Apr 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm #1271777
Just wanted to get some opinions on this. I am hoping to get a quick little trip in Yosemite the first weekend of June. I am hoping to start through Lyell Canyon, to Evelyn Lake, past Fletcher Lake to Merced Lake and finally out past Nevada and Vernal Falls. What are the odds of being able to do that in early June? I think the highest elevation I would reach is 10,600ft. Is that just to early in the season probably? Or just to early to tell? OR….would I just be better off trying to go the 3rd weekend in June?
Thoughts? Ideas? comments?
DanApr 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm #1720704
On a normal year, you might get by with that trip in early June. This year, though, it will be better by the third week of June. I'm just guessing that it may not be at its peak for flowers and things until mid-July, at least around Vogelsang Pass.
The Yosemite trips that I might normally do for late June, I am delaying until mid-July.
–B.G.–Apr 6, 2011 at 8:01 am #1720867
David PBPL Member
@trailguruLocale: United States
I did the hike from the Valley to Merced Lake last year on Memorial Day weekend. This was the terrain from about 7,000 ft, not far below the lake. Last year was also a heavy snow year but we didn't get as much Late season snow as we are getting this year.
I did try to do a small dayhike beyond Merced Lake just to see how high I could go. At about 2.0 miles east and 9200ft from beyond the lake this is what the terrain looked like. I met a couple at this point who tried to go to Bernice Lake but said the snow was impassable.
Hope that helpsApr 6, 2011 at 11:41 am #1720983
Thanks for the help guys!
I am just trying to figure out a fun 3 day trip to do in the Sierras before I head up to the Muir Trail Ranch to work for the summer. I guess I will just have to keep a close eye on the conditions as it gets closer to the time. I am thinking Lyell Canyon its self will be accessible, so maybe I could just go as far as I can and see where I can get to…
How big of a difference do you think there would be in conditions between the 1st weekend in June and the 3rd weekend in June?
Do you have any recommendations of some spots to look into? I was thinking around Yosemite just because its close to the bay area and I would like to try and keep it somewhere in the sierras. I was also thinking about heading to Ten Lakes Basin out of Yosemite, but I am guessing the pass to get into the Basin would still be pretty snow covered. Any other ideas?
DanApr 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm #1720997
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
I have no specific trip suggestions, but keep watching the spring weather. We have a 165% snowpack (on average) and it will take a very hot spring to make a major dent in it. Last year's snowpack was about average but an unusually cold spring delayed meltoff by at least a month.
Two extra June weeks will make a big difference, since we'll have long sunny days for the snow to consolidate and melt. You might also look at Emigrant Wilderness for nearby destinations that could open earlier than the Yosemite high country.
Your summer job sounds fantastic. You'll certainly see some BPLers passing through!
RickApr 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm #1720998
"How big of a difference do you think there would be in conditions between the 1st weekend in June and the 3rd weekend in June?"
I will guess that there will be a lot of difference, but that varies widely with elevation and north/south facing orientation.
Ten Lakes Pass? I will expect it to be pretty white in June. Instead of starting at its trailhead and going north, why not start there and go south (downhill)?
There are lots of places to go in Yosemite. However, sometimes the access roads and trailheads are screwed up.
North Rim Trail of Yosemite Valley. There are about five access points, and I would expect two or three of them to be screwed up, either from closed roads or else too much snow. Once you get on the actual trail, it shouldn't be too bad except for some snow piles deep in the woods. Of course that can be disorienting if you can't follow the trail. If the trail maintenance crew hasn't been there, the trails can be more difficult.
Hetch Hetchy. I expect this to be slightly overused because backpackers can't get into other higher parts of the park so much.
–B.G.–Apr 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm #1720999
I wonder when Florence Lake will open for business. I am planning a trip starting about 25 miles away from there, and I am trying to judge when the trails will open up. I figure the game will be to get in there just ahead of the main crowd, but the streams should be running pretty deep and cold.
–B.G.–Apr 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm #1721017
Bob- Where near Florence lake are you thinking of going? I plan on getting up into the area around the 3rd or 4th week of June, so I can check out the conditions for you and shoot you an e-mail with a report. I will be running the Ferry Boat up there, so if ya need a ride I can hook ya up!…just let me know!
As for Yosemite, is there any good websites that I can check to keep tabs on the snow conditions in the back country?
DanApr 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm #1721020
One July plan has me going into Woodchuck Country, Hell-For-Sure Pass, and Muir Pass, if you know where those are. Unfortunately, by the 3rd or 4th week of June I am likely to be in another state.
For Yosemite, the NPS site has trail conditions, but those are notoriously slow to be updated. I watch the Tioga Road snowplow progress and try to guess things from there. Also, you can find the reports of the winter rangers at Tuolumne Meadows and guess from there. There is a lot of pressure by the Mono County businesses to get the Tioga Road opened up as early as possible, but that costs money. Even when the road gets opened, that does not mean that the high country trails are passable. Even when they get passable, that doesn't mean that the country will look good enough to warrant a backpack trip. The California Water Resources site is concerned about snow depths and water content, but that doesn't say much about the readiness of a trail.
–B.G.–Apr 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm #1721027
Ya I know where both of those are. Ill be up there From mid June through the first week of August. You are thinking of doing your trip in July?
Florence Lake will be open for business sometime in mid June. Depends on when Kasier pass road open which is typically Memorial Day weekend.Apr 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm #1721032
Yes, around mid-July I should be someplace around the Pig Chute.
–B.G.–Apr 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm #1721035
Pig Chute? Not familiar with that?Apr 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm #1721040
The Pig Chute is a very narrow stream gorge in Goddard Canyon, sort of east of Hell For Sure Pass.
I have one particular stretch of the JMT that I want to hit when the season is perfect, and I have at least four ways to get there. But if the season isn't right, it ruins the trip.
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