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!