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Half Dome from the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

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Re: Hiking Trip March 25th To March 29

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Hiking Trip March 25th To March 29
February 21, 2016 10:38AM
Hi Yosemite/Hiking Lovers,

This is my first visit to Yosemite Vally and my first Hiking. I'm looking for some ideas , check-In pointers , anything good activators on the route ( Upper Pines ) , backpacking , items , camp items , food . Please share your suggestion

I am interested in

1. Hiking
2. Photography
3. Explore of Wild Life


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2016 10:43AM by mashwin.
Re: Hiking Trip March 25th To March 29
February 21, 2016 03:52PM
Welcome mashwin. Just some questions so we can help you better. Do you have reservations already in Upper Pines? You mentioned this is your first hiking so have you done any hiking at all or what other physical activities do you do? Have you done any camping before? Are you going by yourself or someone else and will there be kids with you?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2016 03:54PM by parklover.
Re: Hiking Trip March 25th To March 29
February 22, 2016 12:24PM
Thanks for your response PakerLover :-)
Yes, I do have reservation for Upper Pines for 4 nights.
I am planning do my Itinerary to this trip,Past ~2 months I am doing physical activities like CrossFits, I had did some of 5K marathon in my city. I am pushing my self to get ready for this Trip :-).
I never did camping in tents, But I like to know how can I plan it for it ( mostly i will be planing to buy / rent them near Fresno Yosemite area) . We are like ~6 ppls all Adults doing this activities.

Re: Hiking Trip March 25th To March 29
February 22, 2016 03:34PM
I agree that you should get the Michael Frye book for photography. I am not the photographer in the family but do have some suggestions. For sunset pictures - Sentinel Bridge for HalfDome, Gates of the Valley View AKA Valley View (west end of valley along Northside drive)where you are by the Merced River and can get good reflections of El Cap in the water and the Tunnel view for the whole valley. I would make sure you know the time of sunset but get there early because the mountains in the west block the sun so the colors are early than the sunset and it gives you time to check out where you want to stand. Best times to shoot are early morning and before sunset because on a clear day the sun can be too harsh for landscape photos and the rest of the time is better for detail shots. You might get lucky and a snow storm will come in and the Valley is incredible when it gets snow. If it does snow get up early to shoot before the snow starts to melt off the trees. In January, at the Gates of the Valley my husband got some good shots of hoarfrost on the trees and on the rocks in the river but by the afternoon it had melted. Wildlife is also more active in the mornings and evenings. However, we have found that wildlife photography in Yosemite is a hit and miss kind of thing depending more upon luck. It is not like Yellowstone where you can pretty well figure out when and where you will see a herd of bison or elk. If the skies are clear at night try some time lapse photography. You will miss full moon by three nights but it should be bright enough to light up the cliffs and that makes some interesting night shots.

You mentioned backpacking but since you have reservations at Upper Pines you will not be staying outside of the valley so I won't address that. As for hiking, there have been several posts on the board recently where people have given a lot of suggestions of what hikes to do in the winter. There are many hikes that you can do in Yosemite Valley - Mirror Lake, Base of Yosemite Falls, Base of Bridalveil Falls, Vernal Falls and loops around the valley floor. You could go to the top of Nevada Falls or to the top of Yosemite Falls. However, with you limited hiking experience and the fact that it is winter with icy and snowy conditions, I am personally hesitant to suggest doing that since I have not done that in the winter and don't know what it gets like. Hopefully some of the other hikers here and especially the ones that do winter hiking will chime in with more hiking suggestions.

I am not sure when the ice skating rink closes this year in the valley but that is a fun thing to do. If you like to ski go to Badger pass one day but get there early in the morning since many schools have their spring break when you are there and they could run out of rental equipment early. You can also rent snowshoes and cross country skies there and do some of the trails. There are also ranger led snowshoe programs. There are also ranger lead programs in the valley and movies/talks at night. Check the Yosemite guide for suggestions and also ranger led and other programs and things to do.

As for camping gear I suggest that you google gear list for car camping to get some idea of what you would need. What gear people take also is a personal choice were some go minimal and just take the basics and some people take everything they possible can fit in their car. For a starter try these sites:

Just remember that it will be cold, especially at night so take proper clothing. It is good to take articles of clothing that can be layered so you can take things off and put them back on as it warms up or cools down. If could be icy so some kind of traction devices like micro spike or trex for your shoes can be helpful. If you are going to take a shower while you are there I suggest water shoes or flipflops to wear in the shower. Thermal underwear is good to sleep in.

Food: Food is expensive in the park so do as much shopping as you can at home or in one of the gateway towns. Since I don't know what you like to eat the only thing I can suggest is to take food that is easy and quick to cook since it takes longer to do things while camping and in the winter food gets cold fast and things that use a minimal amount of pots and pans. It also depends on if you are going to cook over a campfire or on a stove. Again this is a personal thing. We have gone camping where we have done full meals like steak with potatoes and salads for dinner and bacon, eggs and pancakes for breakfast. Or we have just had pasta for dinner and cereal for breakfast. Other people take prepared freeze dried food. What ever you take make sure your cooler and everything food related or with a smell is kept in the bear box when not in use. Make sure you carry water and at least snacks ( we sometimes make sandwiches) while you are hiking around. We carry cheese,fruit, granola bars, chocolate and water even when we are taking a short hike just in case it takes us longer than expected. Remember to dispose of your trash properly. There are also many choices of kinds of places to eat in the park if you don't want to cook.

For a map of Upper Pines with pictures of each site go to: http://yosemitecampsites.com/upperpines/ I have not camped for a long time in Yosemite so I don't know how they assign campsites now. We always liked the upper loop campsites such as 211,214,216,220,226,230,232,234 in the upper loop.

Hopefully some other people will have more suggestions for you.
Re: Hiking Trip March 25th To March 29
February 22, 2016 10:33AM
For photography you should definitely get the book by Michael Frye sold in all the gift shops in the park if you don't have time to order before your trip. Amazon link: Photographing Yosemite

EDIT: I am surprised to see all the negative reviews, but seems they are mostly about the binding of the book. I have at least two copies of this book and mine never fell apart. For the first time photographer I consider this guide a must have.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2016 10:37AM by hotrod4x5.
Re: Hiking Trip March 25th To March 29
February 23, 2016 10:02AM
@parklover, Thank you very much for giving me details list of programs what to do in Yosemite Vally, reading to your response/blog given Idea and confident to plan it accordingly. I will keep you posted once i get there and how things went.

Once again THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!

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