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Re: May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?

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avatar May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?
August 13, 2013 09:20PM
In a couple of weeks a group of eight (8) of us will be hiking to May Lake HSC for two nights, hiking to Glen Aulin HSC for one night, hiking to Tuolumne Meadows 'HSC' for two nights. The day after we arrive at TM we will be doing a day hike (out and back) to Cloud's Rest. I was thinking about these parking options:

First, since we are going to be ending up at Tuolumne Meadows at the end, we can probably leave the cars in the Dog Lake parking lot and take the shuttle bus from the Tuolumne HSC parking lot, which is across the street from the Dog Lake parking. We would take the shuttle to the May Lake trailhead on Tioga Road. It is about 2 1/2 miles up to ML from the trailhead. That way when we hike out from Glen Aulin to TM the car will be there near TM. Probably better to leave the cars at Dog Lake parking rather than trying to find multiple car parking near the ML trailhead?

So, if we want to be at May Lake in the late afternoon, say by 4:00. It might take about three hours to hike the 2 1/2 miles up to the camp if we are really slow, right (?). If so, we would start at 1:00. OK, to start at 1:00 we would need to catch the shuttle bus at TM parking lot at 12:30 or so. Leave an hour to get prepped for the hike at the car (8 people - herding cats...) we would need to arrive at the Dog Lake parking lot at 11:30. It is 223 miles from SF to Lembert Dome, or 4 hours and 46 minutes, so say 5 hours. Given that, I would need to leave SF at about 6:30 AM.

Or, second, we could drive to the Dog Lake parking lot, leave one car there and then the other cars drive to the May Lake parking lot, hike into ML one mile or so, and at the end of the week take the car from Dog Lake parking lot to pick up the May Lake cars.

The day after we get to Tuolumne will be the hike to Cloud's Rest, so maybe it is best to have the least amount of coordination to do that afternoon prior to that hike.

Really curious to hear any feedback. I want to do option one as it is a longer hike, but it will be a really full day (but so what, right?)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2013 09:20PM by Paris92.
avatar Re: May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?
August 14, 2013 07:15AM
The parking lot AT May Lake TH at the end of May Lake Rd. wasn't full on last Friday or
last Sunday. Regardless there is parking all up and down the road too. If that factors
into your decision at all. Having only done the portion from May Lake TH to Tioga
Rd. "May Lake TH" (since they call it that... there's 3 May Lake TH's) SnowCreek->May
May Lake Rd->May Tioga Rd May->May
Anywho.... as I was saying... only done the Old Tioga Rd trail to May Lake once...
and iirc it has limited views. .. views you can pretty much get at May Lake itself by
going up onto the bluff east of the camp.
But as you said... you have all day... and the days, although starting to get shorter...
are still pretty long. Worse case you would start hiking by 1pm (usually we start
hiking around 10am when coming from Bay Area) ... which affords you ample time
to climb the additional 500 ft. from the Tioga Rd May Lake TH.
Personally I find it somewhat annoying to hike by a bunch of cars halfway thru a hike.
(which is why I never hike up 4 Mile when GP road is open).
But... as you said... you have all day...
Have fun... and enjoy TM HSC and ur trip
And, of course, go up Mt. Hoffmann... but don't feed these guys:




Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?
August 14, 2013 07:21AM
Thanks for the advice and options. Much appreciated.
Re: May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?
August 14, 2013 10:18AM
I would suggest your option one... leave all your cars near Dog Lake and take the shuttle to the May Lake trailhead off Tioga Road. The additional mileage from the Tioga Road shuttle stop to May Lake is only 1.5 miles vs starting at the parking lot. Since you have a group (and mentioned "herding cats"winking smiley doing the car shuttle won't save you much time before going to May Lake.
Re: May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?
August 14, 2013 11:29AM
Don't forget it takes time to drive up and down the May Lake road...Overall, I'll throw my vote in for option 1 (all cars Dog Lake, take shuttle to ML TH), as well. Gives you lots of options when you get out.
Re: May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?
August 14, 2013 12:21PM
and for anyone who's never driven down "May Lake Road" (which is actually a segment of the Old Tioga Road (just to give old roads their due!)), it's nominally maintained but if you're in a car (as opposed to some kind of high-clearance/heavy-suspension vehicle), that 1.5 miles can take longer than you might think.
avatar Re: May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?
August 14, 2013 08:41PM
Thanks for all the input!
avatar Re: May Lake to Tuolumne Meadows - Parking Options?
August 15, 2013 08:43AM
Sort of like year round frost heaves.
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