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Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas

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day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 08, 2013 09:00AM
On another thread somebody was looking for some easy hikes for his out of shape kid. I was thinking these may be good starter hikes, to get acclimated to the altitude, for my 15 + 13 yr old sons and 12(by the time we get there)yr old daughter. May Lake sounds great because lots have suggested camping there and doing some packless day hikes. Also Polly dome lake, which looks like more of a day hike to me on the map. Yosemite Creek was also mentioned not sure if this was to the campground. Jayabrams mentioned going to North Dome and on to Yosemite falls. If we did this as a through hike and went down the falls is hitch hiking back to the car on Tioga Road the only option outside of hiking back? The other questions is trail heads, i have been looking here http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm with limited success. Another day one possibility may be doing multiple short hikes. Olmstead Point, Tenaya Lake, Pot Hole dome, Tuolumne Meadow, Tuolumne Grove in some combination. Which is basically the way we started in Zion, multiple short <3mi hikes.
avatar Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 08, 2013 10:47AM
Hi Patsfan!

I did that North Dome trip about 3 years ago when my kids were 10 and 7 and my wife was still crazy enough to come with me on these trips. It was a great trip but it tested us (as a family) to our limits. Which is kind of what I wanted...

Here's a quick recap of what we did. It was late August and there was little or no water in Yosemite Creek/Falls when we went, but not many skeeters either! Keep in mind that you need to carry bear canisters and carefully plan your water consumption on this trip. North Dome does not have any easy water access in the summer months.

Day 1 - Drove up from the SF Bay area , left one car in the valley and then drove around to set up camp at the backpackers campground in the Tuolumne Meadows CG. This was a nice way to get acclimated with a good nights sleep at 8,500ft elevation before our hike!

Day 2 - We started at the Porcupine Creek Trailhead, pitched a tent at the saddle below North Dome. (Approx. 5.2 miles) Mostly downhill. The campsite is beautiful but can be crowded. It's only a short 5 minute walk up the backside of the dome from here. Sunset was amazing!

Day 3 - North Dome to top of Yosemite Falls. Maybe 5 or 6 miles or so (I can't remember exactly how long it was) We took our time and did a lot of exploring along the rim of the canyon. Yosemite Point is a really cool railing perched on the rim of the canyon. When you reach the top of the falls, head up river to see if you can find a nice campsite. This is another spot that can be crowded.

Day 4 - Down the Yosemite Falls Trail. It says 3.2 miles, but it feels like twice that due to the downhill pounding on your knees. Before we began, we left a second car in the valley so we could shuttle around and pick up the car at the trail head where we started.

As an alternative, you can hike the 6 miles or so back up the Yosemite Creek Trail to Tioga Pass Road and catch the shuttle back to Porcupine Creek. Or hike the 5-6 miles directly back to Porcupine Creek.

In hindsight, I should have hiked back to Tioga Pass Rd, but it was tough to get over the 6 miles uphill vs. 3.2 downhill.

As with any post on here...Your experience may vary...My kids still want to go with me on my trips, so I must have done something right!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
avatar Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 08, 2013 10:51AM
PS...My little Avatar photo is taken from North Dome!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 09, 2013 04:04AM
Hi Jayabrams!

Thanks so much for taking the time. We are flying in from the East coast, two cars is not going to work so your hindsight is great news. The day to day breakdown is also helpful for the relatively unsure planners of this trip. We can go back to the car and drive to the next hike off the Tioga road. This will also keep us from waiting for a bus/shuttle, my patience is about the same as yours, they dont call us Massholes for nothing.
LOVE the avatar pic! Actually i am still waiting to see a picture on here i dont like.
avatar Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 08, 2013 11:00AM
Quote
Patsfans
Jayabrams mentioned going to North Dome and on to Yosemite falls. If we did this as a through hike and went down the falls is hitch hiking back to the car on Tioga Road the only option outside of hiking back?
You could take the hiker's shuttle ($) up to the trailhead and leave your car in the Valley.
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 09, 2013 04:06AM
Im thinking that this wont leave early enough for us. We like to head out before the sun is up so Daddy can avoid high temp hiking.
avatar Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 08, 2013 02:38PM
I've looked into that shuttle for a lot of different trips and have never found the correct timing or availability to make it work for me. Then again...I'm pretty impatient when it comes to those things, so I didn't try too hard to make it work. It IS possible!

We live pretty close (and there were 6 of us) so we could bring a second commuter car for about the same cost as the bus tickets and we didn't have to worry about a schedule. I even left a mountain bike locked up at Camp 4 for when we came down the Yosemite Falls trail. No waiting for a bus, just a 10 minute ride to the overnight lot at Curry village. I had the car and was on the road out of the valley within 30 minutes of reaching the bottom.

I'm pretty sure we got home around sunset and made it to work/school the next day.



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 08, 2013 06:01PM
If you want a great warm up hike, I would go to the Sunrise trailhead by Lake Tenaya and hike to Clouds Rest - It's much longer than your three mile routes - actually 7 miles one way but there is only one realtively significant uphill that comes early in the trail after about a mile hike when your legs are fresh - I think this is one of the nicest hikes in Yosemite - and the views are spectacular.

But if you want to stay to the short routes - I would check out sentinel dome - short with very nice views
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 08, 2013 07:32PM
Clouds Rest is a moderately strenuous hike of 14 miles with 1,512 feet (approximately) of cumulative gain. North Dome is about 8 miles round trip with 571 feet of gain. Big Difference.

I would take an out of shape kid on easy stuff in the valley first. If sufficient interest developed I would take the kid up to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Maybe Dewey Point.
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 08, 2013 11:50PM
Quote
AlmostThere
.... North Dome is about 8 miles round trip with 571 feet of gain. ....

Are you using meters instead of feet? It's certainly more than twice what you think.

see: http://www.modernhiker.com/2010/04/05/hiking-north-dome-and-indian-rock-yosemite-national-park/
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 10, 2013 05:23PM
Quote
wherever
Quote
AlmostThere
.... North Dome is about 8 miles round trip with 571 feet of gain. ....

Are you using meters instead of feet? It's certainly more than twice what you think.

see: http://www.modernhiker.com/2010/04/05/hiking-north-dome-and-indian-rock-yosemite-national-park/

Cumulative gain - which is different. Old GPS track measurements.

The hardest part of the hike was the exposed granite, for most people. A non-hiking ten year old did it without a hiccup, so it's immaterial as long as the kid is motivated.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/2013 05:24PM by AlmostThere.
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 09, 2013 04:20AM
The out of shape kid was somebody else asking for advice. My three are raring to go! Clouds Rest sounds spectacular from everything i have read. I think the problem is that there are so many great hikes to choose from. We have left all the National Parks we have been to feeling like we needed to go back at some point and do the hikes we didnt get to. I already know that we will feel the same way leaving Yosemite. We are very fortunate to live in a country with such natural beauty and the freedom to go and see what we want.
avatar Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 09, 2013 01:59PM
Quote
Patsfans
We have left all the National Parks we have been to feeling like we needed to go back at some point and do the hikes we didnt get to. I already know that we will feel the same way leaving Yosemite.

Well, then...

Start now to plan your next few Yosemite trips! grinning smiley
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 09, 2013 03:02PM
Quote
Patsfans
The out of shape kid was somebody else asking for advice. My three are raring to go! Clouds Rest sounds spectacular from everything i have read. I think the problem is that there are so many great hikes to choose from. We have left all the National Parks we have been to feeling like we needed to go back at some point and do the hikes we didnt get to. I already know that we will feel the same way leaving Yosemite. We are very fortunate to live in a country with such natural beauty and the freedom to go and see what we want.

We stopped counting at 80 years ago. I wonder how many times Chick-on and some of the others have been to Yosemite. We have several parks that we tend to return to multiple times but not as many times as Yosemite.
avatar Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 10, 2013 06:31PM
Tuolumne Grove is a good one. If you've never seen Sequioas this grove will satisfy you.
Olmsted Point is a quick little jaunt. Or not even...

Lembert Dome. Do that. For sure. Especially if you go in the morning. You can continue
to Dog Lake if you like... but just up Lembert should be a nice lung stretcher.
Pothole Dome is very simple but well worthwhile.

Polly Dome I would not dayhike to. You will have to go offtrail to get there... and although
the erratics are something to see... you can see erratics on Pothole.

Mist Trail must be done to top of Vernal.
Hike the Mirror Lake loop and stare up at the face of Half Dome.

Taft Pt.... Sentinel Dome.

All those... and many more... but those are the top ones that I would recommend.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 11, 2013 04:48PM
I laughed the first time i read it but have come to understand and appreciate... bird is the word! As always thank you all for your thoughts and ideas. My family is officially concerned about by new addiction. YOSEMITE!
avatar Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 11, 2013 05:17PM
Don't worry too much... b/c no matter what you do... you will have missed something.
Take your time and slow down and have fun.

Other dayhikes well worth your time include:
Lower Cathedral Lake
Gaylor Lakes
North Dome (mentioned above)
Clouds Rest (mentioned above)
May Lake (easy dayhike)
You can backpack to all these except Gaylor. Lots of options.
But since you have 5... getting a permit may be difficult. Whenever possible... get
your permit a day ahead of time.

And sorry if anything mentioned before. I have bird brain with limited capacity.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: day one, starter hikes thoughts and ideas
March 12, 2013 09:51AM
Here's a good thread on campsites and hiking to Clouds Rest. My kids LOVED this trip!

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,58086,58316#msg-58316

I will second what Chick-on said...Don't try to do too much, you'll have fun no matter what you choose!



"It is all very beautiful and magical here - a quality which cannot be described. You have to live it and breath it., let the sun bake it into you" - Ansel Adams
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