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Re: Yosemite 2013

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Yosemite 2013
January 23, 2013 09:59AM
After 20 years of minivans, my family has moved to the next stage of life and I can start driving a pickup again. Got a small pickup that I'm putting a shell on and setting up for camping.

We've family camped Yosemite for years during the summer months, mostly in the valley, one year up in Tuolumne. I've backpacked the high country (both solo and with a partner) for years but, again, exclusively in the summer.

My goal for 2013: to camp at least 1 night in Yosemite every month of 2013 (except Jan - won't have my shell until Feb). I also want to camp at all 11 of the different campgrounds (I consider North. Lower and Upper Pines essentially 1 campground).

I'll probably double up on the first-come/first-served campgrounds in July & Aug (I'm a high school teacher so mid-week trips are very do-able in the summer months)

I really want to explore as much of the park as possible and see it through all the seasons, not just summer.

Current Proposed Itinerary:

Feb - Wawona and/or Upper Pines - Skate Curry Village, Xcountry Ski Badger
Mar - Upper Pines(site reserved) - Explore the Valley in Spring
April - Lower PInes(site reserved) - Celebrate My Birthday
May - Hodgdon(site reserved) - Hetch Hetchy and Tuolumne Grove
June - Wawona or North Pines or Hodgdon(need to reserve site) - ???
July - Bridalveil/White Wolf/Yosemite Creek/Porcupine Flat (in order of preference) - day hike exploration & a 3 night backpack of Hetch Hetchy
Aug - Bridalveil/White Wolf/Yosemite Creek/Porcupine Flat (in order of preference) - day hike exploration & a 3-4 night backpack thru Red Peak Pass
Sept - reserve in Tuolumne or Crane Flat/Tamarack Flat/Porcupine Flat - Cathedral Lakes or day hike exploration
Oct - Crane Flat/Tamarack Flat/Porcupine Flat - day hike explorations
Nov - Camp 4 - Explore the Valley in Late Fall/Early Winter
Dec - ???

Feel free to poke holes in my itinerary.

I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations for trails/landmarks/must-sees in any area within 10 miles or so of any of the campgrounds.

Also, I enjoy using my mountain bike to get around the valley floor and am wondering how useful it might be in some of the high country camps like Yosemite Creek, Bridalveil or Hogdgon?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2013 10:06AM by twarfield.
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 24, 2013 09:53AM
It might be too obvious, but some of these campgrounds are close to some of the more
popular hiking trails in the park. Camp 4 is close to Upper Yosemite Falls trail, the May
and April campgrounds are close to Mist trail, etc.

4 Mile trail to Glacier Point is a great one, whenever it is open.
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 24, 2013 02:50PM
Thanks for the suggestion.

I've actually hiked all four (Mist Trail, Yosemite Falls, Snow Creek & 4 Mile) of the valley to high country connectors.

My order of preference:

Snow Creek
4 Mile
Mist Trail
Yosemite Falls

(I think my preference is inversely proportional to the number of tourons on the trails)grinning smiley

Camp 4 has been kind of the western boundary of my valley wandering. Any interesting trails west of there?
avatar Re: Yosemite 2013
January 24, 2013 10:22AM
Just FYI:
"There is a 30-night camping limit within Yosemite National Park in a calendar year; however, May 1 - September 15, the camping limit in
Yosemite is 14 nights, and only seven of those nights can be in Yosemite Valley or Wawona."

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

Bike prob. not very useful at Bridalveil, Yose Creek, Tamarack, Porc.
Hodgden may be useful to ride down to Carlon or to Tuolumne Grove on old roads.
Maybe ok at Bridalveil if want to bike to GP... but debatable..

You should stay in Backpackers CG at HH (if/whenever the road opens) too if trying to
hit all the campgrounds.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 24, 2013 03:37PM
Sounds like the bike idea isn't going to be in play except in the valley. Didn't really expect one to be that useful but never hurts to ask.

Thanks for the reminder about the camping days limits. Do wilderness permit/backpacker campground days count towards the 14 day limit? If so, I've broken that rule a few times and I'll have to rethink my plan.

My (revised) plan (May 1 - Sept 15):
May - 1 night - Hodgdon(site reserved) - Hetch Hetchy and Tuolumne Grove
June - 1-2 nights - Wawona or North Pines or Hodgdon(need to reserve site) - ???

That leaves me 11-12 nights for July and Aug. As I understand it, once you have a site at one of the first-come/first-served locations you can stay or leave without any additional notice. I'll probably get a site for a night or two midweek, get a wilderness permit, pull camp, do my backpack over the weekend, head to the valley for a shower and resupply and then hit one of the other high country camps for another midweek night or two.

July - 2-4 nights - Bridalveil/White Wolf/Yosemite Creek/Porcupine Flat (in order of preference) - day hike exploration & a 3 night backpack of Hetch Hetchy
Aug - 2-4 nights - Bridalveil/White Wolf/Yosemite Creek/Porcupine Flat (in order of preference) - day hike exploration & a 3-4 night backpack thru Red Peak Pass

So, even if I do 8 nights in July/Aug (assuming wilderness permit/backpacking campground days don't count toward the 14 day limit) I'm at 11 days max with 3 left for Sept (which will probably have to be a short weekend trip because school will be back in session).

Sept - go after the 15th if I've used up my 14 nights - reserve in Tuolumne or Crane Flat/Tamarack Flat/Porcupine Flat - Cathedral Lakes or day hike exploration

I like this. It's making me think.
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 24, 2013 04:00PM
Quote
twarfield
Sounds like the bike idea isn't going to be in play except in the valley. Didn't really expect one to be that useful but never hurts to ask.

If you actually have a mountain bike with you, there is some stuff to do off the highway. You just have to stay on the road system, not on the trail system. See:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28199,28199
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28251,51325
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28270,28270

This is from here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56896

The "long" in the titles refers to the length of the message, not to the length of the ride.
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 25, 2013 07:48AM
Thanks! Based on what you posted I think our biking styles are much the same. Not looking for a place to go single-track downhill bombing. I go to the mountains to slow down and reconnect with the simple things in life. I try to do no/minimal driving once I'm in the park but, like you, the idea of sharing the main roads with the SUVs & RVs feels more like a death wish than a relaxing recreational activity.

I was really hoping to find more hidden gems like the (closed to bikes sad smiley) Old Big Oak Flat and Aspen Valley roads where I could use some of the ranger roads to get places where going on foot wouldn't leave much time for leisurely appreciation but these are great.

I know a lot of ski resorts allow biking during the summer months. Have you ever heard of any Forest Service maintenance roads around Badger Pass?

Do you have any experience with the road to the Hetch Hetchy backpacker's campground?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2013 08:27AM by twarfield.
avatar Re: Yosemite 2013
January 25, 2013 12:29PM
Quote
twarfield

Do you have any experience with the road to the Hetch Hetchy backpacker's campground?

HHBPCG is great. Room for at least two tents at each site. Picnic table at each one, plenty of separation between sites, loo and washing sink close by, maybe a bear will drop by, NO FIRES allowed, and only $5 per person. Interesting history also. Always a site available in my experience.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Yosemite 2013
January 25, 2013 12:40PM
Quote
twarfield
I was really hoping to find more hidden gems like the (closed to bikes sad smiley) Old Big Oak Flat and Aspen Valley roads where I could use some of the ranger roads to get places where going on foot wouldn't leave much time for leisurely appreciation but these are great.

I know a lot of ski resorts allow biking during the summer months. Have you ever heard of any Forest Service maintenance roads around Badger Pass?

Anywhere that is designated wilderness will be off limits to any wheeled vehicle and most any wheeled device. Even travois are not allowed in wilderness areas.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Yosemite 2013
January 25, 2013 07:59PM
I'd be interested in hearing more about the HHBPCG's history. I've never spent a night there but it looks pretty sweet, indeed.

Another option for biking - they usually open the Tioga Road for bikes-only a day or two before its open for cars.

When will this be? No idea - you'll have to keep your eyes on the road. Here is the history of opening dates:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tiogaopen.htm
Plowing and opening updates should appear here:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm
avatar Re: Yosemite 2013
January 24, 2013 05:07PM
Don't count any nights you stay at a BP campground or out in the wilderness in your caculcation.

I wouldn't get toooo hung up on the number either. Just don't go completely crazy and try to stay
at a FCFS campground for a month straight.

A comment w/r to the touron comment:
We just found out about the "hazard blinker rule". What you an do, and it's completely legal... say you see
a deer on the side of the road... and you have never seen one of these magestic animals before and just
have to get a picture of little Johnny feeding it... well.. just put on your hazards and just stop in the middle of the
road and go crazy. Perfectly fine. No problem at all.
O... on this same trip... also saw someone turn around and go east on northside drive. Guess that is ok in winter too.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 25, 2013 08:40AM
Good to hear about the WP/BPCG nights. One of my frustrations is the number of folks who essentially treat the BPCG as extended stay campgrounds, especially on the valley floor. I'll spend the night, go for a 3-4 night backpacking trip, come back and the same tent will be pitched in the same location. I'm a bit OCD. so bending, much less breaking rules is pretty hard for me. If the WP/BPCG nights counted, I was afraid I'd have to turn myself into the rangers and ask for amnesty. White flag

As far as the "hazard blinker rule", I'm having trouble deciding whether to laugh or cry.
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 25, 2013 11:20AM
You have a backpack out of Hetch-Hetchy planned for July. I'd move that up to spring-time. The month of May is lovely with waterfalls at their peak and wild flowers in bloom.

The backpack over Red Peak Pass deserves more than 3-4 nights. Lots to explore between Lower Ottoway and Washburn lakes. August is the perfect time for that trip.
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 25, 2013 12:34PM
Thanks for the advice. I am planning to day hike Hetch Hetchy in May when I camp at Hodgdon. I'm a teacher so a weekend is all I can do in May.

Backpacking Hetch Hetchy in July right now is more of a maybe. A long-time friend and I meet up for a 3 night backpack (his summer vacation time is limited) in Yosemite every year. We've done pretty much everything from White Wolf to Tuolumne Meadowns both north and south of Tioga, everything north of the Merced River to TM plus Lyle Canyon, Glacier Pt through Illilouette and over on Panorama, Chilnualna Falls over to Bridalveil. HH is one of the few sections of the park we haven't hiked yet. I try to stay between 7000' and 9000' for July trips (depending on snow melt). Haven't really checked the maps yet for elevation or routes.

Just checked the elevation in Hetch Hetchy. At below 4000', not where I want to be hiking in July. Time for Plan B.

Still early in the planning stages if you've got suggestions.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2013 02:26PM by twarfield.
avatar Re: Yosemite 2013
January 30, 2013 06:55PM
You get into the Jack Main Canyon and Tilden Lake and that's around 9000....I'd say thats high country.
Re: Yosemite 2013
January 29, 2013 08:51AM
Ditto on moving your Hetch Hetchy trip earlier than July. You don't want to miss the waterfalls and wildflowers of Hetch Hetchy. Plus I'd want to be in the higher country in July...smiling smiley
Dee



http://ndeewoods.blogspot.com/
avatar Re: Yosemite 2013
January 29, 2013 09:52AM
An old thing-a-ding on HH area from some years back...
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,10240,10240#msg-10240

A comment w/r to HH BP CG. Before 9/11 the way to do it was run up there on a
Friday night and stay in the BP CG. Get up the next morning and get ur permit
at 7am and be on your way. 9/11 ruined that gig.

If the road was open now... I'd say go there now. Nice and quiet.



Chick-on is looking at you!
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