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Yosemite day hikes

Old Aug 25th, 2006, 05:04 AM
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Yosemite day hikes

Hi
We are going to Yosemite in a week and plan to hike Half Dome. We have a week in the park. What are the 'must-do" hikes that are not to be missed?
travelandjazz is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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Not sure about this time of year, but we hiked the Tuolumne Meadows from the parking lot near the group camp to the redwoods in the spring - still deep in snow - that was a great hike.
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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The hike up to Vernal Falls was difficult but well worth it. I have heard that Nevada Falls is not much further but I am not sure if I buy that.
Also, I heard that you can take some kind of shuttle up to Glacier Point and then hike down to the valley. I think that could be cool!
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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Are you watching the web cams, Travelandjazz? I love to keep an eye on web cams prior to a trip - you can get a good idea of crowds and weather. Ask at the visitor centers and ranger stations about hikes - they can tell you the current conditions, what's popular at that time, etc. Yosemite is so beautiful. Be sure to visit the tunnel parking lot early and late to see the varying lights on the valley. Have fun!
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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travelandjazz, just curious..do you hike much? Half Dome is a very strenuous hike. My husband and 15 yr. old daughter hiked it 2 weeks ago all the way to the top and it took 10 hours. They are both in excellent shape(they did spend 30 min at the top). Both said it was grueling but so glad they did it. If you are avid hikers, some of the other hikes may seem too "easy" for you. When you get to the park entrance, you are given 3 different things to look through- 2 books and a newspaper that list all the activities going on in Yosemite plus all the hikes. One of the books list how long it takes the average person for each hike and the level of difficulty.

All this being said, are you looking for short or long hikes? Strenuous or easy ones? You will love Yosemite. It is incredibly beautiful!
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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Get up to Touloumne Meadows really early in the day and do the hike from the trailhead near the visitor center to UPPER Cathedral Lake. This is one of the most beautiful hikes I know of. The trail splits right near the Lake and the sign will say "Cathedral Lake" or "Sunrise". Sunrise goes to the Upper Lake (much prettier scenery in my opinion) and the "Cathedral Lake" sign will take you to the lower lake. The trail is about 7 miles roundtrip, with extensive uphill on the way there. But easy compared to the trail to half-dome.

The other option out of Toulumne Meadows is to Glen Aulin (or just part way if you don't to want hike as far). The first part of the trail is dusty but once you get out of the TM area, the trail follows the river the entire way and is absoultely beautiful. You will drop quite a way in elevation and the way back is uphill.
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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Laurenzo - I don't know if this is how I reply to your question but here goes...
I am 47 and hubby is 51. We have done some hiking in Smoky Mt. NP and in our Canadian Rockies. In prep for Half Dome we have walked briskly - about 100 km per week since January. I have lost 70 lbs. since the new year and my husband has lost about 40. This is a personal challenge for both of us. I have no doubt we can do it but our enemy will be time as I go much more slowly at higher altitudes. We are looking for the 'best of' Yosemite hikes and are not daunted by strenuous or longer hikes - just want todo it all but have to pick and choose. Thanks for your reply.
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 07:27 AM
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Go girl! Travelandjazz, you and DH should be very proud of yourselves. That is quite an accomplishment. I know you'll do it! Please post a trip report when you get back so we can hear all about your hiking successes!!
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 08:10 AM
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travelandjazz- good for you! Congratulations on your accomplishments! I hope you didn't think I was trying to be negative, it's just that my husband and daughter saw many people "pulled" over to the side or turn around, not realizing what they were in for. The altitude was definitely harder on my husband (40) than my daughter. They drank lots and lots of water and paced themselves. They also brought nutritious snacks along. I'm sure you've thought of all this already. How exciting for you!

We had a large group when we were in Yosemite (7) so not everyone was up for long, all day hikes. We really enjoyed the hikes we did, though, which were Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, and the meadow loop. You will find those booklets you are given at the entrance very helpful in your decision making. Have a wonderful time!!
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 08:56 AM
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travelandjazz---

What a terrific goal to celebrate your accomplishments. Are you doing the Half Dome hike from the valley? We did it 10 days ago in celebration of my sister's 50th birthday. It was absolutely wonderful.

Our hiking time was 8 hours, but we are regular hikers and were used to the altitude already. I'll try to give you some tips. First of all, get started as early as possible. Unfortunately the shuttle to Happy Isles (the trailhead) doesn't start running until 7 am. You can start earlier by driving to the parking area for the trail, but then you have to walk an extra half-mile or so to the trail. We went up the Mist Trail (steps) and down the more gradual trail, which made the hike 17.6 miles. I would highly recommend you do the same. Going up the Mist Trail is lovely, and saves almost a mile in length. But you don't want to walk down that way! Be sure you take flashlights or headlamps, as it may be getting dark or dim towards the end of the hike. We took hiking poles, and that helped a lot. We carried 2 liters of water per person, and that was about right. Actually, we gave some away to people who needed it as we were on the way down. Of you plan to pick up water along the way, carry a filter or purifying tablets. And gloves---there is a pile of gloves at the base of the cables, but they are, as people say, really "skanky". So we took liners to put inside them. The gloves help more with coming down than with going up.

As for other hikes, dbaker's recommendations are excellent. Tuolumne Meadows is lovely at any time, and the hikes from there are the best. In addition to those, you can take a level walk south on the John Muir trail into Lyell Canyon (more of an open valley than a canyon), and wander as far as you like, stopping to wade in the river if you like. Or walk up Lember Dome for gret view, or Pothole Dome which is less steep, and open to rambling once you get to the top.

But if you want more hikes starting from the valley, the Yosemite Falls trail is nice for views, as is the Panorama Trail to Glacier Point. Both of these climb up around 3,000 feet, so if you are sore and/or tired from Half Dome, they probably aren't as good choices as the Tuolumne hikes.

Have a wonderful time. It was very hard for us to leave that beautiful place.
enzian is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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There is a hike you can do to the top of North Dome--and it isn't terribly difficult. The view is absolutely breathtaking, because you are looking directly across the valley at Half Dome. There is no way to describe how amazing this actually is.

The hike starts from Tioga Pass Road, and you actually hike DOWN to the top of North Dome. (I think it is about 4-miles each way). Be sure to bring enough water--the one negative is that you are doing your "climb" at the end of the day.

If I remember correctly, the hike starts from Porcupine Flat (check this out though, it's been several years, and I may be remembering wrong).
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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 09:04 AM
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One of my favorite hikes in the park takes off just inside the Tioga Pass entrance. Hike up to Granite Lakes and beautiful alpine scenery with pretty stream running through. Continue up past the lakes to some abandoned mines. When there late last July we had to tread across some snowfields. Saw maybe four other people the entire time.
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