chick-On, I saw that on your previous posts... I'm expecting to get a bit wet but it may all be a moot point if I can't figure a way to get us to the trailhead. No hiker bus and no bus line. sad smiley I'll look for your update on either Friday or Saturday. In the mean time, if anyone has any suggestions for getting to the trailhead on Friday, 5/19 I'm all ears!

A lot of people would do this with two vehicles, although that means more gas to get to Yosemite and two park admissions. You mentioned four people, so I'm assuming you've got at least two who can drive. Leave one vehicle in the Valley, everyone goes up to the trailhead, complete your trip, and drive back to the starting trailhead with at least one extra driver to take the other car back.

Frankly I'd be hard pressed to do anything like that with my wife, since she doesn't like driving mountain roads.

I did this trip (3 nights though) solo some years back. I left my car at the backpackers' parkin glot in Yosemite Valley and took the hikers shuttle to Tenaya Lake. On the ride there, I met a couple that had finished backpacking from TM to the Valley, and they were picking up their car that they left at TM.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 09, 2012 03:33PM
Quote
FirstTimeInThePark
Thanks for all the information and support guys. We're still planning on entering through trailhead Sunrise Lakes and making our way to the valley (now that the pass is OPEN!) but I'm still having trouble figuring out how to get a ride to the trailhead from our camp in the Valley. Any suggestions?

As a backup I'm thinking about purchasing Happy Isles->Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass through) passes. We could start/finish in the Valley if need be.

Also, any more thoughts, information on Tenaya Crossing at this point?

We arrive on the 18th!!!

Thanks again.


Honestly, if you cannot find a ride up to the Sunrise trailhead, I would suggest that you drive yourselves to the Sunrise TH and alter your overnight backpacking trip so you loop back to your car the next day. If I was planing to explore that part of the park, I would much rather have a Sunrise wilderness permit than a Happy Isles pass-thru wilderness permit.

Why deal with the extra elevation gain and the crowds from hiking out of the valley with a full pack when you can avoid it, especially if the other three aren't experienced hikers?

If you don't want to deal with crossing Tenaya Creek this time of year, then just choose to do a loop (or an out and back trip) from another Tioga Road trailhead. You ought to having an easier time securing one of those wilderness permits than a Happy Isles pass-thru permit. A quick glance shows there are still plenty of wilderness permits available on the trailheads along Tioga Road for the dates you want including Cathedral Lakes, Budd Creek, May Lake-->Snow Creek, and Olmsted Point.

When I'm backpacking, I would much rather start my backpacking trip anywhere else inside Yosemite than from Happy Isles. (It's bad enough hiking up the Mist Trail or the JMT in the spring and summer with only a daypack having to contend with all the hordes of people on those trails at that time. With a full backpack it's even worse. If you can start from somewhere else, do so.)

.
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 14, 2012 10:50AM
Thanks, yeah, I think we'll stick with the Sunrise TH and go from there. We'll either do a loop or we'll figure something out (hitch hike?) to get back to the car. 2 in the party are from out of the country so they don't have a vehicle. We'd have to rent one to do the 2 car plan (leaving one in the Valley).
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 13, 2012 06:32PM
Was this photo taken this weekend?
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 13, 2012 07:14PM
Quote
Ulysses61
Was this photo taken this weekend?

Yes, on Saturday.
Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 13, 2012 08:20PM
Wow! Thank you for the photo. This looks like late June conditions in some recent years. Good to know.
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 13, 2012 08:29PM
Quote
Ulysses61
Wow! Thank you for the photo.

It'd have been more fun with audio. Grinning Devil
avatar Re: Tenaya Lake to Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest
May 14, 2012 12:51AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Ulysses61

Wow! Thank you for the photo.

It'd have been more fun with audio. Grinning Devil


No video capability on your camera?

(I bet you have some video (with audio) of that crossing too. wink )

.
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