Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prepping a Yosemite Hiking Trip :: Part 2 - Reservations

Because Yosemite is so very popular, planning ahead is a necessity. This is particularly true if you wish to spend the night in the park. During the main summer months of June through September it can be very crowded there. Most of the main campgrounds in the park require reservations well in advance. Even for people, like myself, who wish to sleep in the backcountry reservations are still a necessity.  Yosemite requires all backpackers to have permits for overnight stays. They limit how many hikers can depart from and camp from each of the major trailheads. In the busy summer months and from the popular trailheads these permits can go quickly.  Ambitious hikers wishing to go up Half Dome will, surprise, surprise, also need a permit for that. Though, this last one probably exemplifies the necessity of all these permits in the first place. With a simple web search you can find pictures and videos of what the cables route on Half Dome looks like when it becomes overcrowded. In short, it gets downright dangerous. Though the whole reservation thing does complicate the process, it is in the end a necessity and a good thing for the preservation of these natural beauties.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Prepping a Yosemite Hiking Trip :: Part 1 - Itinerary

The classic view of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View
This is one of the most exciting things an outdoors-lover can do.  I can’t speak enough about how enjoyable I have found it in researching all the possibilities an avid hiker and backpacker can find when looking at Yosemite National Park.  I’ve also learned that without doing some of the homework ahead of time, endless possibilities can easily be missed.

I am presently working on my 3rd trip to Yosemite and loving every minute of it.  My wife and I took a trip there in 2008 for just a day.  We had travelled down the Pacific coast from Seattle and Yosemite was one of our last day-trips.  We hadn’t really done any homework ahead of time and so we just showed up.  It was late-May and we were lucky that the Tioga Road was just opening so we drove up to Tuolumne Meadows.  We also enjoyed the short hike to Lower Yosemite Falls back in the valley.  Time and lack of knowledge of the Park, however, left us unsure what else to do.

Half Dome as viewed from Glacier Point

In 2011 my friends Matt, Ken, and I made a very well-planned out hiking and camping trip to Yosemite for a week.  I’ll be sharing much of what we learned from that later on to explain itineraries.  We learned a lot from this trip both in the planning stages and in the implementation of those plans during our week out there. 

For 2014 my same friends and I are back at it again.  The 178% above normal snowpack of 2011 left us without a summit of Half Dome and so some unfinished business.  We have our sights set on more exciting possibilities in Yosemite this year and plan to enjoy the now 33% below normal snowpack of 2014.

Popular Posts