May 2, 2007 at 9:27 pm #1223071
flying solo to yosemite for a 6 day backpacking trip. Never been backpacking in yosemite, and I've based this off of maps and trail descriptions. Are both of these options feasible for 6-days? Any suggested alternate routes?
Note that Tioga Rd. will not be open when I start next Thursday, but it may be open by the time I finish.
Start at Happy Isles trailhead, hike past half-dome (cables not up yet), continue up past Cloud's Rest to Tenaya Lake, detour to check out Tenaya Slide. If Tioga Rd. is open, continue north and down Grand Canyon of Tuolumne, and have friends pick me up at White Wolf at end of day 6. If Tioga Rd. is closed, head south past North Dome and Yosemite Falls to the valley floor.May 3, 2007 at 10:50 am #1388041
Six days for the "big" semi-loop seems reasonable, with stops (roughly) at Little Yosemite (short/steep first day), Lower Sunrise Lake, McGee Lake-Glen Aulin, Waterwheel Falls-Return Creek, and Pate Valley.
The switchbacks north of the Sunrise Lakes junction stay snow covered until fairly late, and crossing Tenaya Creek when it's high can be a challenge (there's no bridge). Last weekend I was at Lake Vernon (north of Hetch Hetchy) and there was still significant snow on the south side of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, so I'd also expect snow between Pate Valley and White Wolf.
Note that even if the Tioga Road opens, the spur to White Wolf may not open at the same time, so you may need to hike along the closed road a few miles, but you'll want to start early anyway to avoid the heat while climbing out of Pate Valley.
For the shorter loop, you may also encounter significant snow between Snow Creek and North Dome.
Either version should be wonderful. Have a great trip!May 5, 2007 at 12:58 pm #1388268
@cascadejeffLocale: S.Cal/High Sierra
Dear Ryan, Great trip. I've done many Yosemite trips. If you are ready to face alot of potential difficulties this will be a great trip. I think your going to run into snow, runoff and other spring conditions. There is a YNP website that tells of projected opening dates for the road. There is a backpacker campground in the Valley. LYV is ok. There is a spring below quarter dome half way up to Clouds Rest where you can get water. You will probably get snow from quarter dome to Tenaya to Tuolomne, some possibly deep; but probably packed this time of year; of course, until it gets slushy late in the day.
I would strongly suggest you go down the Grand Cyn of the Tuolomne. Its awesome, but very wild. You probably won't see anyone. Expect more snow coming up out of Pate. Don't underestimate the difficuly of this climb. You can still walk out down to the valley by Yosemite creek if you have enough days. This could certainly be two trips. Jeff Cygan
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