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Re: panorama vs. mist trail

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panorama vs. mist trail
April 28, 2012 07:55PM
Did not think the Panorama Trail would be open, would like some feedback. My niece and nephew are in from Michigan, first time in Yosemite. We had planned on hiking up and down the Mist Trail, but now considering starting at the top and hiking down the Panorama. Which hike would you take them on? Also, which one is more physically demanding? Thanks.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 28, 2012 09:26PM
Panorama trail is about 7 or 8 miles, vernal up and back is 2.5 or so. Panorama is mostly down hill with one part that is comprable to the climb up vernal. Id take the Panorama and come down the mist trail.
Glacier point road is open so i'd assume its fine to do the hike down
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 28, 2012 09:35PM
Quote
ryanmj
Panorama is mostly down hill

Rolling on floor laugh
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 29, 2012 08:28AM
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eeek
Quote
ryanmj
Panorama is mostly down hill

Rolling on floor laugh

3000' decent with a 700' climb after the first falls. How would you describe that?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2012 08:29AM by ryanmj.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 29, 2012 09:08AM
I also read the books that say the Panorama trail is mostly downhill and took my non hiking ex wife and step kids on it about 10 year ago. They were 8, 10 and 14. We started at GP where we left our car about 10 am.

We had all day, so we really lingered, having a nice lunch at crossing of Illouette creek. Then that long, hard pull up nearly killed the kids. We finally made it to the top of Nevada and again, sat and lingered. They were exhausted by this time, but we had a long way to go.

I chose to go down the Mist trail, which I know now, was a big mistake, even though JM is longer, it is much easier on the knees and the mind when you are tired. We reached the top of Vernal as the light was waning. I guess it was nearly 8pm. We got to the bridge and had to get out the flash light. (the only thing that kept my ex from killing me was the foresight to bring the light) When we finally got to the bus stop at Happy Isles, it was the last bus, or very nearly.

The driver was kind enough to make an extra stop in front of our building at the Lodge and I was sent to get food. Well, nothing was open except the Lounge and they only had two things left, a shrimp cocktail and some other salad I think, what it was escapes me. We only had a few snacks left, so I went to bed hungry.

The moral of this story is do not take non hikers on that trail. Seriously. It is no picnic.

I haven't done it again since, but I have done the Mist trail half a dozen times. Mist trail all the way for newbies. Just my humble opinion.
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 29, 2012 10:07AM
I know I've made the mistake in the past to consider downhill as not hiking. It still is, just different. I've done a lot of day hikes in the past couple of years usually with the uphill part in the morning and back down in the afternoon. In the morning I'm fresh and air is cool. In the afternoon I'm tired and it's 20 - 30 degrees warmer. I end up sweating as much or more going downhill in the afternoon.

I've done the Panorama trail a long time ago and it's not a trivial hike. I like to take visitors to Taft Point and Sentinel Dome with a stop at Glacier Point if we have enough time. If you know the special place to park you can cut the hike to Sentinel Dome in half. They can return home with the unprotected cliff experience, say they hiked a dome, and got great views of Half Dome, 3 waterfalls and a glimpse of the high country. Bring binoculars. On the way out of the park if you're really ambitious you can do the easy mile hike up Old Big Oak Flat Road for a view of Bridalveil Falls almost no one gets. Late afternoon is the best time for that anyway.
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 01, 2012 10:13AM
Quote
Calaveras
If you know the special place to park you can cut the hike to Sentinel Dome in half.
Would you mind sharing that "special place to park"? Thanks.
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 01, 2012 10:51AM
From Taft Parking lot... go towards GP... road curves left...
then just as it curves right... look ahead and you will see the old road with a gate...
park on right... walk up road and meet the trail.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 01, 2012 11:17AM
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JRinGeorgia
Quote
Calaveras

If you know the special place to park you can cut the hike to Sentinel Dome in half.

Would you mind sharing that "special place to park"? Thanks.


Here's a Google Map showing the route on Glacier Point Road from the Taft Point/Sentinel Dome Trailhead Parking Lot (Point A) to the dirt parking area and the gate to the old Sentinel Dome Road (Point B). Hiking in from this point on the old road will cut your hiking distance in half, though you will add more elevation gain to your hike:



And here's a link to the actual Google Maps page:

Google Maps: Directions from Taft Point/Sentinel Dome Trailhead Parking Lot to the junction of the Old Sentinel Dome Road
.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2012 11:18AM by plawrence.
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 01, 2012 12:06PM
Excellent, thanks. I'll be there in about 4 weeks and plan to do both Panorama to Mist (down) and also Sentinel Dome + Taft Pt (different day). The dirt parking lot will save us a good bit of horizontal distance, appreciate the tip!
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 01, 2012 12:50PM
The Flash Earth map has it marked as the Glacier Point Utility Road. But the Sentinel Dome trail is not marked.

Flash Earth view
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 01, 2012 02:05PM
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NacciNW
The Flash Earth map has it marked as the Glacier Point Utility Road. But the Sentinel Dome trail is not marked.

Flash Earth view
Cool map!
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
June 04, 2012 12:48PM
Calavaras and plawrence, thanks again so much for the tip on parking at the service road to reach Sentinel Dome. Just returned from our Yosemite trip, had a great time, and this "secret spot" was really easy to find. The service road has a gate across it, so if you are looking for it then it's very easy to find. It's right on that big curve back to the right shown on the map. Another hint is that it is at the highest point of GP Road -- all uphill to this spot and then if you start downhill more than 0.1 mile you've missed it. We parked in the dirt area to the right, got a bonus spotting of a deer close up, and reached top of Sentinel Dome more quickly.

If this shortcut entails more elevation change we didn't notice it, couldn't be more than 50 ft elevation gain extra. I was a little concerned about finding the split to the shortcut on the way back, but the service road once was paved and still has broken pavement all the way to the foot of SD itself, so it's easy to just follow the pavement.

Thanks again!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2012 12:49PM by JRinGeorgia.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 29, 2012 12:34PM
If you're going to do the Mist Trail in May, be prepared to get WET. Soaked, in fact. And even in May, the crowds are brutal on the Mist Trail, so I advise you to start early - around 7:00 am , unless you don't mind tons of people. I hate descending the really high Mist Trail upper steps when there's a bunch of kids on the stairs. That's a potentially lethal combo: bratty, unruly kids running up the Mist Trail and hikers descending.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 29, 2012 04:20PM
Someone posted a video from Sierra point of the mist trail a few weeks ago and it didn't look too wet. Remember, rafting opened nearly 2 months early, so in May, the water spray on the Mist trail is going to be like a normal July or heck, maybe even August.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 29, 2012 08:06PM
This is all great information, thanks for the feedback. We are going to walk up the Mist Trail, and, where it is open, come down the John Muir Trail. Thanks again, this is what makes this forum so awesome.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 29, 2012 09:45PM
Don't be fooled by it being a somewhat dry year...the Merced is ripping right now, especially with the warm weather. I've been here this time of year for the last several years, and it looks every bit as large and quick as the past years. Definitely not July-like. Yosemite Falls is roaring and crashing too, and more warm days are expected.

The OP may know this already, but there is a bus that goes from the valley (leaves at 8:30) to Glacier, and it's a nice way to do the Panorama trail. Gets you started down around 10:00. You can bypass the lower part of the mist trail if it bothers you...those steps are tough after coming down the Pano trail all day. However, the JMT down from Vernal (you take the short trail up to Clark Point, then down) is not as scenic, and pretty horsey if the stables are open (phew).

I'm here for the week so will probably go down the Pano trail in a couple of days when the heat backs off. I'll report the mist trail conditions then if no one else has. I don't think it's a bad hike at all, just misjudged because its "all downhill" or so some think. Sounds like the problem might have been thinking it was going to be easy, so dawdling around too long. It's always left me good and tired, so it's no easy hike or one for non-hikers. And leaving early, going UP the 4-mile trail, then back down the Pano? Not for me, not in a day...the $25 for the bus one-way is worth it.

So I'd bring at least a poncho for the mist trail, or at least don't wear cotton and bring spare dry socks (the mist might feel nice if it's as warm as it's been). And a trek pole or whatever you like helps a lot on those steps, after walking all day, it takes a little of the load off your knees.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 29, 2012 10:00PM
The Panorama Trail could only be described as difficult, IMHO, because of its length. Yes there is 900+ feet of elevation gain, but in Yosemite that's pretty much manageable.

The one thing though that I'll caution about gong on the Panorama Trail early in the season for those who aren't experienced hikers is that the Park Service probably hasn't gone through with a crew to cut away any trees that have been knock down across the trail itself so one might have to climb over or around these fallen trees.
.
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
April 30, 2012 06:13AM
All the falls in the park are roaring now. The comment w/r to the Mist being "dry" a few weekends
ago from Sierra Pt. I already showed a picture of us on the Mist then and it wasn't dry then...
and it sure as heck isn't now. You WILL get soaked going the Vernal portion of Mist. Period



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 01, 2012 10:24AM
Here is the video in question. Just goes to show that a lot of zoom can look a lot different than being on the ground. Good to remember.






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2012 10:29AM by yosemitejim.
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 01, 2012 10:52AM
The section you zoomed in on isn't the SUPER SOAKER section.
It's just around the corner...

Great video none-the-less.
smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 04, 2012 05:01PM
Alright, I need to try to there early this year before it all dries out.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 04, 2012 08:15AM
Thanks for all the advice. We wound up doing the Sentinel Dome and Mist Trail hikes, on seperate days. We did the Sentinel Dome hike later in the day, around 4pm, and had the entire trail to ourselves, did not see even one other person. There was a couple snowy spots but overall pretty much clear and dry. On the second day we hiked up the Mist Trail, the river was ripping, got completely soaked coming up to Vernal, but it actually felt good as it was pretty warm. The entire way up was completely clear of snow. We wanted to hike down the JMT the entire way, but there was a rockfall between Nevada Fall and Clark Point so we wound up hiking down Mist and jogging up the 300' to Clark Point and then down the JMT from there. It was defintely the right decision for us to not do the Panarama, as we were pretty well beat by the time we got to Clark and any addtional length to the hike would have been tough for us.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 04, 2012 08:42AM
Quote
muirman
Thanks for all the advice. We wound up doing the Sentinel Dome and Mist Trail hikes, on seperate days. We did the Sentinel Dome hike later in the day, around 4pm, and had the entire trail to ourselves, did not see even one other person. There was a couple snowy spots but overall pretty much clear and dry. On the second day we hiked up the Mist Trail, the river was ripping, got completely soaked coming up to Vernal, but it actually felt good as it was pretty warm. The entire way up was completely clear of snow. We wanted to hike down the JMT the entire way, but there was a rockfall between Nevada Fall and Clark Point so we wound up hiking down Mist and jogging up the 300' to Clark Point and then down the JMT from there. It was defintely the right decision for us to not do the Panarama, as we were pretty well beat by the time we got to Clark and any addtional length to the hike would have been tough for us.
Awesome! Was the JMT actually closed for that rock fall?
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 04, 2012 10:10AM
Yes, they have it closed off due to the rockfall. Thankfully there was someone come back out up at Nevada Fall that we asked whether it was closed or not and he said that it was, as we were going to attempt to go down from there and there were not any signs saying it was closed for the way down. When we got to Clark Point, the gate there was shut for anyone attempting to head up JMT.
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 04, 2012 12:44PM
Quote
muirman
Yes, they have it closed off due to the rockfall. Thankfully there was someone come back out up at Nevada Fall that we asked whether it was closed or not and he said that it was, as we were going to attempt to go down from there and there were not any signs saying it was closed for the way down. When we got to Clark Point, the gate there was shut for anyone attempting to head up JMT.
So what do they expect people to do if they head that way looking to go down JMT? Take the Pano to 4 mile? They need a sign sooner IMO.
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 04, 2012 01:22PM
Not sure what you are talking about.
There is a gate at the top where the Panorama Trail and JMT meet up... and there is a gate right at Clark Pt.
He said there was a rockfall between Nevada and Clark Pt. So, like winter when the "ice cut" closes the
trail.. the gate both above and below would be clsoed.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 04, 2012 05:25PM
I did not see the gate on the way down from Nevada. Maybe it was further down the path and we just did not get to it, or maybe we were in the wrong spot. There were a few people coming up what I believed to be the beginning of JMT and after asking if it was open and getting a no we just turned around and headed back across the bridge to go down the Mist. I knew it would probaly not be open so I did not waste much time looking for the gate up there.
avatar Re: panorama vs. mist trail
May 04, 2012 05:33PM
The gate is right before the Ice Cut. Here is a map ... I drew in the gates in red:




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