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Topic: Favorite backpacking trip in Yosemite for 4-6 days, Looking for the right trip for me< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2014, 3:46 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Im visiting Yosemite this summer and would like to know people's opinions on their favorite backpacking area of the park for a 4-6 day backpacking trip.  Also looking for a guiding company as well so I could join a group out there, without paying a ton of money.  If time allows I would also like to do a short trip, maybe a 2 night backpacking or just day hikes, in Sequoia and Kings Canyon.  Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2014, 4:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

5 nights= Red Peak Pass Loop, or Kerrick Meadow to Matterhorn Canyon Loop in the North end of the park.

1-2 nights=Ten Lake Basin or Tamarack Flat to Eagle Creek

No idea about guide services.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2014, 5:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh wow, so many choices. Zeke's suggestions are great, a ranger there told me that in his opinion RPP is the best view in the park. A few other suggestions:
- the High Sierra Loop
- Cathedral Pass, Sunrise Lakes, Cloud's Rest, and Half Dome (if you can get the permit)
- White Wolf down to Pate Valley, up the GCT to Glen Aulin, and from there either continue to Tuolumne Meadows or come up to May Lake and summit Mt. Hoffmann
- entire north rim of the Valley - El Cap, Eagle Peak, top of Yos Falls, North Dome, etc.
- Up the Merced River all the way to the park border, Post Peak Pass, then the high trail up through Vogelsang and from there to TM

The good thing about Yosemite is you can't go wrong no matter what you pick. You shouldn't need a guided tour, if your concern is getting lost you can find many routes that are on unmistakable use trails.

When are you going? Many trailheads are only accessible from late spring to early fall.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2014, 5:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Yosemite Conservancy runs preplanned trips as well as customs:
http://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/outdoor-adventures
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 12:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not a guided trip but a possible route for six or so days:

Park your car in the Valley and take the late afternoon YARTS bus to Mammoth. The next morning start out north from Reds Meadow, heading for Thousand Island Lake etc. cross over Donahue Pass into the park and descend to a decision point, either head up to Ireland Lake and beyond or continue down Lyell Canyon. If you head up Ireland  Creek to Vogelsang then you can head down either Lewis or Fletcher Creek to the Merced River and beyond to Little a Yosemite Valley and out at Happy Isles.

If you head down Lyell Canyon then you could follow the John Muir Trail back over Cathedral Pass, down to Little Yosemite Valley and, again, out at Happy Isles in the Valley where you had left your car.

Or, leave the car in Tuolumne and return there, either down Lyell or down Rafferty after looping up to Ireland and Vogelsang.

Following the trails is straightforward.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 8:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great what routes are best in the park for 3-4 nights?  I plan on coming between June and August sometime.  I imagine with the lesser snowfall this year that the park will probably be better earlier in the season with regards to waterfalls and lake levels.  Red Peak Pass looks amazing, but the route to get there is 5 nights and 50 miles (Is that a pretty strenuous route, going from Fernandez Lakes Basin to Merced Pass Lake, Red Peaks Pass, Red Devil Lakes Basin, Lake 10K, to Staniford Lakes Basin, detailed here- http://www.symg.com/trips/backpacking/yosemite_loop.php
The most I have done is around 28 miles over 3 nights, so I'm thinking 3-4 nights would be better for me, and I don't know if the trip listed above would be too strenuous, have any of you done it??...
Id also like to check out Sequoia and Kings Canyon but in 7-10 days I wont have much time besides day hikes in those parks, and wondering which ones are best.  Thanks again.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 12:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Red Peak Pass Loop is best done from Glacier Point, and yes, it is about 50 miles.  10 miles a day of relatively easy hiking.  Big climb out of the creek to get to Lower Ottoway Lake for the 2nd night, then up and over the pass in the AM.  After that, pretty straightforward.

Everyone who has recommended something here has spent many days in the back country of Yosemite.  We are very familiar with the routes mentioned.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 12:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One critical item is whether you definitely require a reservable wilderness permit as many of the reservable quotas for a lot of the mentioned trailheads are already full. Others are not and there are the 40% of each day's quota that is for walkups: but some understandably for scheduling or other purposes prefer reservations..

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 12:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Feb. 28 2014, 12:03 pm)
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Red Peak Pass Loop is best done from Glacier Point, and yes, it is about 50 miles.  
Everyone who has recommended something here has spent many days in the back country of Yosemite.  We are very familiar with the routes mentioned.  

IMHO, Better/easier to get permits starting from Mono Meadows, not Glacier Point.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 12:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(markskor @ Feb. 28 2014, 9:24 am)
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(ol-zeke @ Feb. 28 2014, 12:03 pm)
QUOTE
Red Peak Pass Loop is best done from Glacier Point, and yes, it is about 50 miles.  
Everyone who has recommended something here has spent many days in the back country of Yosemite.  We are very familiar with the routes mentioned.  

IMHO, Better/easier to get permits starting from Mono Meadows, not Glacier Point.

And there are alternate routes involving Buena Vista Crest and such that are also doable out of Mono Meadow....
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 1:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As far as permits im not going to need those because I'm going to be going with a guided company, since I'm going solo out there from Michigan I want to go with a group of some kind.  This is the trip im thinking, but without ever doing 50 miles backpacking I just want to know if this trip is too strenuous , but it seems to be pretty straightforward.. I just need some opinions on weather or not this is too strenuous for somebody who hasn't gone backpacking that much, although im in fairly decent shape and have done a 4 day trip before in Glacier.
http://www.symg.com/trips/backpacking/yosemite_loop.php

Is there a lower mileage type of trip that offers the same type of scenery?  The only one I could come up with is from Touolumne Meadows to the Valley, via Vogelsang Pass.. comes out to be around 30 miles.. its probably not as scenic as Red Peak Pass but its decent from what I hear.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 1:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Look at the profile of the trail from Ottoway Lake to the Red Peak Pass topout to gauge "strenuous": adding in the load for food and the extra water for what will be a dry climb just about any time after this season (so drink yourself full at the last water and keep topping up as you climb, there'll be water or a snowbank right after the crest to reload).... coupled to your total pack load. After eating my pack light I'll more or less scamper up stuff I've slogged up on Day 1....

If you're locked into guided, random suggestions won't matter, it is all about what the commercial offerings list.

Interesting, I'd have done that loop the other way
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 3:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about this one, which the service does NOT label as "strenuous" as it does the RPP one?
http://www.symg.com/trips/backpacking/alpine_lakes.php

Thinking being if you're trusting them why not trust them?

Here's an Ansel Adams Wilderness guide that might be useful:
http://www.amazon.it/Ansel-Adams-Wilderness-Ginny-Clark/dp/0931532272

Then there's Yosemite Mountaineering's High Sierra Camp loop: up to Vogelsang, down to Merced and then up and out over Cathedral is a nice hike:
http://www.yosemitepark.com/backpacking-trips.aspx

And note they also do custom routes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 3:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I contacted them regarding that trip, it seems to be an older crowd.. im 32 and would like to backpack with people around my age.  Although yeah it doesn't seem as strenuous.. its 3 nights instead of 5 nights.  Ideally id like to go 30-40 miles.. if I can get the best kind of trip ideas for that kind of mileage I can google them and see if any guiding companies offer them.  If not I may just do the longer 50 mile red point pass trip.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 3:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just to mention as an FWIW, as others have mentioned there's very little to no objective reason within the park's usual routes that mandate the use of a guide service. Trails are good and well marked and maintained and especially with the above treeline routes there's very little chance of going off route to any significant degree (once the snow cover is gone). Plus the downside/upside of a national park such as Yosemite is the trails, in Summer's peak visitor season, are not empty so even a mishap has others around (and then there's technology such as SPOTs).

That would free you from some commercial outfitter's idea of a good route not to mention the costs. IMHO turning on a gas canister stove, boiling some water and pouring it into a freeze-dried meal bag isn't something I'd be willing to pay north of $900 for some one else to do for me..... and freezer bag meals are all that's necessary for a four day trip: then blow the extra on dinner at the Ahwahnee!

I'm aware there are personal reasons people choose guides but really, navigation in the park shouldn't be one of them.

That said summer in the California mountains is a great time of year however experienced: enjoy!
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 3:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree Sierra, its definitely not cheap, I just wanted the company of a group since I'll be traveling out there by myself.  I did the same thing in Glacier Nat Park and had a pretty amazing time, went with a guide that had hiked over 500 miles in the park, didn't have to worry about cooking either so that's a plus even though yeah the costs are pretty outrageous.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2014, 9:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can do Red Peak Pass by entering on the south at Quartz Mountain, I think called the 4 passes loop.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 02 2014, 9:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Red Peak Pass seems to be one of the best areas of the park for a good view.. any other ideas for 4 nights, 30-40 miles?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 02 2014, 9:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

LOL, are you from Michigan, Mr. sportsguy9981?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2014, 12:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(sportsguy9981 @ Feb. 28 2014, 1:44 pm)
QUOTE
I agree Sierra, its definitely not cheap, I just wanted the company of a group since I'll be traveling out there by myself.  I did the same thing in Glacier Nat Park and had a pretty amazing time, went with a guide that had hiked over 500 miles in the park, didn't have to worry about cooking either so that's a plus even though yeah the costs are pretty outrageous.

Why the insistence on a group ?

As HSF has pointed out, you're not going to get lost, you don't need a guide, and IMHO, if your GNP guide "only" had 500 mi experience....you'd been better off on your own. It was the blind leading the blind.

500 mi of "experience" is like a first time rookies 1 month mileage, if he really was a guide. I worked as a guide in RMNP for a couple of years and averaged 120-150 mi a week. In two seasons, I had ~4,000 mi. racked up and there were still many trails I'd never been on due to my scheduling .

Ditch the guides, the groups and actually get out into the wilderness on your own .


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2014, 9:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We've also done the loop out of Granite creek over Isberg and Post Peak Passes and back down.  And up Rush creek to THousand Island Lake, down to Ediza, and back.  And up over Virginia Lakes to McCabe and then back up to Soldier....

There are SO many hikes, and so little need for a guide.

Look at some of the meetup groups as well.  They won't cost any money, and might give you more route options.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2014, 9:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well i don't know how many miles my guide did in Glacier, but she did almost every trail there, and trust me on this, she would out hike or match anybody on this forum.. so the guides definitely aren't novice guides, some are but she wasn't.  It was probably much more than 500 miles I honestly don't know how many, that's miles of new trails, she has done the same trails many times.  I'll check into the meetup groups, that's a good idea, its just nice having all the meals made and the agenda all planned out already and the rides to and from the starting points.. but meetup is a great site.  Are there any other websites to just meet up with a group in Yosemite and backpack, or ones that don't cost an arm and a leg?  
I guess Red Peak Pass seems to be the best area of the park then for a backpacking trip, I dont see many other opinions for a 4-5 day trip.  How about Tuolumne Meadows through Vogelsang Pass to the Valley?  And yeah im from Michigan, AugustChristopher, why do you ask?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2014, 12:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Red Peak Pass "the best"?

Hardly.  Just the flavor of the week recently. It happens.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2014, 8:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very informative thread!!! I have a similar interest in Yosemite. To the OP I'd say that I've had great times with groups and with 1 or 2 other people - and solo. Plenty of socializing along the trail. Freezer bag meals are easy to put together and prepare - really easy. Set your own pace. Enjoy the wilderness.

There is a long, long history of fulfilling and sometimes transformative solo ventures into the wilderness.


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(sportsguy9981 @ Mar. 02 2014, 6:19 pm)
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Red Peak Pass seems to be one of the best areas of the park for a good view.. any other ideas for 4 nights, 30-40 miles?

When i saw the pictures. Red peak pass seems more challenging.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2014, 10:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If I lived out near Yosemite Id probably venture out there by myself buddero, but im really looking more for a meetup type of group, as the guided trips are ridiculously expensive... besides meetup.com, which is currently down right now, anyone know of any other sites where people just meet up and go backpacking in Yosemite?  Or any cheap like under 300 buck guided trips for 4 nights?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 8:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about this hike here, is it a decent hike?  Hetch Hetchy Lake Vernon Loop.  http://sfoac.com/trips/backpacking/hetch-hetchy-yosemite.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 10:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about Half Dome too?  is that a good solo hike?  If I can get a permit that is, is it hard to get a permit for that?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 10:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

4- 6 days Yosemite...including a night at trailhead or 4 - 6 days on the trail?
Whatever...BTW, are you fishing too?
Suggestions:
Yes RPP out of Mono Meadows works - but 2 days to Lower Ottoway, Red Devil, Washburn, Moraine Dome and Valley does not leave any time that much desired "zero" day in the middle. Still a fun route. 4 days is too short - a week better.
Tuolumne to Vogelsang -  Upper Townsley, (Hanging Basket) -  Bernice - Ireland - and back via the Lyell. (maybe Lyell Glacier ?)
Tuolumne - Vogelsang - Merced (or better yet Washburn) - Moraine Dome (or LYV) -Half  Dome and down via the Mist.
Tuolumne to Glen Aulin - GC of Tuolumne - Pate - Harden - Yosemite Creek - Valley.
Cathedral - Sunrise - Clouds Rest - HD - LYV - Mist
Quartz Mountain to Givens - Johnston - Royal Arch - Buena Vista - loop, or North to Merced Pass - LYV - Mist
Quartz Mountain to Chain - Breeze - lollypop
Tuolumne - Vogelsang - Bernice - high trail to Harriets - follow Merced to Valley
Tuolumne - Boothe - Merced Lake -  LYV
Glacier Point to LYV (or Moraine Dome) - Merced Lake - Sunrise - Tenaya Lake
Mammoth - Tuolumne - Valley
Tuolumne - Mono Pass - Parker - Sardine - 1000 Island - Mammoth or Tuolumne
Saddlebag - McCabes - Roosevelt - Glen Aulin - Tuolumne
Tuolumne - Nelson - Reymond - Vogelsang - ?
Tuolumne - Nelson - Sunrise...?
Porcupine Flats - North Dome (and arch) - Yosemite Falls - Valley
Porcupine Flats - North Dome - down Snow Creek
Ohmstead Point - North Dome - Snow Creek
Twin Lakes (Bridgeport) - Benson - Smedberg - Tuolumne (or return Bridgeport)


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2014, 1:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well ideally it would be 4 nights in the backcountry, first night at the trailhead.  And no I wont be fishing.

Tuolumne to the Valley is a big elevation drop.. ideally id like a mix of elevation gain and drop, any suggestions, 4 nights?
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