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9 nights in June

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Doylestown...
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9 nights in June

My wife and I have booked our first trip to Yosemite, June 6th through June 15th. We are booked at Yosemite Lodge for the first 7 nights, but have the last two nights open as of now. We're considering staying outside the park (maybe the Tenaya), or driving down to Kings Canyon/Sequoia for those last 2 nights. We're day hikers/amateur photographers and want to get the most out of this trip. So... 'plan A', 9 nights Yosemite; or 'plan B', 7 nights Yosemite and 2 nights Kings/Sequoia. Is there a clear cut choice there? Thanks!

LA
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1. Re: 9 nights in June

9 nights is a long time.

Where are you going before/after Yosemite? It would help to understand what else you are doing?

I would suggest you spend a couple of nights on the eastern side of the Sierras, outside of Yosemite to photograph Mono Lake, Bodie Ghost Town State Park, Devils' Postpile National Monument, the gorgeous backcountry outside of Mammoth.

Washington State
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2. Re: 9 nights in June

I like the idea of 2 nights SEKI, 4-5 nights Yosemite Valley, then 2-3 nights Eastern Sierra. Lots of beautiful places to photograph.

The Top Questions & Trip Ideas on the right side of the page (full TA website) may help with your planning.

Doylestown...
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3. Re: 9 nights in June

Thanks... we'll just be flying in and out of SFO before and after. Last year we spent 10 days in Glacier NP and could have used more. We hike most days, and already have a list of must-do hikes in Yosemite... more than enough to fill up 9 days when you add in non-hiking days. If we were to spend two nights on the eastern side of the Sierras, what would our lodging options be? We prefer accomodations with a private bath and electric. I appreciate your help!

LA
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4. Re: 9 nights in June

Lots of places in Mammoth Lakes, June Lakes.

Hard to believe a photographer would miss out on Mono Lake

It might be worthwhile to review your Yosemite "must do" list. Some popular hikes are going to be very crowded. There may also be snow (hopefully) at some of the higher elevation hikes. Especially those that would really be at the upper limit of a day hike.

For best use of your time, I would recommend "roughing" it with a couple of nights in the tented camp at Tuolumne Meadows, or even White Wolf. Must faster access to trails, better chances for sunrise/sunset photos with best lighting. Confining yourself to YL will restrict what you are able to do/see.

Edited: 26 February 2014, 17:14
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5. Re: 9 nights in June

Tuolumne Meadows "Lodge" tent cabins is tentatively opening June 6. White Wolf won't open till the next Friday.

Early June is early for hikers. Even with the poor snowfall this winter I think that's too early for the best hikes. But the waterfalls will be pretty full and the roads will be open.

>>already have a list of must-do hikes in Yosemite<< What hikes are you considering?

Doylestown...
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6. Re: 9 nights in June

Must-do hikes list (so far): Panorama Trail, Upper Yosemite Falls, Clouds Rest, Mariposa Grove, Four Mile Trail, Cathedral Lake, and if I get a permit, Half Dome.

What should I add, or subtract?

Melbourne
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7. Re: 9 nights in June

I would also recommend a couple of days in the high country. You already have Cathedral Lakes on your list which is perfectly reasonable to hike with the drive from the valley, but if you also have Clouds Rest. Were you planning to drive from the valley up to the high country on 2 separate days? I love that drive but that seems a lot of it.

If you had 2-3 days in the high country you could also include Gaylor Lakes (there was quite a bit of snow still about last June and the trail to the upper lake was quite wet), Lembert Dome/Dog Lake (pretty easy and good acclimatisation) and Elizabeth Lake. Bring bug spray and possibly even a bug net, last June around the lakes the mozzies were fierce.

This may not be applicable, but should you consider acclimatisation? You've put some tough hikes on your list. In 2012 I attempted Half Dome with no acclimatisation (I live at sea level) and it was tough, I had to turn around on the sub-dome. Hence the high country acclimatisation last year which made Half Dome feel so much easier.

So, accommodation: I tried to get accommodation at WW or TM for the convenience but either they were not taking bookings when I needed to make them or there was no availability (I can't remember which). Anyway, my husband and I stayed at the Gull Lake Lodge near June Lake. It was a great place to stay, it's a bit of a drive to the park but not insurmountable. Added to this is that if we had not stayed here then we would probably not have known about the June Lake Loop or Mono Lake.

The other thing to plan is your rest days, I'm sure you have already considered this, but I know personally that HD and Upper Yosemite Falls are both tough hikes. I haven't hiked Four Mile-Panorama or Clouds Rest (but they're on my list) and they're tough too. I'm not sure I'd want to combine any of those on back-to-back days. Of course you know your endurance and you can always change your plans.

Here's my TR for last June, it might be useful, happy planning!

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k67…

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8. Re: 9 nights in June

Note that you are limited to seven consecutive nights in park lodging. So if yoiu did want to stay at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge for the two nights, you would need to cancel two from Yosemite Lodge and stay outside the park.

Edited: 26 February 2014, 21:05
Doylestown...
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9. Re: 9 nights in June

You have all been incredible help, thanks! We're now looking at an itinerary that includes the high country due to the great suggestions here. Would it be a crime to skip Kings/Sequoia and just focus on 9 days between the valley and the high country? I'm thinking 5 in the valley and 4 in the high country. We prefer to get to know an area well, rather than spend too much time packing up and driving. Since our time frame is locked in (June 6th-15th), are we out of luck with the great high country day hikes? Or will most be passable? Is there a place to get historical information on when particular trails generally open up? In the high country we're interested in any of these: Cathedral Lake, North Dome, Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Grove, Gaylor Lake, Mono Pass, Glen Aulin, Clouds Rest. I'm combing through trip reports, but I haven't found to much on trail openings.

Again, thanks for the help!

Melbourne
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10. Re: 9 nights in June

Everything my husband and I visited last June was open. There were patches of snow about and the trail to upper Gaylor Lake was quite wet but passable. We didn't go up to the old mine above the Upper Gaylor Lake because of the snow/ice. Also we did the Twenty Lakes Basin which is outside the park and starts at Saddlebag Lake and there was a LOT of snow to contend with here, but this hike starts at around 10,000 ft elevation so it was not surprising.

Our first day was June 13 which is about a week later than your visit. I'm trying to picture the trails a week earlier but the one that I think might be most problematic would be Gaylor Lakes because it is at that higher elevation with the trailhead at about the park entrance.

For Clouds Rest you need to pass through the outlet from Tenaya Lake in early June this could be a challenge. We checked it out as we left the high country heading down to the Valley on June 17 (as Clouds Rest was our backup up plan if we didn't get Half Dome permits). Last year was a low snowpack year and the outlet was not too high. Easily passable without taking off boots and sox. In fact as we arrived to do our recce there were a couple of hikers heading out and they crossed on the stepping stones without any particular trouble. Actually it looked an easier crossing than the Unicorn Creek at Elizabeth Lake. But it's easy enough to check it out on a quick visit to the lake and if you don't like the look of it, maybe save CR for another visit.

The only other hike that might be snowy/icy/boggy is Mono Pass. I haven't hiked it, but I'm looking at my maps right now (as I'm doing last year's photographs), and the trail heads up to the pass at about 10,600 ft, so it may still be quite wet in early June.

I have not visited Sequoia/King's Canyon, but I have read other recommendations to previous posters that if they are visiting SEKI then they could skip, say, the Mariposa Grove of sequoias. I notice that you have the Tuolumne Grove on your list. If you were planning to visit the Mariposa Grove then I'd just do that one, it's bigger than the Tuolumne grove and slightly more photogenic (I think). Not having visited SEKI, I can't recommend that you skip it for Yosemite, I would have trouble making that decision, too.

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