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Re: High Sierra camps at end of June

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High Sierra camps at end of June
November 30, 2012 05:16PM
Hello,
I just won the lottery for 10 people leaving from Tuolumne meadows,spend night at Vogelsgang,than hike down to Merced Lake spend night,than we would like to hike Half Dome and spend night before somewhere at LYV or bellow half Dome.Which wilderness permit could give me the highest possibility of getting Half Dome hike?And how would you do logistics with the car ?Where we should leave the car?Tuolumne or Valley?We will be stayng at Tuolumne Meadows 2 nights before hike.And also would you stay in Curry Village after hike?
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
November 30, 2012 06:30PM
Be prepared for your trip not happening at all. The High Sierra camps aren't always open that early.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
November 30, 2012 07:21PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Be prepared for your trip not happening at all. The High Sierra camps aren't always open that early.

In fact, they usually aren't open that early.

But it's still a wonderful time of year in Yosemite (aren't they all?).
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
November 30, 2012 09:59PM
Quote
chatka
Hello,
I just won the lottery for 10 people leaving from Tuolumne meadows,spend night at Vogelsgang,than hike down to Merced Lake spend night,than we would like to hike Half Dome and spend night before somewhere at LYV or bellow half Dome.Which wilderness permit could give me the highest possibility of getting Half Dome hike?And how would you do logistics with the car ?Where we should leave the car?Tuolumne or Valley?We will be stayng at Tuolumne Meadows 2 nights before hike.And also would you stay in Curry Village after hike?

Any wilderness permit gets you the Half Dome permit. If there's a # limit I've not run into it. Plan to hit Half Dome during the middle of the week when the mob isn't there.

I'd suggest leaving the car at Tuolumne. There's two buses that go from the valley up to TM. The hikers bus leaves around 8am, and YARTS leaves around 5pm

If you like, and you can get the reservation, you can stay at Curry. However the wilderness permit allows you to stay the night before and the night after at a backpackers campground. There's one in TM and another one in the valley.

Plan to spend some time on top of Clouds Rest. Many around here consider this a more desirable hike than Half Dome.

Be aware that many things may not be open yet. The road, the wilderness permit office/campground at TM, the shuttle buses running, etc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2012 10:03PM by qumqats.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 11:35PM
Quote
qumqats

Any wilderness permit gets you the Half Dome permit. If there's a # limit I've not run into it.

Well that isn't exactly true. I assume you meant for Chatka's itinerary, it shouldn't be an issue, but the NPS website says: " Permits are not required for day hikes (except if hiking to Half Dome). (If you get a wilderness permit for a backpacking itinerary that reasonably includes Half Dome, you do not need to separately apply for a Half Dome permit, but can get Half Dome permits when you pick up your wilderness permit. This year, there is a $5/person charge.)"

Also, the Half Dome permit system has changed every year, so I wouldn't be surprised if it changes again this year. The above policy has been in place for wilderness permits without change since they started the Half Dome permit system so I wouldn't be suprised if they changed it. Not sure if anything will change, but I think it would be a good idea to keep a heads up on any changes if you do want to walk up half dome. In the past they've announced changes in the early part of the year (the lottery is in March), so I would check in February sometime if anything has changed.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 12:31AM
Quote
buster
Quote
qumqats

Any wilderness permit gets you the Half Dome permit. If there's a # limit I've not run into it.

Well that isn't exactly true. . . . snip . . .

I guess I over simplified it, thanks for the clarification.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 05:24PM
Quote
qumqats
Quote
buster
Quote
qumqats

Any wilderness permit gets you the Half Dome permit. If there's a # limit I've not run into it.

Well that isn't exactly true. . . . snip . . .

I guess I over simplified it, thanks for the clarification.

I didn't mean to be snippy, sorry if it came across that way. I tried to say that I realized your comment was for chatka's itinerary only, not in general, but I guess I wasn't clear. Being an engineer, I tend to be very precise and direct, which sometimes doesn't come across very well. smiling smiley
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 04:56AM
Which hike to valley from Tuolumne do you think would be the best for end of June,also how to possibly fit Cloud rest and Half Dome in that hike?
Also what would you plan as alternative plan if High Sierra would not be open?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2012 05:01AM by chatka.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 11:02AM
While there's a high probability that the High Sierra Camps won't be open by late June, there's a very good chance (but not a 100% guaranteed chance) that Tioga Road will be open by late June since most years it's open by mid-June.

If that's the case, then your best bet to hike Cloud Rest would be starting from the Sunrise trailhead off of Tioga Road. The closest overnight accommodations to the Sunrise TH wouldn't be in Yosemite Valley, but instead at the Tioga Pass Resort (if open by late June) otherwise at a motel in Lee Vining along Hwy 395 east of Yosemite National Park.

.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 03:42PM
Quote
chatka
Which hike to valley from Tuolumne do you think would be the best for end of June,also how to possibly fit Cloud rest and Half Dome in that hike?
Also what would you plan as alternative plan if High Sierra would not be open?

Some people just hike Sunrise to Happy Isles as a dayhike, hitting both Clouds Rest and Half Dome on the way. Too long for me though (I thought the dayhike to Clouds and back from Sunrise was more than long enough). Might be a decent backup plan if you can get the dayhike permit for the Dome if the camps aren't opened yet.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 11:40AM
Ho far is Clouds rest from White wolf lodge?
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 02:05PM
Thirty miles with about 4k' down and 5K' up. That's one way.
If you can get to White Wolf in the first place then you should drive to the Sunrise trail-head and do a day hike from there to Clouds Rest and back. The dayhike is about seventeen miles round-trip.



Old Dude
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 02:19PM
Give or take about 5 miles. wink

(It's about 12 miles to and fro Clouds Rest from Sunrise TH)



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 03:01PM
Quote
mrcondron
The dayhike is about seventeen miles round-trip.

It got longer?
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 04:29PM
I must have been thinking how long it seems. It is actually about 12.2 miles round trip.



Old Dude
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 06:34PM
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mrcondron
I must have been thinking how long it seems.

It's just around the next bend!
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 11:39PM
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eeek
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mrcondron

I must have been thinking how long it seems.

It's just around the next bend!

Just two tents away...
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 08:35PM
Quote
mrcondron
I must have been thinking how long it seems. It is actually about 12.2 miles round trip.

Wow, I always thought it was more like 14 miles RT. Is this another case of never trust the random numbers on the rusted signs?
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 01, 2012 02:24PM
Quote
chatka

How far is Clouds rest from White wolf lodge?

While the White Wolf Lodge has a better chance of being open in late June than the High Sierra Camps (or the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge), there's still a good chance that the White Wolf Lodge will be closed in late June. In many years it won't be opened up until early July.

By car, the White Wolf Lodge is a little more than 17 miles from the Sunrise (Clouds Rest) trailhead.

.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 07:41AM
Will you be hiking or postholing in snow? is the real question.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 10:13AM
Clouds rest from Sunrise RT is 12.1 miles according tomy Garmin. For some reason, many hiking books claim it's 14 miles, which it definitely is not. I've hiked it 50 times and measured it with my Garmin at least 10 times and it always comes out just about 12 miles. It's only 2100 elevation gain, so it's a very moderate hike.

As others have said, the HSC often do not open until July. 2012 was an anomaly. I hiked on May 26 from Cathedral Lakes TH to Sunrise HSC and apart from 4 or 5 brief periods of snow on the trail, it was clear all the way. That very, very rarely happens. If the Sierras get a snowfall in May (as they frequently do), you can pretty well guess your trip as planned won't pan out if you want to stay at Vogelsang.

Someone recommended the Tioga Pass Resort on the 120, about 6 miles outside the entrance. It's very expensive. The cheapest hotel within an hour of the park is the Motel 6 in Mammoth, $65 a night, which is less than half what you'll pay at the Tioga Pass Resort. But if hotel prices aren't a concern, it's a lot closer!
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 11:37AM
Many of you are saying that the original poster is being overly optimistic by scheduling a High Sierra Camp trip in late June. I beg to differ.

From the Yosemite High Sierra Camps website:
"High Sierra Camps are typically open mid-June through mid-September, weather permitting."

As the OP has a confirmed reservation for late June and Vogelsang doesn't open until June 28th, I think we can assume that the trip is planned for June 28-30.

In 2011 the camps opened late due to massive amounts of snow that year, and there was one year, maybe 2005, when the camps didn't open at all. So it is possible that the camps will open later than scheduled this year, on the other hand it is more likely that they will open on time as they mostly do!
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 11:51AM
Generally speaking, the HSCs don't start opening up until about four to five weeks AFTER Tioga Road is open to the public. Sometimes it's longer than that.

Last summer is about the earliest that the HSCs have opened up. In many years, even years of normal snowfalls, HSCs like Vogelsang won't open up until July.

.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 01:41PM
Quote
KatyAnderson
Many of you are saying that the original poster is being overly optimistic by scheduling a High Sierra Camp trip in late June. I beg to differ.

From the Yosemite High Sierra Camps website:
"High Sierra Camps are typically open mid-June through mid-September, weather permitting."

As the OP has a confirmed reservation for late June and Vogelsang doesn't open until June 28th, I think we can assume that the trip is planned for June 28-30.

In 2011 the camps opened late due to massive amounts of snow that year, and there was one year, maybe 2005, when the camps didn't open at all. So it is possible that the camps will open later than scheduled this year, on the other hand it is more likely that they will open on time as they mostly do!



They do the lottery every year the same way and simply issue refunds if the camp doesn't open in time. Getting the early season slots is more of a gamble as to whether you will go. Confirmations mean you get to go if it's open, not that you get to go. The operative words in what you have quoted: WEATHER PERMITTING.

If it's a normal snow year there's gonna be snow, and the camps will open in July - August.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2012 01:42PM by AlmostThere.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 02:47PM
that is what we have to deal with.What would be the alternative coming from Tuolumne if there is more snow on the trail.I am talking wilderness permit.Which would be best to go if water is still high?
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 04:50PM
Quote
chatka
that is what we have to deal with.What would be the alternative coming from Tuolumne if there is more snow on the trail.I am talking wilderness permit.Which would be best to go if water is still high?

See, what I'm confused about here is simply that you have stated in your profile:
intermediate, hiking, and secret place=half dome

So, are you backpacking and spending the night? If not, then you don't need a wilderness permit.

If you are backpacking just about any trailhead along Tioga is nice. Will you run into snow or water
crossings that are painful or difficult or not your cup of tea. Well that certainly depends how much
snow accumulation occurs and what your cup of tea is. Each TH will have different parameters to
deal with.

If you are a backpacking and/or can carry kit to spend a night then just hope the HSC are open
and then spend the night in LYV and then climb Half Dome the next day. Done.
If you are not backpacking... then simply do a bunch of dayhikes out of Tuolumne depending on
conditions. Get a cabin or whatever in Yosemite Valley and spend a lot of time there too.
Try to get a HD permit and give that an attempt. Any trail out of the valley dayhiking is nice.
You really can't go wrong. It's pretty clear to me you've never been to Yosemite.

There's load of info on trails on the nps site and probably 100 other places.

Best of Luck
and
Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 05:10PM
I never been at Yosemite,and I am from Florida,so I will not go probably to Yosemite again,cause i usually never return to same places because life is too short and too much to see.
So I did some serious hike outside USA but Half Dome is something I want to do but I would rather not deal with too much crowd before,so I would prefer high country backpacking so that is why I would prefer HSC,but if there is weather not cooperating,than I will do backpacking,that is why I would like to know which trail would be best.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 05:31PM
That's sad. But also ok. (secretly I don't care to visit Florida again)
(although I gotta admit The Keys were pretty nice)

Anyway, Best is subjective. Just because the HSC aren't open doesn't mean you can't backpack that route.
If you spend a week in Yosemite you'll probably see 1% of what there is.

Have fun Planning

Note to self: Yes, Life is too short.. so quit wasting so much time on this forum

Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 05:38PM
Preparation and organizing trip is soo much fun,and I have set days at end of June so I need to make sure that I will not miss the most exciting and adventurous part of Yosemite.And avoid most crowd and commercialization.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 02, 2012 07:37PM
Quote
chatka
And avoid most crowd and commercialization.

A very tiny bit of Yosemite is commercialized, pretty much just the valley floor with some at TM.

And as Chick-on said there is much to see in Yosemite. I've been hiking there for for over thirty years and have still a lot to cover.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2012 07:38PM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 03, 2012 11:52AM
To answer chatka's question, perhaps the best trail to take if the higher HSC's are closed and the water is too high on the Sunrise trail is to take the Cathedral trail. It's also part of the John Muir trail. You could just stay on the John Muir trail thru the Sunrise HSC area and go down to Little Yosemite Valley. This can be a one or two nighter. From Little Yosemite Valley you can do a day hike up Half Dome and spend another night at LYV or proceed all the way down to Yosemite Valley. I personally would favor breaking off from the John Muir trail just before Sunrise HSC and go to Echo Valley and/or Merced Lake for the night and then proceed down the Bunnell Cascade trail to Little Yosemite Valley, again, with the Half Dome option still available.

Chatka, this may answer your question but you still may be pushing the season a bit for backpacking from Tuolumne Meadows, depending on snow melt. You're talking about a 10-person group, some or all of whom have never backpacked Yosemite. You will also be hitting the park near the height of mosquito season with all that water around. Even on the route I suggested you will likely run into at least some amount of snow if the park receives a lot of late spring snow. It's a crapp shoot every year. Nobody knows what June will be like. Furthermore, if you arrive and find out weather and road conditions do not permit you to do what you want to do, then you are at the mercy of the first come--first served waiting line at the permit office trying to find alternative backpacking trails to your liking whose quotas are already filled up. It's bad enough for 1-2 people. Ten people seeking an alternative hike is a tall order.

Somebody else suggested concentrating on the Yosemite Valley area, just taking in lots of day hikes, and find lodging in places like Lee Vining, Mariposa, or Oakhurst. There are enough challenging day hikes in both the YV area and Tuolumne meadows area to wear your group to a frazzle. You would see much more of the park and be able to make quick change decisions based on weather and road conditions if those happen to be a factor when you get there. I travel to Yosemite once a year from the east coast and do nothing but high country backpacking and day hiking late in the summer. I've already seen the greater Yosemite Valley area several times so I don't go down that way. You have never been there and would be missing some of the key features of Yosemite trying to limit your trip to just backpacking a particular area. I would also be prepared for the likelyhood that once having visited the park you will want to return another time no matter how many other places there are to see. It's addictive!

Jim
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 03, 2012 02:28PM
Quote
tomdisco

I would also be prepared for the likelyhood that once having visited the park you will want to return another time no matter how many other places there are to see. It's addictive!

+1 thumbs up
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 03, 2012 07:25PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
tomdisco

I would also be prepared for the likelyhood that once having visited the park you will want to return another time no matter how many other places there are to see. It's addictive!

+1 thumbs up
+2



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2012 07:26PM by The Other Tom.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 03, 2012 08:01PM
+3 Lots of places to go and lots of places to see but there are some places that I will always return to at some point and some more than others. Yosemite is my heart and Yellowstone is my soul, add in some other places and there I will always go.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 04, 2012 06:21AM
Quote
chatka
Preparation and organizing trip is soo much fun,and I have set days at end of June so I need to make sure that I will not miss the most exciting and adventurous part of Yosemite.And avoid most crowd and commercialization.

Avoiding the most crowds will mean skipping Half Dome, the Valley, Glacier Point, Happy Isles, Mist Trail, Yosemite Falls, etc. To completely avoid crowds, I'd get a backpacking permit from Inyo or Sierra National Forest, and hike into the park from some outside trailhead altogether.

But, you want to do the Valley, and Glacier Point, and Yosemite Falls, and North Dome, and Clouds Rest, and Mariposa Grove, and Chilnualna Falls, and Tioga Pass if it is open - drive it and day hike some stuff! - Lembert Dome, May Lake and Hoffman, walk around Tuolumne Meadows and up Lyell Canyon, check out all the overlooks, visit Gaylor Lakes.... Yosemite is a day hiker's paradise, all the Big Stuff is a good day hike away from a road.

Lots of good stuff for backpackinhg too - but it is your first time. Spend a day in the Valley and go exploring the rest. You will never do it all.

Personally - one of the better hikes I have been on was to Moraine Dome. Once past LYV we saw NOBODY AT ALL. It was a spectacular view of the Merced Canyon and the peaks. Another favorite was Bunnell Cascade - again, once past LYV we might have seen two people. The cascades were beautiful, the bears tried to sneak up on us at lunch (but walked away when we talked back to them) - but we beat it when the storm started to come down the canyon from the high country.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 04, 2012 07:10AM
As for the greater YV area activities, just try to avoid weekends if you are coming "from away". If one visits the valley on Fourth of July weekend or Labor Day weekend they deserve to have their head examined, unless crowds and traffic are their thing.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 04, 2012 10:07AM
In the summer, especially June and July with those months extremely large amount of daylight hours, it's easy to avoid crowds even on the most crowded trails if one gets up at sunrise, has a quick breakfast and gets on the trail before 6:30 AM. Hell, even if one starts hiking by 8:00 AM, one will avoid the vast majority of the crowds.

Crowds are super easy to avoid in Yosemite (including Yosemite Valley), even in the summer, with just some simple common sense planning.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2012 01:50PM by plawrence.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 04, 2012 11:08AM
I agree. When we have been there during Memorial Day or Labor Day Weekends, we are able to find places even in the Valley where you can get away from the crowds. Traffic jams are an issue but if you are staying in the Valley or go to the Valley very early in the morning then there usually is not a problem if you leave your car parked the whole day. Shuttles can be full so hike or bike to where you want to go. Many of the people that come on Holiday Weekends tend to be in the more developed areas or on the more popular trails. Same goes for the rest of the summer - stay in the Valley or go in early and then spend your time in areas that the crowds don't go to like Old Big Oak Flat Road or Hidden Falls.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2012 11:09AM by parklover.
Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 04, 2012 06:15PM
The other way to avoid crowds is to do stuff in the morning, before noon. We always start hikes (my hiking group, that is) at 7 or 8 in the morning. By early to mid afternoon when the sun is at its warmest, and bouncing up from the granite like crazy to further get you all sweaty, and bonus! you're on the way back and it's downhill! - we are fighting against the crowds of tourists going up the Mist Trail sweating and groaning about the switchbacks and how hot it is (I'm referring to summer days here). You get the cooler part of the day for the uphill trudge, and the downhill part for the warmer afternoon, and you got the trail mostly to yourself because for some reason non-hiker tourists like to take their time getting up, getting breakfast, yawning, thinking, looking at guide books, getting lunch... and then hey, let's hike.

Which doesn't make sense to me at all, given it's hot at 2 pm and you're not going to get a 10 miler in before dinnertime, and they are not even carrying a backpack let alone food or water or anything. "Is this the way to half dome?" asked one fellow as he showed a number of early warning signs for heat stroke.

Take a map, get an early start, have fun out there. Don't forget water treatment so you can get water from the river and be assured you won't acquire bacterial difficulties for a souvenir.
avatar Re: High Sierra camps at end of June
December 04, 2012 02:09PM
Quote
tomdisco
If one visits the valley on Fourth of July weekend

I used to do 5 day backpacks on the 4th. Funny, did see any crowding at all. winking smiley
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