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Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

So Cal
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Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

Well, reforming. Eh, I'm working on it.

I'm making a last-minute trip to Yosemite in the first week of June. Just my mom (early 70s) and me (40s) this time; we both like dayhiking, picnics, are of average fitness, walk regularly. We made just one short visit to Yosemite a couple years ago; this trip will be a little over a week. We'll be coming up the 395 from the LA-area on Sat 6/1, staying in Mammoth Lakes (visit Devil's Postpile) for 2 nights, then 5 nights in Housekeeping Camp, then 2 nights in Tuolumne Meadows, before heading home. In my efforts to avoid over-planning this trip, I'm worrying I'm missing things. (I'm not used to large blocks of "whatever we missed".) Any advice appreciated!

So...Mon Hope to leave Mammoth early and spend a couple hours at Mono Lake. Not sure if we'll visit Bodie or not. If we do, we probably won't have time for stops on Tioga Rd other than scenic views (as opposed to lengthy walks). If we don't see Bodie, would Tenaya Lake be the best picnic spot (late lunch)? Stop at Olmsted Pt either way. Stop at the valley Visitor Center (maps etc), set up our unit.

Tues This is where I'm really conflicted. I really want to do the Panorama Trail. Having done longer hikes, I know I can. I'm pretty confident Mom can as well - she walks regularly (including steep hills), we did the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall last time, we've hiked up to about 8 or 9 total miles in a day on previous trips (although not in a single unbroken hike), she's hiked at high-ish altitude (Bryce, Sequoia, Crater Lake). If we do this, I plan to take our time - stop regularly (enjoy the views, not make it a forced march), picnic somewhere, hang out at the pools. And that would be it for the day. From what I've read, it seems the "strenous" ratings come from overall length, plus the steepness of the Mist Trail steps section. Is that correct?

If this is a bad idea, I guess we'd just do the Mist Trail to Nevada Fall. Drive up to Glacier Pt in the afternoon.

Wed Rest Day if we did the Panorama. Would be nice to visit the Ahwahnee (we didn't even walk by it last time). Mirror Lake? Lower Yosemite Falls, Cooks Meadow, Bridal Veil Falls. Picnic at Cathedral Beach or El Capitan (plus or minus to either)? Thinking of going as far as Columbia Rock (if we didn't do the Panorama) - is the view worth the effort? Or perhaps Glacier Pt and Sentinel Dome.

Thur Hetch Hetchy and Wapama Falls trail, if it's not too hot. Picnic out there. Other than the sequoia groves, is there anything in that area (or along that road) worth spending a few hours on? If not...back to the valley. See something we missed before.

Fri Wawona. Likely park there and catch the shuttle to Mariposa Grove. But I'm confused here. Last time, I snagged a spot in the lot near the entrance station; the roadbed was too soggy for vehicles and I walked in, about two miles before reaching the grove. Is that entrance station lot the one everyone refers to? Or is there a possibility of parking at the grove itself (driving that 2mile road)? Anyway - spend a good chunk of time here (we love sequoias). Picnic here, or back near the hotel. Look around the hotel, history center. Perhaps swinging bridge.

Sat Pack up and head out. Now here, I'm unclear again. We'll still have a lot of smelly stuff in the car. If we wanted to, say, hike to May Lake, is that a bad idea (leaving the car and contents at trailhead)? Are there trailhead lockers, and if so, anyone know how big? Otherwise...I'm assuming the valley will be crowded on a Saturday, so I don't want to fight for a spot after we leave HKC. Suggestions? Checkout time is 11am, checkin at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is 5pm.

Sun Hm. I'm still reading the TM area hikes. Need to choose something(s) not too steep, I think. I've read pages and pages on this, I just can't seem to retain any information! I'm getting old. :-(

Mon Will probably need to make an early-ish start. Sob. Pack up again, head out.

Thank you again!

Washington State
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1. Re: Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

I like your plans.

I think Panorama is do-able.

There is a small lot AT Mariposa Grove. If you're early enough, you can get one of the spots (maybe room for 75 cars?) GoogleMaps Street View: http://goo.gl/maps/TGcXq Maybe there are more than 75 spots.

The lot by the South Entrance fits about 2 dozen cars. Another street view: http://goo.gl/maps/52MTE

If you like picnic tables for picnic lunches, there are some behind the Wawona General Store and a real picnic area alongside the river near the campground. How about another street view? http://goo.gl/maps/4Q5EV There is also a picnic area on the Mariposa Grove Road, fairly close to the gated entrance near the South Entrance.

Your smellables just need to be out of view during the day.

Redlands, California
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2. Re: Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

Let me just make a few comments--The Panorama starts with a well-graded mile or two of switchbacks that is exposed, but you can sit and rest a bit in the shade at Illillouette Falls before another climb. Then its a shady woods walk to Nevada Falls--more rest time. I assume you would take the John Muir Trail down? Its rocky but not too steep. I did see quite a few older persons on the trail when I was there a couple of years ago--and I was nearly 60, so "older" was, well, "older."

Yes, there is a closer parking lot at the Mariposa Grove right by the trees.

The current guidelines say its okay to leave stuff in your car at trailheads during the day.

One TM hike I can recommend is the Lower Gaylor Lake--not the Middle and Upper, which starts with a very steep climb. The Lower hike goes through some really pretty meadows (buggy though I bet in June) and equally pretty woods, before coming out onto the turfy subalpine (or do I mean subarctic?) area where the lake is, with a few stunted trees, lots of big glacial errata, ponds, and all ringed by distant peaks. Its just under 5 miles round trip and the path is a good one. Its also VERY quiet. The only problem is finding the trailhead, which is why its so quiet!

Edited: 25 May 2013, 00:52
So Cal
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3. Re: Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

Ok, that smaller lot is where I parked, and the actual Grove lot was...actually, they were doing construction on it, and I wasn't sure what the final plan was. I guess we will play the parking by ear. Shuttles are good! *I think I remember that Mariposa Grove Rd picnic area. Hm. Depending on time, we might just picnic in the grove.

Mist/JM - well, I'm conflicted here, as well. We didn't get to Nevada Fall last time, and so I would really like to see it this time. But I'm not sure of the practicality of going to the top of Nevada, then back-tracking to continue on the John Muir down. I'm also wondering if we'll miss out on views by taking the John Muir. I had thought of taking the Mist Trail down from Nevada Fall to Vernal Fall, taking another rest there (fantastic views! also restrooms), then taking the John Muir trail down. But with that recent rockfall, it doesn't sound possible - might need to be Mist Trail all the way.

Saving the Gaylor Lakes info - thanks. ***Why is the trailhead so hard to find? Anything in particular to look for?

Washington State
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4. Re: Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

The Mariposa Grove picnic area is just two tables on the side of the road. It's kind of odd. It might be this spot: http://goo.gl/maps/8Qc6u but it seems like it has tables that are visible from the road. Hmmm. You can see it on this big Park map: nps.gov/yose/…YOSEpark2003.pdf

I think I've figured out why I was confused when folks refer to different Gaylor Lakes. The Upper one really is up higher. The one closest to the road but up & over a steep hill is called "Gaylor Lakes" ~ plural but it's just one. Then there is another one across the meadow / tundra that is a little lower that is called Lower Gaylor Lake.

Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/P3ue7 (change to satellite view ... pretty cool)

Yosemite Hikes info about Lower Gaylor Lake: yosemitehikes.com/tioga-road/lower-gaylor-la… I like this part of his description "Finding the Trailhead: This can be a bit tricky." I think this is the trailhead, but I don't know. http://goo.gl/maps/Z1slu Let me know if I'm right because I'd like to hike this one. It would be great to combine with (middle) Gaylor Lakes, but I don't know how to work a shuttle if you only have one car.

Framingham...
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5. Re: Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

I spoke with a park ranger on 5/24. She told me the rock slide on the John Muir trail has been cleared and the

trail reopened.

So Cal
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6. Re: Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

That's great news - thanks for the update.

7. Re: Early June itinerary for a reformed over-scheduler

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