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#190795 - 05/31/15 09:49 PM Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite?
MannyDantyla Offline
member

Registered: 05/31/15
Posts: 34
Hi guys, this is my first post on this forum but I'm not a noob to hiking. (though if an admin wants to move then to the Noob Questions section then thats cool).

However, I've never hiked in Yosemite and its a little intimidating. Everyone says it's super crowded and the rules are crazy strict. I'm going in about two weeks and there's 5 people in the group. My roommate reserved a time at a trailhead so we won't have to wait in line.

What my questions is: is our plan for hiking around Yosemite a good plan??



So from the map you can see our plan pretty well. We start at the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead and go down the John Muir trail to the Sunrise camp site where we'll make camp for our first night. The reservation we made nearly 6 months ago says we also will have a reservation at that campsite and hat we must stay there that night, I think.

Then, with a stop at Cloud's Rest, we'll hike down to the path that takes us to Half Dome and set up camp somewhere in the woods. The third day, we'll leave or packs in the bushes somewhere smart and do a day trip to half dome and back. This day will be somewhat of a break in pace and is optional to anyone in the group.

The 4th day is the one with the most concern for me. The plan is to hike down into the village in the valley and catch a bus to the Yosemite Falls trail, then hike back North towards the road and find a place to stay the night. On the 5th and last day we'll hike to the road and catch the bus back to where are car is parked.

How does this sound?

Do you have any tips or recommendations for us? Anything we need to know??

Thank you guys so much!

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#190799 - 06/01/15 12:00 AM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: MannyDantyla]
bobito9 Offline
member

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 392
well, the fourth day does involve a very steep descent and a very steep ascent, as well as a tolerance for crowds.It's doable if you are in very good shape, but it's tough on knees. On the plus side, if you're just feeling wiped out once you hit the Valley floor, you could instead opt for staying at the backpacker campsite in the Valley and then take the bus back to your starting point. You could even just dayhike up the Falls trail and then take the bus onward. No crime in making adjustments when your body needs it.
By the way, do you have a permit to hike up Half Dome? The rules changed a couple years ago, you have to have a separate permit for that. Also, be sure your bear cannister is not stored in your pack when you hide it in the bushes (I'm sure the rangers will give all the necessary advice on that)
Anyway, congratulations on getting an itinerary through some of the finest mountain scenery in the world!

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#190811 - 06/01/15 11:47 AM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: bobito9]
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1800
Loc: Napa, CA
Yeah, you may want to check that plan with the rangers. Generally, if you leave the wilderness to catch a shuttle bus, you are required to get a second permit to re-enter again. That's what you are doing on day 4.

I like Bobito's suggestion of just spending the night at the backpacker's campground, then catching the bus to Tuolumne Meadows.

If you want to keep backpacking, you can also make this a loop by hiking up Lewis or Fletcher Creek over Vogelsang and Tuolumne Pass, then back to Tuolumne Meadows.

You are hiking some of the most popular trails in the park, so expect to see lots of people--and that also means that your permits are more likely to be checked by a ranger on the trail. But once you get on the trail, the actual route, including your campsites, are not in question. They just want to make sure that you are starting on the right trailhead (and that you have a permit to climb Half Dome).

You'll have a great time. Make sure you have bear canisters. They rent them very cheaply at the wilderness offices where you get your permits. Use them. Bear incidents in Yosemite have gone down like one of those big waterfalls since these kinds of preventive measures have been put in place.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#190819 - 06/01/15 02:09 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: balzaccom]
MannyDantyla Offline
member

Registered: 05/31/15
Posts: 34
Thank you guys!

I think we'll definitely revise our plans, with this new information. I'll post a new map later tonight.

We'll also look into what it takes to get the permits to go on Half Dome.

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#190824 - 06/01/15 07:38 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: MannyDantyla]
bobito9 Offline
member

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 392
Yeah, I concur with balzaccom's suggestion about returning by Fletcher or Lewis Creeks. Those are both more beautiful routes than Yosemite Falls,imho, and they keep you in the backcountry, no roads and all that. Personally Vogelsang Pass is my favorite route between Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite Valley (though your Cathedral route is also quite beautiful)

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#190825 - 06/01/15 11:52 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: bobito9]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
The hike from Half Dome to the Valley and the hike up Yosemite Falls are spectacular (take the Mist Trail, not the JMT). Yes, there are crowds, but I feel the scenery outweighs the crowd issue. I agree that it would be a hard day to do both but not impossible. Keep packs light and it will be easier. You always have the option to stay at the backpackers camp in the Valley and day hike on Day 5 and take the YARTS bus back to your car. Be sure to look up the bus schedule on the YARTS web page and carry this information with you.

You did not say when you are going. If June or maybe even to early July the waterfalls will be good. If in August or later, Yosemite Falls will likely be dry. The falls along the Merced flow year-round.

I think you have a good plan. Come back next year and do a more "wilderness" high country loop!





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#190852 - 06/03/15 02:41 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: wandering_daisy]
MannyDantyla Offline
member

Registered: 05/31/15
Posts: 34
wandering daisy, are you sure we wouldn't need a second trailhead reservation to go up the Yosemite Falls trail? Oh, and we're going in two weeks, June 15th to the 20th or so.

*****************

Here's our new plan:



However, this is in no way set in stone. I've put together two other routes that we could take.




Clearly these last two are much longer than the other plan. The short route will afford us the time to get back to our cars, drive through the valley South to the Sequoia groves. It also won't be too extreme. In our group is two girl who have never hiked like this before. Well, actually, I've never been on a hike this long either. Last year I went hiking in Colorado for 2 nights and then did a 14er (Mount Beirstat) and I was totally wiped out.

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#190853 - 06/03/15 03:01 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: MannyDantyla]
MannyDantyla Offline
member

Registered: 05/31/15
Posts: 34
Oh, and a few more things...

The trailhead reservation we have is called the backcountry pass. Is the permit to hike Half Dome included with this pass?

And fires... is it true you can't have fires when camping in the wood somewhere? I'm told it's ok at the backpackers camp sites where they have firepits and firewood, but if you pick up any sticks and logs and burn them then the rangers will rip your head off.


Edited by MannyDantyla (06/03/15 03:05 PM)

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#190854 - 06/03/15 03:55 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: MannyDantyla]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2803
Loc: NorCal
IIUC Half Dome is now a separate permit, issued via lottery.

Yosemite backcountry fires are permitted up to 9,600 feet, but do check about additional restrictions specific to very popular areas. I'm guessing such limits do exist, since easy wood gets stripped out pretty quickly in popular subalpine areas.

Last summer during fire season, fires were also banned below 6,000 feet, meaning there was a narrow legal zone between that and 9,600 feet. Had to parse our maps pretty carefully to stay legal.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#190864 - 06/03/15 11:44 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: MannyDantyla]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
It is my understanding that you can walk through the valley (or ride the shuttle) to another trailhead on the same permit. You only have to get a new permit if you stay overnight in the valley or outside of the wilderness area.

You may not be able to get a Half Dome permit this late in the game for your time frame. An equally great climb is Clouds Rest - no permit needed.


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#190865 - 06/03/15 11:49 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: wandering_daisy]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
Remember that Yosemite routes have a LOT of elevation gain and it can be quite hot lower down.

A rule of thumb to estimate travel time:

miles traveled x mph + 1 hour for each 1000 feet elevation gain. 2- 2.5 mph is a good rate to use for backpacking on good trails.

For example: 10 miles with 3000 feet elevation gain

10 miles/2 mph + 3 hours extra for elevation gain = 8 hours

You will have maximum daylight (16+ hours) - so not so much of running out of daylight as running out of energy.

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#190866 - 06/03/15 11:50 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: wandering_daisy]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
Oops! meant divide by, not multiply

miles divided by miles per hour

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#190868 - 06/04/15 09:39 AM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: wandering_daisy]
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1800
Loc: Napa, CA
Daisy, correct me if I am wro,g, but when you referred to Yosemite Falls you meant Vernal and Nevada Falls on the Merced River....not The Yosemite Falls on Yosemite Creek?
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#190875 - 06/04/15 10:39 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: balzaccom]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
I meant Yosemite Falls on Yosemite Creek. From Half Dome I assume the plan was to drop to the camp on Sunrise Creek. Next day drop to the valley via either JMT or Mist Trail (Nevada and Vernal Falls). By going up Yosemite Falls the same day, I assumed they meant to take the shuttle from Happy Isles to Yosemite Falls TH and go up that trail that is next to Yosemite Falls. At a certain distance from the rim camping is legal along Yosemite Creek. Of course, this only works when Yosemite Creek is running! Mid June this year should be fine. Doing the Half Dome climb the same day as going all the way down AND up Yosemite Falls would be quite an energetic day! I would say that mid-June there is enough daylight to do this, but you would have to be in great shape.

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#190876 - 06/04/15 10:50 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: bobito9]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
We all have our opinions on Yosemite Valley. As a former rock climber I just LOVE Yosemite Valley, regardless of the crowds. The waterfalls and cliffs are unparalleled. Lewis Creek is pretty and more "wilderness", if that is what you are looking for, but the hike up next to Yosemite Falls is spectacular. You simply have to have the attitude that sharing this with many day-hikers is OK. Since the poster is going mid-June the waterfalls should be still be running.

Check the real-time flow in Yosemite Falls on this website.
http://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

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#190896 - 06/06/15 01:09 AM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: MannyDantyla]
ndwoods Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
You actually should be able to climb Half Dome. If your trail passes by half dome, when you pick up your permit you will be asked if you plan to climb half dome and if the answer is yes, then your permit will state that. This is completely separate from the lottery system....
_________________________
http://ndeewoods.com/ and http://wilderstatepark.com/

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#190905 - 06/08/15 03:59 PM Re: Question: Is this a good plan for Yosemite? [Re: ndwoods]
MannyDantyla Offline
member

Registered: 05/31/15
Posts: 34
THANK YOU EVERYBODY! Thank you all for your help! It's much appritiated thanks

Originally Posted By ndwoods
You actually should be able to climb Half Dome. If your trail passes by half dome, when you pick up your permit you will be asked if you plan to climb half dome and if the answer is yes, then your permit will state that. This is completely separate from the lottery system....


That's what I was hoping! It seems there's some debate though as to how this works now (it's changed in the last few years I think) so.. I'll just have to see if we can go on half dome or not. If not then no worries, maybe we'll be able to go back North through Lewis or Fletcher Creek trails. Or maybe spend more time at Clouds Rest. Hopefully we'll be able to have this question answered by a ranger before we start at the trail head. I suppose we could just call a ranger and ask before we even drive to Cali...

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