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Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

Melbourne
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Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are visiting in July (8th to 13th), we are going to hike Half Dome (assuming we get a permit) and my original plan was to also do the Yosemite Falls hike. However, I understand that the falls are smaller this year than they were last year and I wonder if it might be disappointing.

Does this hike have things to offer even if the falls are small? My Lonely Planet guide suggests it's best done when the falls are in full flight. Are there other hikes that you would all recommend over Yosemite Falls for this time of the year?

As always, many thanks for any help and suggestions.

San Antonio, Texas
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1. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

I haven't done Upper Yosemite Falls, so I can't comment on that. However, I can suggest Clouds Rest as my #1 dayhike in the park. It isn't anywhere near the challenge Half Dome is, though it's not particularly easy either being 14 miles roundtrip with most of your time above 9000 feet (Half Dome summit is 8800 feet). It might require some wading through the Tenaya Lake outlet that time of year though. I know it does for sure in June in normal snow years, but in July in an extremely lean snow year?? Jere's a shot of the long ridge as you approach the summit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5qLVlSzaQ0

As you can see from the video, you're about 1100 feet above Half Dome and the view into Tenaya Canyon 4000 feet below is unreal from there. The ridge is narrow enough to give you an incredible view hiking it, but it's wide enough that you never feel in danger if you're comfortable with heights and don't stray off the route.

This is the best resource on the net for dayhikes in the park:

http://www.yosemitehikes.com/

Fullerton
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2. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

I just want to thank Spur_fan for the video link on Cloud's Rest. I did this hike in 2007 as part of a backpacking trip and the view was amazing.

Washington State
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3. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

The Upper Yosemite Fall hike has numerous switchbacks and tons of fellow hikers. It's lovely to be at the top of the waterfall, but it's not really a 'must do' for most folks. What kind of hike experience are you seeking? Is this a hiking itinerary in addition to the Half Dome hike or in place of the Half Dome hike?

>>Are there other hikes that you would all recommend over Yosemite Falls for this time of the year?<<

A nice short loop is from Glacier Point road. From the Sentinel Dome trailhead, hike to Taft Point, along the Pohono Trail, up Sentinel Dome, and back. The entire loop is something between 4 & 4.5 miles with little elevation gain.

Will you be hiking all through Mariposa Grove? Go all the way up to Wawona Point for some nice views. nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/mg.htm

There are some fabulous day hikes along Tioga Road. SpursFan described the longest one with best views, but there are several others we can recommend, depending on what you want. A quiet high mountain lake? Another dome (really a roche moutonnée ~ rock feature) in the Tuolumne Meadows area? To the top of Mt Hoffman?

San Antonio, Texas
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4. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

Yeah, Hoffman looks amazing, and is one of the peaks I have pegged for a trip this summer. I have been wanting to do that one badly since seeing it on the switchbacks up Clouds Rest. Here's an interesting pic I found from Hoffman where you can see both Clouds Rest (center left) and Half Dome (right) from a much higher vantage point.

yosemitehikes.com/images/mt-hoffman-clouds-r…

Aussie, that bump you see on the left of Half Dome is subdome, which you go up on the cables route to conquer the Dome.

Edited: 25 February 2012, 21:35
Napa, CA
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5. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

Clouds Rest is a real butt kicker. For something a little more moderate but still with awesome views, try the hike out to North Dome on the Tioga Road.

If there's not enough water in Yosemite Falls, there will be better flows in Nevada and Vernal Falls in July. So, the Panoramic Trail is another excellent choice. You should be able to take the shuttle bus up to Glacier Point in July and the hike is mostly downhill.

Melbourne
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6. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

This would be a hike in addition to Half Dome since we will have 4 full days in the park. Cloud's Rest is my alternative if we don't get Half Dome permits. I'm not sure about doing both of them in 4 days as they are both quite demanding.

We visitied Yosmite in 2009 so we've done many of the 'simple' walks including Mirror Lake and around Glacier Point and Vernal and Nevada Falls (actually loved this one so much we hiked to the top of Vernal falls twice). We also went to the Mariposa grove and loved it but I would not necessarily go again. If I had unlimited time, or if it wasn't such an effort to come back I'd love to see all we saw in 2009, but I'm trying to avoid coming home with an identical set of photographs :)

Last time we didn't have the time to explore anything along the Tioga Road, so I suppose that might be a place to start. In terms of what to see and what to photograph I love waterfalls and lakes, still, reflective water, that sort of thing. I just looked at some pictures and Tenaya Lake looks beautiful - is it beautiful all year round or seasonal?

I'm getting excited and I've still 4 months to wait!

San Antonio, Texas
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7. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

Here's a pic I took looking down at Tenaya Lake; pretty safe to say it's an amazing sight any time of year.

…photobucket.com/albums/…100_0944.jpg

If you want to see amazing lakes, make sure to drive at least a couple miles past the Tioga Pass exit to see Ellery Lake just outside the park. The view looking up the escarpment to the Dana Plateau is jaw-dropping. This pic I took does no justice, but gives an idea:

…photobucket.com/albums/…100_1023.jpg

Of course you should probably drive another 15 miles or so down the road past Ellery Lake to Mono Lake to see the tufa towers if unique lakes are a priority (especially with 4 days).

San Antonio, Texas
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8. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

Also, I'm not so sure that Yosemite Falls would be any easier than Clouds Rest. This is all second-hand info since I haven't done Upper Yosemite Falls myself, but I have read it's not well-shaded in parts and is very tough on the knees on the descent. Clouds by contrast is pretty decently shaded for most of the trip. You'll also have at least one water source on it, a pond you pass after climbing the first set of switchbacks.

…photobucket.com/albums/…100_0882.jpg

(pic didn't turn out well lol, but that's it)

Nashville, Tennessee
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9. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

my husband and i are planning a trip to yosmite national park this year...and the trip would include possibly one short day hike for "moderate fit" middle agers.. what would you suggest? also, i would LOVE for their to be snow on the mountain tops but green and warm below.... what time of year would be best for this? what would be the temps? any suggestions on to "must see" would be most helpful!!

thanks!!

Washington State
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10. Re: Yosemite Falls hike or other suggestions

kjaynebt ~ this is AussieGirl86's thread about her July visit. It's a great idea to 'lurk' and glean info, but you need your own thread so we don't get out advice mixed up.