Aug 16, 2012 at 5:44 am #1293035
My buddy and I are working out logistics for a trip to Yosemite in October. We've been in and around valley in years past and would like to see more of the high country. For various reasons it has to be October and we ony have 3 days/ 2 nights on the trail. A loop would be ideal, but there aren't too many options.
So, we're looking at a trip that either starts or ends in Tuolumne Meadows. For example:
– Rafferty Creek -> Vogelsang -> Merced Lake -> Littel Yosem Valley -> Big Yosem Valley.
– White Wolf -> Tuolumne Valley via the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne
Since we will only have 1 car, the challenge will be getting to/ from our car and trail head. The shuttles and tours stop operating on the Tioga Rd. in Sep. Can anyone recommend a way to get to the trailhead or back to our car (depending on where we choose to start) at this time of year?
BrettAug 16, 2012 at 8:30 am #1903198
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Brett, one problem you might encounter is that starting in Oct. there are parking restrictions. Visit there website for more information. The gist of this is that you cannot park overnight on many of the roads within Yosemite. You might want to find someone to drop you off at the trailhead or hitch. Other options could be Emmigrant or Hoover Wilderness. Please be prepared. Weather starts to change in Oct and you need to plan accordingly. Not to sound like sn alarmist but we have had snow storms in October. That said, the Sierra Nevadas are amazing during that time of the yearAug 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm #1903551
Thanks for the response. I agree aboutthe need to watch the weather. THis will be one of my first recent (not counting Boy Scouts 20 years ago) forays into 3-season backpacking, so I'm going in with my eyes wide open.
I was ideally thinking of parking in the main valley and getting a ride to the trainhead in T-Meadows (most notably because I like net-downhill hikes).
So, we just need a 1-way ride.
ThanksAug 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm #1903872
I can't recommend STRONGLY enough that you hitchhike.
I've done it extensively in Yosemite and NEVER have more than a 5-15 minute wait.
Offer to give them $20 to cover their park entrance … cash is usually ignored though so maybe bring beer or some other token of appreciation.
and be SUPER friendly.
I just hitchhiked 250 miles while in Yellowstone and it was AWESOME. I met such amazing people.
The best was the Chinese tour buss with 30 people from Shanghai who made us sing karaoke with them!Sep 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm #1909724
Round and round went my brain. I analyzed the maps. I made a dozen calls. My buddy even put an ad on Craigs List for a driver.
What we decied was to change our route.
Out new plan is to leave from Happy Isles, up and over Clouds Rest, then up to Sunrise Lakes, east to the JMT, south to Little Yosemite Valley, and back out Happy Isles. This is a ~28 mile lilipop which requirees no shuttle! And being so late in the season, it should be mostly empty (or relatively so, for this area!).
Thanks to everyone for your advice.
BrettSep 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm #1909727
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I've been snowed on or out down south there about 3 of the last four early October's. Have a Plan B. I'm leaving earlier this year for a road trip instead to Oregon. I had to hitch one year around Teneya back to my car at TM.
DuaneSep 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm #1909949
Strongly recommend that you choose a different route and location.
Unless you're in incredibly good shape, considering you haven't written that you're including a day or two for acclimating to altitude (original route), and factoring in the extreme ascent from Happy Isles to Clouds Rest (second route), this has trouble written all over it.
The famed tragic Donner Party got snowed in during October.
This was a very dry year for the Sierras. When I backpacked Sunrise Lakes to Sunrise HSC to Cathedral Lakes two months ago in early July, virtually all of the creeks were already dry, so water will be scarce except at the lakes.
Ranger and park services are reduced from roughly late September. If you get in trouble, there will be fewer staff to bail you out or fellow backpackers around to help.
Hanta virus has killed three recent tourists, possibly infected up to 10,000 (not likely, but they are notifying at-risk guests) and is being investigated by the CDC. There's never been an outbreak of a Class 4 virus like this in a populated area, of which I am aware, and hanta is not a well understood virus. The outbreak appears to be contained to the Curry Village area, but infected deer mice have been caught before in Tuolumne Meadows.
In short, October in the Yosemite High Country is a risky proposition.
Recommend taking a lower altitude route instead and not in Yosemite. Or wait until early to mid summer 2013, which is the best time depending upon winter snowfall.Sep 8, 2012 at 6:48 am #1910307
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I should also mention, if it snows, the road will be closed with the only vehicles moving may be vendors or Park personnel, I was able to catch a ride with Park help back to close to my car. The next year, I hiked thru 4" of snow my second day in my shorts, eating dinner that night in my bag. The very next day, I was swimming and had my gear on rocks drying a little, turned out to be a great trip. When I got back to my car, there was a flyer on the windshield stating the road to the east over Tioga Pass was closed due to snow. :), Well by the time I got back, all the snow had melted and I had now issues. If it snowed and you could hang in there a day or two, things might work out, just trying to rely on others may be hard. The year I abandoned my trip and went home, I saw some people around Sunrise Lakes and close to Teneya, the next year doing the same High Sierra Camp loop, I saw no one on my trip. I've been snowed out the last two years for trips down south, so had to either then stay home or do a short car camp trip close to home instead, thus my decision to go on vacation earlier this year and do a car camp trip instead of my normal bping.
The Hanta virus is only at the campground that has those canvas shelters, if you stay in a bpers cg, you should be fine. We only have the Bubonic plaque up north here at Plumas Eureka State Park last year.
DuaneSep 8, 2012 at 10:53 am #1910358
@williamlawLocale: SF Bay Area
It seems some folks like to wallow in fear, I prefer to get out into the mountains. To each his own.
My advice, for what it is worth: Go out and have fun. And maybe check the weather forecast to see if a blizzard will just happen to arrive while you're out there (extrememely unlikely). And if so? Take an extra flask of Yukon Jack to keep yourself warm.Sep 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm #1910496
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"Hanta virus has killed three recent tourists, possibly infected up to 10,000 (not likely, but they are notifying at-risk guests) and is being investigated by the CDC. There's never been an outbreak of a Class 4 virus like this in a populated area, of which I am aware, and hanta is not a well understood virus. The outbreak appears to be contained to the Curry Village area, but infected deer mice have been caught before in Tuolumne Meadows."
As I type this, I'm listening to my wife cough and cough and we keep discussing Hanta. At a pretty high level, as she is an MD Internist. 3 weeks ago we were in Curry Village, "Signature cabins", Cabin 921 (one of the ones with a Hanta Virus case). The kids and I seem to just have the back-to-school sniffles, but it does put an extra edge on every cough, ache and fever.
The obvious correlation / causation was these were the cabins with heaters. So they have insulated, double walls (plywood/plywood with insulation in between) which is a great place for a nest.
A possible upside: Curry Village probably has lots of vacancies now, and if you just get a regular, non "signature" tent cabin, I wouldn't see any great risk. Nor for tent canmping or BPing.Sep 9, 2012 at 12:20 am #1910503
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
If you go high enough in Yosemite park, you should not have to worry. At the highest elevations, the deer mice have to wear little oxygen masks, so they are not so dangerous.
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