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September Visit Planning

United Kingdom
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September Visit Planning

Hi, we are visiting in September and I have the following rough itinerary planned out. I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions!

Sat 11th - drive from Monterey to Oakhurst, spend the afternoon at the Mariposa Grove and sleep over in Oakhurst.

Sun 12th - drive into the Valley and do the tram tour, spend most of the day exploring the Valley and drive up to Glacier Point for sunset and maybe stargazing. Would like to do Sentinel Dome and Taft Point here also.

Mon 13th - shuttle bus to Glacier Point and hike the Panorama Trail back down (is this still a good hike even if the waterfalls are dry?? - open to alternatives).

Tues 14th - drive on to Tahoe via Tioga Pass, stopping at various lookout points and hike round Tenaya Lake.

Am I missing anything obvious?

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: September Visit Planning

Are you staying in Oakhurst on the 12th or 13th?

The 12th has too much and the 13th has not enough. The Taft Point - Sentinel Dome loop is about 5.5 miles.

United Kingdom
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2. Re: September Visit Planning

Sorry I should have clarified, we're staying in Oakhurst on Sat 11th and then at The Lodge At The Falls on Sun 12th and Mon 13th.

Burlingame, CA
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3. Re: September Visit Planning

Panorama Trail is not as much fun with low water. Flow depends on how hot the summer is before Sept. Be prepared, the Panorama Trail has some slow going -- there a lot of hot, dusty & dry stairs cut into the mountain side. Once we recently hiked that, we had to help one of our party out as her legs just quit. Be in good shape and it is fun. From the 8am bus at Yosemite Lodge to GP, hike, and shuttle back to Lodge was just about all day. We lunched at the top of Nevada Falls. This hike is easy to underestimate. There are some cool views of Yosemite.

The 14th is a bit long on the driving. Consider staying somewhere closer to Tioga, like the Evergreen Lodge near Hetch Hetchy and Highway 120. That puts you about 90 minutes closer on your drive out. There is plenty to do and see along your way. Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, Tioga Pass and Mono Lake need some time and attentin. Enjoy.

Tampa
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4. Re: September Visit Planning

Not too much to add other then we'll be there on the exact same days! We're spending two of our days up in Tuolumne...one day hitting various spots (and Mono Lake) & the other we'll be hiking to Clouds Rest. We also plan on Mariposa Grove and the hike from Glacier to the valley.

Can't wait! See you there :) .

United Kingdom
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5. Re: September Visit Planning

Brilliant, thanks so much! We're also planning on stopping at Mono Lake, we're keen photographers and some of the pictures I've seen are amazing, it would be great if we could be there for sunset but we've got to make it to South Lake Tahoe that evening so will have to play it by ear.

San Antonio, Texas
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6. Re: September Visit Planning

I did Panorama last year (a much lower snow year) at the very end of August, and the falls were still going pretty decently. There wasn't any mist coming down the area near Vernal Falls like there is if you do it before early July though. Here's a pic I took on it to get an idea of what it was like then:

…photobucket.com/albums/…100_0802.jpg

Vernal Falls can really slow to a trickle by mid-September, but in a snow year like this one I wonder if it'll still be good by then.

I was going pretty well on the Panorama Trail until I decided to have a beer and take a nap for an hour or two in the sun at Nevada Falls. That made me feel really lazy on the return trip to Happy Isles! Also, the trip from Nevada Falls down to Happy Isles is pretty rough on the knees, so I took a couple of Aleve at the beginning of the hike and didn't feel any pain after.

San Antonio, Texas
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7. Re: September Visit Planning

Clouds Rest is great; especially since the hardest part is the first set of switchbacks which are roughly 2-2.5 miles in (assuming you're starting from the Sunrise Trailhead). You have stunning views of Tenaya Canyon, Mount Clark, Half Dome, and Tenaya Lake from the summit, and walking up the foot trail along the narrow ridge is pretty exhilarating without being too dangerous.

There's a couple of really pretty meadows at the beginning/end of the Clouds Rest hike too.

Edited: 13 June 2010, 00:16
San Antonio, Texas
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8. Re: September Visit Planning

A quick note to my Panorama Trail post: Yosemite Falls (visible from Glacier Point) was completely dry by then. The three falls along the trail, Illilouette, Nevada, and Vernal, had pretty decent water.

United Kingdom
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9. Re: September Visit Planning

Thanks SpursFan, that's really useful information!

San Antonio, Texas
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10. Re: September Visit Planning

Thanks cccccddddd. I love Yosemite more than any other place I have ever been, and always hope to help others to like it even a fraction as much as I do (it's hard not to once you experience it with your own eyes, nose, ears, and lungs). Since you're interested in photography and Mono Lake, climbing Mount Dana might be worthwhile. It's supposed to have amazing views of Mono Lake, as you can see below:

diglloyd.com/previous/PreDawnMtDana.jpg

http://sepwww.stanford.edu/~morgan/images/scenery/yosemite/mount_dana/md09-dana-plateau-mono.jpg

It can be hiked from the Tioga Pass entrance to the park, and is somewhere in the range of 3-4 miles each way, with a little more than 3000 feet of elevation gain. However, its summit is 13000+ feet and you'll be walking up lots of talus that slows one's pace to a crawl relative to a dirt trail, and you'll be doing it for almost the entire trip. I really wanted to hike this one when I went last year, but couldn't get a spot in Tuolumne Meadows and thought it would be near impossible to do when I was sleeping at 2000 feet in El Portal. I have often heard it compared to Half Dome for the difficulty even though it's less than half the distance and only 60% of the elevation gain, due to the terrain and the starting altitude of almost 10,000 feet.

I bring up this high elevation summit with a MAJOR MAJOR warning though; if you do choose to do this one, definitely do research on HAPE and HACE. e.g., if you get a wet cough at elevation, it could be the alveoli sacks in your lungs bursting and filling your lungs with fluid, literally drowning you from the inside if you don't get down to lower elevation (this is called HAPE). It's fatal if you stay at high elevation instead of doing the sensible thing and descending, but if you do go down, you should be fine and the alveoli should return to being healthy from what I know about it (definitely triple check though).

It's even something to research when doing 10,000 ft peaks like Clouds Rest, though I think it's very uncommon that low.

Edited: 13 June 2010, 02:53